Circumstantial evidence key in Steven Powell trial, former judge says

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  • Flying Finn Murray, UT
    May 15, 2012 6:12 a.m.

    Re: LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    "and being being court ordered as 100% irrelevant"

    While Steven Powell's are irrelevant to the voyeurism charges he is on trial for they are not irrelevant to the overall picture that includes Susan Powell.

    The Deseret News is placing this story in the Utah section of the news because of his linkage to his daughter-in-law, and because of our local interest in the story.

  • Austin Coug Pflugerville, TX
    May 14, 2012 2:58 p.m.


    Please read the Washington State law below and show me where it states voyeurs are protected as long as they are on their own property. You will find your assertion is wrong. Mr Powell's actions are not ok and for this reason the law is on the books.

    (2) A person commits the crime of voyeurism if, for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person, he or she knowingly views, photographs, or films:

    (a) Another person without that person's knowledge and consent while the person being viewed, photographed, or filmed is in a place where he or she would have a reasonable expectation of privacy; or

    (b) The intimate areas of another person without that person's knowledge and consent and under circumstances where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, whether in a public or private place.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 14, 2012 11:22 a.m.

    Interesting - nearly a 1,000 miles away in Washington State,
    Steve Powell stands trial for a series crimes committed there.

    while a media delegation from the state of Utah - and being being court ordered as 100% irrelevant - just can't seem to get enough of it.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    May 14, 2012 8:42 a.m.

    This guy needs to be gotten off the streets and placed where he can't do any more harm. He also needs to get some sort of therapy to help him to own up to his unacceptable behavior and stop doing it, if possible. If he can't control himself, then he needs to be kept away from people PERMANENTLY so he can't do any more damage.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    May 14, 2012 6:28 a.m.

    I don't take Walt's comments as "defending Stephen Powell"at all. The comment seems to be defending the law. That is not a bad thing to defend. When due process disappears, so do our freedoms.

    Some people from Arizona are so overzealous, they not only have pre-judged this case and determined Powell is the devil, but they would do anything to get him convicted.

    In response, I just have to paraphrase:

    " Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, AZRods, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake! "

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    May 14, 2012 4:29 a.m.

    And what home computer doesn't have thousand of family and public picture of naked babies and half dressed children? Hope is a apt description of this trial and injustice.

    It's a good thing this judge is a former judge, he as well as some of the readers here don't seem to know the difference in fact and fiction. Judges are supposed to make sure the laws are properly applied and nothing else. He cannot pass judgment or even be a tie breaker, this judges comments are out of line and his mind to serve on the bench and should be disbarred.

    Remember, circumstantial evidence is created, not fact. The fact that they have no facts is the fact and only evidence they have which is nothing. Courts don't care about the truth, they care about "conviction", as the judge states. Conviction by any means available even to the point of wrongful deaths. Now who is the real criminal?

    I firmly believe truth is still supreme and circumstantial trials was invented because truth and fact is too restrictive. I think the word circumstantial being left out of the constitution was intentional.

  • AZRods Maricopa, AZ
    May 13, 2012 11:19 p.m.

    Walt, interesting that you appear to be defending Mr Powell's actions while minimizing the evidence obtained by authorities.
    Easy to say when the pictures were not of your children or wife.

    I suspect you would be among those bashing the criminal justice system for not taking action, if later on Mr Powell committed some physical act of aggression or abuse on one of your loved ones.

    Remember, officials have thousands of pictures they obtained from Powell's home computer.
    The guy has some serious problems. Just ask his x wife and children.

  • Walt Nicholes Orem, UT
    May 13, 2012 9:24 p.m.

    No doubt that Mr. Powell has serious problems. But this prosecution is punitive. The definition of child pornography precludes prosecution on that count, and the prosecutors knew it - but hoped. The accusation of voyeurism is precise, and not met by the prosecution - but they hoped. Taking pictures of things which can be seen from a location where you have a legal right to be is not against the law, and the prosecutors know that - but hoped. The pictures themselves, though lewd, do not show children depicted in sexual acts. The prosecutors knew that - but hoped.

    And what were they hoping for? Hoping that the prosecution itself, or its horrible consequence, would elicit from Mr. Powell information about the demise and whereabouts of the remains of Susan Powell.

    I am ashamed of what has been done by the criminal justice system in this case.

  • AZRods Maricopa, AZ
    May 13, 2012 5:27 p.m.

    It would seem to me that at some point, a decent person would finally break down and just admit to their problem and acknowledge their behavior.
    And if they had any portion of a conscience remaining, they would see this as an opportunity to confess everything before it's too late.

    It would also appear that Steven Powell is now "past feeling" or in other words, beyond any decent behavior that might help the few remaining victims some peace and closer.

    The far reaching effects of a life so full of filth seems to have endless consequences.
    So much for porn being a victimless behavior.

  • OneAmerican Idaho Falls, ID
    May 13, 2012 4:42 p.m.

    "He [Judge Paul Cassell] said circumstantial cases are common in criminal matters and prosecutors have been very successful in getting convictions."

    Unfortunately the Utah DA was apparently unaware of that, as the circumstantial evidence against Josh Powell was certainly strong enough for an arrest, but for lack of a body, nothing else mattered...and likely cost the lives of two innocent boys.