Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Monday, February 17, 2020

Utah Bill to Lessen Criminal Punishment of Bigamy

From CNN:

A bill proposed in the Utah Legislature could remove the threat of jail time for polygamists.

New legislation introduced in the Senate would change the offense of bigamy, when two people marry while at least one of them is already legally married, from a felony to an infraction.
Bigamy is currently a third-degree felony in Utah, punishable by up to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. Making it an infraction would put it on par with getting a traffic ticket.
Polygamy has been practiced in Utah by certain religious groups since before it became a state and continues to persist to this day. Though the practice has long been illegal under state and federal law, the Utah attorney general's office has declined to prosecute the offense of bigamy except when it's committed along with other crimes.
The bill was unanimously approved [recently] by a state Senate committee and will now move to the Senate.
Read more here.

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