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The defense attorneys for the alleged kidnapper Castro in Cleveland spoke this week to a local TV reporter and this seems to have had little national attention. (HuffPo had a follow up to the first interviews on Wednesday. The original interview is here. The media has made him a monster, the attorneys say. I'm sorry, but on this one the media didn't need any help. But since this is my first diary, I'll tell you that I really want to talk about the proper punishment for him, so follow me below the orange ornament.

Before I get to my point, I just need to say: the attorneys talked to him for three hours and he didn't seem to be as the "media" portrayed. Really? Three whole hours with him in a small room where YOU are the ones in control and you're SURE he's not a "monster"?
That said, on to my thoughts.

"I can tell you that Mr. Castro is extremely committed to the well being and positive future for his daughter, who he loves dearly," said Schlachet. "And if people find that to be a disconnect from what he's alleged to have done, then the people will just have to deal with it. We just know how he feels about his little girl."
I don't know if the attorneys know it, but statements like that makes me more likely to desire a death sentence for him, not less likely. Get him out of the poor six-year-old's life for good!

However, I'm against the death penalty. My online alias is Mayor Hardin, in homage to SF and science fact author Isaac Asimov's character Salvor Hardin, the first Mayor of the future Foundation. Hardin was a man of many quotable statements, and his most famous is "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." I can't help but feel that  statement applies here.

When I first went to college in the Seattle/Tacoma area in 1974 front page warnings read: "Don't go with Ted!" This was, of course, Ted Bundy. He was a major story for years, but his eventual execution just didn't seem to solve anything.

So here I am. I don't care if he loves his daughter; he has forfeited his right to live in
free society; he has proven himself a danger. Certainly he deserves a rigorous defense, except I can't think of one, even conceptually, that would mitigate his crimes enough for release into society. Now, since I'm "The Fairest Man In The Galaxy" the prosecutor is also over the top, threatening to file thousands of charges for every rape and act of violence to the victims. I hope, sooner rather than later, that a deal will be struck to leave him in prison for the rest of his natural life with no contact with the minor child except that permitted by the mother and the child themselves. (This assumes that the victims agree - I hope they have representation of their own, by the way. If they want to go for the death penalty regardless of the difficulties, then the prosecutor should go for it.)

One last note on the video - I love the way the female anchor does her best to be objective: "Well, they're defense attorneys, trying to defend their client in the court of public opinion" while her voice and gestures shout out "what a load of crap!"

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Comment Preferences

  •  Life in prison, clearly. (10+ / 0-)

    If there ever was a punishment that fit the crime, this is it.

    •  By the way, if anyone thinks they should (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      let him go, please join in. I am in the mood to argue with someone who thinks that Castro should be let go, for any reason. I have so many good points to make, I hope I get the chance.

      •  I don't consider it (6+ / 0-)

        my place to say what should or shouldn't be done with this guy, although I have to add that I am disappointed and ashamed at so many people expressing feelings of vicious blood lust, as if that will help the girls recover. I wish these folks would let it go, and let it go through the courts.

        I will say that if our %%#$$@$(%  county prosecutor — who basically bought the election, was the worst of the five candidates running, and is still on probation with most of the non-white, non-male, non-straight people in this county — degrades these women by seeking the death penalty based on the death of the one woman's fetuses, well, there will be trouble. Lots of it.

        Jon Husted is a dick.

        by anastasia p on Sat May 18, 2013 at 08:28:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Citizen - Why shouldn't you say what should (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          be done with him? All of us have a say, in public conversation. We may not have an official say. But as the citizens of this state we can and should have an opinion. Assuming he did what they say he did, you should have some idea as a citizen what you would hope our republic would do with him. Right?

        •  Agree (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ginny in CO, kyril

          on the fetal death question. If aggravated everything except murder isn't enough then don't go there.

          •  Like you, Duane Kilian, I am no death penalty fan. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ginny in CO, kyril, BlueDragon

            And certainly not in this case.

            Thank you for your diary, and welcome to Daily Kos!

            Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. (Click on orange text to go to linked content.) Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

            "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT -9.62, -9.13

            by BeninSC on Sat May 18, 2013 at 11:09:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  RE: life in prison. It seems life would be the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              less humane sentence since it is a fallacy that any sort of life is preferable to death.  There are many cases where death would be preferable.  

