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May 26, 2011

Kidnapper of Elizabeth Smart gets LWOP federal sentence

As detailed in this report from the Salt Lake Tribune, a high-profile kidnapping case wrapped up with an expected and deserved severe sentence for the kidnapper yesterday in federal court in Utah.  Here are the basics: 

As he’d done in court many times before, Brian David Mitchell quietly sang church hymns Wednesday, with his cuffed hands clasped together and his eyes closed.  But the sentencing — for one of the most notable crimes in Utah history — proceeded despite Mitchell’s bizarre behavior.

And at the finale of Mitchell’s eight-year legal saga, the former homeless street preacher’s antics in federal court were overshadowed by an assertive Smart, who evenly delivered a message to the man who took so much from her when she was just 14.

Smart, now 23, drew a deep breath after walking to the center of U.S District Judge Dale Kimball’s courtroom, then turned to face Mitchell, 57.  “I don’t have very much to say to you,” she told the unresponsive defendant.  “I know exactly what you did,” she said. “I know that you know what you did was wrong.  You did it with a full knowledge.  I also want you to know that I have a wonderful life now, that no matter what you do, it will not affect me again."...

Smart’s powerful statement came minutes before Kimball ordered Mitchell to spend life behind bars for kidnapping Smart from her Salt Lake City bedroom in order to make her a plural wife.  Kimball called Mitchell’s crimes against Smart “unusually heinous and degrading.  “A life sentence reflects the seriousness of the crime,” the judge said.

May 26, 2011 at 09:00 AM | Permalink

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