Summarized by Kent Larsen
LDS Church to Comply With Subpoena in Green Polygamy Case
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- In an unusual move, Juab county, Utah prosecutor
David Leavitt issued a subpoena last week requesting LDS Church records on
polygamist Thomas Arthur Green, currently under prosecution for polygamy.
The subpoena covers the period before the birth of a child to his then
14-year-old wife, Linda Kunz. Green, who has been excommunicated from the
LDS Church, was no longer a Church member in 1985 and 1986, the period
covered by the subpoena.
The subpoena requests Church membership records concerning Green, in an
apparent effort to confirm Green's residence at the time. Prosecutor Leavitt
refused to comment on why he wanted the records, but told the Tribune that
he had talked with the LDS Church's attorney, Boyd Black, and already knew
what the records contained. He did say that the records, which were
delivered to the court on Sunday, did not appear to contain any useful
information for his case.
While the subpoena might have raised thorny confidentiality issues, the LDS
Church agreed to comply, and provide the records requested. Asked to comment
on the issue by the Salt Lake Tribune, LDS spokesman Dale Bills said, "In
order to respect legitimate privacy concerns, the church does not disclose
private information concerning current or former members except when
required by legal due process."
The case against Green is notable because it is one of the first
prosecutions of a polygamist since the 1954 raid on the Short Creek
community on the Utah-Arizona border. That raid turned into a public
relations nightmare, as families were torn apart in the wake of the raid,
which eventually led then-Arizona Governor Howard Pyle to loose his bid for
Church Records Sought for Polygamist Rape Trial
Salt Lake Tribune 7Sep00 D1
By Greg Burton