brief - justify illegal activities, particularly bigamy,...

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                                                                                          Reynolds v. United States 98 U.S. 145 (1879) Facts:  George Reynolds, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints  (Mormons), was indicted for knowingly participating in the illegal act of bigamy. He was  married to both Mary Ann Tuddenham and Amelia Jane Schofield at the same time. Reynolds  claimed to practice bigamy as loyalty to his religion and claimed he received permission from the  Mormon church. The court ultimately found Reynolds guilty and was sentenced to two years of  hard labor. Reynolds appealed to The Supreme Court of The United States. Issue:  Does the government really have the right to stop religious practices and can people 
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Unformatted text preview: justify illegal activities, particularly bigamy, through an established religion and its practices? Holding: Affirmed Reasoning: The Supreme Court ultimately made a decision based on common law and Reynolds awareness and intention on committing bigamy. The Court agreed that during the first marriage, while still aware he was going to commit bigamy, Reynolds had not yet broken the law. For this, Reynolds was excused. However after his second marriage, the Court had to assume that Reynolds knew that he was committing a crime. The Court upheld the sentence because justifying an illegal activity through religion would give the image that religion is above the law of the land and permit every citizen to become a law unto himself....
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This note was uploaded on 02/25/2012 for the course BLAW 1310 taught by Professor Hale during the Fall '11 term at Texas State.

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