Criminal Law Blog

Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped from her home by knifepoint and held prisoner by a husband and wife, Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee. Mitchell is serving life in jail, but Barzee is set to be released from prison in a few days.

 

This release has many people upset, and Toronto criminal lawyer Ed Prutschi explains why this is happening. The court system in Utah had calculated the wrong amount until parole, and it was only recently corrected leading to the sudden release. Some argue that Barzee should never be released, but although she helped facilitate the crimes against Elizabeth Smart she was not an active participant like Mitchell, which is why she is up for parole at all.

 

Prutschi explains that although many might disagree with Barzee’s release, she has served her 15-year sentence and never sought parole earlier even though she was eligible. Barzee will still have five more years of supervision in which she will be monitored as she is eased back into society.

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About the author

I am one of the senior partners at Bytensky Shikhman, a criminal litigation firm in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In my 25+ year career, I have conducted numerous trials and appeals before all levels of Court in Ontario, defending just about every type of charge in our criminal law. I am also an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at Osgoode Hall Law School and currently the Treasurer of the Criminal Lawyers' Association of Ontario. I am also an Adjunct Professor for Trial Advocacy at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University and a regular lecturer and placement supervisor for Osgoode's Intensive Programme in Criminal Law.

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