The Utah Board of Pardons has just announced that the woman who aided in the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart in 2002, will be released from prison next Tuesday. Rolling Stone said that Smart said the decision to release Wanda Barzee was disappointing.

Smart is now a 30-year-old mother of two and has been working as a child safety advocate. She can't understand how someone who skipped her own parole hearing and has not cooperated could be released back into the community. One of the issues that has been brought up about release inmates, is the severity of their crimes.

For example, some believe that the Menendez brothers should be released from prison because their sentence was too severe.

Barzee aided in the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart

CNN confirms that Barzee was sentenced to two 15-year federal and state prison terms for her participation in the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart in 2002, as well as the attempted kidnapping of Smart's cousin. Barzee admitted to helping kidnap Smart from her home in Salt Lake City.

Elizabeth Smart has said she was raped every day during her nine months in captivity. Smart also said she was forced to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes. Smart was eventually rescued by police in 2003 after locals recognized Mitchell and Barzee.

Parole board originally refused to count her federal sentence as time served

Smart later said in a book that she was so terrified of Mitchell and Barzee, that she was reluctant to confirm who she was to police. Wanda Barzee was sent to a federal prison in Texas and later transferred to a prison in Utah, to serve out her state sentence.

In June, the parole board originally denied the request to count her eight years in federal prison toward her state sentence as time served. The decision was suddenly reversed this week.

According to CNN, the board released a statement saying that after receiving advice from legal counsel, they must count time served in federal custody toward Barzee's state sentence.

Elizabeth Smart released a lengthy statement to the public saying she is trying to understand how and why this happened. David Mitchell is currently serving two life sentences in federal prison for kidnapping and sexual assault.

Elizabeth Smart has said she will speak publicly as soon as she better understands the reasoning for the early release. Smart expressed her gratitude for the support and concern she has received after the shocking news broke. Barzee was originally scheduled for release in 2024. Many legal experts are in shock and have aired their views on national news on the sudden release of Barzee. Some have called this a huge mistake. Barzee's own sister has said that she should not be getting out of prison. Kidnappings have become a serious issue in America.