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August 1, 2013

Cleveland kidnapper Castro gets LWOP sentence plus 1000 years as plea deal provided

I had the honor this morning of watching the first part of the state sentencing proceeding for Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro in a remote studio waiting to be a boxed pundit on CNN.  Consequestly, I will link here and quote below part of CNN's extensive coverage of the sentencing chapter of this high-profile case:

Kidnapping victim Michelle Knight told her captor, Ariel Castro, during his sentencing hearing, "You took 11 years of my life away. ... I spent 11 years in hell. Now, your hell is just beginning."

"I can forgive you, but I will never forget," she said in her statement to Castro, calling him a hypocrite. "Nobody should go through what I went through," she said tearfully. She called another victim, Gina DeJesus, her "teammate" saying the woman saved her when she was "dying from his abuse." Knight said she "will overcome what happened" but Castro "will face hell for eternity."

During Ariel Castro's sentencing hearing, prosecutor Anna Faraglia said that Castro "tormented (his victims) by allowing them to watch their vigils ... and even had the audacity to attend them."  She further said that Castro would talk to his victims' parents as if he were distraught by their disappearances when "they were right underneath his roof."

Tim McGinty, Cuyahoga County prosecutor, stressed there's no backing to the claim that Ariel Castro suffered from mental illness. "He is responsible," he said, likening him to murderers John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy. "He has no excuse."  When asked what Castro would do if he could go back and do things differently, the kidnapper responded that he'd do it all over again, McGinty said. "He doesn't believe he did anything wrong," McGinty said. "There is no remorse."

Defense attorney Craig Weintraub then told the judge that he felt some of the testimony presented was inappropriate because "these were really private matters," the sentence had been agreed upon prior to the hearing and Castro waived his right to challenge the facts of the case. Judge Michael Russo responded that he felt the testimony and evidence was necessary to help him guide his decision on whether to accept the sentence.

Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro, speaking at his sentencing hearing, said, "I'm not a violent person.  I simply kept them there so they couldn't leave."  He was referring to the three women he held captive for about a decade.   Castro said he knew what he did was wrong, but he argued that the "accusations that I would come home and beat them" are "totally wrong."

"I'm not a monster. I'm just sick. I have an addiction. Just like an alcoholic has an addiction."...

Describing himself as a "very emotional person," Ariel Castro said during his sentencing hearing that "these people are trying to paint me as a monster and I'm not a monster. I'm sick."

"I believe I am addicted to porn to the point that it makes me impulsive and I lost it," he said, adding he's "not trying to make excuses."

Ariel Castro took issue with the aggravated murder charge related to the allegation that his abuse terminated the pregnancy of one of his victims, saying there was no evidence the incident occurred. Judge Michael Russo reminded him that he pleaded guilty, and Castro said he did so only to save his victims further psychological trauma....

Judge Michael Russo has already sentenced kidnapper Ariel Castro to hundreds of years in prison, mostly in eight- to 10-year consecutive blocks.  Russo said Castro "will never be released from incarceration during the period of his remaining natural life for any reason."

"A person can only die in prison once," Judge Michael Russo told Ariel Castro Thursday in handing down a sentence of life in prison plus 1,000 years.  The judge called the sentence "commensurate with the harm you've done." Russo, noting that Castro treated his victims as "slaves," said consecutive sentences rendered in his case must be "imposed" to protect the public and "to punish you."...

"There is no place in this city, there is no place in this country, there is no place in this world for those who enslave others," Judge Michael Russo told kidnapper Ariel Castro. The court in Cuyahoga County is seizing the property of Ariel Castro and imposing a fine of $100,000 on him, in addition to his massive sentence.

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August 1, 2013 at 02:09 PM | Permalink

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"Ariel Castro took issue with the aggravated murder charge related to the allegation that his abuse terminated the pregnancy of one of his victims, saying there was no evidence the incident occurred. Judge Michael Russo reminded him that he pleaded guilty, and Castro said he did so only to save his victims further psychological trauma."

That's it! He wanted to save them trauma!! He's Mr. Nicey after all -- just, ya know, a little sick, as he said.

I ran across some vile defendants, but this guy may be Number One. He is also a walking refutation of the Court's fanciful opinion in Kennedy v. Louisiana.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 1, 2013 3:34:39 PM

Bill: Here is vile. Defense lawyers: We can offer you the location of the body of the 8 year old little girl this stranger raped and used up over a week, then strangled, in exchange for no death penalty. Prosecutor: no, thank you. Go to trial and try to prove the parents were swingers who were the real murderers, and put the parents through the wringer, over a 2 week trial.

Here is even more vile than that. The California Bar Association, an agent of the Supreme Court of California, refuses to sanction the defense lawyers, calling their conduct zealous representation.
*****
I could have outviled, Castro. I would have claimed the defense of consent. If someone stays in a place with multiple opportunities to escape, to join together and overwhelm the unarmed kidnapper, to use multiple instruments about the house as weapons to kill the kidnapper, and fails to do so over years, that implies consent. As a narcissist, Castro or his attorney should have bargained for better.

Consent as a defense.

565.080. 1. When conduct is charged to constitute an offense because it causes or threatens physical injury, consent to that conduct or to the infliction of the injury is a defense only if:

(1) The physical injury consented to or threatened by the conduct is not serious physical injury; or

(2) The conduct and the harm are reasonably foreseeable hazards of

(a) The victim's occupation or profession; or

(b) Joint participation in a lawful athletic contest or competitive sport; or

(3) The consent establishes a justification for the conduct under chapter 563 of this code.

2. The defendant shall have the burden of injecting the issue of consent.
*****

A 1000 year sentence expresses the intense emotion of the judge, and makes the court look stupid, immature. The anger of the court should be directed at the pro-criminal lawyers that had Castro streeted despite multiple instances of batteries against wife, strangers, kids in his charge. Under 123D, he would have been gone long before the kidnappings.

http://news-herald.com/articles/2013/05/14/news/doc5191c806de65d050937206.txt?viewmode=2

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 1, 2013 8:52:42 PM

JUDGE RUSSO: "There is no place in this city, there is no place in this country, there is no place in this world for those who enslave others."

A rogue prosecutor or LEO who knowingly frames and imprisons an innocent with perjured testimony deserves enslavement , which in a way could be considered kinder than death.

Posted by: Just Plain Jim | Aug 2, 2013 4:55:12 AM

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