The punchline on Warren Jeffs's life sentence is that his life may be cut short by illness. Word broke yesterday that he was in a coma. It was a medically induced coma so that they could force nutrition to the "fasting" Jeffs. He has since regained consciousness but is still listed as critical. His fast or hunger strike (???) had only been going on for three days but that was enough to imperil the life of a man who is suffering from unnamed medical issues. According to officials, even without the fast, he is sick enough to require hospitalization.
I didn't think he looked well during the trial but he's always had a kind of gaunt, ill-formed, almost larval look about him, so who could say?
This is also not the first time he has starved himself in prison, having done so in both Arizona and Utah prisons. He is given to expressions of asceticism, having previously been treated for ulcerated knees from his hours of prayer.
The larger concern is that these demonstrations of piety will be read as martyrdom by followers.
"I think that's what he's trying to do, is become a martyr in their eyes and further exalt himself as far as they're concerned. Not necessarily with a bang, but this is precisely what he wants and this is how he wants it to end," said Sherie Jeffs, who is Jeffs' sister-in-law.
Two of Jeffs' children testified against their uncle in Texas that they had been sexually abused as children by the FLDS leader. She said Texas officials should force feed Warren Jeffs, if necessary, to keep him alive.
"I think he needs to stay alive and be able to ponder in that cell for many many years what he's done to people's lives, and children's lives, how many families he's destroyed," she told Fox 13.
Amen to that.
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