Prosecutors argue Elizabeth Smart deserves to be heard

Saying that Elizabeth Smart has had no voice in any of the hearings in her case during the past six years, prosecutors Friday pleaded with a judge to allow her to testify at a competency hearing for her accused kidnapper.

"Elizabeth Smart is very, very important because she can say how he is behind closed doors," said Assistant U.S. Attorney David Backman. "She can give the full picture of what is going on."

Both prosecutors and defense attorneys presented arguments before U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball over whether Smart should be allowed to testify at Brian David Mitchell's first federal competency hearing.

Defense attorney Robert Steele said Smart does have a right to testify, but only about facts. His concern was that Smart would interject opinion in with her testimony.

"What we will object to are these opinions as to (Mitchell's) state of mind," Steele said.

Otherwise, Steele said based on a videotaped interview Smart conducted six years ago with forensic psychiatrist and criminologist Park Dietz, he said Smart would probably make a good witness.

Read the rest of this story at deseretnews.com
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