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Elizabeth Smart Case

The Elizabeth Smart Case

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Elizabeth Smart disappeared from her home in Salt Lake City, Utah on June 5, 2002. She was only 14 years old. Her kidnappers managed to elude police for almost 10 months before they were discovered with the girl living less than 20 miles from her home. Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped at knife-point by a former street preacher named Brian David Mitchell whose plan to keep the girl as a sex slave and second wife was aided by a female accomplice named Wanda Barzee who was also his wife. The road to prosecuting Elizabeth Smart's kidnappers was a lengthy one that was hindered by a lack of compelling evidence and by repeated judgments that the pair was psychologically unfit to stand trial.

Elizabeth Smart's Kidnappers

As a consequence, Elizabeth Smart's kidnappers spent most of the several years following their arrests in mental hospitals. After numerous competency trials for the kidnappers, the Elizabeth Smart case has been brought to some level of closure with the conviction of Barzee in 2009 and Mitchell in late 2010.

  • Barzee pled guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated kidnapping and was sentenced to 15 years.
  • Mitchell was convicted on kidnapping charges and for transporting a minor across state lines for illegal sex. He faces a possible sentence of life in prison.

Although Mitchell will not be sentenced until May 2011, victim Elizabeth Smart has expressed her satisfaction that her kidnapper was finally convicted for his crimes.

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Elizabeth Smart Case Research Papers

Elizabeth Smart disappeared from her home in Salt Lake City, Utah on June 5, 2002 and was held as a sex slave for 10 months. Criminal justice research papers on The Elizabeth Smart Case are available at Paper Masters.

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