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View Diary: UPDATED - Tree Climbers: Leading Rabbi tells victim “Men Tur Nisht”-People must not tell tales (21 comments)

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  •  it is a given that religious communities (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roxine, 2thanks, Avilyn, marleycat

    have a right to practice their religion as they please, even to the extent of being allowed to operate their own civil courts dealing in matters such as business disputes and divorce.

    However, I don't think religious freedom includes a religion's right to formulate doctrine which is designed to frustrate law enforcement or to even prevent the reporting of crimes.  We have seen a good many examples of this in recent years, ranging from a sect spiriting a child out of the country to prevent a change in custody, to the Catholic Church's behavior in the pedophile scandals and so on.  The question is at what point will these religious leaders be charged with conspiracy?

    If memory serves, in the Good Old Days, only direct actors could be charged in an offense.  Capone was able to avoid prosecution for decades because he was careful to keep enough layers of underlings between him and the actual crime.  That was why it was the IRS who finally took him down.  Subsequent law did allow for all participants in a conspiracy to be held liable for the actual deed even if they were peripherally involved.  It would seem that religious doctrine which actively exhorts its believers to hide a crime (which is a crime) would meet the requirements of a conspiracy should a crime occur and that crime then be concealed under that doctrine  

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