As has been the practice on this blog, I wanted to disclose my representation of the Brown family, who are the subjects of the new series “Sister Wives” on TLC. As in the past, any comments on the case by me will be limited. However, various people have suggested the reported criminal investigation as a subject for this blog and I wanted to explain why I have not posted anything on the controversy.
Bigamy is a third-degree felony under Utah law punishable with up to five years in jail. Prior prosecutions for polygamy have involved allegations of child abuse or child brides, which are clearly not present in this case. The use of this statute to prosecute the Browns would be in my view unconstitutional. It would also end a long-standing policy to confine prosecutions to those who abuse children or commit such crimes as fraud. We are confident that the authorities will find no such criminal conduct in this case and we intend to cooperate to the fullest in resolving any such questions from the State. I hope that the prosecutors will recognize that this would be bad criminal case making bad criminal law. It is, after all, a television show and there is no need to move the matter from the television guide to the criminal docket.
My representation as lead counsel for Kody, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn Brown will obviously curtail my discussion of the case on this blog but, as in earlier cases, I will not interfere with the discussion of others on this blog.