More on Elizabeth Smart

I wrote earlier that the defense is arguing Elizabeth didn’t suffer “extreme psychological injury” from her kidnapping, rape and abuse at the hands of Brian David Mitchell. I found an editorial about this; the first sentence sums it up perfectly: “Even the worst criminals are entitled to legal representation, but do attorneys have to make offensive comments while defending them?” Another editorial argues that Mitchell’s attorney is just trying to defend his client as he is constitutionally obliged to do. To coin a cliche, it’s a dirty job but someone has to do it.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor is of course arguing for a life sentence for Mitchell. The minimum he can get is 30 years.

“A life sentence is necessary to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant,” prosecutors wrote. ” … the defendant is a pedophile who has victimized not only Ms. Smart, but other children as well.

“Not only is the defendant a recidivist, but his refusal to acknowledge the wrongfulness of his conduct poses an even greater risk of future crimes against children. This defendant cannot be released back into society.”

Prosecutors also noted Smart’s vulnerability at the time of her abduction.

“The defendant knew Ms. Smart was particularly vulnerable to his crimes because of the unusually heinous, cruel, brutal, degrading and humiliating abuse to which he subjected her,” prosecutors wrote. “The defendant rendered her vulnerable by intentionally creating a climate of fear for her own safety and that of her family. When he first abducted her, he held a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her and her family. Throughout her captivity, he continually threatened to kill her and her family.”

In total agreement there.

And, from the comments section of the aforementioned article, a dirty joke. One commenter said, “What he deserves is castration. Then put him in the prisons general population until his castration has healed. Once that is complete, a public hanging would be in order.” Another replied, “But he wouldn’t be hanging anymore.”

Elizabeth herself just did a rare interview with the press. Read about it here, or read the transcript here. She points out that May 25, Mitchell’s sentencing date, is also National Missing Children’s Day. A neat little parallel.

Elizabeth is an incredibly strong woman and I really admire her. I actually looked to her for some coping techniques after my own experience: don’t let it define you, don’t let him take from you any more than he already has, rely on your support system and do your best to get on with life because if you can do that, you’re not letting him win.

4 thoughts on “More on Elizabeth Smart

  1. Celeste May 19, 2011 / 3:46 am

    You’re right. For a young girl to have been held hostage for 8 months by a couple of lunatics is probably the most terriffying thing that one could ever go through.

  2. danielle May 19, 2011 / 10:11 am

    Yes, all defendants have a right to a good defense……..however, with rights come responsibilities. How responsible is it to enter a home, kidnap the child, rape and confine (continously) a very young girl? The defense attorney is out for the money,nothing more.

  3. marycarney May 19, 2011 / 4:58 pm

    I think the coping strategies you’ve gleaned are spot on. She (and Jaycee Dugard) are indeed remarkable young women.

  4. Celeste May 21, 2011 / 8:28 pm

    Elizabeth and Jacee both have had the support of their familes. I never would have been able to sit in the same room as the people who took my teenaged, pre-teen, daughters and held them hostage for months and years. And once more in Jacee’s case the police failed to keep this guy locked up. 😦

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