Jo Hovind Sentenced

Jo Hovind, antievolutionist Kent Hovind’s wife and co-defendant in a tax evasion case, was sentenced today to one year and one day in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervision.

Various comments at the Pensacola News Journal express a wish that both Kent and Jo Hovind share the same sentence. That didn’t happen.

I don’t think that I’m in a good position to second-guess the judge’s decision in sentencing, but I think for myself that given what bit I know and if I were the judge, I would have handed down the same sentence as Kent Hovind got, then suspended it and given Jo the same period on probation, the remainder of the prison term to be served if she violated probation. My thinking behind that is that on the one hand, Jo Hovind was a willing accomplice in the crimes committed. She deserves the same length of sentence on that score. On the other hand, Jo Hovind, by the accounts I have heard, was likely following her husband’s criminal lead, and at least showed some signs of remorse for her actions, and likely not to violate the law again. That would argue for the suspended sentence with probation. It would make it somewhat more likely, also, the the restitution ordered by the court actually got paid.

But as I said, I don’t have all the facts, as the judge did, and I may have been misinformed about the remorse and apparent willingness to “straighten up and fly right” on Jo Hovind’s part.

Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Data scientist in real estate and econometrics. Blogger. Speaker. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.

15 thoughts on “Jo Hovind Sentenced

  • 2007/06/29 at 4:25 pm

    I would have sent her ass inside for at least 8 years. If she were a black teen with a gun stealing a $100, she could face life in California.

  • 2007/06/30 at 3:09 am

    Can one separate out the various elements there to get to analogy and disanalogy? I think that violent crime should be treated entirely more harshly than non-violent crime. I think that race should not be an issue considered for duration of sentences (but I know that our system is broken in that respect). I think that juveniles should be handled with greater care by the justice system (and that is broken, too). I think that the violent vs. non-violent crime thing is a far more important distinction than the dollar amount at issue in the crime. Even so, yes, a non-violent crime involving high dollar amounts should be treated as a severe insult to society, and punished accordingly. Jo Hovind, so far as I know, never showed up on anyone’s doorstep and tried to assault them, like Kent did. Like I said above, she did pretty much the same crimes as Kent (there are some differences in the number of charges between the two), so getting pretty much the same sentence seems like it would have been a better application of justice. Of course, given parole, if Jo had gotten the same sentence she’d likely be out again in a fraction of the time Kent is going to serve anyway. I’m just not sure where justice lies in this matter, and I may be a bit soft in my instinct on how to approach this. Does Jo Hovind deserve to spend a chunk of her life in prison? Sure. Is that the best thing to happen? Of that, I’m not sure.

    And, I guess, you and I have different experiences. You’ve had a lot more contact with the justice system than I have (though I’ve had, in some senses, way more than enough to last me), and I do think that we can have different ideas about how things should have gone down for Jo Hovind.

  • 2007/06/30 at 11:18 am

    I should chillout more. Certainly there is little “justice” in the justice department.

  • 2007/07/01 at 7:35 am

    Kent and Jo Hovind now join several hundred political prisoners now being held in United States prisons. The “rule of law” in this case is a sham, of course, because the IRS is a oppressive body which operates under no legal basis whatsoever. Sadly, too many Americans prefer to be ruled by, rather than the rulers of, our original Constitional form of government. You will reap what you sow, people.

  • 2007/07/01 at 10:19 pm

    It is all very sad indeed but if history has taught us anything in life then it is this:

    If you are claiming to be correct in your belief and in the minority wrt other beliefs then you will most certainly recieve persecution.

    I believe that the evolutionists are incorrect in their beliefs and in fact have yet to physically prove what they claim to be the origins of the Universe.

    I am a spirit filled believer and believe that the bible is the divine word of God and that the world was created exactly as it says, in six days.

    The bible speaks clearly of a wife having to submit under her husband and I believe if she was unaware that Kent was willfully evading the IRS then she stands clean before God on that account.
    Lets not forget that infact Eve was decieved by the devil in the garden and Adam chose to be decieved so it is concievable that she might have been unaware and was in fact decieved and Kent may have chosen to be decieved by the Tax issue after many years of believing that he did not need to pay taxes as he was doing the work of God, and there is no doubt that he was and still most probably still is doing the will of God.

    I do believe in the scripture where Jesus speaking to his disciples after having been asked if they should pay taxes answered them first asking whose head appears on the coins and then saying pay unto Caeser what is due to Caeser.

    The law of the country one resides in is after all the law one must submit under and if he is in fact guilty of the charges against him when having been sentenced in 2006 then he should bear the consequences thereof.

