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May 9, 2013

Cleveland police report supports Aggavated Murder capital charges against Ariel Castro

I asked in this post yesterday whether Ariel Castro, the monster who abducted and sexually tortured three young women in Cleveland, could and should possibly face the death penalty under Ohio law.  Based on the newly released police report, discussed in this CBS News piece, I am now convinced that Castro can reasonably be charged with with Aggravated Murder pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 2903.01. Here are the key facts supporting this conclusion:

New details on the women's harrowing ordeal were confirmed in a police report obtained Wednesday by CBS News.... [Michelle] Knight told police, according to the report, that Castro impregnated her "at least 5 times," but that each time he would starve her and then punch her in the stomach to induce a miscarriage.

Here are the key provisions of ORC 2903.01, with the terms in bold and some italics that highlight the basis on which Ohio prosecutors could charge Aggravated Murder against Castro:

2903.01 Aggravated murder.

(A) No person shall purposely, and with prior calculation and design, cause the death of another or the unlawful termination of another's pregnancy.

(B) No person shall purposely cause the death of another or the unlawful termination of another's pregnancy while committing or attempting to commit, or while fleeing immediately after committing or attempting to commit, kidnapping, rape, aggravated arson, arson, aggravated robbery, robbery, aggravated burglary, burglary, trespass in a habitation when a person is present or likely to be present, terrorism, or escape.

Critically, I do not mean here to assert that state prosecutors must now seek the death penalty in their prosecution of Castro.  I can envision lots of sound reasons for local prosecutors to decide not to seek the punishment of death here -- especially if Castro's three primary victims indicate a strong disinclination to go through the difficulties (and media sensation) of a full-blown capital trial and the inevitable appeals that would likely follow if a jury imposed a death sentence.

But I do mean to assert that state prosecutors should now be considering how they will present to an Ohio grand jury the evidence which could support a charge of Aggravated Murder based on Casto's alleged repeated purposeful efforts to unlawfully terminate Michelle Knight's pregnancies. 

Because Ohio legislators amended the state's Aggravated Murder provisions to expressly include "purposely caus[ing]... the unlawful termination of another's pregnancy," Ohio law now expressly reflects a state policy decision that a defendant who intentionally and unlawfully terminated a pregnancy could face an Aggravated Murder charge.  Based on the facts appearing in the recently released police report, Ariel Castro is the poster child for the kind of "unlawful pregnancy terminator" who, in my view, should be facing charges of Aggravated Murder under Ohio law.

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// Cleveland police report supports Aggavated Murder capital charges against Ariel Castro //

Yes it does. Good.

Posted by: Adamakis | May 9, 2013 10:56:01 AM

What about the other two under the felony murder rule? This case would also appear to be a poster child for such use.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | May 9, 2013 11:10:37 AM

Could the DP constitutionally be applied here in light of Kennedy v. Louisiana?

Posted by: HGD | May 9, 2013 11:16:37 AM

@HGD:

I think it could potentially be an appellate issue regarding whether or not DP can constitutionally be imposed for fetal homicide (unless it's already been taken up someplace before) -- but that if DP for fetal homicide is constitutional, Kennedy wouldn't have bearing in that a homicide occurred.

Posted by: Guy | May 9, 2013 11:25:08 AM

Thank you, Professor Berman, for highlighting this. The fact that (apparently) there is probable cause to charge Mr. Castro with aggravated murder, yet no such charge has been filed needs to get greater attention.

This charging decision needs to be examined and questioned. Why was an aggravated murder charge not filed? Are prosecutors considering presenting an aggravated murder charge to the grand jury?

Maybe, Prof. Berman, given your position as a reputable blog editor, you could drive up to Cleveland and ask these questions as a member of the press? (I'm not being sarcastic).

Posted by: anon | May 9, 2013 12:21:59 PM

Was the death penalty ever sought pursuant to a fetus being killed? Would that -- if done here - in effect be a pioneer? Prosecutors should "consider" all legal options. But, especially given problems of proof if nothing else, I don't really know if that is practicable here.

