Elizabeth Smart’s Kidnapper To Be Released From Prison Today

Wanda Barzee was serving a 15-year sentence when her release date was unexpectedly moved.

elizabeth smart
Elizabeth Smart appears on NBC News' "Today" show. (Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Wanda Barzee, one of two people who abducted 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart in 2002, will be released from prison sometime Wednesday, reports CNN. Barzee was serving a 15-year sentence when the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole unexpectedly credited her with 2,436 days for time served, which moved her release date up from 2024.

Smart urged officials to reconsider releasing the woman who assisted in her kidnapping and rape, and claims she is still a threat to the community. Barzee’s lawyer, however, said that the 72-year-old woman deserves a chance to prove she is ready to return to society after serving her time. She will be on supervised release for five years, most likely living alone in a private residence.

CNN reports that Barzee will follow standard release conditions, as well as a special condition that she must participate in a mental health treatment program.

In 2010, Barzee pleaded guilty to kidnapping and unlawful transport of a minor for the purpose of sexual activity. She received lenience in sentencing in exchange for her plea and testimony against her husband, Brian Mitchell.

Smart, now 30, said that Barzee abused her just as much as Mitchell did.

“She is a woman who had six children and yet could co-conspire to kidnap a 14-year-old girl, and not only sit next to her while (she was) being raped, but encouraged her husband to continue to rape me. So, do I believe she is dangerous? Yes, but not just to me. I believe that she is a danger and a threat to any vulnerable person in our community,” Smart said, according to CNN. 

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