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Elizabeth Smart Describes Wanda Barzee's Apology

Meanwhile, Barzee is released from prison
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2018 11:24 AM CDT

(Newser) – As Wanda Barzee was released from prison Wednesday morning, another portion of Elizabeth Smart's interview with Gayle King aired on CBS This Morning—and in it, Smart says the woman who along with Brian David Mitchell kidnapped her in 2002 has never shown remorse. "Part of her plea deal back when her case came up—it was required for her to write an apology to me. But it was just a very brief, 'I'm sorry for what I've done, the end,' kind of thing," Smart said. "I don't think you can just kidnap a 14-year-old girl and, you know, not only sit by her while she's being raped but encourage the rapist to continue and then just at the end of it say, 'I'm sorry,' and really mean it."

Smart, now a 30-year-old mother of two, said that she has, however, forgiven Barzee. "I don't feel that I could've moved forward in my life had I still been holding onto hate and anger inside me because that would still be taking up a percentage of my soul," she said. "And that means that, you know, I wouldn't be able to love my own children 100%, love my husband 100%, because a part of me would still be taken up with anger." It's not clear where Barzee will live now that she's out of prison, but she will be on supervised release for five years, with a federal agent keeping tabs on her. "A transition plan is in place for her in terms of residence. ... She won't be homeless," the deputy chief US probation officer for Utah says, per CNN. (Read more Elizabeth Smart stories.)

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