Moral Turpitude?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by jonesvilletexas, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. jonesvilletexas

    jonesvilletexas Premium Member

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    This has brought up many hours of discussion, how would you answer to a man petitioning the Lodge? And how would your Lodge vote on a man’s petition if he answered yes?

    PETITION FOR THE DEGREES OF FREEMASONRY (Texas)

    16. Have you ever been charged with a felony or misdemean or involving moral turpitude?


    Moral Turpitude
    It has been stated that the term “moral turpitude†is so clear that there is no duty on the trial judge to define it in the absence of a request. The term has been defined in Georgia as follows:

    “Turpitude in its ordinary sense involves the idea of inherent baseness or vileness, shameful wickedness, depravity…. In its legal sense it includes everything contrary to justice,honesty, modesty or good morals…. The word ‘moral,’ which so often precedes the word turpitude, does not seem to add anything to the meaning of the term, other than that emphasis which often results from a tautological expression. All crimes embraced within the Roman’s conception of the crimen falsi involve turpitude; but it is not safe to declare that such crimes are the only ones involving turpitude.†In Ramsey v. State, the court said that a crime involving moral turpitude is one which is malum in se rather than malum prohibitum. In Georgia, the test for whether a felony is one involving moral turpitude is “does the [crime], disregarding its felony punishment, meet the test as being contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, good morals or man’s duty to man?â€

    It has been held that the following offenses are crimes involving moral turpitude:

    • Fraud or false pretenses in obtaining something of value
    • Larceny or a misdemeanor theft by taking
    • Larceny after trust
    • Murder
    • Soliciting for prostitutes
    • Voluntary manslaughter
    • Sale of narcotics or other illegal drugs
    • Pattern of failure to file federal tax returns in years in which taxes are due
    • Criminal Issuance of a bad check
    • Making a false report of a crime

    The following have been held to be offenses which are not crimes involving moral turpitude:

    • Public drunkenness
    • Driving under the influence
    • Carrying a concealed weapon
    • Unlawful sale of liquor
    • Fighting
    • Simple Battery
    • Simple Assault
    • Misdemeanor criminal trespass
    • Child abandonment
    • Misdemeanor offense of escape
    • Misdemeanor offense of obstructing a law enforcement officer
    • The federal misdemeanor offense of Conspiracy in Restraint of Interstate Trade and
    Commerce
    • Possession of less than one ounce of marijuana

    Would he be stoped for ANY of the above?
     
  2. C_Cabra

    C_Cabra Registered User

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    I think it's odd that not paying your taxes is considered moral turpitude but child abandonment isn't.

    Is this a list from the Grand Lodge of Texas?

    Personally, I would be more likely to vote against a candidate who abandoned his child than one who didn't file his taxes. Especially since I have issues with the way the federal government collects taxes.

    However that is a discussion for another thread.

    In most of these cases above I would probably vote against a candidate unless a satisfactory explanation were provided.

    For instance I would probably not vote against a 50 year old man who got busted for misdemeanor larceny when he was 18 and has had a clean record ever since. Also I would probably vote against a person who commited simple battery if that battery involved a woman or child.

    I think there are instances where things are not black and white and fit nicely "inside the box" so to speak.
     
  3. jonesvilletexas

    jonesvilletexas Premium Member

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    This came from Georgia AND NOT from any Lodge that I know of. This post is just for
    Feedback. It has no personnel reflection on your lodge.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2009
  4. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    There would be a long steep hill for this candidate to get into my Lodge with any of these crimes against him, but I would certianly vote them in if they pass the test.
     
  5. caeservi

    caeservi Registered User

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    As an FC, the DDGM asked me tp define moral turpitude me for him. There were some masonic charges filed under moral turpitude and he needed a definition. One of the local county judges is a brother and told the DDGM to ask me to define it for him. I wrote a memo defining it and it is a slippery slope. There are a couple of definitions, one dealing with laymen, and the other that deals with attorneys. The attorney definition encompasses just about every crime; the lay version basically covers crimes of fraud, theft, deceit, and sexual offenses. When I get back from D.C. I will try and find the memo I wrote and post it (redacted of course).
     
  6. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    I agree with Bro. Rhit (AGAIN), any of these crimes I believe should be listed AND questioned by the investigative team. Based on his answer is how the individual members of the team base thier recomendation.
     

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