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Elizabeth Smart speaks about upcoming release of kidnapper Wanda Barzee

Posted at 3:35 PM, Sep 13, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY -- Elizabeth Smart spoke out Thursday regarding the unexpectedly early release of Wanda Barzee, who helped Brian David Mitchell kidnap Smart.

Wanda Barzee will be released from the Utah State Prison on September 19, several years before it was anticipated she would be eligible for release.

The development comes after the Utah State Board of Pardons realized they would have to give Barzee credit for time served in the federal system. Barzee served time in both the federal and state systems for the kidnapping.

Utah Board of Pardons and Parole member Greg Johnson sent an email that said the board has heard concerns and requests to reconsider releasing Barzee. Johnson clarified that this is not an early release or a discretionary release.

"On September 19, Ms. Barzee will have spent 15 years in custody, which is the maximum amount of time allowed by her state conviction and sentence," Johnson wrote. "Ms. Barzee can not legally be held in the Utah State prison beyond the length of her sentence."

Johnson added that upon her release, Barzee will be supervised by federal authorities.

See the video below for Smart's full remarks.