Let me note again that as to the brothers, it is premature to determine just what they did. Listing them as "monsters" is ill advised at this moment.

Posted by: Joe | May 9, 2013 1:57:31 PM

I think the big problem might simply be one of proof, and the the prosecution, if they chose to pursue the DP based on this statute, might be biting off more than they can chew ala the prosecution team in the Casey Anthony trial.

Of course in this case I don't figure there'd be anything stopping the prosecution from charging fetal homicide in addition to rape and kidnapping. That way, if they lose the homicide argument, ho hum, he still is likely getting LWOP

Posted by: Guy | May 9, 2013 2:33:22 PM

Stay focused! We're a bit away from "SENTENCING". I can get this on FoxNews!

Posted by: shurnuff | May 9, 2013 3:01:03 PM

I am not sure whether there is enough for aggravated murder (i.e. having the purpose to cause the death of the fetus). There would seem to be enough for manslaughter (recklessness) or felony murder (in the course of the extended kidnapping).

Kennedy v. Louisiana would not apply as this would be an intentional homicide. Whether the state courts or the US Supreme Court would hold that the rarity/unique circumstances of feticide made capital punishment cruel and unusual would be an open question, but I do not see anything in established federal law that precludes a state for state law purposes giving a fetus equal status to a baby that has just been born. Assuming that LWOP is an option under Ohio law, that open issue might be an incentive for the two sides to plead to LWOP.

Posted by: tmm | May 9, 2013 4:26:24 PM

With years in the USAO, I can tell you this: If you're winning all your cases, your litigation strategy is insufficiently aggressive. If you have a plausible legal theory, and a reasonable person would think the equities are not against you, there is no problem pushing the envelope.

You can hire anyone to do routine cases. You hire top-of-the-line to do the hard ones.

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 9, 2013 5:21:19 PM

Yes, but it is worth considering whether the victims/public want to go along for the ride when you "push the envelope," particularly when an acceptable result can be obtained without such envelope-pushing. I think it would be an important consideration if multiple convictions and LWOP sentences turned out to be a slam dunk and even possibly available via a plea where the victims don't have to testify, whereas the fetal homicide charge would be constitutionally untested and would certainly involve (at least one) wrenching trial. Not to mention the likelihood of massive amicus and media involvement at all stages due to the spillover effect of these laws into the choice/life debate. (The facts here present an obvious criminal act, but I am sure NARAL etc. are concerned about murder charges under this law against abortion providers who conduct, for example, second-trimester abortions.) Does this guy deserve all of that inevitable attention? Or is it better to ship him off to be forgotten rotting in some crappy maximum security prison? Questions worth asking.

Posted by: anon2 | May 9, 2013 5:33:17 PM

anon2 --

1. Your definition of "an acceptable result" may not coincide with the majority's definition.

2. You seem to assume that the victims won't want to testify. I make no such assumption. If I were a victim, I couldn't wait to get on the stand to testify, to look this guy right in the eye and tell the world every vile, disgusting, evil thing he had done and dare him to look back at me. I recall that Elizabeth Smart did exactly that.

3. If NARAL wants to hop on this guy's train in any way, shape or form, it will be the stupidest decision they ever made. They've got enough trouble right now with Gosnell. If they have half a brain, they will not touch this with a ten light year pole.

4. It makes no difference whether he wants attention, just as it makes no difference whether Ms. Arias wants the DP. We (that is normal people with a normal conscience) will decide what he gets. He will have no say in the matter.

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 9, 2013 5:47:48 PM

The fetal homicide theory is not untested. Other states have similar provisions (e.g. provisions establishing for state law purposes including the criminal code that life begins at conception) and those statutes have withstood constitutional challenges. There is no good reason to believe that a murder conviction would have any constitutional problems. Any constitutional problem would be with the death sentence, and the question would be whether it is justified in terms of resources and the other ethical considerations for a prosecutor to push for the death penalty if the defendant were to offer to take LWOP.

