Posted by Ethne~
Seeing as Lori and I fashion ourselves as fancypants crime reporters, I would be remiss if I did not comment about the sentencing of Ariel Castro, that lunatic from Cleveland. I’d really rather not discuss what he did; I think you all know.
But I think this may be a time to do a short commentary on the working of the justice system in this case. As opposed to the circus of the Jodi Arias or George Zimmerman type trials, this one – while high publicity to be certain – was short and concise. Credit due, no doubt, to the prosecutors, defense counsel, the weight of the evidence against the defendant and even the death penalty (I think).
Lori and I debate often about whether the death penalty should exist. I’m not going to get into the politics of that on this blog. But one big argument against it is its expense. It is incredibly expensive to prosecute, defend appeals and then house condemned inmates. Taxpayers do not benefit.
In this case, though, I think the existence of the death penalty in Ohio was advantageous in that prosecutors could leverage it in their plea negotiations to get him to plead guilty – when they agreed to take it off the table in exchange. This saved the victims having to testify, saved the circus, expense and risk (though weight of evidence was considerable) of a trial – and ultimately saves the taxpayers the expense of a death row inmate.
Either way, it’s ugly when you’re dealing with ugly crimes. If you saw excerpts of the sentencing, one victim, Michelle Knight bravely gave a victim impact statement. I was beyond impressed. Then, in the defendant’s opportunity to speak, he rambled, even turning to Ms. Knight at one point and saying that there had been “harmony” in the home. The judge later pointed out that he suspected no other person in America would agree that there was harmony in that house as he sentenced the defendant to life plus 1000 years, with no parole hearings ever.
Friends, whatever side of this issue you’re on – Lori and I haven’t even decided – we can all be glad that this case over. For the victims, perhaps it will take their whole lives to heal, and I wish them the best. For the defendant, perhaps he should be delivered to the mighty Sarlacc, where he can be digested for 1000 years. Fitting, for his sentence and his crimes. [If you don’t know your Star Wars, shame, shame.]
NOTE: These are my opinions. You don’t have to like them. It’s my blog. I mean no offense to anyone, at any rate.