Wanda Barzee sentenced to 15 years in federal prison, gets scolding from Elizabeth Smart's mother

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  • MisTexas
    May 22, 2010 3:09 p.m.

    I am impressed that Elizabeth is serving a mission even with all this going on. It shows what kind of a person she is despite her terrible past. So many adults are held back because of awful experiences.

  • Lacee
    May 22, 2010 12:56 p.m.

    Wanda Barzee was never a victim of Brian Mitchell. She was a willing participant. Why do some people not understand this? Barzee was described by her own children as a manipulative abuser. No one is being intolerant toward people with mental illness. Wanda along with her husband committed serious crimes(kidnapping & rape)against a young girl. Why should anyone be tolerant against violent sexual predators even if they are mentally ill? It's not remotely realistic to expect parents to be understanding of the criminal who commits acts of violence against their children.

  • mecr
    May 22, 2010 12:19 p.m.

    I really feel bad for Barzee's mother. On that age, hearing your daughter is being sentenced knowing that she will never be able to see her in normal circunstances... I saw the pictures and feel bad for her. Poor old lady. She practically buried her child in live because for sure she won't be alive when Barzee is free. How much pain criminals bring to their families.

    And as for Mrs. Smart. I don't blame her. Maybe she needed to get it out of her system so she is able to finally move on. I have a daughter and only knowing somebody was not nice to her drives me nuts. I hope the Smarts will be able to forgive and forget but they won't until this case is finally closed and the nut case called Mitchell is sentenced for life... hopefully!

  • AlanSutton
    May 22, 2010 11:41 a.m.

    I sympathize with Elizabeth Smart's mother, but I would have expected that after this many years she would understand something about mental illness. There was no need for her to scold Barzee in that way.

    The courts have determined that Barzee is mentally fit to stand trial, but that is not the same as determining that she was mentally stable and in possession of all her mental faculties when she and her husband kidnapped Elizabeth Smart. She was mentally ill when she did what she did. In many ways, she is also one of Mitchell's victims.

    I wish more people would try to understand mental illness and be more tolerant with those who suffer with it.

  • hapticz
    May 22, 2010 11:13 a.m.

    as a deterrent to others, this sentence may make plenty of people feel 'better' or whatever helps them get over their own mental trauma from this. but it isn't really theirs, the smart family is the only real participant, not us. i hear so much blood curdling foolishness coming from so many people here, i worry the society itself will remain whole and stable and able to truly heal and progress. the couple who did this were clearly abherrant and socially disconnected, either by the 'leaders' raving (pseudo) psychotic philosophys and by Barzee's tragic submission to him. Good people can and do make poor choices, on a daily basis, despite what some of you may think. i am thankful that so many of the vengeful, angry and shallow commenting people bent on furthering the suffering are never in the position to judge others. The 'hangin judge' is one of those anacronisms from past ages that served only to promote a very simple group. The real mission is clear, best follow it. Keep love in your heart forever, never let it slide away!

  • Larry
    May 22, 2010 5:23 a.m.

    It is clear many of you are not privy to the Law.
    To stsrt with, You are due a speedy trial or they have to cut you loose.
    Quite clear, The justice system is run by People that do not know to law nor are they privy to the laws.
    As I have learned lately, all of these people are hopping to a higher seat, Not because they are qualified.

  • kitchy
    May 22, 2010 3:14 a.m.

    The sentencing is ridiculous. These judges are not fit to sit on the bench. I have yet to deal with a judge who is fair. They rule according to what they believe is just but fair is another matter. No sitting judge looks at both sides it appears. Their minds are not set correctly in my opinion. Both these people should never see the light of day. I agree with Elizabeth, the sentence is way too light for what they did. They virtually took her childhood away. How does this short time make up for that?

  • washcomom
    May 21, 2010 10:56 p.m.

    Lois has been silent most of the time while dealing with this, as Tom and Elizabeth have had to communicate with the media. It's great that she has a voice, and is able to tell Wanda what her actions did to hurt the Smart Family.

    I think now that sentencing has been given, it was a bit on the light side.

  • HelloGoodbye
    May 21, 2010 10:04 p.m.

    Wanda will be 75years old when she gets released out>she has time served from the start<

    Let the story rest
    Enjoy your Life ELIZABETH play your music never forget the Harp that heals your soul mind and spirit

  • johnhenry
    May 21, 2010 7:44 p.m.

    Noone was denied their right to a speedy trial. The reason for the delay in the trial was motions by the defendants. They are the ones who requested, demanded, a delay in the actual trial.

    Why are some people still blaming Mr. Smart for this happening? Do you know every single person who performs maintenance and/or construction where you live?

  • benchwarmer
    May 21, 2010 6:45 p.m.

