Comments about ‘Attorneys want Elizabeth Smart's kidnapper sent to mental health facility, instead of prison’

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They also argue that Smart wasn't that psychologically damaged

Published: Tuesday, May 17 2011 4:00 p.m. MDT

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Two Cents
Springville, Utah

This is why most of us would never make good lawyers. I couldn't live with myself if I had to do this day in and day out.

P.S. Wanda Barzee was not an equal party in the kidnapping, planning, execution of all of BDM's dastardly deeds. BDM gave her all of those false revelations so she would play along. She was/is a weak-minded puppet. BDM is responsible for what happened to Ms. Smart. LIFE sentence.

Eagle Mountain, UT

Criminal defense lawyers < Morons.

This is one of the most ridiculous things I have heard. I hope the judge is smart enough to laugh them out of the courtroom. How can anyone ever take these lawyers serious again.

Go Big Blue!!!
Bountiful, UT

Any attorney that could even make such a statement should be charged with something. Absolutely unbelievable!

Kidnapped in the dead of night, raped daily, threatened to have her family murdered, forced to take drugs, forced to drink, forced to live in horendous living conditions, etc.

But I guess the fact that a prophet was inspired to pick a strong enough victim that has been able to survive such atrocities means that all of those crimes really were not that bad?

Ms Molli
Bountiful, Utah

To Dodge, Your assumption that victims don't mean much in my book is wrong. What you are arguing about is the way the system works. If you don't like the way the system works, then do something about it. Get on your high horse and try to change it instead of sitting back complaining about it. In the meantime, the attorneys on both sides need to work within the rules in place. Ms Smart's attorneys will have an opportunity to argue what the defense counsel is saying -- and I'm sure they will do a very good job of it. But as I said, let the lawyers do their job to the best of their abilities and stop making such silly attacks that some people don't care about victims simply because they want a defendant to receive the best possible defense in order to fend off possible appeals in the future.

Herriman, UT

From the postings on here it seems most of the posters suffered great psychological trauma just reading about what took place to Ms.Smart and while she has recovered well and is moving forward, many on here can't/won't let it go. Many on here are playing their own "victim" card.

With that said, there is a reason why we have the judicial system that we do have. So that all possible stones can be overturned for the defense, no matter how hideous the crime. If any of us were accused of a crime, wrongfully or rightfully so, we would want to use any and all possible defenses to keep ourselves out of prison (or in this case a life sentence).

Springville, UT

I thought the attorneys were quoting the Smarts and the prosecutors? If all they were doing is quoting the Smarts and the prosecutors, perhaps all this vitriol is misdirected.

When it comes right down to it, though, everyone knows these crimes were horrible. Frankly, this sentencing hearing jockeying is a nonstory.

Altamont, UT

"Typical in these kinds of cases" or not, this is ridiculous.

You go, Elizabeth and the Smart family!
Go on to have wonderful, productive lives. Don't let him keep on hurting you.

Danbury, CT

I wonder what these lawyers would think if it had been their own daughter...

Kudos to Elizabeth for doing all that she has done. Who really knows what this young woman has to live with. She will be a tremendous strength to all those who suffer in similar ways.

Farmington, UT

Like Ed Smart eluded to, these kinds of comments are common in our "circus-like" legal system. (I added "circus-like".) So the defense can say whatever they want, but the bottom line is that Elizabeth found a way to survive, has a very caring and supportive (and inspiring) family, turned to her religeon for healing, and has had the means to obtain the psychological assistance she needed. She has overcome and defeated the cowardly Brian David Mitchell.

