Mormons Doing Nasty Things

September 9, 2009
By

Are Mormons more often criminals than members of other similar religions? This is a question we will never answer with precision. After all, one’s religion is not asked when booked for a crime. For an accurate assessment of interreligious rates of criminality, such data would be a necessary condition to doing some per-member calculations.

However, we might estimate an answer by examining court opinions arising from criminal prosecutions. This method is admittedly a soft proxy. Criminal opinions reflect only a small portion of all criminal prosecutions, and they refer to a defendant’s religion only when it is somehow injected into the proceedings. Still, what these opinions say about the relative criminality of certain religions is interesting, as is the examination of how these cases vary over time. By looking at the number of “Mormon defendant” criminal cases, we might see whether there is an uptick in Mormon-committed crimes or different ways in how Mormons, compared with members of other faiths, choose to defend themselves when charged with crimes.

As part of my continuing examination into how Mormons are treated in American law, I pulled all of the cases, from any American court (federal or state) that mentions Mormonism. I did the same for three religions with whom the LDS Church is sometimes confused – the Seventh-Day Adventists, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Christian Scientists. This article deals with those cases where individual members were named as criminal defendants [1]. I focused on the years after 1960, which is to say the last 50 years [2]. The following chart reflects the number of criminal prosecutions from any American federal or state that were the subject of written opinions since 1960, where the defendant was identified in the court opinion as a member of these four religions.

criminal-image1

 

It appears that this frequency is on the upswing. Over the last decade, there have been twice as many Mormon/Adventist/Scientist/Witness “criminal defendant” opinions (89) than in the 1990s (41). In fact, there were more of these cases in the last ten years than from the entire 40-year span between 1960 and 1999. This is a remarkable trajectory.

Now, let’s take a look at these numbers, broken down by religion.

crime-image2

In total, over the past 50 years, Mormons led the pack, with 81 opinions [3]. This is followed by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, with 64 cases,[4] though there were more of these opinions in the last decade than those involving LDS defendants. The Scientists (11 cases)[5] and the Seventh-Day Adventists (9 cases)[6] were about the same over this 50-year period; to the extent they commit crimes, their religions are rarely mentioned in court opinions. The same cannot be said, however, of the Mormons and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, which present the most interesting choice for comparison.

Of course, the charts above do no discriminate between serious and non-serious crimes. To accomplish that, I divided the crimes into five categories: (1) murder, (2) sex crimes (rape and child molestation), (3) other violent crimes, (4) money crimes (including drug offenses) and (5) petty offenses. I than ran comparisons between the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Taking the Mormons first, this is what the type-of-crime distribution looks like:

crime-image3

The rise in “Mormon defendant” criminal cases over the last decade comes from murder [7] and sex [8] crimes. Violent, [9] money [10] and petty [11] crimes remains fairly constant between the 1990s and 2000s (a combined total of about 11 or 12 a year). The petty crime cases were de minimis.

Here is the chart for the Jehovah’s Witnesses:

crime-image4

 

Just like members of the LDS Church who find themselves charged with crimes, Jehovah’s Witnesses saw a large increase in the most serious crimes – murder [12] and sex [13] – during the last decade. Meanwhile, compared with their Mormon counterparts, the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ crimes are not as evenly-distributed across the various types of crimes (fewer violent crime [14] and money [15] cases, though more petty [16] crime cases). The larger number of total Mormon cases over the last 50 years can be attributed to the money crimes prosecutions, in which the Jehovah’s Witnesses were not as much named during the 1990s and 2000s.

Remember my earlier statement about the number of opinions being a soft proxy for actual criminality?  One explanation for the growth in murder and sex cases involving Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses does not depend on the theory that their actual criminality is increasing. According to this theory, the increase in these cases is due to evolving legal strategy where religious facts or attributes are increasingly being injected into criminal proceedings by lawyers. This theory would be particularly attractive to church leaders responsible for maintaining the integrity or image of their institutions. If the increased references to Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses in murder and sex cases is due to legal maneuvering by the defendants themselves rather than an increase in real criminality, the religions themselves would be blameless. Determining whether there is anything to this theory requires a further parsing of the cases.

How and why were the LDS and Jehovah’s Witnesses churches referenced in these cases? Those who are the purest believers in the separation between church and state would argue that religion has no place in secular courts. To them, the ideal would be criminal court opinions which nowhere refer to any religion. Of course, that is not realistic, since sometimes the religion is relevant to the particular facts. Are these references a natural outgrowth of facts relevant to the proceeding? If not, who is injecting them more, the prosecution or the defense?

My examination turned up some interesting trends, and five general categories of cases. First, there were cases in which the particular church was inextricably tied to the motive for the crimes. In these cases, individuals violently acted out in a way they claimed was mandated by their version of, say, Mormonism, and this motive was proved in court. I refer to these as “Religious Motive” [17] cases. A second category were cases in which the church happened to put the defendant and the victim together, and was a vehicle for their acquaintance. I refer to these as “Church Vehicle” cases [18]. Third, there were cases where the defendant’s religion came up merely in passing but was not otherwise relevant to the decisions (“Dicta Cases”)[19]. In the fourth category, a defendant fights to keep evidence involving his/her religion – which is being offered by the prosecution – out of the proceedings (“Objection Cases”)[20]. In the fifth category, the defendant affirmatively seeks to take advantage of his/her religion for exoneration or mitigation, as if a statement like “I am a Mormon” was legally cognizable for some beneficial legal purpose. I refer to these cases as “Affirmative Use Cases” [21]. The categories that do not depend on some conscious decision to inject religion into the criminal prosecutions are Motive, Vehicle and Dicta. Objection and Affirmative Use cases, on the other hand, reflect legal strategy.

Here is a chart showing the numerical breakdown of the Mormon and the Jehovah’s Witnesses cases for these five categories of cases.

crime-image 7

 

The ten Mormon Motive cases would be familiar to anyone who follows Mormonism: the various cases that arose out of the prosecutions of the Lafferty brothers and the Singer/Swapp and the Rulon Allred clans [22]. There was only one Jehovah’s Witness Motive case, involving woman who killed because she was disconsolate for having been excommunicated [23].

The Vehicle cases arose in cases where members victimized other members, mainly sex abuse and fraud cases. The Dicta cases contained merely extraneous references to the defendant’s religion, seemingly without any conscious decision to argue it was significant.

The Objection and Affirmative Use cases are the most interesting to the theory that religion is being mostly injected for strategic reasons.  The Mormon “affirmative use” cases vary, from a woman pulled to for DUI who told the cop she could not be guilty because she was a Mormon and did not drink, to a man who said he could not be guilty of sexually abusing children because he was a Mormon who viewed child molestation on par with murder, to those Mormon defendants who called church leaders and acquaintances to testify to their good character.  The Mormon “object” cases typically argued that their confession to church leaders should not be admitted into evidence because it was coercive and prejudicial.

The only real disparity between Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses is in the Objection category, with Mormons being higher; it appears that there were more cases in which Mormons defendants objected to religious evidence coming in when proffered by the prosecution.

Let’s take a look at these categories for Mormons, over time:

crim-image5

Here is the same chart for the Jehovah’s Witnesses:

crim-image6

For Mormon criminal defendants, the reference to their religion offered by the prosecution (the Objection cases) is actually going down over time, while the affirmative use of Mormonism by defendants in their criminal trials is going up, as it is with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Both are seeing a slight increase in cases where the reference was due to the church being a vehicle to put the defendant and his/her victim in contact. This is undoutedly due to the rise of sex abuse cases for both Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, where the victims are kids the defendant meets through church.

Finally, is there a difference between how Mormon and Jehovah’s Witnesses defendants invoke their religion into their criminal trials? Indeed there is. When Mormons do it, it tends to be as favorable character evidence, though there were a few Mormon cases where the defendant pointed to an overly strict upbringing to explain why they engaged in bad behavior [24]. Meanwhile, there were far more Jehovah’s Witnesses trying this latter tact – eight cases [25]. In one remarkable case, the defense actually offered social scientific evidence, in an effort to mitigate the defendant’s liability, that Jehovah’s Witnneses tend to commit more crime that others [26]. Talk about bad image!

