“It’s a wonderful day,” Elizabeth Smart said to a crowd outside the court house after learning that her kidnapper, Brian Mitchell, was found guilty. After years of waiting — six years just for the case to go to trial and then nine months in the courtroom — Elizabeth finally got her well-deserved moment of justice. She was “glowing” as her mother put it. It has been an arduous eight years for Elizabeth, since Mitchell broke into her Utah home, kidnapped her, raped her repeatedly and abused her for nine months — she was only 14 at the time. Elizabeth was looking forward to facing him in court while giving her gut-wrenching testimony about the horrors she suffered at his hand, but when he started singing in the courtroom, he was removed. As if we needed further proof that he was a completely demented lunatic.With Mitchell awaiting sentencing, Elizabeth finally has the verdict she has so desperately desired. “It truly is closure. I think it talks to our system, that it works,” her father Ed told the crowd.
Her mother felt vindicated, too. “There was another day to use the ‘victorious’ word and that was the day she came home,” she said. “As mothers, as women, as daughters, we can [move] forward.”
And Elizabeth? She intends to start the next chapter of her life, which includes traveling to France to complete a Mormon Church mission and returning to college to finish her degree in music. Her message was moving and inspirational. “It is possible to move on after something terrible has happened … We can speak out and will be heard.” I look forward to seeing what wonderful things she will do in the future.