              That being said, life in prison is no picnic when you consider it may entail 30+ years of incarceration and it may be in a heavy max prison or in solitary (which approaches, if it is not, psychological torture)

      •  I don't much care about "shoulds" (3+ / 0-)

        when it comes to criminal justice for people who are actually guilty of violent crimes. Morally, people 'shouldn't' hurt other people; when they do, the rest of us are left with no particularly good or moral choices.

        So all I care about is choosing the least bad alternative overall, from the mostly-utilitarian ethical system I use as a backup when my deontology fails.

        At his age, with his history...I'd say life in prison is probably the least bad alternative. Letting him go would only be an acceptable choice if there were a way to guarantee that he wouldn't reoffend or cause further harm to the existing victims. Killing him does more harm (financial, moral, etc.) than leaving him alive. So...prison it is.

        "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

        by kyril on Sun May 19, 2013 at 02:22:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  haha...does ANYONE think he should be (0+ / 0-)

        let go (aside from his attorneys)?

    •  by life do you mean 15 or 25 to life or true life? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      historys mysteries

      Also if true life, should it be w/o parole?  Sorry to be so picky but life is frequently not really life

      •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

        I think that's why the talk of hundreds of separate charges in order to assure that it is a true life sentence. Here, of course, we need experts in Ohio law to see how it works there.

        "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." -Salvor Hardin, first Mayor of the Foundation in Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy

        by Duane Kilian on Sun May 19, 2013 at 03:01:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm Trying to Imagine the Target Audience for Such (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, sceptical observer, kyril, DRo

    an appeal.


    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat May 18, 2013 at 08:03:33 PM PDT

  •  I have to say that (18+ / 0-)

    SAYING you "love" a daughter conceived by rape and demonstrating that love in action are two different things.

    This man does not "love" his daughter in any productive and meaningful way. He imprisoned both mother and daughter, depriving the daughter of education, socialization, and essential stimuli she will need to succeed in the real world. She has lost six years of her life she will struggle overcome. That isn't about "love," it's about control. And wanting to remain in the girl's life after what he did to her mother is about control and power — and should be totally banned, if that is what the mother wishes.

    This gets back to that thing many Republicans are pushing where they want to allow rapists to not only stay involved with their children but to have a say over whether the woman can choose abortion — in other words, imprisoning the woman for life, punishing her over and over.

    My guess is that Castro sees claiming  "love" for his daughter as a way to continue to exert power over one of his escaped prisoners. It's not proof of what a good guy he is.

    Jon Husted is a dick.

    by anastasia p on Sat May 18, 2013 at 08:24:53 PM PDT

    •  Well, he may love her, but also be (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ciganka, kyril

      insane. He may not understand why what he did was wrong, and not think that keeping her chained up or locked up was a bad thing (due to his insanity). So for him, the love he feels for her could be as real as any love we feel. And she may love him too, as strange as that sounds. She doesn't know what a good father is like, so she may view him as any would view their father.

    •  OTOH I see in the news that a mother will have (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      historys mysteries

      to pay spousal support to ex husband who molested her daughter for years now that he is up for parole.  The law can be so very twisted at times

  •  What little I read of this didn't include (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cali Scribe, kyril, a2nite

    any glowing reviews from his other child/children.

    IMO his feelings are irrelevant. I wouldn't protest if I read that he was going to be  chained to a post and fed dog food until he dies. Maybe the next person who decided it would be cool to keep sex slaves would think twice about it.

    One caveat. If he is insane he should be locked away, not mistreated.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Sat May 18, 2013 at 08:55:18 PM PDT

  •  Several points (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, Ahianne, Minnesota Deb

    The defense attorneys include one of the best and brightest for DP cases in the nation. I think there is another local one that has a lot of experience and good record.

    Once you have spent time with some of these people, the realities sink in. I have encountered some as patients. I have a friend of almost 3 decades, and one time SO, who has limited his Oakland CA practice to death row inmates for 2 decades. 'The one thing they all have are layers of abuse. Like an onion.' Many have additional issues with mental disorders, learning disabilities, mental competence, and sheer ignorance.