The upshot? Any religion should be concerned when more of its members are named as criminal defendants in court opinions. It inevitably presents a public relations problem, no matter the explanation. The growth in sex abuse prosecutions is just such a problem for Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. However, it appears that the increase in references to these religions in criminal opinions over the last decade might reflect some conscious strategic decisions by defendants and their lawyers, rather than a scourge of crime committed recently by members of these faiths. Is there a remedy? Not likely. I, for one, would not want to be the church leader to tell a criminal defendant to keep quiet about his good religious works, for fear of giving the church a bad name.
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[1] I recognize that this task gets tricky when the defendant has been excommunicated or was thinking about joining the particular faith when the prosecution occurs but had not gotten around to it. To resolve this issue, I treated baptism as membership. Thus, I included in my computations those cases involving excommunicated members but not inquiring individuals.

[2] In addition to my chosen focus on modern times, this limit is necessary to guard against the inclusion of uniquely religious prosecutions, which proliferated in the 1940s involving Mormons (for polygamy) and Jehovah’s Witnesses (for aggressive proselytizing). Including these “religious prosecutions” would skew the comparison. For the earlier Mormon criminal cases, see U.S. v. Barlow, 56 F.Supp. 795 (D. Utah 1944); U.S. v. Cleveland, 56 F.Supp. 890 (D. Utah 1944); State v. Barlow, 107 Utah 292, 153 P.2d 647 (Utah 1944); Cleveland v. U.S., 146 F.2d 730 (10th Cir. 1945); Chatwin v. U.S., 326 U.S. 455, 66 S.Ct. 233 (1946); Cleveland v. U.S., 329 U.S. 14, 67 S.Ct. 13, (1946): State v. Musser, 110 Utah 534, 175 P.2d 724 (Utah 1946); Musser v. Utah, 333 U.S. 95, 68 S.Ct. 397 (1948). Some example Jehovah’s Witness cases from this earlier era are Slaughter v. State, 64 Ga.App. 423, 13 S.E.2d 391 (Ga.App. 1941); Chaplinsky v. State of New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568, 62 S.Ct. 766 (1942). I also did not include cases during the 1960s and 1970s where Jehovah’s Witnesses were charged with failure to accept induction into the U.S. military, since these were conscience cases.

[3] The 81 Mormon criminal defendant cases since 1960, in chronological order, are People v. Marsh 22 Cal.Rptr. 117 (Cal.App. 1962); People v. Marsh, 58 Cal.2d 732, 376 P.2d 300 (Cal. 1962); State v. Swenson, 62 Wash.2d 259, 382 P.2d 614 (WASH. 1963); State v. Moeller, 50 Haw. 110, 433 P.2d 136 (Hawaii 1967); Ferrin v. People, 164 Colo. 130, 433 P.2d 108 (Colo. 1967); People v. Bassett, 69 Cal.2d 122, 443 P.2d 777 (Cal. 1968); Castleberry v. State, 522 P.2d 257 (Okl.Cr. 1974); Groebner v. State, 342 So.2d 94 (Fla.App. 1977); U.S. v. Brown, 600 F.2d 248 (10th Cir. 1979); State v. Marvin, 124 Ariz. 555, 606 P.2d 406 (Ariz. 1980); People v. Willoughby, 164 Cal.App.3d 1054, 210 Cal.Rptr. 880 (Cal.App.5.Dist.); State v. Foster, 467 So.2d 1254 (La.App. 2 Cir. 1985); U.S. v. Goodwin, 770 F.2d 631 (7th Cir. 1985); State v. Stone, 151 Ariz. 455, 728 P.2d 674 (Ariz.App. 1986); Sanders v. State, 1986 WL 1161159 (Alaska App. 1986); State v. Cox, 87 Or.App. 443, 742 P.2d 694 (Or.App.,1986); State v. Lafferty, 749 P.2d 1239, (Utah 1988); Com. v. Montanino, 27 Mass.App.Ct. 130, 535 N.E.2d 617 (Mass.App.Ct. 1989); Wilson v. State, 105 Nev. 110, 771 P.2d 583 (Nev. 1989); U.S. v. Swapp, 719 F.Supp. 1015 (D.Utah 1989); Gillespie v. State, 549 So.2d 640 (Ala.Cr.App. 1989); U.S. v. Swapp, 934 F.2d 326 (10th Cir. 1990); State v. Swapp, 808 P.2d 115 (Utah App. 1991); State v. Romero, 120 Idaho 255, 815 P.2d 453 (Idaho 1991); Lafferty v. Cook, 949 F.2d 1546 (10th Cir. 1991); U.S. v. Tilton, 34 M.J. 1104 (ACMR 1992); U.S. v. Miller, 984 F.2d 1028 (9th Cir. 1993); Matter of Lybbert, 1993 WL 52802 (Cal.Bar Ct. 1993) ; U.S. v. Starnes, 14 F.3d 1207 (7th Cir. 1994); State v. Otte, 1994 WL 590556 (Ohio App. 8 Dist. 1994); State v. Hildreth, 267 Mont. 423, 884 P.2d 771 (Mont. 1994); U.S. v. Barlow, 41 F.3d 935 (5th Cir. 1994); U.S. v. Adamson, 59 F.3d 176 (9th Cir. 1995); State v. Davis, 670 A.2d 786 (R.I. 1996); Clark v. State, 728 So.2d 1117 (Ala.Crim.App. 1996); State v. Burrell, 1997 WL 53455 (Tenn.Crim.App. 1997); Rodriguez v. State, 1997 WL 527843 (Tex.App.-Dallas 1997); Ex parte Clark, 728 So.2d 1126 (Ala. 1998); U.S. v. Marsh, 144 F.3d 1229 (9th Cir. 1998); Brown v. Anderson, 164 F.3d 629 (9th Cir. 1998); State v. Giles, 966 P.2d 872 (Utah App. 1998); Snider v. State, 238 Ga.App. 55, 516 S.E.2d 569 (Ga.App. 1999); U.S. v. Swapp, 198 F.3d 260 (10th Cir. 1999); State v. El-Tabech, 259 Neb. 509, 610 N.W.2d 737 (Neb. 2000); State v. Hessler, 90 Ohio St.3d 108, 734 N.E.2d 1237 (Ohio 2000); State v. Lafferty, 20 P.3d 342(Utah 2001); State v. Hopkins, 62 Conn.App. 665, 772 A.2d 657 (Conn.App. 2001); Robles v. Senkowski, 2002 WL 441153 (S.D.N.Y. 2002); State v. Hessler, 2002 WL 1379249 (Ohio App. 10 Dist. 2002); People v. Hansen, 2003 WL 22455820 (Cal.App. 4 Dist. 2003); People v. Adams, 2004 WL 194385 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 2004); U.S. v. Anderson, 94 Fed.Appx. 487 (9th Cir. 2004); State v. Genter, 872 So.2d 552 (La.App. 4 Cir. 2004); State v. Teters, 321 Mont. 379, 91 P.3d 559 (Mont. 2004); People v. Harward, 2004 WL 1282850 (Cal.App. 6 Dist. 2004); People v. Lind, 2004 WL 1427134 (Cal.App. 5 Dist. 2004); State v. Parks, 2004 WL 1936404 (Tenn.Crim.App. 2004); In re Grant O., 2004 WL 2251747 (Cal.App. 5 Dist. 2004); Phillips v. Travis, 6 Misc.3d 1041(A), 800 N.Y.S.2d 354 (N.Y.Sup. 2005); Pulido v. Lamarque, 2005 WL 6142229 (N.D.Cal. 2005); State v. Clifford, 328 Mont. 300, 121 P.3d 489 (Mont. 2005); People v. Hettiger, 2005 WL 2143640 (Cal.App. 3 Dist. 2005); Nash v. Schriro, 2006 WL 1889589 (D.Ariz. 2006); U.S. v. Thurston, 456 F.3d 211 (1st Cir. 2006); People v. Serrano, 2006 WL 2498118 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 2006); U.S. v. Gentry, 455 F.Supp.2d 1018 (D.Ariz. 2006); U.S. v. Cook, 2007 WL 130326 (W.D.Wash. 2007); U.S. v. Sutton,2007 WL 1341400 (D.Ariz. 2007); People v. Sayres, 58 Cal.Rptr.3d 823 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 2007); People v. Blanchard, , 2007 WL 1653098 (Cal.App. 4 Dist. 2007); People v. Perez, Not Reported in Cal.Rptr.3d, 2007 WL 1776210 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 2007); People v. Halvorsen, 42 Cal.4th 379, 165 P.3d 512 (Cal. 2007); Tevaga v. McGrath, 2007 WL 2572245 (N.D.Cal. 2007); Lafferty v. State, 175 P.3d 530 (Utah 2007); People v. Sayres, 2007 WL 3087944 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 2007); Otte v. Houk, 2008 WL 408525 (N.D.Ohio 2008); Green v. State, 2008 WL 787282 (Tex.App.-Tyler 2008); U.S. v. Johnson, 553 F.Supp.2d 582 (E.D.Va. 2008); Hill v. State, 377 S.C. 462, 661 S.E.2d 92 (S.C. 2008); People v. Carpenter, 2009 WL 776113 (Cal.App. 4 Dist. 2009); Forrest v. State, — S.W.3d —-, 2009 WL 1674922 (Mo. 2009).

