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Canculating person who knew what he was doing? or mentaly unstable?

SALT LAKE CITY – The man accused of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart in 2002 was influenced by an escalating mental illness and extreme religious beliefs that made him think he was doing what God wanted him to do, his lawyer told jurors Monday at the start of his federal trial.

Brian David Mitchell's trial on kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor charges resumed Monday after the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver rejected a request to move the case out of Utah.

Smart, now 23, was 14 when she was kidnapped from her home at knifepoint in June 2002. She was found nine months later with Mitchell, 57.

In opening statements Monday, his lawyer, public defender Parker Douglas, didn't dispute the facts but took issue with the prosecution's allegation that Mitchell is a calculating person who planned the kidnapping.


Asked by sweet-a-kins at 1:30 PM on Nov. 8, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

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Answers (9)
  • He obviously targeted Elizabeth Smart and knew what he was doing... but I do think you HAVE to be mentally unstable in order to do something like that. He is obviously mentally disturbed and has extreme religious beleifs that lead him to believe he is doing the right thing when he is not. But it takes plotting and calculation to execute a kidnapping like that.

    Answer by Ati_13 at 1:34 PM on Nov. 8, 2010

  • Probably a little bit of both. Elizabeth has referred to him as being "crazy like a fox".

    Answer by tinamatt at 1:55 PM on Nov. 8, 2010

  • He might be mentally unstable, that doesn't mean he's not smart and didn't know what he was doing. He certainly knows what he's doing now, trying to get away with what he did.


    Answer by SuperChicken at 2:00 PM on Nov. 8, 2010

  • He knows exactly what he's doing. Every time he enters the court room, he starts to sing. Either he's one evil, calculating son of a b****, or one of the people living in his head is. Either way, I hope they lock him up and throw away the key.

    Answer by lovinangels at 1:39 PM on Nov. 8, 2010

  • That man raped her daily after kidnapping her. I think the death penalty applies here . I don't care if he is crazy or not.

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 5:51 PM on Nov. 8, 2010

  • Mentally unstable.

    Answer by older at 1:38 PM on Nov. 8, 2010

  • It looks like he thinks they will go easy on him of he claims that God was talking to him and if his attorney says he is mentall ill. But it does seem that he is "crazy like a fox" as she said. Any time someone says they hear God's voice or dream that God or Satan appeared in a dream and told them what to do, We know they are either Mentally ill or ...crazy like a fox. Thye need to convict that monster. Put him away for ever.

    Answer by kerp1960 at 5:02 PM on Nov. 8, 2010

  • I agree with itsmesteph11,who cares if he is crazy,he will do it again if he can.Death penalty sound good to me.I might sound bad Really if they gave the death penalty to child rapers we have less of it.

    Answer by bucky77 at 4:36 AM on Nov. 9, 2010

  • Mitchell has an escalating mental illness and extreme religious beliefs that were coloring his actions long before the kidnapping, he told jurors.


    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 1:30 PM on Nov. 8, 2010