Unfortunately, a girl without the great support system Elizabeth has had may not be able to overcome such crimes.

the boonies, mexico

In my opinion a life sentence is way too good for this animal, and why should taxpayers continue to pay for the sustainment of life after paying all these years for his defense? Just when is enough-enough? Defense attorneys should be limited in capital cases when the proof is as certain as this case to very limited time and cost. This family should be the ones that after the case has been settled to determine his punishment. Rehab is not possible so whats the sense for a life sentence. What a terrible judicial system we have today, yesterday he would have been hung in the town square and the case closed. Do the same with humans as we do with sick and deranged animals! End of story.

small town, Nebraska

Im glad that Ms Smart has had the love and support of her family and friends. I hope that BDM doesnt ever see the light of day. God bless her. She is a survivor.

Southern Utah, UT

Ms Molli:

So long as attorneys make such unfounded claims, they deserve every bit of critique, ridicule and condemnation that they get. Please document all of the peer reviewed studies that support these defense attorneys claims? Please show use where these defense attorneys based their claims upon the findings of an objective panel of respected licsenced mental health professionals. If an attorney makes a claim that flies in the face of countless peer reviewed studies on this issue, they are practicing outside their liciense.

What part of the JD degree and licence to practice law gives an attorney the legal,proper authority, academic training and credentials to claim that this young woman was not psychologically damaged by being raped repeatedly by Mitchell?

If these defense attorneys really believed this tripe, have them let us set their 11-14 yr old daughters up with Mr Mitchell for a few dates/conjugal prison visits? After all what Mitchell wants to do to them will not psychologically damage their daughers any more than it did Ms Smart.

The defense attorneys do not have the authority, background, academic credentials or license to say what was or was not pscyhlogoclaly damaging to Ms Smart.

Montana Mormon
Miles City, MT

Please, tell me it ain't so!!!

And what, pray tell, does the lawyer mean by "that" damaged by the horrific ordeal Elizabeth had to endure. What an embarrassment to the legal profession and to this country's justice system.

There's not much else to do but shake my head in disgust.

Ms Molli
Bountiful, Utah

Response to 220zn -- if you were to do just about 5 minutes of research you will find that the sentencing guidelines in federal court allow for a showing of "extreme psychological injury" to the victim as a way to depart from the sentencing guidelines and give a harsher sentence. Mitchell was convicted in federal court. Obviously if you believe that the defense attorneys don't have the authority, background or credentials to make such a judgment, then you must also believe that the prosecuting attorneys also cannot make such a judgment. Well the lawmakers obviously believe otherwise since the federal statutes provide for this. Again, the defense is simply doing its job here. Had the author of this article provided just a little background information and explained the significance of "extreme psycholgical injury" I think the readers of this article would have had a much better understanding of why the defense is doing this.

Vernal, UT

What happened to Elizabeth Smart has haunted a whole community. This story scares my daughters so badly. Because of this, they can't sleep at night with the windows unlocked. Elizabeth Smart is a REMARKABLE woman. She should not be punished for what she has overcome and for being strong. Give me a break!

Junction city, Oregon

I believe this is a sign of things to come inthis nation.we are talking about a high profile case here. This will not go away quietly.
But,if she was saved by the grace of our heavenly father, or phsyc issues, its just because she comes from what seem to be good stock. Conclusion. Others wouldnt of faired as well under the same situation.

Idaho Falls, ID

Simply outrageous! So she is a tough gal who had lots of family support to recover when she was rescued. Does that make the crime of kidnapping and rape less wrong?

Sydney, NSW

Its seems true that Smart didn't suffer "Extreme psychological injury" since she's been able to serve a full time mission, testified well, even have a normal interview with Oprah!!!

However it just seems wrong that her recovery and lack of 'extreme' injury should be used as a mitigating factor in sentencing Mitchell. But then again the law is made by and run by 'lawyers' so it shouldn't surprise anyone when this happens.

Spanish Fork, Ut

In other words, since Elizabeth, through incredible fortitude, willpower, perseverance, and divine intervention was able to overcome the abuse, numb-nuts Mitchell should get a pass of some sort. And lawyers wonder why there are so many jokes about them.

Tucson, AZ

99% of the lawyers give the other 1% a bad name.

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