[4] The 64 Jehovah’s Witnesses criminal defendant cases over the last 50 years (excluding the draft evasion cases) are U.S. v. Hoker, 483 F.2d 359 (5th Cir. 1973); Herbert v. State, 357 So.2d 683 (Ala.Cr.App. 1978); Com. v. Doe, 8 Mass.App.Ct. 297, 393 N.E.2d 426 (Mass.App., 1979); People v. Levan, 99 Ill.App.3d 310, 425 N.E.2d 1010 (Ill.App. 1981); State v. Roussel, 424 So.2d 226 (La. 1982); People v. Hall, 114 Ill.2d 376, 499 N.E.2d 1335 (Ill. 1986); Townes v. Com., 234 Va. 307, 362 S.E.2d 650 (Va. 1987); People v. Macioce, 197 Cal.App.3d 262, 242 Cal.Rptr. 771 (Cal.App.6.Dist. 1987); Spivey v. State, 193 Ga.App. 127, 386 S.E.2d 868 (Ga.App. 1989); State v. Halcomb, 1 Neb.App. 681, 510 N.W.2d 344 (Neb.App. 1993); State v. Koelling, 1993 WL 150497 (Ohio App. 10 Dist.,1993); Hughes v. State, 897 S.W.2d 285 (Tex.Crim.App.,1994); Lowe v. State, 650 So.2d 969 (Fla.,1994); State v. Koelling,1995 WL 125933 (Ohio App. 10 Dist.,1995); State v. Brett, 126 Wash.2d 136, 892 P.2d 29 (Wash. 1995); Hall v. Washington, 106 F.3d 742 (9th Cir. 1997); U.S. v. Thompson, 106 F.3d 794 (7th Cir. 1997); Pascoe v. State, 1997 WL 61484 (Tex.App.-San Antonio 1997); Guzman v. Lacy, 1998 WL 512954 (S.D.N.Y.,1998); Akridge v. State, 13 S.W.3d 808 (Tex.App.-Beaumont 2000); People v. Young, Not Reported in N.W.2d, 2000 WL 33521874 (Mich.App. 2000); Soria v. Johnson, 207 F.3d 232 (5th Cir. 2000); People v. Thompkins, 191 Ill.2d 438, 732 N.E.2d 553 (Ill. 2000); State v. Cheney-Shaw, 2000 WL 1231552 (Ohio App. 8 Dist. 2000); People v. Hall, 195 Ill.2d 1, 743 N.E.2d 126 (Ill. 2000); Bradley v. State, 787 So.2d 732 (Fla.,2001); State v. Eisenhouer, 40 S.W.3d 916 (Mo. 2001); U.S. v. Nedd, 262 F.3d 85 (1st Cir. 2001); Evans v. State, 800 So.2d 182 (Fla. 2001); Smith v. State, 2001 WL 1608142 (Minn.App. 2001); State v. Blackstock, 147 N.H. 791, 802 A.2d 1169 (N.H. 2002); People v. Halverson, 2002 WL 1733247 (Cal.App. 4 Dist.,2002); People v. Nelson, Not Reported in Cal.Rptr.2d, 2003 WL 1958803 (Cal.App. 1 Dist. 2003); U.S. v. Brown, 330 F.3d 1073 (8th Cir. 2003); Allridge v. Cockrell, 92 Fed.Appx. 60 (5th Cir. 2003); People v. Wolfenbarge, 2003 WL 22391135 (Cal.App. 3 Dist. 2003); State v. Davis, 318 Mont. 459, 81 P.3d 484 (Mont. 2003); State v. Scott, 101 Ohio St.3d 31, 800 N.E.2d 1133 (Ohio 2004); State v. Huffman120 Wash.App. 1038 (Wash.App. Div. 1,2004); People v. Johnson, 2004 WL 909242 (Cal.App. 5 Dist. 2004); People v. Scott, Not Reported in Cal.Rptr.3d, 2004 WL 2351590 (Cal.App. 6 Dist. 2004); People v. Portillo, 2004 WL 2361583 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 2004); People v. Jordan, Not Reported in Cal.Rptr.3d, 2005 WL 15432 (Cal.App. 1 Dist. 2005); People v. Atencio, 2005 WL 2461918 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 2005); State v. Lopez, 122 P.3d 838 (Kan.App. 2005); U.S. v. Santos, 406 F.Supp.2d 320 (S.D.N.Y. 2005); State v. Patterson, 2005 WL 3475740 (Ohio App. 5 Dist. 2005); Ploeger v. State, 189 S.W.3d 799 (Tex.App.-Houston [1 Dist.] 2006); People v. Scharf, 2006 WL 1064479 (Cal.App. 3 Dist. 2006); Correll v. Ryan, 465 F.3d 1006 (9th Cir. 2006); People v. Stevens, 41 Cal.4th 182, 158 P.3d 763 (Cal. 2007); State v. Bagley, 101 Conn.App. 653, 922 A.2d 1128 (Conn.App. 2007); Matthews v. Sirmons, 2007 WL 2286239 (W.D.Okla. 2007); Davis v. Macdonald, Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2007 WL 2701580 (D.Mont. 2007); Evans v. State, 975 So.2d 1035 (Fla. 2007); State v. Bazarte, 2007 WL 4105010 (N.J.Super.A.D. 2007); Correll v. Ryan, 539 F.3d 938 (9th Cir. 2008); Ben-Sholom v. Ayers, 566 F.Supp.2d 1053, (E.D.Cal. 2008); People v. Apodaca, 2008 WL 643084 (Cal.App. 1 Dist. 2008); State v. Smith, 2008 WL 2829275 (N.J.Super.A.D. 2008); People v. Simental, 2009 WL 2426334 (Cal.App. 4 Dist. 2009); People v. Bennett, 45 Cal.4th 577, 199 P.3d 535 (Cal. 2009); People v. Hyung Joon Kim, 45 Cal.4th 1078, 202 P.3d 436 (Cal. 2009); and Matthews v. Workman, — F.3d —-, 2009 WL 2488142 (10th Cir. 2009).

[5] The 11 Christian Scientists criminal defendant cases are State v. Malley, 285 N.W.2d 469 (Minn. 1979); Walker v. Superior Court (People), 222 Cal.Rptr. 87 (Cal.App. 3 Dist. 1986); Walker v. Superior Court, 47 Cal.3d 112, 253 Cal.Rptr. 1 (Cal. 1988); Hermanson v. State, 570 So.2d 322 (Fla.App. 2 Dist. 1990); State v. McKown, 461 N.W.2d 720 (Minn.App. 1990); People v. Rippberger, 231 Cal.App.3d 1667, 283 Cal.Rptr. 111 (Cal.App. 1 Dist. 1991); State v. McKown, 475 N.W.2d 63 (Minn. 1991); Hermanson v. State, 604 So.2d 775 (Fla. 1992); Com. v. Twitchell, 416 Mass. 114, 617 N.E.2d 609 (Mass.,1993); People v. Marshall, 13 Cal.4th 799, 919 P.2d 1280 (Cal. 1996); and In re Williams,  2007 WL 3122254 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 2007).

[6] The nine Adventist criminal defendant cases, in chronological order, are U.S. v. Wright, 627 F.2d 1300 (D.C. Cir. 1980); Graham v. State, 480 N.E.2d 981 (Ind.App. 1 Dist. 1985); U.S. v. Harvey, 897 F.2d 1300 (5th Cir. 1990); U.S. v. Miller, 46 M.J. 248 (U.S. Armed Forces 1997); Roybal v. State, 2003 WL 22241629 (Tex.App.-San Antonio 2003); State v. Caulley, 2007 WL 136471 (Ohio App. 12 Dist. 2007); State v. Rideout, 968 So.2d 1210 (La.App. 2 Cir. 2007); State v. McKnight, 2008 WL 2124076 (Ohio App. 4 Dist.,2008); and People v. Davenport, 280 Mich.App. 464, 760 N.W.2d 743 (Mich.App. 2008).

