Mr. William Donnelly has written two letters to the London Advertiser on the subject of the pending trial for the murder in Biddulph. Having given voice to one side in the very unusual course of admitting publications on a question of life or death about to come before a jury, the Advertiser has had no escape from acceptance of the demand that it publish a reply from the other side. Our excellent contemporary is, however, none the less amenable to the Court about to try the case for its offense in repeating in almost the very presence of the Judge and Jury, the factious violence which has attempted from the onset to place the men accused of the murder, under trial before popular passions. The only part of the correspondence which has fallen under our eye is a passage in Mr. Carroll's reply; and that is, we must say in justice to the Advertiser, unobjectionable, if any reference to the merits of the subject could be so now. It runs thus:

We are willing to stand our trial before any unprejudiced jury, and demand in common fair play and justice that no efforts be made to bias them against us. Neither we nor our friends have made any effort to influence the public mind in our favour. We have been silent while column after column of matter maligning ourselves, our pastor, our friends, our nationality, and our community have remained uncontradicted. We have never even hinted that the crimes of the Donnelly family (cruel and terrible though they were) were a justification of their murder. Then why should it be demanded (at least indirectly) that we should be punished because, as it is alleged (though falsely), others, with the majority of whom we had no connection, may have done wrong?

If newspaper-discussion in London of the guilt or innocence of men about to be placed before a London jury on trial for their lives, be at all excusable on the part of the Advertiser , it may find some extenuation in the moderation of the foregoing words of Mr. Carroll. That "column after column maligning ourselves, our pastor, our friends, our nationality and our community," have been directed at the prisoners is a declaration of truth on their part; but that truth is not so suggestive of indecency, if we may not say malice, as the further truth that that licentious persecution has been repeated in any discussion of the question by a London newspaper at the moment of selecting from its readers the jurymen about to be called on to decide whether or not those prisoners shall be condemned to death.

Source: Unknown, "A Great Offence," Irish Canadian, September 15, 1880.

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