Religious expert analyzes text in Smart case

SALT LAKE CITY — An expert in religious texts says the writings of the former street preacher accused in the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart are not entirely original, but drawn heavily from other books.

Brian David Mitchell is on trial in U.S. District Court on charges of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines for the purposes of illegal sex.

If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Mitchell drafted “The Book of Immanuel David Isaiah,” a 27-page manifesto said to be an expression of his religious beliefs.

On Friday, Brigham Young University professor Daniel C. Peterson told jurors the book is mostly passages copied from texts that include the Bible and the Book of Mormon.

Peterson says there’s no original doctrine in Mitchell’s book.


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