Posted by: tmm | May 9, 2013 5:54:25 PM

"Could the DP constitutionally be applied here in light of Kennedy v. Louisiana?"

Good question. The presence of kidnappings and rape and serious assaults would be aggravating factors allowing the case to qualify as a felony-murder if there was an act justifying the death penalty in the presence of aggravation. Neither a kidnapping where the victim is released alive, nor a rape of an adolescent woman would qualify for the death penalty under Kennedy v. Louisiana. An involuntary abortion is not clearly controlled by the precedents, although the reasoning of Kennedy v. Louisiana and of Roe v. Wade would tend to suggest that it is not death penalty eligible under the U.S. Constitution.

I disagree about how clear the right choice is for the prosecutor. Proof of crimes sufficient to put him away for the rest of his life beyond a reasonable doubt will not be difficult in this case (even without a death qualified jury), so the imperative to obtain a conviction voluntarily via a threatened death sentence is not huge. Any sentence that would insure 35 years in prison before eligibility for parole and after good time, etc. is a life sentence, so three kidnapping sentences of 12 years each served consecutively alone (adjusted up for parole eligiblity, etc.) would be more than enough to keep him in prison for the rest of his life even without any rape convictions (and at least one rape conviction based upon the child's paternity is almost certain) will accomplish this end.

Indeed, seating a death qualified jury in a case where there is a plausible legal argument that the death penalty is constitutionally permitted is just the sort of circumstance that could lead to a reversal on appeal of an otherwise sound jury verdict. Death qualification of a jury where the facts and applicable constitutional law do not authorize the death penalty is probably not harmless error if the issue is preserved as it almost certainly would be. And, the possibility that a guilty verdict would be followed by costly and lengthy appeals all of the way to the U.S. Supreme Court (even if the death penalty is not imposed) making a retrial necessary would do no favors to the victims.

A murder charge turns a case that is otherwise about the depravity of the perpetrator upon which the community can have a full consensus into a divisive high profile constitutional debate over abortion that the U.S. Supreme Court would be almost sure to have to consider on the merits with a very quirky set of facts if the death penalty were imposed - and the victims probably have no interest in this unnecessarily sustained celebrity.

Any death penalty imposition would also dramatically increase the amount of legal work involved in the case both before trial (since it goes to the death qualification of the jury and other trial procedures) and after a sentence is imposed. Given the scarce resources available to a county prosecutor in a case like this one, does it really make sense to devote more to pressing a legally uncertain death penalty count, rather than to other cases where additional prosecutorial resources could mean the difference between convicting and acquitting criminals who aren't sure to be convicted in an open and shut case worth it?

Without a death penalty charge, there would likely be one direct appeal, a denial of state certiorari, and a prompt denial of state and the federal habeas even with a defacto life sentence, and even the ruling on the direct appeal would be unlikely to make the newspapers and might even be an unpublished opinion. The case would be over when the jury rendered its verdict for all practical purposes.

With a man of his age who is a notorious sex offender, simply allowing some negotiations over where he would serve his life in prison within the prison system might be more than enough to secure a plea bargain.

Posted by: ohwilleke | May 9, 2013 6:35:38 PM

I would like to hear from the VFL's here. Ohio defines the fetal victim as existing from conception. Is there a slippery slope in this case conferring party status separate from the body of the mother?

There is some air between the acts of the kidnapper and those of a licensed practitioner, but not much. Same consequences. Calling the assault surgery, and obtaining a piece of paper for informed consent, a license on a wall are very thin legal veneers. Abortions can also be quite painful to the mother. One has no idea how bad when signing the consent.

If the fetus is an individual warranting protection by the state, does that set up an adversarial relationship with the mother? Does the mother then have a duty to fend off the attacker or get charged with child neglect?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 9, 2013 8:13:04 PM

This is a case where the law is an a$$.

