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John is part of a religious group that believes you should have multiple wives. However, since John realizes that the United States criminalizes plural marriages, he officially marries only one woman at the local courthouse. While he has three other "wives," he never officially marries them in any formal ceremony. All of the women and their children live with John under one roof as a family. Have any crimes been committed by John and his family? Why or why not?
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Criminal Law (Justice Series)
Edition: 2nd
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Answers will vary but student should discuss that polygamy is illegal in in all American jurisdictions. Religious arguments have been advanced in support of both practices, but the Supreme Court has decided that bigamists and polygamists enjoy no First Amendment protection for their actions. Although prosecutions are rare they do occur from time to time. Polygamy statues vary in their definition. However, John's actions, if in Texas would constitute polygamy as John is legally married to wife 1 and he purports to marry or does marry a person other than his spouse (wife 2, 3, and 4) in this state, or any other state or foreign country, under circumstances that would, but for the actor's prior marriage, constitute a marriage.
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