Today Brian David Mitchell, the man who kidnapped Elizabeth Smart when she was 14, held her captive, and raped her repeatedly, was sentenced to life in prison. It's been nine years since Smart was abducted, but Mitchell has finally been brought to justice.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Mitchell sang hymns throughout the proceedings, but was allowed to stay in the courtroom. He continued singing softly with his eyes closed as Smart addressed him, saying:
"I don't have very much to say to you. I know exactly what you did ... I know that you know what you did was wrong. You did it with a full knowledge. I also want you to know that I have a wonderful life now, that no matter what you do, it will not affect me again. You took away nine months of my life that can never be returned. But in this life or next, you will have to be held responsible for those actions, and I hope you are ready for when that time comes."Smart testified for three days during the month-long trial, saying at one point:
"I felt that because of what he had done to me, I was marked ... I wasn't the same. My personal value had dropped. I was nothing. Another person could never love me."Previously Mitchell's lawyer argued that he should receive a lighter sentence because Smart is a "survivor" and hadn't suffered "extreme psychological injury." Mitchell has 10 days to appeal, and the defense says it's still considering what the next step should be.
While speaking to reporters outside the courthouse, Smart said she was "thrilled" with the sentence and happy that she was able to address Mitchell in court. According to CNN, Smart noted that today is National Missing Children's Day, and said she wants to devote her life to child advocacy. During the press conference her father held up posters featuring several children who were recently abducted. Smart added, "Today is the end of a very long chapter and the beginning of a very beautiful chapter for me."
Elizabeth Smart's Kidnapper Sentenced To Life In Prison