[7] The Mormon murder cases are State v. Swenson, 62 Wash.2d 259, 382 P.2d 614 (WASH. 1963); State v. Moeller, 50 Haw. 110, 433 P.2d 136 (Hawaii 1967); Ferrin v. People, 164 Colo. 130, 433 P.2d 108 (Colo. 1967); People v. Bassett, 69 Cal.2d 122, 443 P.2d 777 (Cal. 1968); Castleberry v. State, 522 P.2d 257 (Okl.Cr. 1974); State v. Marvin, 124 Ariz. 555, 606 P.2d 406 (Ariz. 1980); State v. Lafferty, 749 P.2d 1239 (Utah 1988); Wilson v. State, 105 Nev. 110, 771 P.2d 583 (Nev. 1989); State v. Swapp, 808 P.2d 115 (Utah App. 1991); State v. Romero, 120 Idaho 255, 815 P.2d 453 (Idaho 1991); Lafferty v. Cook, 949 F.2d 1546 (10th Cir. 1991); State v. Otte, 1994 WL 590556 (Ohio App. 8 Dist. 1994); Clark v. State, 728 So.2d 1117 (Ala.Crim.App. 1996); Ex parte Clark, 728 So.2d 1126 (Ala. 1998); State v. El-Tabech, 259 Neb. 509, 610 N.W.2d 737 (Neb. 2000); State v. Hessler, 90 Ohio St.3d 108, 734 N.E.2d 1237 (Ohio 2000); State v. Lafferty, 20 P.3d 342 (Utah 2001); Robles v. Senkowski, 2002 WL 441153 (S.D.N.Y. 2002); State v. Hessler, 2002 WL 1379249 (Ohio App. 10 Dist. 2002); People v. Hansen, 2003 WL 22455820 (Cal.App. 4 Dist. 2003); State v. Genter, 872 So.2d 552 (La.App. 4 Cir. 2004); Phillips v. Travis, 6 Misc.3d 1041(A), 800 N.Y.S.2d 354 (N.Y.Sup. 2005); Pulido v. Lamarque, 2005 WL 6142229 (N.D.Cal. 2005); People v. Halvorsen, 42 Cal.4th 379, 165 P.3d 512 (Cal. 2007); Tevaga v. McGrath, 2007 WL 2572245 (N.D.Cal. 2007); Lafferty v. State, 175 P.3d 530 (Utah 2007); Otte v. Houk, 2008 WL 408525 (N.D.Ohio 2008); Hill v. State, 377 S.C. 462, 661 S.E.2d 92 (S.C. 2008); People v. Carpenter, 2009 WL 776113 (Cal.App. 4 Dist. 2009); and Forrest v. State, — S.W.3d —-, 2009 WL 1674922 (Mo. 2009).

[8] The Mormon sex crime cases are People v. Willoughby,164 Cal.App.3d 1054, 210 Cal.Rptr. 880 (Cal.App.5.Dist.); State v. Foster, 467 So.2d 1254 (La.App. 2 Cir. 1985); State v. Stone, 151 Ariz. 455, 728 P.2d 674 (Ariz.App. 1986); State v. Cox, 87 Or.App. 443, 742 P.2d 694 (Or.App.,1986); Com. v. Montanino, 27 Mass.App.Ct. 130, 535 N.E.2d 617 (Mass.App.Ct. 1989); Gillespie v. State, 549 So.2d 640 (Ala.Cr.App. 1989); State v. Hildreth, 267 Mont. 423, 884 P.2d 771 (Mont. 1994); State v. Davis, 670 A.2d 786 (R.I. 1996); State v. Burrell, 1997 WL 53455 (Tenn.Crim.App. 1997); Rodriguez v. State, 1997 WL 527843 (Tex.App.-Dallas 1997); Snider v. State, 238 Ga.App. 55, 516 S.E.2d 569 (Ga.App. 1999); State v. Teters, 321 Mont. 379, 91 P.3d 559 (Mont. 2004); People v. Harward, 2004 WL 1282850 (Cal.App. 6 Dist. 2004); People v. Lind, 2004 WL 1427134 (Cal.App. 5 Dist. 2004); State v. Parks, 2004 WL 1936404 (Tenn.Crim.App. 2004); In re Grant O., 2004 WL 2251747 (Cal.App. 5 Dist. 2004); People v. Hettiger, 2005 WL 2143640 (Cal.App. 3 Dist. 2005); People v. Serrano, 2006 WL 2498118 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 2006); People v. Sayres, 58 Cal.Rptr.3d 823 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 2007); People v. Blanchard, , 2007 WL 1653098 (Cal.App. 4 Dist. 2007);People v. Perez, 2007 WL 1776210 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 2007); People v. Sayres, 2007 WL 3087944 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 2007); and Green v. State, 2008 WL 787282 (Tex.App.-Tyler 2008).

[9] The Mormon violent crime cases are U.S. v. Swapp,719 F.Supp. 1015 (D.Utah 1989); U.S. v. Swapp, 934 F.2d 326 (10th Cir. 1990); U.S. v. Tilton, 34 M.J. 1104 (ACMR 1992); U.S. v. Barlow, 41 F.3d 935 (5th Cir. 1994); Brown v. Anderson, 164 F.3d 629 (9th Cir. 1998); U.S. v. Swapp, 198 F.3d 260 (10th Cir. 1999); State v. Hopkins, 62 Conn.App. 665, 772 A.2d 657 (Conn.App. 2001); People v. Adams, 2004 WL 194385 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 2004); and Nash v. Schriro, 2006 WL 1889589 (D.Ariz. 2006).

[10] The Mormon money crime cases are People v. Marsh 22 Cal.Rptr. 117, Cal.App. 1962; People v. Marsh, 58 Cal.2d 732, 376 P.2d 300 (Cal. 1962); Groebner v. State, 342 So.2d 94 (Fla.App. 1977); U.S. v. Goodwin, 770 F.2d 631 (7th Cir. 1985);U.S. v. Miller, 984 F.2d 1028 (9th Cir. 1993); U.S. v. Starnes, 14 F.3d 1207 (7th Cir. 1994); U.S. v. Adamson, 59 F.3d 176 (9th Cir. 1995); U.S. v. Marsh, 144 F.3d 1229 (9th Cir. 1998); Brown v. Anderson, 164 F.3d 629 (9th Cir. 1998); State v. Giles, 966 P.2d 872 (Utah App. 1998); U.S. v. Anderson, 94 Fed.Appx. 487 (9th Cir. 2004); State v. Clifford, 328 Mont. 300, 121 P.3d 489 (Mont. 2005); U.S. v. Thurston, 456 F.3d 211 (1st Cir. 2006); U.S. v. Gentry, 455 F.Supp.2d 1018 (D.Ariz. 2006); U.S. v. Cook, 2007 WL 130326 (W.D.Wash. 2007); and U.S. v. Johnson, 553 F.Supp.2d 582 (E.D.Va. 2008).

[11] The Mormon petty crime cases are U.S. v. Brown, 600 F.2d 248 (10th Cir. 1979); Sanders v. State, Not Reported in P.2d, 1986 WL 1161159 (Alaska App. 1986); and Matter of Lybbert, 1993 WL 52802 (Cal.Bar Ct. 1993).