    I would like to point out that we are all sinners though and none of us can stand blemish free so people making judgements on Kent Hovinds ministry and his personal character and life should be very careful as the bible says people who plot and conspire and gossip over others are ensnaring themselves in a trap.


  • 2007/07/13 at 8:51 am

    I am sick & tired of the bashing of Jo Hovind. None of you truly know the woman and you do not have access to what is inside her heart. Jo did what her husband told her to do. I know many people do not understand what the Bible says ‘that a woman should be subject to her husband in all things.” Jo did exactly what her husband Kent directed. Many of you cannot even fathom that in this day & age a freeborn, free-thinking woman would do only what her husband directed. Jo is a submissive woman. She did what Kent directed her to do. I’m not saying I would have obeyed him. I know I would not have obeyed but Jo did as she was told. We all will stand before our maker one day and be judged for our works. Jo
    will be judged as well. Until then, he how is without any sin, let him cast the first stone. If any of you like to think of going to jail at 51 years of age and after 34 years of marriage Then get in line. Yes she chose but at strong directions from Kent.

  • 2007/07/13 at 10:29 am

    I have two comments. First, I already noted exactly the point about following her husband’s lead as a mitigating factor. Second, I don’t think that “what is in her heart” has a thing to do with how the criminal justice system works, nor even how it should work. That way leads to the sorts of prejudice that are all too common in the way the system works currently, where “worthy” perpetrators may get off lightly by victimizing “unworthy” marks. We should at least aim for our legal system to protect all citizens equally, whether they are paragons of virtue or rather less appealing in their personal habits.

  • 2007/10/16 at 8:30 am

    Hi. I have yet to see why both camps aren’t right. If we accept that God created the universe, he obviously created the “rules” we observe (e.g., gravity, thermodynamics, etc.).

    To the non- or anti-evolutionists: Why do you think God wanted things to stay static (species wise) when most other things he created are dynamic (stars are “born” and “die,” populations shrink and swell, etc.)? Why would animals not evolve as the universe continues to do?

    To the evolutionists: Why do you think God didn’t create the universe? Because we define a “proof,” does not mean that the God didn’t create actions the proof explains.

    There may be no “wrong” or “right” here–just wrong or right for you. Truth, whatever it may be, is truth, and God certainly isn’t trying to hide it.

    The two items (God created the universe and evolution) are not mutually exclusive items/beliefs.

  • 2009/05/22 at 11:53 am

    Kent hovind and his wife did nothing wrong to deserve this treatment whatsoever. According to the first ammendment they have that right. If they did not want to make their church to bow before the govt. then whats the problem? Gods authority is higher than the governments. They want control over the people especially Gods people. WE have a right to believe what we choose to believe, and Gods Church is Gods church, its not a business to be made into govt. property or owned or make the govt authority over God. God is the highest authority and there is no greater or higher authority than his. If you want to continue making fake judgments on ppl you dont even know then so be it, but you will give an answer to everything you say especially against Gods people. God will win this one and no govt or God haters or even the devil, will stop that! What you reap you sow. Its easy to say and be judgmental when you are not the one thats facing the time. Yet criminals, liars, get away with murder but kent hovind goes to jail because he stood for whats right, that makes sense? Maybe your for evolution but others have the right to not believe in evolution, they shouldnt be condemned for it. Just remember treat others the way you would want to be treated. If you show no mercy you shall not receive any, and I pray thats not so. May God open your eyes.

  • 2009/05/22 at 12:10 pm

    Kent and Jo Hovind tried to weasel out of paying their fair share toward the communities that they benefit from. That’s not right. There’s even scripture from Jesus that paying your taxes is what you do, while you also give God what God is due. Nope, I can’t see that the acquisitiveness of the Hovinds equates to any sort of morality that can be assigned a positive value. If you think that cheating your neighbors is a moral value to cling to, I think that you have a bigger problem than you realize: you’ve mistaken evil for good.

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  • 2012/12/12 at 12:07 am

    kent hovind did not owe any tax to the private irs. there is no law requiring anyone to to pay any tax. Churches are tax exempt and so are the people that work for the church. atheist worshipers of evolution lie spout hate and don’t know the truth that there is no law that requires anyone to pay an income tax. if you have pay a tax than you are a slave.

  • 2013/12/08 at 10:41 am

    the 16th aMENDMENT gave the government no new taxing powers according to the supreme court. all governments are fictiions. go listen to marc stevens podcasts and read his books.

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