The English used in this article may not be easy for everybody to understand. (March 2012)
Blood atonement taught that murder is so bad that the only way the murderer could pay for their sins was to be killed. This was sometimes called "blood-for-blood" punishment because it was used to punish murder. However, sometimes it was also used for non-violent crimes, like denying or leaving the church or marrying someone of a different race.
At one time, most Mormons believed in blood atonement. Today, only some fundamentalists do.