[12] The Jehovah murder cases are Herbert v. State, 357 So.2d 683 (Ala.Cr.App. 1978); State v. Roussel, 424 So.2d 226 (La. 1982); People v. Hall, 114 Ill.2d 376, 499 N.E.2d 1335 (Ill. 1986); Townes v. Com., 234 Va. 307, 362 S.E.2d 650 (Va. 1987); People v. Macioce, 197 Cal.App.3d 262, 242 Cal.Rptr. 771 (Cal.App.6.Dist. 1987); Hughes v. State, 897 S.W.2d 285 (Tex.Crim.App. 1994);Lowe v. State, 650 So.2d 969 (Fla. 1994); State v. Brett, 126 Wash.2d 136, 892 P.2d 29 (Wash. 1995); People v. Young, Not Reported in N.W.2d, 2000 WL 33521874 (Mich.App. 2000); Soria v. Johnson, 207 F.3d 232 (5th Cir. 2000); People v. Thompkins, 191 Ill.2d 438, 732 N.E.2d 553 (Ill. 2000); People v. Hall, 195 Ill.2d 1, 743 N.E.2d 126 (Ill. 2000); Bradley v. State, 787 So.2d 732 (Fla. 2001); People v. Nelson, Not Reported in Cal.Rptr.2d, 2003 WL 1958803 (Cal.App. 1 Dist. 2003); Allridge v. Cockrell, 92 Fed.Appx. 60 (5th Cir. 2003); State v. Scott, 101 Ohio St.3d 31, 800 N.E.2d 1133 (Ohio 2004); People v. Jordan, Not Reported in Cal.Rptr.3d, 2005 WL 15432 (Cal.App. 1 Dist. 2005);People v. Scharf, 2006 WL 1064479 (Cal.App. 3 Dist. 2006); Correll v. Ryan, 465 F.3d 1006 (9th Cir. 2006); People v. Stevens, 41 Cal.4th 182, 158 P.3d 763 (Cal. 2007);  Matthews v. Sirmons,  2007 WL 2286239 (W.D.Okla. 2007);Evans v. State, 975 So.2d 1035 (Fla. 2007); Correll v. Ryan, 539 F.3d 938 (9th Cir. 2008); Ben-Sholom v. Ayers, 566 F.Supp.2d 1053 (E.D.Cal. 2008); People v. Bennett, 45 Cal.4th 577, 199 P.3d 535 (Cal. 2009); and Matthews v. Workman, — F.3d —-, 2009 WL 2488142 (10th Cir. 2009).

[13] The Jehovah’s Witnesses sex crime cases are Com. v. Doe, 8 Mass.App.Ct. 297, 393 N.E.2d 426 (Mass.App., 1979); Spivey v. State, 193 Ga.App. 127, 386 S.E.2d 868 (Ga.App. 1989); State v. Koelling, 1993 WL 150497 (Ohio App. 10 Dist.,1993); State v. Koelling,1995 WL 125933 (Ohio App. 10 Dist.,1995); Pascoe v. State, 1997 WL 61484 (Tex.App.-San Antonio 1997); Guzman v. Lacy, 1998 WL 512954 (S.D.N.Y.,1998); State v. Cheney-Shaw, 2000 WL 1231552 (Ohio App. 8 Dist. 2000); State v. Eisenhouer, 40 S.W.3d 916 (Mo. 2001); Smith v. State, 2001 WL 1608142 (Minn.App. 2001); State v. Blackstock, 147 N.H. 791, 802 A.2d 1169 (N.H. 2002); People v. Halverson, 2002 WL 1733247 (Cal.App. 4 Dist.,2002); U.S. v. Brown, 330 F.3d 1073 (8th Cir. 2003);People v. Wolfenbarge, 2003 WL 22391135 (Cal.App. 3 Dist. 2003); People v. Johnson, 2004 WL 909242 (Cal.App. 5 Dist. 2004); People v. Scott, Not Reported in Cal.Rptr.3d, 2004 WL 2351590(Cal.App. 6 Dist. 2004); People v. Portillo, 2004 WL 2361583 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 2004);People v. Atencio, 2005 WL 2461918 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 2005); State v. Patterson, 2005 WL 3475740 (Ohio App. 5 Dist. 2005); People v. Apodaca, 2008 WL 643084 (Cal.App. 1 Dist. 2008); and People v. Simental, 2009 WL 2426334 (Cal.App. 4 Dist. 2009).

[14] The Jehovah’s witness violent crime cases are People v. Levan, 99 Ill.App.3d 310, 425 N.E.2d 1010 (Ill.App. 1981); Akridge v. State, 13 S.W.3d 808 (Tex.App.-Beaumont 2000);State v. Huffman, 120 Wash.App. 1038 (Wash.App. Div. 1,2004); and State v. Lopez, 122 P.3d 838 (Kan.App. 2005).

[15] The Jehovah’s Witnnesses money crime cases are U.S. v. Hoker, 483 F.2d 359 (5th Cir. 1973); U.S. v. Thompson, 106 F.3d 794 (7th Cir. 1997); State v. Bagley, 101 Conn.App. 653, 922 A.2d 1128 (Conn.App. 2007); Davis v. Macdonald, Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2007 WL 2701580 (D.Mont. 2007); State v. Bazarte, 2007 WL 4105010 (N.J.Super.A.D. 2007); and State v. Smith, 2008 WL 2829275 (N.J.Super.A.D. 2008).

[16] The Jehovah’s Witnesses petty crime cases are U.S. v. Nedd, 262 F.3d 85 (1st Cir. 2001); Ploeger v. State, 189 S.W.3d 799 (Tex.App.-Houston [1 Dist.] 2006) and People v. Hyung Joon Kim, 45 Cal.4th 1078, 202 P.3d 436 (Cal. 2009)

[17] The Mormon “religious motive” cases are  State v. Lafferty, 749 P.2d 1239 (Utah 1988); U.S. v. Swapp,719 F.Supp. 1015 (D.Utah 1989); U.S. v. Swapp, 934 F.2d 326 (10th Cir. 1990); State v. Swapp, 808 P.2d 115 (Utah App. 1991); Lafferty v. Cook, 949 F.2d 1546 (10th Cir. 1991); U.S. v. Barlow, 41 F.3d 935 (5th Cir. 1994); U.S. v. Swapp, 198 F.3d 260 (10th Cir. 1999); State v. Lafferty, 20 P.3d 342 (Utah 2001); and Lafferty v. State, 175 P.3d 530 (Utah 2007). The Jehovah’s Witness “religious motive” cases is  is People v. Nelson, 2003 WL 1958803 (Cal.App. 1 Dist. 2003).

[18]  The Mormon “vehicle cases” are U.S. v. Goodwin, 770 F.2d 631 (7th Cir. 1985); State v. Hildreth, 267 Mont. 423, 884 P.2d 771 (Mont. 1994); State v. Davis, 670 A.2d 786 (R.I. 1996); State v. Burrell, 1997 WL 53455 (Tenn.Crim.App. 1997); U.S. v. Marsh, 144 F.3d 1229 (9th Cir. 1998); State v. Hessler, 90 Ohio St.3d 108, 734 N.E.2d 1237 (Ohio 2000); State v. Hopkins, 62 Conn.App. 665, 772 A.2d 657 (Conn.App. 2001);State v. Teters, 321 Mont. 379, 91 P.3d 559 (Mont. 2004); People v. Harward, 2004 WL 1282850 (Cal.App. 6 Dist. 2004); In re Grant O., 2004 WL 2251747 (Cal.App. 5 Dist. 2004); State v. Clifford, 328 Mont. 300, 121 P.3d 489 (Mont. 2005); People v. Hettiger, 2005 WL 2143640 (Cal.App. 3 Dist. 2005); People v. Perez, Not Reported in Cal.Rptr.3d, 2007 WL 1776210 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 2007); and Green v. State, 2008 WL 787282 (Tex.App.-Tyler 2008). The Jehovah’s Witnesses “vehicle” cases are Com. v. Doe, 8 Mass.App.Ct. 297, 393 N.E.2d 426 (Mass.App., 1979); U.S. v. Nedd, 262 F.3d 85 (1st Cir. 2001); Smith v. State, 2001 WL 1608142 (Minn.App. 2001); State v. Blackstock, 147 N.H. 791, 802 A.2d 1169 (N.H. 2002); People v. Halverson, 2002 WL 1733247 (Cal.App. 4 Dist.,2002); People v. Wolfenbarge, 2003 WL 22391135 (Cal.App. 3 Dist. 2003); People v. Scott, Not Reported in Cal.Rptr.3d, 2004 WL 2351590(Cal.App. 6 Dist. 2004); People v. Portillo, 2004 WL 2361583 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 2004);Ploeger v. State, 189 S.W.3d 799 (Tex.App.-Houston [1 Dist.] 2006); State v. Bazarte, 2007 WL 4105010 (N.J.Super.A.D. 2007); and People v. Simental, 2009 WL 2426334 (Cal.App. 4 Dist. 2009).

