The Democrat and Chronicle reports that blood atonement will not be discussed in the trial of William Hooper Young, despite newspaper reports saying otherwise.

Feb 7, 1903
News (traditional)
Democrat and Chronicle

"Newspaper Melodramatics," Democrat and Chronicle, February 7, 1903, 6

Democrat and Chronicle
Democrat and Chronicle, Brigham Young, District Attorney Jerome, William Hooper Young, Anna Pulitzer
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William Hooper Young is on trial in New York charged with the murder of Mrs. Anna Pulitzer. Young happens to be a grandson of Brigham Young. There was some talk at the time of the murder to the effect that the woman had once become, or had thought of becoming, a Mormon, and had subsequently changed her mind. On these facts some of the newspapers based a melodramatic theory that here was a case of "blood atonement" and that Young was a "destroying angel" delegated to sacrifice the apostate Mrs. Pulitzer.

During the progress of the trial last Wednesday District-Attorney Jerome, who is conducting the prosecution, addressed to the presiding judge in open court this statement: "There is no contention that Mormonism or the Danites had anything to do with this crime, and the case will not be tried along those lines." In the teeth of this explicit statement, reputable newspapers yesterday morning were still insisting on the "blood atonement" theory and declaring that the case would be prosecuted "along those lines," ignoring the obvious fact that, should the case be so prosecuted after the public prosecutor's statement and should it result in a conviction, the conviction would inevitably be reversed.

To advance the "blood atonement" theory in the first place was ridiculous.To insist upon it after District-Attorney Jerome's statement is idiotic. Folly of this sort has much to do with bringing about the "law's delays" of which the newspapers that indulge in the folly most strenuously and constantly complain.

In this case the work of getting a jury has been made slow and difficult by the sensational newspapers' fondness for cheap melodrama. During the examination of the talesmen, Young' counsel has asked each if he had any prejudice against the Mormon church and justified this most unusual question by a reference to the "blood atonement" folly and by the entirely truthful and pertinent remark "Newspapers create prejudices and talesmen may imbibe them." Although this was a special panel, three-fourths of the whole number of talesmen examined last Wednesday swore that their minds had been affected by the "blood atonement" nonsense of the newspapers and had to be excused for that reason.

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