Prosecutors move to drop state charges against Elizabeth Smart's kidnapper


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  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    June 30, 2011 9:06 a.m.

    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.

  • AlanSutton Salt Lake City, UT
    June 29, 2011 9:56 p.m.

    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.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    June 29, 2011 12:51 p.m.

    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.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 29, 2011 12:02 p.m.

    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?

  • PAC Phoenix, AZ
    June 29, 2011 11:31 a.m.

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

  • Eliot Santaquin, UT
    June 29, 2011 11:31 a.m.

    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.

  • ClarkKent Bountiful, Utah
    June 29, 2011 9:54 a.m.

    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?