Elizabeth Smart Not All That Damaged: Defense
Kidnapper's attorney argues to prevent Brian David Mitchell from getting life sentence
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2011 10:50 AM CDT
Brian David Mitchell arrives at the federal court house Friday, Dec. 10, 2010 in Salt Lake City. Mitchell was found guilty Friday for the June 5 2002 kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart.   (AP Photo/Colin E Braley)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Elizabeth Smart’s kidnapper shouldn’t get a life sentence, his attorney argued yesterday, because Smart isn’t all that psychologically damaged. “In a legal sense, the story is not the extreme psychological injury. The story is her overcoming the extreme conduct of my client,” said Robert Steele in a motion he filed in an attempt to get Brian David Mitchell’s potential sentence reduced. Mitchell held a then-14-year-old Smart for eight months and sometimes raped her numerous times a day, Fox News reports.

Steele, who admits Smart suffered some psychological damage but overcame it, used the victim’s own testimony to support his argument; Smart had referred to herself as a survivor. Though Smart’s family is upset by the move, one expert says it’s expected and will likely be denied: “If you’re a defense attorney, you want to make sure every stone was unturned,” he says. “I don’t believe Mitchell should benefit from the strength of this woman.”
 

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |  
22%
4%
1%
10%
0%
61%