Personally, I do not believe that this guy can be charged with murder. How can you when abortion of the same babies with the mother's permission is legal? I hope the defense fights this, wins, and the American people see what a logical contortion it takes to support abortion. Only the Gosnell's and Castros will awaken the American people to such a holocaust. To quote Charles C. W. Cooke over at NRO:

"This means that if you kill an unborn child in Ohio with the mother’s permission, it’s okay; if you do it without her permission, it’s murder. The unborn child, therefore, is only a life if the mother says it is a life. That makes no logical sense at all. It is the logic of slavery, not of individual liberty. Who will defend it?"

A defense attorney making this defense will be even better than Gosnell for the pro-life movement.

Posted by: TarlsQtr1 | May 9, 2013 9:48:02 PM

As an Ohio taxpayer, Bill Otis should butt out about how we send our money. Why push the envelope in an easy case. Sorry Bill this is not a hard case. Ohio's LWOP is sufficient if Agg. Murder is on the table. In fact, given the offender's age less than LWOP is sufficient. The Ohio Parole Board recently held three rapists until the full term expiration of their non-consecutive sentences. (25 years)The offender is not going get paroled because the trial judge will hand out consecutive sentences because there are multiple primary victims and a host of vocal secondary victims.

Posted by: ? | May 9, 2013 9:58:26 PM

TarlsQtr1 --

I assume all those pushing for states to be allowed to determine for themselves whether pot should be legal will likewise be pushing for states to be able to decide for themselves when a fetus is sufficiently developed that inducing its miscarriage can be considered murder.

NOT.

Somehow, I just bet liberals will discover that federalism is a sometime thing.

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 9, 2013 9:58:44 PM

I would appreciate hearing more of the feminist analysis of this charge.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 10, 2013 1:47:17 AM

TarlsQtr1:
Even if your heart is in the right place, yet (1) the very prevalence of such laws throughout the land
represent practical and ideological victories of morality over parties such as Planned Parenthood, NARAL, ACLU, & GBLTU.

(2) The protection of future unborn lives depends on meaningful enforcement of the laws against induced miscarriages/abortions, as de-limited as they are. Of course, you rightly trumpet the glaring hypocrisy and immorality of legalised
unborn murder -- and in the cases of Gosnell, "Baby Jane Doe", and more -- infant murder at abortion facilities.

(3) "And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come?
whose damnation is just."~Rom 3:8
[the end does not justify the means]

Posted by: Adamakis | May 10, 2013 9:12:09 AM

? --

The reason you want me to shut up has nothing to do with whether Ohio's tax money or anyone else's money is getting spent. It has to do with the fact that you personally don't want this guy executed. And that has to do with the fact that his behavior is, in your view, just not that bad.

Maybe you should butt out of pretending that you speak for the majority of Ohio taxpayers. But I'll give you credit for pulling back the curtain (once more) or that fact abolitionists want to silence those in dissent, rather than debate the issues. Have you delivered your same message of censorship to the news media all across the country as people from California to Maine deliver all manner of opinions on the proper punishment?

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 10, 2013 9:14:34 AM

Fry this guy on prime time, maybe at halftime for the Super Bowl, (take 1 min) then go right into the normal hipe entertainment as usual...As if to say, oh yeah we need to get this out of the way..

Then the media needs to keep a closed lip and never mention it again...

Same for these wacked out guys with all of the assault weapon shootings. Give them 1 min prim time
for their hanging or whatever...Then thats the end of it... Thats the only attention they deserve.

Posted by: MidWestGuy | May 10, 2013 9:30:29 AM

tmm notes:

"Any constitutional problem would be with the death sentence, and the question would be whether it is justified in terms of resources and the other ethical considerations for a prosecutor to push for the death penalty if the defendant were to offer to take LWOP."

