Prosecutors in the case against Elizabeth Smart kidnapping defendant Wanda Barzee say they want the Utah State Hospital to get on with medicating her.
Stating there are no grounds for allowing a delay, the state filed a memorandum this week in opposition to Barzee's motion asking 3rd District Judge Judith Atherton to stay her forced-medication order until attorneys find out if the U.S. Supreme Court will hear an appeal.
"The likelihood, however, of such a petition (to the Supreme Court) being granted is low," prosecutors argued in court documents.
In 2006, Atherton ruled Barzee, 62, met the criteria to forcibly be administered anti-psychotic medication in an attempt to restore her competency so she can stand trial on charges of kidnapping and sexual assault. Barzee's attorneys appealed the decision to the Utah Supreme Court. But in December, the state's high court ruled 3-2 that Atherton's ruling would stand.
In February, the Utah State Hospital received the official court order allowing forcible medication to begin.
But knowing that defense attorneys Scott Williams and David Finlayson would next be requesting a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court and that they had filed a motion in Atherton's court requesting the medication process be stayed until action with the Supreme Court was decided, doctors voluntarily held off starting the medication process.
The state does not believe there is a good chance the nation's top court will agree to hear the case because there are no outstanding federal questions that haven't already been answered correctly by a state or appellate court.
Also this week, Salt Lake District Attorney Lohra Miller asked Atherton to allow the State Hospital to release information regarding Barzee, including her current condition and the hospital's proposed treatment plan. Prosecutors, in their motion, say they are opposed to a defense request to hold another hearing to address Barzee's current medical status and available medications.
"Defendant has provided no information to suggest that her clinical status, particularly her diagnosis, has changed, and has not provided any information to suggest that any treatments have developed since the medication hearing that would warrant re-examination of the court's order," prosecutors argued in court documents.
Barzee and her estranged husband, Brian David Mitchell, are accused of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart from her Salt Lake home in 2002 and holding her hostage for nine months until the three were found walking along State Street in Sandy.
Earlier this week, a federal grand jury indicted the couple on charges of interstate kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines with intent to engage in sexual activity. Mitchell and Barzee traveled to San Diego with Smart. The federal charges were filed simply to keep that option alive before the statute of limitations to file the indictment has expired. The U.S. Attorney's Office said it had no plans of taking custody of Mitchell or Barzee in the near future.Atherton had not set a court date as of Friday on the motion to stay the forced medication. A decision on whether Mitchell met the criteria to be forcibly medicated was also pending Friday.
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