[19] the Mormon “dicta” cases are Ferrin v. People, 164 Colo. 130, 433 P.2d 108 (Colo. 1967); State v. Giles, 966 P.2d 872 (Utah App. 1998); Snider v. State, 238 Ga.App. 55, 516 S.E.2d 569 (Ga.App. 1999); State v. El-Tabech, 259 Neb. 509, 610 N.W.2d 737 (Neb. 2000); People v. Adams, 2004 WL 194385 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 2004); People v. Sayres, 58 Cal.Rptr.3d 823 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 2007); Tevaga v. McGrath, 2007 WL 2572245 (N.D.Cal. 2007); People v. Sayres, 2007 WL 3087944 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 2007); and U.S. v. Johnson, 553 F.Supp.2d 582 (E.D.Va. 2008). The Jehovah’s Witnesses “dicta” cases are U.S. v. Hoker, 483 F.2d 359 (5th Cir. 1973); Herbert v. State, 357 So.2d 683 (Ala.Cr.App. 1978); State v. Roussel, 424 So.2d 226 (La. 1982); Townes v. Com., 234 Va. 307, 362 S.E.2d 650 (Va. 1987); People v. Macioce, 197 Cal.App.3d 262, 242 Cal.Rptr. 771 (Cal.App.6.Dist. 1987); State v. Koelling, 1993 WL 150497 (Ohio App. 10 Dist.,1993); State v. Koelling,1995 WL 125933 (Ohio App. 10 Dist.,1995); Guzman v. Lacy, 1998 WL 512954 (S.D.N.Y.,1998); State v. Davis, 318 Mont. 459, 81 P.3d 484 (Mont. 2003); State v. Patterson, 2005 WL 3475740 (Ohio App. 5 Dist. 2005); State v. Bagley, 101 Conn.App. 653, 922 A.2d 1128 (Conn.App. 2007); and Davis v. Macdonald, Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2007 WL 2701580 (D.Mont. 2007).

[20] The Mormon “object” cases are  People v. Marsh 22 Cal.Rptr. 117, Cal.App. 1962; People v. Marsh, 58 Cal.2d 732, 376 P.2d 300 (Cal. 1962); State v. Swenson, 62 Wash.2d 259, 382 P.2d 614 (WASH. 1963); State v. Moeller, 50 Haw. 110, 433 P.2d 136 (Hawaii 1967); Groebner v. State, 342 So.2d 94 (Fla.App. 1977); State v. Stone, 151 Ariz. 455, 728 P.2d 674 (Ariz.App. 1986); State v. Cox, 87 Or.App. 443, 742 P.2d 694 (Or.App.,1986); Gillespie v. State, 549 So.2d 640 (Ala.Cr.App. 1989); U.S. v. Miller, 984 F.2d 1028 (9th Cir. 1993); Brown v. Anderson, 164 F.3d 629 (9th Cir. 1998); People v. Hansen, 2003 WL 22455820 (Cal.App. 4 Dist. 2003); State v. Genter, 872 So.2d 552 (La.App. 4 Cir. 2004); U.S. v. Cook, 2007 WL 130326 (W.D.Wash. 2007); and U.S. v. Sutton, 2007 WL 1341400(D.Ariz. 2007). The Jehovah’s Witnesses “object” case are Hughes v. State, 897 S.W.2d 285 (Tex.Crim.App.,1994); Akridge v. State, 13 S.W.3d 808 (Tex.App.-Beaumont 2000); State v. Eisenhouer, 40 S.W.3d 916 (Mo. 2001); and People v. Apodaca, 2008 WL 643084 (Cal.App. 1 Dist. 2008).

[21] The Mormon “affirmative use” cases are People v. Bassett, 69 Cal.2d 122, 443 P.2d 777 (Cal. 1968); Castleberry v. State, 522 P.2d 257 (Okl.Cr. 1974); U.S. v. Brown, 600 F.2d 248 (10th Cir. 1979); State v. Marvin, 124 Ariz. 555, 606 P.2d 406 (Ariz. 1980); People v. Willoughby,164 Cal.App.3d 1054, 210 Cal.Rptr. 880 (Cal.App.5.Dist.); State v. Foster, 467 So.2d 1254 (La.App. 2 Cir. 1985); Sanders v. State, Not Reported in P.2d, 1986 WL 1161159 (Alaska App. 1986); Com. v. Montanino, 27 Mass.App.Ct. 130, 535 N.E.2d 617 (Mass.App.Ct. 1989); Wilson v. State, 105 Nev. 110, 771 P.2d 583 (Nev. 1989); State v. Romero, 120 Idaho 255, 815 P.2d 453 (Idaho 1991); U.S. v. Tilton, 34 M.J. 1104 (ACMR 1992); Matter of Lybbert, 1993 WL 52802 (Cal.Bar Ct. 1993); U.S. v. Starnes, 14 F.3d 1207 (7th Cir. 1994); State v. Otte, 1994 WL 590556 (Ohio App. 8 Dist. 1994); U.S. v. Adamson, 59 F.3d 176 (9th Cir. 1995); Clark v. State, 728 So.2d 1117 (Ala.Crim.App. 1996); Rodriguez v. State, 1997 WL 527843 (Tex.App.-Dallas 1997); Ex parte Clark, 728 So.2d 1126 (Ala. 1998); Robles v. Senkowski, 2002 WL 441153 (S.D.N.Y. 2002); State v. Hessler, 2002 WL 1379249 (Ohio App. 10 Dist. 2002); U.S. v. Anderson, 94 Fed.Appx. 487 (9th Cir. 2004); People v. Lind, 2004 WL 1427134 (Cal.App. 5 Dist. 2004); State v. Parks, 2004 WL 1936404 (Tenn.Crim.App. 2004); Phillips v. Travis, 6 Misc.3d 1041(A), 800 N.Y.S.2d 354 (N.Y.Sup. 2005); Pulido v. Lamarque, 2005 WL 6142229 (N.D.Cal. 2005); Nash v. Schriro, 2006 WL 1889589 (D.Ariz. 2006); U.S. v. Thurston, 456 F.3d 211 (1st Cir. 2006); People v. Serrano, 2006 WL 2498118 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 2006); U.S. v. Gentry, 455 F.Supp.2d 1018 (D.Ariz. 2006); People v. Blanchard, , 2007 WL 1653098 (Cal.App. 4 Dist. 2007);People v. Halvorsen, 42 Cal.4th 379, 165 P.3d 512 (Cal. 2007); Otte v. Houk, 2008 WL 408525 (N.D.Ohio 2008); Hill v. State, 377 S.C. 462, 661 S.E.2d 92 (S.C. 2008); People v. Carpenter, 2009 WL 776113 (Cal.App. 4 Dist. 2009); Forrest v. State, — S.W.3d —-, 2009 WL 1674922 (Mo. 2009). The Jehovah’s Witnesses “affirmative use” cases are People v. Levan, 99 Ill.App.3d 310, 425 N.E.2d 1010 (Ill.App. 1981); People v. Hall, 114 Ill.2d 376, 499 N.E.2d 1335 (Ill. 1986); Spivey v. State, 193 Ga.App. 127, 386 S.E.2d 868 (Ga.App. 1989); State v. Halcomb, 1 Neb.App. 681, 510 N.W.2d 344 (Neb.App. 1993); Lowe v. State, 650 So.2d 969 (Fla.,1994); State v. Brett, 126 Wash.2d 136, 892 P.2d 29 (Wash. 1995); Hall v. Washington, 106 F.3d 742 (9th Cir. 1997); U.S. v. Thompson, 106 F.3d 794 (7th Cir. 1997); People v. Young, Not Reported in N.W.2d, 2000 WL 33521874 (Mich.App. 2000); Soria v. Johnson, 207 F.3d 232 (5th Cir. 2000); People v. Thompkins, 191 Ill.2d 438, 732 N.E.2d 553 (Ill. 2000); State v. Cheney-Shaw, 2000 WL 1231552 (Ohio App. 8 Dist. 2000); People v. Hall, 195 Ill.2d 1, 743 N.E.2d 126 (Ill. 2000);Bradley v. State, 787 So.2d 732 (Fla.,2001); Evans v. State, 800 So.2d 182 (Fla. 2001); U.S. v. Brown, 330 F.3d 1073 (8th Cir. 2003);Allridge v. Cockrell, 92 Fed.Appx. 60 (5th Cir. 2003); State v. Scott, 101 Ohio St.3d 31, 800 N.E.2d 1133 (Ohio 2004); State v. Huffman, 120 Wash.App. 1038 (Wash.App. Div. 1,2004); People v. Johnson, 2004 WL 909242 (Cal.App. 5 Dist. 2004); People v. Jordan, Not Reported in Cal.Rptr.3d, 2005 WL 15432 (Cal.App. 1 Dist. 2005);People v. Atencio, 2005 WL 2461918 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 2005); State v. Lopez, 122 P.3d 838 (Kan.App. 2005);U.S. v. Santos, 406 F.Supp.2d 320 (S.D.N.Y. 2005); People v. Scharf, 2006 WL 1064479 (Cal.App. 3 Dist. 2006); Correll v. Ryan, 465 F.3d 1006 (9th Cir. 2006); People v. Stevens, 41 Cal.4th 182, 158 P.3d 763 (Cal. 2007); Matthews v. Sirmons, 2007 WL 2286239 (W.D.Okla. 2007); Evans v. State, 975 So.2d 1035 (Fla. 2007); Correll v. Ryan, 539 F.3d 938 (9th Cir. 2008); Ben-Sholom v. Ayers, 566 F.Supp.2d 1053 (E.D.Cal. 2008); State v. Smith, 2008 WL 2829275 (N.J.Super.A.D. 2008); People v. Bennett, 45 Cal.4th 577, 199 P.3d 535 (Cal. 2009); People v. Hyung Joon Kim, 45 Cal.4th 1078, 202 P.3d 436 (Cal. 2009); and Matthews v. Workman, — F.3d —-, 2009 WL 2488142 (10th Cir. 2009).