Yes. I am aware of other feticide laws though if we push it back to "conception" for cases of "murder," well, I'd like to see a case of that (that is, not an abortion case). I would be interested in how such laws apply to pre-viable fetuses. But, as to the death penalty, that would be a pioneer case, I think. It doesn't seem like it is worth it here, given matters of proof, constitutional questions and alternatives that provide heavy punishment.

Posted by: Joe | May 10, 2013 10:35:24 AM

Joe --

"But, as to the death penalty, that would be a pioneer case..."

America was built on pioneering.

"I think. It doesn't seem like it is worth it here, given matters of proof, constitutional questions and alternatives that provide heavy punishment."

This is where your absolutism against the DP undermines you. Since you don't think ANY prosecutorial request for the DP is worth the time -- even if the time were five minutes -- you're unlikely to move many people by arguing that this is just the next in the infinite line that "isn't worth the time."

When you name an execution what WAS, in your view, worth the time, you'll be on more solid ground in claiming that this one isn't.

Or, to put it more succinctly, people who engage in discriminating thinking (deservedly) get more attention than those who engage in absolutist thinking.

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 10, 2013 11:39:24 AM

"America was built on pioneering."

Yes. It was a factual statement. Novel arguments are not on their own always invalid though they tend to be avoided if possible.

"This is where your absolutism against the DP undermines you."

A person can think something is broadly wrong but also argue that certain cases are particularly wrong or an easier case to make. A vegan can think honey is wrong. The argument that veal is particularly wrong isn't "undermined."

"Or, to put it more succinctly, people who engage in discriminating thinking (deservedly) get more attention than those who engage in absolutist thinking."

I have repeatedly noted there are "hard cases" where opposition to the dp on principle are harder to make. I have noted my disagreement with certain claims such as a federalism claim that a federal death sentence in a state w/o the d.p. cannot be brought for that reason alone. I thought we were peeps as to my "discriminating" thinking by now vis-a-vis certain other people. Sigh.

There are absolutes out there. Rape, e.g., cannot be used to obtain information. Didn't take you as a total situation ethics guy.

Posted by: Joe | May 10, 2013 12:17:56 PM

TarlsQtr: "Personally, I do not believe that this guy can be charged with murder. How can you when abortion of the same babies with the mother's permission is legal?"

me: and watch as the anti-abortion crowds's mask of morality and concern for unborn babies slips to reveal its true mysognsistic face.

Wow, you can't figure out the difference in a case where a woman chooses to have an abortion versus a case where a man kidnaps a woman, holds her captive for years, and repeatedly rapes, beats, and tortures her???

Okay, let's look at the more typical case where fetal homicide laws are applied. A married man is having an affair with a woman. The woman gets pregnant as a result of the affair. The man is horrified because of the possibility of having to pay child support and having his wife find out and divorce him likely resulting in financial ruin. The woman is excited to be pregnant, looks forward to being a mother, and tells the man that she is keeping the baby. The man facing financial ruin if she gives birth decides to get rid of the unborn baby. He attacks the woman repeatedly stabbing her in the stomach and beating her causing her to have a miscarriage. In many cases, the woman also dies in such attacks.

Fetal homicide laws were specifically passed to represent such a situation - they are designed to protect the rights of women (so contrary to what Adamakis seems to think, pro-choice people actually strongly support such laws) to control their bodies and make reproductive choices. Those laws are in fact perfectly compatable with legal abortion because both are based upon the choice of the woman to control our bodies.

And yes, this is your true face of the anti-abortion crowd - the opposition to abortion is not due to a concern for unborn babies - if that was the case, the anti-abortion crowd would be pushing for unversial sex education, universal access to birth control, pre-natal care, paid maternity leave, early child hood health care, assistance to new mothers in providing child care, paid child care like many European countries do. Instead, the anti-abortion crowd in this country is trying to make it as difficult as possible for women to have access to birth control, adequate health insurance, and they are doing very llittle to assure that families are able to have financial resources to be able to actually afford having a child.

