Friday, December 10, 2010

Elizabeth Smart Prepares To Return To Her LDS Mission In France Now That Her Kidnapper, Brian David Mitchell, Was Convicted By A Federal Jury In Utah

Elizabeth Smart announced her readiness to return to her mission in France for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints following the December 10th, 2010 conviction of her kidnapper, Brian David Mitchell, on charges of interstate kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor to engage in sexual activity. The jury of seven men and five women rejected Mitchell's insanity defense and returned their verdict after a mere five hours deliberation, although a couple of jurors said the decision was not easy. Seven of the jurors are members of the LDS Church.

After prosecutors, defense attorneys and jurors exited the court, Elizabeth Smart, who took no questions, issued this statement:

"First of all, I'd like to say thank you to everyone who had put so much work into my case. Today is a wonderful day and I'm so thrilled to be here and I'm so thrilled with the verdict," Smart said. "But not only that, I'm so thrilled to stand before the people of America today and give hope to other victims who have not spoken out about what's happened to them. I hope that not only is this an example that justice can be served in America, but that is it possible to move on after something terrible has happened and that we can speak out and we will be heard. Once again thank you so much. I am excited to go back to France and continue my mission. Thank you to everyone for everyone's praise and support."

She has an estimated six months left on that mission. KSL news video of the Smart family reaction embedded below:

Video Courtesy of

Elizabeth Smart was praised by the prosecution team for her extraordinary courage and determination. U.S. Attorney for Utah Carlie Christensen, who called the prosecution "an exceptional effort by an extraordinary trial team", said that the story began and ended with Elizabeth Smart. ..."She was willing and able to recall the horrific details of a nine-month captivity and recount those events to a jury with amazing candor and clarity. The importance of her testimony to the successful outcome of this case cannot be overstated", noted Christensen. Jurors also said it was the compelling testimony from a strong and poised Elizabeth Smart that had some of the biggest impact on them.

As for Brian David Mitchell, he could face up to life in prison when he is sentenced on May 25th, 2011; he will remain incarcerated in the Salt Lake County Jail during the interim. The sentencing date was deliberately selected to accommodate Elizabeth Smart so she can be present; her mission will be finished by then.

Those who are interested in more details regarding the entire case can visit the following dedicated media portals to various stories:

-- KSL Channel 5 media portal
-- Salt Lake Tribune media portal
-- KSTU Channel 13 media portal
-- Previous posts on this blog from September 30th, 2009 and from November 9th, 2010.

No comments: