Thursday, May 26, 2011

Elizabeth Smart to speak during Brian David Mitchell sentencing

    Should this be called the Mitchell Case or the Smart Case?
    In the past, the families of some crime victims have objected me when their name is attached to an utterly awful event, no more than a tag on State's Exhibit A, when they were not to blame for any of it. Others are pleased that their loved one is not forgotten.
    What do you say?
    In the meantime, an editorial:
    - Mitchell sentence: At long last, justice - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial
    Brian David Mitchell is going to federal prison for life. U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball’s sentence is a just punishment for Mitchell’s kidnapping, rape and torture of Elizabeth Smart, a nine-month ordeal that began in 2002. In a sense, that nightmare ended Wednesday in a Salt Lake City courtroom.
    As we observed when Mitchell was convicted by a federal jury in December, there is little doubt that he is mentally ill. From the outset, the key questions in this case have been whether he was ill to the point and in a way that he could not distinguish right from wrong, and whether he was unable to understand the charges against him and assist in his own defense.
    The judge and jury have answered those questions, first with Kimball’s ruling last year that Mitchell was fit to stand trial and second with the jury’s guilty verdicts. The sentence that follows is just because it holds Mitchell accountable and protects Elizabeth Smart, her family and the greater community from the possibility that he will ever be released into society again.
    Brian David Mitchell is going to federal prison for life. U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball’s sentence is a just punishment for Mitchell’s kidnapping, rape and torture of Elizabeth Smart, a nine-month ordeal that began in 2002. In a sense, that nightmare ended Wednesday in a Salt Lake City courtroom.
    As we observed when Mitchell was convicted by a federal jury in December, there is little doubt that he is mentally ill. From the outset, the key questions in this case have been whether he was ill to the point and in a way that he could not distinguish right from wrong, and whether he was unable to understand the charges against him and assist in his own defense.
    The judge and jury have answered those questions, first with Kimball’s ruling last year that Mitchell was fit to stand trial and second with the jury’s guilty verdicts. The sentence that follows is just because it holds Mitchell accountable and protects Elizabeth Smart, her family and the greater community from the possibility that he will ever be released into society again.
    The voluminous case file and the lengthy trial proved that while Mitchell suffers personality disorders, he also has a long history as a master manipulator, often to sadistic ends, beginning in his own family as a teenager.
    While the criminal justice system always must err on the side of protecting defendants who truly are psychotic and cannot therefore be held responsible by the law, it has been amply proven that Mitchell’s is not such a case. He has not been allowed to manipulate the justice system. There is satisfaction in that.
    The heroine of the case has been Elizabeth Smart herself, as she proved again Wednesday with her denunciation of Mitchell, his crimes and deceptions at his sentencing. She was a 14-year-old girl when Mitchell abducted her at knifepoint from her family’s darkened home one terrible June night. A community rallied, but could not find her. Only after her younger sister recalled the identity of the man who took Elizabeth from their shared bedroom that night did the evidence emerge that put the world on watch for Mitchell and his victim. In a happy surprise, Mitchell, his wife and Elizabeth were found hiding in plain sight.
    Elizabeth Smart has emerged from the degradation of that crime not as a victim but as a powerful voice for herself and others like her who refuse to be taken down by the evil of sex offenders. She was aided in her survival by her faith and by a family that has been relentless in its quest for justice. That quest ended in triumph Wednesday.

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Elizabeth Smart to speak during Brian David Mitchell sentencing


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http://pelariant.blogspot.com/2011/05/elizabeth-smart-to-speak-during-brian.html


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