Most of us were led to believe that Joseph Smith went to trial and was convicted on false charges. Because he was a prophet of God, all of the elements conspired against him, and he was not only innocent of wrongdoings, he also could not be considered a fugitive for his unlawful escapes from prison.
We’ve since learned better.
Here is an example of how Joseph Smith excelled at acting above the law…
“Illinois law allowed a church to own only five to ten acres of land, a limitation which [Joseph] Smith violated almost immediately as newly appointed trustee-in-trust.”
D. Michael Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Wealth and Corporate Power (Salt Lake City, UT: Signature Books, 1 August 2017), 41, fn 34.