[22] See note 17.

[23] see note 17.

[24] The Mormon “bad upbringing” cases are Clark v. State, 728 So.2d 1117 (Ala.Crim.App. 1996); Ex parte Clark, 728 So.2d 1126 (Ala. 1998); Nash v. Schriro, 2006 WL 1889589 (D.Ariz. 2006);  and Otte v. Houk, 2008 WL 408525 (N.D.Ohio 2008).  The Jehovah’s Witnesses  “bad upbringing” cases are  State v. Halcomb, 1 Neb.App. 681, 510 N.W.2d 344 (Neb.App. 1993); Lowe v. State, 650 So.2d 969 (Fla.,1994); Allridge v. Cockrell, 92 Fed.Appx. 60 (5th Cir. 2003); Correll v. Ryan, 465 F.3d 1006 (9th Cir. 2006); People v. Stevens, 41 Cal.4th 182, 158 P.3d 763 (Cal. 2007); Evans v. State, 975 So.2d 1035 (Fla. 2007); Correll v. Ryan, 539 F.3d 938 (9th Cir. 2008); and Ben-Sholom v. Ayers, 566 F.Supp.2d 1053 (E.D.Cal. 2008).

[25] Allridge v. Cockrell, 92 Fed.Appx. 60 (5th Cir. 2003).

31 Responses to Mormons Doing Nasty Things

  1. Greg
    September 9, 2009 at 6:52 am

    Too much for me to figure out for myself so… I’ll just ask you. 1) Do these increases simply reflect the increasing number of church members for each group? 2) Do the courts (and/or your research) tend to ignore the distinctions between “Mormons” (including “fundamentalists” or excommunicated persons) and Latter-day Saints who belong to the mainstream church? (You cite Lafferty, Allred, etc.) 3) How about levels of church activity? How often does someone who was baptized at age 8, for example, and then never attended church use the “but I’m a Mormon” defense?

    Granted, I don’t believe that just because someone is an active, recommmend-holding Latter-day Saint they are incapable of crime. My brother, as a new cop in Weber County, Utah, sometimes had to arrest the random member of a Stake Presidency for DUI and would hear excuses like, “You’re not from around here. You don’t understand.” This, of course, just made the returned missionary cop more determined to make the arrest. (As the years went on, he heard some real whoppers of excuses from Latter-day Saints… but I’ll keep this brief for now.)

  2. Benjamin Orchard
    September 9, 2009 at 7:18 am

    I’ll echo Greg’s comments.

    According to this website: http://www.demographia.com/db-religusa2002.htm, the Jehovah’s Witnesses had a membership around 273,000 in the 1960s, and around 1,022,000 in 2002-2004. Comparatively, the SAME website lists 1,487,000 for 1960 LDS membership and 5,599,000 for 2002-2004 membership. One should note that these numbers are somewhat different than the officially published numbers from what I know.

    Oh, and 7th Day Adventists were 317,000 & 918,000 in 1960 & 2002/2004 respectively.

    Breaking that down into a very simple percentage gives extremely small numbers! In the 1960s, even if I’m reading the chart a little bit wrong, that translates into a .0004% rate for the LDS population. That is miniscule. That only rises to a .0006% in the 2000s.

    Both the JWs & the 7thDs are at 0% in the 1960s (an anomaly, I’m sure, and sociologically unlikely). In the 2000s, the JWs rise to .0165%, which is still a very very low crime rate, while the 7thDs rise to a mere .0005%.

    With these rates as low as they are, I’m not going to bother asking the question of ‘are these statistically significant differences’. Given the numbers we have, they may well be. Practically however, this difference has no meaning.

    My own take away meaning here is that none of these groups are doing anything particularly nasty, and if anything maybe a bit less inclined to nasty things, at least if these court cases are anything to go by–a theory of which I am hardly convinced.

    Personally I find the evidence rather less than compelling when it comes to religion & crime.

  3. J.Ro
    September 9, 2009 at 10:15 am

    I agree with Greg and Benjamin as well. In order to make valid inferences from these numbers, they need to be adjusted for membership increase and US population increase (assuming these are all US cases). With more context we could make more informed comparisons between religions as well as against a background of nationwide crime rates.

  4. hawkgrrrl
    September 9, 2009 at 10:51 am

    Interesting information about how/when/why people either invoke their religion in court or object to its being named.

    I have also observed that there are some who have committed heinous crimes (e.g. Ted Bundy) who joined churches immediately prior to their crimes. It almost seems like a last-ditch effort to appease their internal demons before they go on a multi-state killing spree.

  5. September 9, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Jeff,

    This is fantastic work. You’ve put in some real effort here. I do agree that the data would be more convincing if adjusted for membership numbers, but your study is fascinating nonetheless. In my opinion, your numbers reflect an improvement in the Church’s PR image over the last several decades.

    -Chris

  6. PK
    September 9, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    May I also add that the weight of court opinions concerning religion and crime may vary by denomination. For example, everyone knows that Mormons have a high moral standard so if a Mormon violates a law, it is more noteworthy. There are no Mormon mafia leaders. They would be excommunicated.

  7. brjones
    September 9, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    “There are no Mormon mafia leaders. They would be excommunicated.”

    I’m assuming this is a joke.

  8. Bill
    September 9, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    #6-”if a Mormon violates a law, it is more noteworthy.”

    I’m not sure if this statement fits best into the whimsical myth, persecution complex, or elitism category. It certainly hasn’t been true in my experience.

  9. brjones
    September 9, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    What about this one: “everyone knows that mormons have a high moral standard”? I think the implication here is that they have a “highER” moral standard. Another dubious proposition. I believe this only applies if you believe that drinking coffee is inherently immoral.

  10. Andrew Ainsworth
    September 9, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Jeff, very interesting research and analysis. It’s great to have you posting here with us at MM!

  11. Holden Caulfield
    September 9, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    #1-Greg—”As the years went on, he heard some real whoppers of excuses from Latter-day Saints… but I’ll keep this brief for now.” It’s time for a guest post by Greg, or his brother for that matter.

  12. brjones
    September 9, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    #11 – Yeah, I’m interested to know if he meant that the excuses from LDS were actually substantively different from non-mormons, or if they were just striking because they were coming from members of the church.

  13. Elwood Johnson
    September 9, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    After reading “Mormon Matters” over the last year I have come to the conclusion that a lot of people must not have much to do. Lately most of the posts have been about subjects that don’t mean a hill of beans. Why aren’t we discussing the level of hate being generated each day by that great Mormon Glenn Beck? I personally find Glenn a jerk, but Deseret Book still carries his stuff. This is the guy who has called President Obama a racist and has made other outlandish claims. This post has as more references then the whole Standard Works.

    I really don’t care the number of crimes committed by LDS. A better post would be why people in this country would get up in arms about the President telling school children to stay in school and work hard.

  14. brjones
    September 9, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    #13 – I’m not sure I follow the “logic” of this comment. If we discussed things that you think are important, then it would mean we have something to do? If you think the topics being posted about aren’t worthy of discussion, why don’t you write a post about something you think is? Personally, I’ve also been hoping someone would broach that subject, but I’m not going to threadjack someone’s post to bring it up.

  15. alice
    September 9, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    #13

    I’d have to agree that Beck is an irresponsible person and a negative contribution to the general hysteria and mistrust of our time. It hardly raises to the level of the crimes the original post explores, but the burden of the effect for ill in our society certainly weighs on Beck. Given his prominence in the culture, I think there’s a dereliction on the part of the church not to reign him in to a considerable degree. But, then, I recognize how silly it is for me to expect it.

