Elizabeth Smart thinking about becoming a prosecutor someday

Published: Sunday, Dec. 12 2010 11:44 p.m. MST

Elizabeth Smart and her father Ed wait to speak to the media after Brian David Mitchell was found guilty on all charges at the Frank E. Moss United States Courthouse in Salt Lake City on December 10, 2010.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — Elizabeth Smart spoke passionately last week about giving victims of violent crime hope for justice, and apparently wants a role in that someday from the inside of a courtroom.

Hours after the guilty verdict was declared against Brian David Mitchell, Ed Smart said his daughter is thinking about becoming a prosecutor.

"It's subject to change," Ed Smart told CNN. "But usually when she gets a thought in her mind, she sticks to it."

An accomplished harpist, Elizabeth Smart, 23, studied music at Brigham Young University before leaving on an LDS Church mission to France in October 2009. She plans to return to France this week to complete her mission and is due home next April.

A brief statement she made outside the federal courthouse perhaps provides a glimpse into what her future holds as an advocate for crime victims.

"I am thrilled to stand before the people of America today and give hope to other victims who have not spoken out about what has happened to them. I hope that not only is this an example that justice can be served in America, but that it is possible to move on after something terrible has happened. We can speak out and we will be heard."

Ed Smart said in the interview that the night before the trial ended, Elizabeth was looking at how quickly she could earn her music degree after returning home from her mission.

"She was talking about applying to law school, getting ready for the LSAT," he said.

As a prosecutor, she could be a voice for victims seeking justice, which in her case was a long time in coming. Ed Smart speculated that Elizabeth's desire to become a lawyer grew out of the many disappointments she endured in the nearly nine years it took to convict Mitchell. He related in the CNN interview that she was frustrated after being subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury. The prosecutor at the time tried to get her to smile and she stuck her tongue out at him, he said.

The next time Elizabeth Smart enters a courtroom will likely be May 25 when Mitchell is scheduled to be sentenced for kidnapping and transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of illegal sexual activity.

Ed Smart told reporters outside the courthouse Friday that his daughter "absolutely" wants to address Mitchell at the sentencing hearing. Asked what she might say, he replied, "I'm going to leave that to her."

e-mail: romboy@desnews.com

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