    "She's living in a manner to one day be fully and spiritually realigned with her LDS faith." Barzee? Faith? LDS Faith? Give me a break. Spiritually realigned my foot. You turn the other cheek when someone insults you, because they don't understand. You turn the other cheek when they steal food from you. You do not when they systematically kidnap, rape and devastate lives. That is punishable by life in prison. Sorry. That's understanding and forgiveness because capital punishment could be the other alternative. Good grief. Realigned with her LDS faith...that makes me sick. It's so weak an idea.

    Oh and how about knowing when and how to be altruistic and having some intuition to not have a strange pair like them invited into/and around the sanctity of your home and children. That would have been a good start but that's water over the dam now. Good for Elizabeth. She's the most intelligent and reslilient one in the whole sad affair.

  • MoJules
    May 21, 2010 5:59 p.m.

    My heart goes out to two mothers, Elizabeth's mother for having to go through this and know what her child did. And Barzee's mother to be in the final years of her life and to know her child did something so terrible. That past can not be changed, but the future can and I know that Elizabeth is in her future and she is moving forward, I hope that Barzee too can move forward and better herself. Don't yell at me, oh I don't come back to read things anyway. But nothing would be more awesome then for this woman to change and to heal, should we wish anything less for her?

  • Spoxjox
    May 21, 2010 5:32 p.m.

    @Ex-Pat: If, as you say, "Lois dropped a few pegs in my eyes", then your opinion is not worth worrying about.

  • chris8484
    May 21, 2010 3:25 p.m.

    Seven years does not seem like a long enough sentence. 25 years seems to better fit the crime.

  • Ex-Pat of Zion
    May 21, 2010 3:07 p.m.

    Haven't been following this much lately ... but Lois dropped a few pegs in my eyes. Haven't been through her trials and, not knowing the tone of any conversations taking place between the Smarts and Barzee, I don't know if any request for forgiveness was offered and, if so, was sincere. While reading this, the story about the Lady who lost her sister in a WWII prison camp and the Prison guard given at the last conference popped into my mind. Barzee had the Gospel at some point prior to her actions. Maybe that's a big enough difference (between Barzee and the guard) in the stories. I hope the Smarts ... all of them ... will eventually heal. I'm quite impressed with Elizabeth

  • Utah Dem
    May 21, 2010 2:35 p.m.

    Maidenwings - I was thinking the same thing, apparently incarceration is like getting a makeover.

  • The Rock
    May 21, 2010 2:23 p.m.

    @ LiberalEastCoastMember

    Yes, I have heard of, and experienced the things you mentioned. I also believe that God does not divide along the lines of sane and insane, it is more like accountable and unaccountable.

    If a person is accountable they will be held accountable. When man starts to try to determine who is accountable and who is not, we get into a very gray area. Yes, there are people who clearly are not accountable, the rest gets pretty tough for mortal men to determine. If man's mind was simple enough for us to understand, we couldn't! There is a reason that God is the eternal judge and we are not.

    I think that it is quite clear that many attempt to use the insanity defense when it simply does not apply.

  • Just my opinion
    May 21, 2010 2:09 p.m.

    You've got to be kidding me "LiberalEastCoastMember".

    No God is ok with stuff like Rape, Murder, or things to that level.

    I'm sure small lies, saying hurtful things, and other small things like that can be covered through "mercy", "grace", as you put from the Atonement and repentance.

    Those things in the middle are harder to say what the Atonement will cover.

    But in know why is Rape or Murder ok. Sorry only those bad people would even think the Atonement would make those things ok. If it really did what would be wrong with going around raping or murdering people.

  • Heidi
    May 21, 2010 1:52 p.m.

    I'm glad that some closure is happening finally. I just hope that parents in the future will not be so trusting as to invite strangers to work at their home. The safety of our families and especially our children must come first. Yes, blatant crimes were committed here, but they may also have been preventable. I realize that the Smart family has been through enough and does not need to be judged here, and no one can control the minds and actions of other people, but we can safeguard our families but not inviting strangers into our homes. We often tell our children to be wary of and not talk to strangers; sometimes adults need to follow the same advice.

  • LiberalEastCoastMember
    May 21, 2010 1:43 p.m.

    "I wonder if God accepts the insanity defense?" asked The Rock at 12:57.

    The answer is yes, thank goodness! It isn't called insanity but goes by the name of 'mercy', 'grace', and falls under the umbrella of the Atonement.

    Perhaps you've heard of it.

  • The Rock
    May 21, 2010 12:57 p.m.

    I wonder if God accepts the insanity defense. I kinda sorta doubt it.

