The sentencing of Ariel Castro last Thursday for the kidnapping, raping and torturing of three women in a Cleveland suburb was theater of the absurd.
While starting out by apologizing for his actions, Castro then went on to say, "I am not a monster, I am sick" and "I'm not violent, I simply kept them there without them being able to leave."
He described his sickness as an addiction to pornography. Then he rambled on that he thought the sex was "consensual." That must be why for years he needed the chains and the poles to strap the women to.
Castro pleaded guilty to 937 criminal counts including aggravated murder (for beating one of his victims until she suffered a miscarriage). By copping this plea, Castro avoided any chance of the death penalty. Instead, he will serve a life sentence plus 1,000 years.
The sentence itself was part of the absurdity. In our country, a life sentence doesn't mean you are going to spend the rest of your life behind bars. No, in different states you are eligible for parole at different stages of your term if you just simply get a "life sentence." Better to tack a thousand years on to make sure he doesn't get out.
Now, a reasonable person would think Thursday's sentence means we are going to keep chains around Castro's coffin for the first thousand years after his death.
We would chalk the Castro case up as a point for the argument against the death penalty. If what this sadistic torturer did to these three women for over a decade doesn't warrant the death penalty in our system, nothing does.
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