As I’m sure everyone knows by now, Brian David Mitchell has been convicted of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart and will face a sentence of up to life in prison. He won’t be sentenced till May. My guess is that he’ll spend most of his time in solitary to protect him from the other prisoners.
Elizabeth is, understandably, very happy with the verdict. She may be even happier that the case, after, what, eight years, is finally, finally finished.
I have decided to share with you, readers, part of an email I sent to my friend John in California the other day.
I got a letter from the police on Monday. I was in Fort Wayne at the time and didn’t open it till I came home on Tuesday. The letter simply asked me to contact them and said Rollo was serving a whopping 5 years in prison for the other attack. The very minimum he could get. Then, following his sentence, he faces deportation. So I called Austin and talked to him and he confirmed what the letter said and added that the country Rollo will be sent to happens to be Sudan. Unless, he said, I wanted to go ahead and press forward with this prosecution thing.
He advised me against doing this. A lot of stuff about how the case would drag on for another year at least, and it would be difficult to prove, etc. The arrival of the letter had in itself sent me into a flurry of anxiety and I was imagining a defense attorney trying to make me out to be a total whore — cause you know that would happen — and probably bringing up those stupid blog posts, and my website in general, to show how weird and obsessed with crime and violence I am. An acquittal would be devastating to me. On the other hand, five years in prison isn’t long enough. On the other other hand, there was the “Sudan” factor…
It was the Sudan bit that threw it for me. Sudan is a godforsaken hellhole. Google it and you will see “genocide” and “300,000 dead” and “starvation” and “UN peacekeeping troops” and “president indicted for crimes against humanity” etc. No one wants to be there. I thought to myself that Rollo might prefer to be in prison in America than free in Sudan. Suppose I prosecute him, go through all kinds of emotional hell, and somehow actually win, only to have him feel relieved that he doesn’t have to return to the motherland?
So I said okay, leave it. Let Sudan have him. It’s officially over.
I am extremely unhappy about this, John, and find myself wondering if I made the right decision or not. Aren’t I basically letting him get away with it? The entire situation sucks and just pisses me off. There is no such thing as justice and there are no winners here. It’s a matter of deciding how much you’re willing to lose. And I’ve already given Rollo enough of myself.
God, I am so tired of absolutely everything. Tired of living, of breathing. Here I am trying to get on with my stupid life.
Rollo’s real name is Mohamed Kaffi. If you Google that you’ll find articles about the other sex assault, the one he’s in jail for right now. The MO was about the same as mine and it happened less than four months after mine — mine, as far as I can tell, didn’t make the news.
I think Virginia is just anxious to get rid of the guy. Can’t say I blame them there. But I do feel like I will spend the rest of my life wondering if I decided correctly here.
In any case, it’s over.