The anti-abortion crowd's actual view of morality is to oppose abortion as a way to punish the woman for engaging in sex. They are so dedicated to that view as TarlQtr demonstrates that it doesn't matter to them if a woman had been raped or even abducted, held captive for years, repeatedly raped, beaten, and tortured - no, even in that case the decision on what to do about the pregnancy doesn't belong to the woman. Instead it belongs to men. So to the anti-abortion crowd, a woman who gets pregnant through being raped by a man will have to have her rapist's baby or be branded a murderer.

i never thought i would see a man stoop so low as to be so opposed to women having a choice that they would actually oppose punishing someone who holds a woman prisoner, repeatedly beats and rapes her, and when she gets pregnant from the rapes beats her to kill the fetus simply because such a case promotes a woman having a choice. This is your anti-choice crowd everyone.

Oh and Dr. Gosnell was conducting illegal abortions in violation of state law and not following regulations designed to promote patient safety. The only relationship to legal abortions is that he provides a perfect demonstration over what will happen if abortion is made illegal. Women will continue to get abortions and the illegal back alley abortion clinics will not follow basic safety rules and many will be seriously maimed or die as a result. Considering that its been 40 years since Roe v. Wade, Dr. Gosnell has provided a vivid demonstration to younger people why abortion needs to remain legal. Banning abortion will not end abortion - it will make abortion unregulated and extremely dangerous.

Erika :)

Posted by: Erika | May 10, 2013 1:08:59 PM

Thanks, Erika. Good start. Please, address the slippery slope of the homicide of a person, defined so at conception. The woman has the least power among the parties in this scenario.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 10, 2013 3:30:22 PM

Reproductive rights has been feminist code for limiting the fecundity of undesirable ethnic groups.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 10, 2013 3:57:07 PM

Bill: Executing the guy raises his profile and probably gives him what he wants. Let him live out his days in population. His fellow inmates will know what he did and won't be kind. In other words death is too good for this guy and too expensive for Ohio taxpayers.

By the way, I am not trying to censor you. I just want to make sure that your views aren't validated. I am pointing out that you don't have a dog in this fight. And I am trying to point out that your bloodlust is divisive and economically unsound. Whether this guy is dead or live won't magically heal the victims. I am just pointing out that your views border on the edge of magical thinking.
Death is not a panacea.

Posted by: ? | May 10, 2013 9:01:51 PM

"Death is not a panacea." It is for future victims, and the cheapest of remedies, counting the economic impact of crime.

One must wonder why people are working so hard to protect vicious, inhuman sociopaths. It is the government jobs they generate, worthless and rent seeking.

All abolitionist utterance should carry a disclosure,"I am a government dependent worker." Until they start to, all arguments must be presumed to be in self economic interest and in bad faith. The honest disclosure ends the bad faith.

The Supremacy is a government dependent worker. Its arguments are all against economic interest, therefore morally superior and intellectually more credible.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 11, 2013 6:04:22 AM

Erika stated: "Wow, you can't figure out the difference in a case where a woman chooses to have an abortion versus a case where a man kidnaps a woman, holds her captive for years, and repeatedly rapes, beats, and tortures her???"

Erika, I mean this sincerely, you are not this unintelligent.

Please explain to me how the means of a child's conception impacts its status of being a "life" or "not a life." YOU CANNOT MURDER something that is not "living" and if it is living, rape as the means of conception does not change that fact. It is simple logic that you completely ignore.

I hesitate to even answer the rest of your word salad until you address this critical topic.

Posted by: TarlsQtr1 | May 12, 2013 11:55:39 AM

I wonder if his child wants him dead. If so then that would be a factor in the decision. Why aggravate her situation by killing the sperm donor. She might hate the guy. We dont know.

Posted by: liberty1st | May 12, 2013 4:07:09 PM

Tarls and Adamakis- with one victim, this would be simple to defend in a world where biblical law is the civil law.