  16. Hawkgrrrl
    September 9, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    I keep thinking the title of this is “Mormons Doing the Nasty.” Is it just me?

  17. brjones
    September 9, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    #15 – I’m not really sure how the church has any authority to reign him in, as he does not represent the church, and although I don’t listen to his show or read his books, I’m not aware of him really spending a lot of time discussing the church. I don’t think the church has any interest in telling its members what to do when those things have nothing to do with the church. In fact, the idea is a little frightening.

  18. brjones
    September 9, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    #16 – It’s not just you, Hawk. The word ‘nasty’ just seems to have a particular connotation. I can’t even say it in my mind without giving it a kind of accent and squinting my eyes a little.

  19. alice
    September 9, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    # 17

    I can see your point, but I find Beck’s hysteria and his effect in bifurcating the country frightening too.

  20. brjones
    September 9, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    #19 – Listen, Alice, I could not agree with you more. Nothing would make me happier than seeing Glenn Beck go the way of the Dodo. I just don’t think the church has any role in making it happen. Now, if you want to address your comments to the church’s members, I think you’ve got a decent argument. Mormons are a HUGE part of his core audience.

  21. alice
    September 9, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    Precisely. And as much due to his LDS identity as his extreme politics. Therefore, it follows that some statement from the church, however informally would have huge impact on his ability to be effective in such a destructive direction.

    But, you’re right that the church shouldn’t be in the business of dictating thought (even tho they are comfortable enough stifling opinion on the other end of the spectrum). So we essentially have come to an agreement in our frustration. Besides, this is an off topic tangent to Jeff’s thoughtful post so I regret my flippant initial outburst and won’t continue to comment.

  22. Jeff Breinholt
    September 9, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    Thanks for all your kind comments (and even for the unkind ones). A couple of notes (not about Glenn Beck). First, my research is not empirical in the sense that I do not undertake tests of significance. It is anecdotal in the sense that every American court case is merely an anecdote, and I’ve tried to collect them. However, they are factual, in that I don’t make up the existence of particular cases. I acknowledge that this article does not purport to definitevely answer whether Mormons commit crimes more often than other religions. That should have been clear from the first paragraph. However, I still think that there are some very interesting issues involving Mormonsim arisefrom my analysis (like whether Mormons might be subtly trained to invoke their religion when they caught doing something illegal). And I do apologize for all the endnotes – they are designed to allow other researchers to replicate my findings. Please keep your comments coming. Next up: Mormon employment discrimination.

  23. Jen
    September 9, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    Hawk-

    “I keep thinking the title of this is “Mormons Doing the Nasty.” Is it just me?”

    Yep, your mind is just in the gutter. :)

  24. Greg
    September 9, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    For a minute, I thought this had transformed into the “I love censorship” thread. I’m reminded of the guy in my ward who thought he was the world’s greatest expert on food storage. So, it didn’t matter what the lesson in church was really about, he’d find a way to make a comment that turned the topic toward food storage. So… you like Obama and you don’t like Beck. I get it. I yawn in your general direction.

    But, back on track (sort of), my brother’s experiences with LDS criminals is more disheartening to me than it is entertaining. To him, I’m sure it’s just another part of the job… all in a day’s work. To me, the simultaneously fascinating and disgusting thing is the way that people pervert gospel principles to justify their actions. For example: It’s better to have an elicit affair with a fellow Latter-day Saint than with a non-member. The same kinds of twisted justifications just turn completely creepy when it comes to child abuse, spousal abuse or criminal sexual behavior. Indeed, you wish these people had drowned in the sea wearing a millstone necklace before they wound up doing their other, nasty deeds.

    There’s a process through which people who know right from wrong talk themselves into doing wrong anyway… step by step until they think it’s not so bad. And their journey is complete when they’re defiant about it.

  25. Cowboy
    September 10, 2009 at 9:23 am

    “Next up: Mormon employment discrimination.”

    Jeff:

    If this is serious then I would be very interesting in what you have to say, particularly if the study breaks the job market into regions of both high and low Mormon concentration, ie, Utah/Utah County, and midwestern or east coast states. I am working on a comparative analysis right of Utah and surrounding states to test for employment discrimination in the cases of Mormons, African-Americans, and Gay’s and Lesbians.

  26. Jeff Breinholt
    September 10, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Yes, my report will probably give you some insight, and some cases to look at. Mormon discrimination (i.e. employment discrimination against non-Mormons) extends well beyond beyond Utah, and includes some very suprising (government) employers. It will run Saturday.

  27. Cowboy
    September 10, 2009 at 9:53 am

    I’ll look forward to it, thanks.

  28. September 10, 2009 at 11:02 am

    So… you like Obama and you don’t like Beck. I get it. I yawn in your general direction.

    Interesting how people talk about Obama the same way they talk about Beck (though this commenter did not).

    I find that interesting.

    http://volokh.com/posts/1251879017.shtml is well worth reading …

  29. September 11, 2009 at 10:52 am

    I’m going to have to disagree with Elwood Johnson on this one—I think this is quite interesting. I think I generally agree with several of the other comments. It seems that these trends are a result both of the increased population of Mormons in the United States as well as a criminal defense trend to invoke religiosity. Again, thanks for the post, Jeff.

  30. Murman1
    April 10, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    I found this
    very interesting and accurate. I am familiar with a murder trial in Provo Utah.
    A Mormon teen had murdered a Catholic teenager at a dance. Point blank shot him
    in the back of the head. The defense called the killers stake president as a
    witness. The stake president stated that the killer’s patriarchal blessing revealed
    the killer had been a valiant and good spirit in the premortal existence and
    that should be taken into account.

    I believe
    you are correct in the statistic showing the church as a vehicle for criminals
    to meet their victims. However your study does not show the number of victims
    who are told by their leaders that they will be excommunicated if they press
    charges or name the church liable in the crime. I believe this number to be
    very high.

  31. Sean
    July 24, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Are these raw numbers or per capita, and do they take into account growth rates for these religions over time? Also, do you have any data comparing these fringe religions with more mainstream religions? From the looks of it, your are using raw data, which when used without reference to population size or growth would make your conclusions virtually meaningless.

    If Religion A currently has one million members and one thousand instances of violent crime for the past decade and Religion B currently has ten thousand members and four hundred instances of violent crime for the past decade, raw data says that Religion A is the more violent. After all, 1000 violent crimes is clearly higher than 400. When checked against population size, however, we see that Religion A has a 1% violent offender population, whereas Religion B has a 4% violent offender population, and thus has a larger problem with violence on the whole.

    Further, one must account for population growth, as some of these religions have grown tremendously over the past several decades. Again, let’s look at some raw data. Religion A had 100 instances of violent crime in 1960. Religion B had fifty. Again, on the surface when looking only at raw data, those darn scoundrels in Religion A are coming off as a violent bunch in comparison with B, and we assume that they have had a 1000% increase, whereas B’s increase was only 800%. Both religions have seemingly become far more violent over the years. But to get a true picture, we need to also look at the population of each group to see how population size changed over time. If in the 1960s, Religion A had ten thousand members and Religion B had five thousand, we see that at the time Religion A and Religion B both have a 1% violent crime rate. They were equally violent or not violent depending on your view of a 1% rate. But over time, we see that Religion A stuck at 1%, no change in violent crime per capita. Religion B, on the other hand, has become more violent, and are now committing four times as many violent crimes per capita as they were fifty years ago.

    Even this only gives us a tiny glimpse at the real picture, as we only know how Religion A stacks up against Religion B. The question was phrased in such a way as to compare one fringe religion against another, which doesn’t address big picture concerns. One can show that one religion is more or less dangerous than another, but without reference to the population as a whole, the results tell us very little. All
    we can say, even with our data scaled and weighted, is that one is
    better than the other, but we still don’t know if either of them are
    good or bad overall. For instance, if the population’s violent crime rate is a consistent 2%, we see that in the 1960s, though both A and B were equally violent, they were both less violent than the population as a whole, and the low 1% is to be commended. In the 2000s, however, we see that Religion B has spiked. They are now double the standard violent crime rate, whereas A is still only half.

    The seemingly flawed methodology invalidates any conclusions one might draw from this. I’m intrigued by the question, but this article doesn’t actually answer it fairly or accurately.

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