Comments about ‘Prosecutors move to drop state charges against Elizabeth Smart's kidnapper’

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Published: Wednesday, June 29 2011 9:00 a.m. MDT

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Bountiful, Utah

And if a federal court holds that no possibility of parole is unconstitutional for one reason or another (wouldn't be the first time the federal courts have tampered with sentencing) then what?

Santaquin, UT

Then the state could refile the charges and reopen the case. Just because the charges have been dismissed doesn't mean they can't be refiled because the case never went to trial.

Phoenix, AZ

Put the guy in Jail and through away the key.....Move on!

Salt Lake City, Utah

I thought Mitchell had until July 11th to decide if he would appeal his federal sentence. Why drop state charges until the federal sentence is determined?

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

How inept can the state be in this case? The way it should have worked was he was convicted by the Stae of Utah and the feds would then file their charges and try the case. The state was so incompetent that they couldn't even bring him to trial. Perhaps they should just drop the charges as to not bungle the case further.

Salt Lake City, UT

Indeed, Judge Judith Atherton, who ruled that Mitchell was incompetent to stand trial, just didn't do her job, as the federal verdict showed.

Keep in mind, the federal charges were not as severe as the state charges. Federal prosecutors had to charge Mitchell with the crime of "taking a minor across state lines for unlawful purposes" because that's the only federal law that fit. If the state judge hadn't done what she did, state prosecutors could have convicted Mitchell of the more serious charges of kidnapping, sexual assault and burglary. Think of what Mitchell's sentence might have been if he had been charged with the those crimes!

All I can say is thank goodness for the federal prosecutors. They made up for the weaknesses of the state judge.

Kearns, UT

Gutless wonders. I recall Joseph Paul Franklin getting a federal conviction for "Violating Civil Rights" of the two boys that he killed. He was later convicted in state court of Murder and sentenced to life. There is ample precident for additional court proceedings to happen in state court. Mitchell needs to have his day in state court also, just in case the federal case implodes due to some appeal. It just takes courage from the courts and prosecutors.

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