The most specific verse dealing with the legal status of a fetus is Exodus 21:22. In that verse, a man is punished with a fine if he causes a miscarriage but the mother survives. If the mother dies, the attacker is executed. The fine is payable to the father, not the mother. In other words, the bible considers the fetus a property interest of the father. Not an independent person. He would have to pay a fine set by the judges to...himself. Id.

In addition, this area of Ohio could be classified as either the "field" or the "city." This is dispositive. If it is considered the "field", Ariel Could would only have to pay her father $15 (50 shekels). Deuteronomy 22:28-29. He would then be married to the victim for the rest of both of their lives. Id. In the alternative, the victim would be executed along with him since she was in a town in Ohio. Deuteronomy 22:23.

Good thing the states do not look to the bible as inspiration for rape law.

Posted by: random thought | May 12, 2013 5:17:54 PM

Erika --

"i never thought i would see a man stoop so low as to be so opposed to women having a choice that they would actually oppose punishing someone who holds a woman prisoner, repeatedly beats and rapes her, and when she gets pregnant from the rapes beats her to kill the fetus simply because such a case promotes a woman having a choice."

Personally, I support giving Mr. Nicey the maximum penalty available under the charges that have been filed against him. Do you?

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 12, 2013 5:40:50 PM

This is an easy case. Whether or not abortion should be legal--the bottom line is that Mr. Castro has no business killing a fetus.

I've read a number of articles talking about how hard it would be to prove---but the reality is that the testimony of Ms. Knight would be sufficient to prove it. And if the defense wants a physical examination . . . . um nope. They'll move for it.

Posted by: federalist | May 12, 2013 6:19:38 PM

Federalist stated: "This is an easy case. Whether or not abortion should be legal--the bottom line is that Mr. Castro has no business killing a fetus."

It is easy if you are pro-life. A pro-choice individual must support no charges for this aspect of the crime, if (s)he wants to be logically consistent. Apparently, Erika has no such interest and is only concerned with forwarding her pro-death agenda.

Like Obama (who voted against the state version of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act), I suspect that she is not pro-choice radical but instead is an infanticide moderate.

Posted by: TarlsQtr1 | May 12, 2013 8:05:43 PM

Bill pulled this nugget from Erika's word salad, so I will respond to this as well:

Erika-"i never thought i would see a man stoop so low as to be so opposed to women having a choice that they would actually oppose punishing someone who holds a woman prisoner, repeatedly beats and rapes her, and when she gets pregnant from the rapes beats her to kill the fetus simply because such a case promotes a woman having a choice. This is your anti-choice crowd everyone."

Oh, please, Erika, quote from me directly where I stated any such thing. I didn't. You made it up.

Posted by: TarlsQtr1 | May 13, 2013 8:02:41 AM

TarlsQtr, at this point your sickening attempt to try to exploit this horrific crime for your anti-woman agenda has gone past the point where it is worth responding to you. i had initially thought that you were simply ignorant of just how tasteless and mysognistic your original post was, but its clear now that you know exactly how tasteless and mysognistic your original post was and that you were just being a bully.

Because i do not like it when men try to bully me, any further response would involve a whole lot of very unladylike language. So i will be a lady and refrain.

Erika :)

Posted by: Erika | May 13, 2013 10:04:29 AM

bill, obviously discussing punishment without even having enough information on whether the potential charges can even meet the burden of going before a grand jury is putting the cart before the horse. and truthfully i do not believe that our society permits us to give a truly fitting punishment for these horrific crimes - because if there was ever a case where a man should have his penis chopped off when he is fully awake, it is this one. Even though i know its wrong, i think that he should spend his remaining days locked in a cage facing the constant threat of the same sort of torture, beatings, and sexual assault that he conducted against his victims. i want this guy to suffer in the worst possible way.

therefore, i support giving this defendant the worst punishment we can give someone without violating the Constitution - in my opinion that is Life Without Parole. in my opinion that is a much worse punishment than a quick and relatively painless death due to the locking away of people in cages with a constant threat of violence and no hope of ever getting out

That may well mean that i oppose the death penalty because i am a sadistic bitch ;)

Erika :)

Posted by: Erika | May 13, 2013 10:27:21 AM

Erika stated: "TarlsQtr, at this point your sickening attempt to try to exploit this horrific crime for your anti-woman agenda has gone past the point where it is worth responding to you. i had initially thought that you were simply ignorant of just how tasteless and mysognistic your original post was, but its clear now that you know exactly how tasteless and mysognistic your original post was and that you were just being a bully.