    Part of me wants to execute people who do things like this because they deserve it; however, if we make the punishment for rape and/or kidnapping identical to murder then what incentive would the perp have to let their victims live,and possibly become a witness?

    I like the line in "Second Hand Lions"; where the decide to nurse the lion back to health; "And then we'll kill it."

    I for one would like to see a Guilty but Insane plea. If found insane they nurse you back to health and then try you for your crimes as if you had never been insane.

    I like accountability.

    Long Live Elizabeth Smart.
    Can't say the same for Mitchell or Barzee.

  • So. Cal Reader
    May 21, 2010 12:40 p.m.

    Re: WMB5-- "she looks better." Really? Are you serious? I swear each time I see a picture of Barzee I hear the "Twilight Zone" theme song!! The old adage "the lights on but no one's home" has new meaning. Let's not start painting her as "the victim" in this sickening crime. I work in the court system and have heard many victim impact speeches. From what's printed in this article, Lois Smart went easy on her.

  • Dixie Dan
    May 21, 2010 12:30 p.m.

    If Barzee lived in Hurricane, she could have murdered 3 people and got a sentence of less than a year. So much for Utah justice.

  • maidenwings
    May 21, 2010 12:29 p.m.

    She does look alot better then before now going to prison for 15 years)
    what does her lame husband get-LIFE best for him get off the street What a ugly story!

  • WMB5
    May 21, 2010 12:02 p.m.

    Look at what a different person she has become. She looks better. I think she has to feel better about herself now even though she is locked up. She was a victim of Mitchel too. He used her. Her played her and got her to do things because he knew how to use her. He deserves more punishment and I hope he gets it.

  • trialattorney
    May 21, 2010 11:23 a.m.

    I don't think the State Mental Hospital is very "cushy" but Barzee was made "competent" by her stay there, with medication. Her cooperation and guilty plea are a good start.

  • LuVePacifica
    May 21, 2010 10:46 a.m.

    @Metamatics I AGREE

    As I too lived here SALTLAKE followed this story of Elizabeth missing from her house..Mitchell is nothing but pedophile.
    Amazing many YEARS to get him finally charged after his faked mental Breakdown court apperances!
    As his wife got a pleaBargain for a waiting game.
    This case is soaked up dragged thru the mud..

  • Metamatics
    May 21, 2010 10:27 a.m.

    I understand your point...I just feel that it is an injustice to Elizabeth. I know Elizabeth is a strong girl, who is not letting this ruin her life and she is not playing the role of a "victim". However, I still feel, both Brian and Wanda need to be held accountable for their crime. The fact they were able to live in the foothills behind her home, while people were out there looking for her, indicates that they are intelligent. They were so smart, they stayed in SLC and flew under the radar. That doesn't jive to me. If you are mentally ill, you make mistakes. His ego got him caught. The insanity defense is used to loosely. I will not doubt that people actually are insane, when they commit murder...however, it seems more people, like Brian Mitchell and Nathan Sloop are wasting our time and money, trying to avoid prosecution. But Brian should be sentenced to life, for the kidnapping, and for wasting taxpayer money and for claiming to be insane, so he avoids prison.

  • ohtar
    May 21, 2010 10:17 a.m.

    The constitutional right to a speedy trial has been ignored and mocked for years. She should have had her trial and sentencing within 2 months of her arrest. Over 7 years is absurd. While she should obviously be removed from society in one way or another the horrid think is there are innocent people the system destroys for years before they are allowed a trial to be free.

  • LuVePacifica
    May 21, 2010 10:12 a.m.

    It took years and years to fiGuire this out..

    After ElizabethSmart is now out of School and moving on with her life~

  • washcomom
    May 21, 2010 9:44 a.m.

    @ Metamatics - The reason why it took so long is the proper groundwork had to be laid for this case. Otherwise, on appeal, her case would have been thrown out of court and they would have had to start from square one again. Either way - it is a long road of endurance.

    Given that she has pleaded guilty and is just going up for sentencing says alot to the fact that she does want to get on with the punishment phase. Mitchell is self serving, and deserves a harder sentence because of all the angst he has caused the Smart family - especially Elizabeth. Life in prison ought to do it.

  • Metamatics
    May 21, 2010 8:31 a.m.

    Geez, that was fast (sarcasm)! It takes them 7 1/2 years to sentence her? I hate how "high profile" crimes, get dragged on for years. Wanda and Brian, were caught red-handed. They manipulate the system and get a cushy "State Mental Hospital" living arrangement. She was a willing, of sound mind participant in the crime. I do not care what anyone says. This is a slap in the face, to the victims. It just prolongs justice and healing for the victims. I guess we do not want the "accuseds'" civil rights infringed upon. I guess their rights, are more important, then the victims.