Lee, the Mountain Meadows murderer of emigrants, has been convicted of his crime. Nineteen years ago he commanded one of the companies of Mormons and Indians that went out from Salt Lake City to prevent the pas-sage of emigrants from the United States to California. The Mormons desired to be a pe-culiar people, and to effect this purpose they were obliged to be an isolated race, distinctly separated geographically from all others. Lee was one of the men to whom was given in charge the prevention of civilized encroach-ments by bands of travelers, and how well he did his work is known to all the world. The sickening story of attack, of treachery and of brutal massacre is become a household word, and, though the participation of Lee and others in the diabolical job has been known to the public through all these intervening years, it is only within the past few months that justice in Utah has felt strong enough to un-sheath her sword and demand blood for blood.
Last year Lee was brought to the bar for participation in the massacre, and a long trial ensued. Witnesses pro and con were introduced, and every possible effort was made by his fellows of the Mormon Church to render the trial useless. How much per-jury there was, how many falsehoods were spoken, reiterated and sworn to, by one wit-ness after another, will probably never be known. To the difficulty of getting at the truth from the witnesses was superadded that of securing an unprejudiced jury. A panel, partly Mormon and partly Gentile, was drawn to hear the evidence, but it was com-monly imagined that the Mormons were pledged to acquit, and the popular suspicion was afterwards justified by the event, for the jury disagreed. Lee was released under bond, and all supposed that justice had again been cheated.
But it was a mistake. The new trial that came on the other day, and which is now concluded, showed a remarkable change of Mormon feeling in regard to the case. The saints are evidently alarmed at the persistence with which this matter is being followed up, and conceiving that if one man were punished for the Mountain Meadows crime, the end of the prosecutions would come, they seem to have united to give away the life of Lee. Witnesses before scarce and unwilling are now numerous and communi-cative, so that there is no lack of testimony. The result has fastened the crime on the ac-cused beyond a doubt, and at last there is some chance of his receiving the justice he has awaited for nineteen years. The hand of justice, however, should not be stayed at the punishment of Lee. There is excellent evi-dence that the massacre was undertaken and carried through with the connivance, if not the actual command, of Brigham Young, and every clew that leads from Lee to a higher power should be diligently traced. The guilty should be punished, no matter how old the crime, and the hideous deeds of Mountain Meadows should be atoned for by the blood of the murderers, of whatever condition they may be.
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