Because i do not like it when men try to bully me, any further response would involve a whole lot of very unladylike language. So i will be a lady and refrain."

The first thing ANYONE should notice is that you never provide a single example of where my post was "mysognistic" [sic] or me being a "bully." Typical of your kind.

The next thing that should be noticed is that you never support or retract your statement that I "oppose punishing someone who holds a woman prisoner, repeatedly beats and rapes her, and when she gets pregnant from the rapes beats her to kill the fetus..." I do not "oppose" it. In fact, I probably support a much longer sentence than you do. Perhaps you are a misogynist?

The REAL reason you refuse to answer these points is because you know I am correct on the main point of my post, as explained AGAIN below.

The means that a women conceives a child has NO BEARING ON WHETHER THE CHILD IS A "LIFE" OR NOT. If the children of Castro's victims qualify as a "life," then aborting them also takes a life. If they are not each a "life", Castro should not and cannot rightly be convicted of murder. It is pure and simple logic that you are obviously trying to escape.

Face it. You are flailing and faux indignation is all you have.

Posted by: TarlsQtr1 | May 13, 2013 11:31:01 AM

Erika --

I agree that this guy has earned the maximum punishment we can constitutionally offer, but long-established law establishes that (1) the Constitution does not authorize "spend[ing] his remaining days locked in a cage facing the constant threat of the same sort of torture, beatings, and sexual assault that he conducted against his victims," and (2) it does authorize his execution. But for the incorrectly decided Kennedy v. Louisiana, he could get the DP without any consideration of the ontological status of the fetuses whose unlawful (and grotesque) miscarriage he brought about.

Let me ask you this: If you did not oppose the DP in every case, would you approve of it in this one based only on the abduction, dreadful abuse and years of rape of the underage (at the time) girls? In other words, in a world where the DP is not entirely off the table, do you think that Kennedy v. Louisiana was incorrectly decided?

More broadly, does a case like this cause you to reconsider your uniform opposition to the DP? We know we have the right guy, the behavior is beyond belief, the is no Jim Crow issue, no excuse is even imaginable, and he did this to these girls without mercy or any human feeling for TEN YEARS. If you believe, as almost everyone does, that killing is sometimes justified, depending on the moral stakes, would you consider that it is justified here?

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 13, 2013 12:56:27 PM

bill, even aside from being opposed to the death penalty in every case, i think that Kennedy v. Louisiana was the right decision because i am concerned that rapists facing the possibility of capital punishment for rape would kill their victims. i think that given the potential risk of possibly encouraging murder, it is best to err on the side of caution.

and i really do believe that LWOP is a much worse punishment than death - i just can't imagine that dying is worse than being locked in prison forever.

Erika :)

Posted by: Erika | May 13, 2013 3:41:19 PM

Erika stated: "and i really do believe that LWOP is a much worse punishment than death - i just can't imagine that dying is worse than being locked in prison forever."

Says someone who has probably spent "0" time in prison.

Your average LWOP inmate will get drugs, sex, television, sporting events, three hots and a cot, and tons of recreation time with his buddies in prison.

How is that worse than death?

Posted by: TarlsQtr1 | May 13, 2013 3:55:23 PM

Oh, the irony of a supposed "feminist" playing the weak woman (Eek, a man is trying to "bully" me!) card the first time it is needed. I suppose Erika's is a feminism of convenience.

Posted by: Tarlsqtr1 | May 14, 2013 7:01:15 AM

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