The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has released its witness list for Thursday's hearing in Washington, D.C., on crimes associated with polygamy.
Prosecutors and ex-Fundamentalist LDS Church members will be among those who will testify. They include:
• U.S. Attorney for Utah Brett Tolman.
• U.S. Attorney for Nevada Gregory Brower.
• Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard.
• Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
• Stephen Singular, author of the book "When Men Become Gods."
• Dr. Dan Fischer, an ex-FLDS member.
• Carolyn Jessop, an ex-wife of YFZ Ranch leader Merril Jessop and the author of the book "Escape."
Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff was among those invited to testify, but he was unable to do so because of his medical condition after injuring a leg in a motorcycle crash. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., will lead the panel. He has been pushing for federal intervention in investigating crimes within polygamous sects.
The congressional hearing appears to be aimed primarily at the FLDS Church. No FLDS members have been invited to testify, although some may show up for the hearing anyway.
"These people have been spreading these kinds of statements for years, and there's no evidence to back up any of their statements. At some point, you'd think someone would call them on that," said Rod Parker, a Salt Lake attorney acting as a spokesman for the FLDS. "Instead, we have these people fomenting the kind of prejudice that ultimately leads to the raid in Texas."
Parker was drafting a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, taking them to task for not including FLDS members in testimony.
Upset that FLDS members have been excluded, the pro-polygamy group Principle Voices has urged its members to lodge protests with committee members.
"If they won't hear from an FLDS member in the hearing, they'll certainly get an earful from everyone we can encourage to speak up," Principle Voices director Mary Batchelor said in an e-mail to the Deseret News. "At the minimum, we want an FLDS member to be permitted to speak at the hearing, to answer questions and testify to whatever allegations are leveled at their community. It is the right thing for them to do, and if Senator Reid is confident in his position, he would allow it, too."The office of Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, who sits committee, said that, to date, he has not received any calls.
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