    The problem we have to grasp with these individuals is they were once abused, as children, in many ways. There are clearly limits to rehab and even my friend does not advocate release. If you haven't noticed in the stories about Castro's two brothers, both have been alcoholics. The youngest, who looks years older than both his brothers, has apparently been living with their mom for some time. Has no job and likely has hepatic encephalopathy from the ETOH. The mom has acknowledged the abuse.

    Abused kids very often abuse themselves the most. Intoxicated states frequently add to the abuse but not always. Some use food, others sex, etc.

    The human brain also has a very developed skill called compartmentalization. It produces cognitive dissonance that the person does not recognize or denies completely.

    So despite the incredibly ugly and cruel ways he treated his kidnapped victims and daughters, he apparently did recognize some of this in writing he did ~ 2004. And then filed it away, because he found out Berry was pregnant in '06? Why did he want that baby but not Knight's? He took her to the local park, telling people who he met she was the daughter of a girlfriend. He had abused his older children and their mother.

    The lies an individual who has been abused can create and use to protect themselves from reality all stem from the first lie. About why they were treated so horribly by their own parents. That's about as much sense as it will make.

    Child abuse is a huge blight on our country. Far too much of it stems from poverty, hunger, lack of health care, and lack of any clear path out of a dead end life. Whether they are gang members in Chicago, LA or anywhere; shut up and left in basements, etc.

    One of my family stories involves a cousin who left a pregnant wife to go into the Navy in WWII. He came home with a pregnant prostitute, kicked his wife and toddler son out. The new wife abused their daughter plenty, her younger brother got left in the basement a lot. Most of us were too far away to understand how bad it was until the girl joined the navy to get away. It worked, she married a navy guy, has kids that are doing fine. I met her mother many times. No indication what was going on.

    I also had a sister-in-law who had grown up with 4 siblings in a very abusive household. She herself was not sexually abused. She's had a lap band and finally conquered the obesity. Despite a lot of good parenting techniques, she and my brother in law embraced Dobson's parenting techniques. The 4 kids are now 22 - 28 and finally getting past some of the control. She has admitted to my daughter the choice was wrong. They didn't come close to the abuse done by religious fanatics with direction and encouragement from their pastors.

    Finally, one of the things most people are not aware of on the death penalty is the effect it has on the prison guards and especially the 'tie down' teams who secure the prisoner and administer the drug or shock. We create more people with significant psychological issues by continuing it.

    The cycles of violence will continue until we really walk our talk about the value of every child.

    "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

    by Ginny in CO on Sun May 19, 2013 at 01:14:57 AM PDT

    •  Special on BBC (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, Ahianne

      From the Introduction

      Every five hours a child dies from abuse or neglect in the US.

      The latest government figures show an estimated 1,770 children were killed as a result of maltreatment in 2009.

      A recent congressional report concludes the real number could be nearer 2,500.

      In fact, America has the worst child abuse record in the industrialised world.

      "We are breeding an army of future child abusers."

      It's an epidemic spiraling out of control.

      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

      by Ginny in CO on Sun May 19, 2013 at 01:52:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  question regarding abused children who grow (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ginny in CO, Ahianne, Pale Jenova

      up to be abusers, I think more abused children grow up and go on to very self destructive behavior while others appear to grow up and are able to function within society.

      Therefore, it appears that not all abusers were abused, though a significant number wee, while not all those abused grow up to be abusers.  It appears the difference may lie in genetics or in the specific forms of abuse suffered by the abused.

      That being said, my understanding of the legal system is that it recognizes conditions such as mental retardation or psychological problems or social problems or substance abuse only as mitigating circumstances.  The gold standard for competency is if the accused were aware that the nature of his actions were illegal at the time they were committed and if he is competent to assist in his own defense.

      After all, we may argue that everyone who is locked up has his own set of problems which led him to where he is

      •  There are many paths to abuse. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ahianne, a2nite, Bernie68

        The most well established and statistically largest by far are those who were abused as children. The Castro brothers are probably a good example of 1 child going to abuse while 2 others went to self destructive behavior. Ariel's daughter's attempted murder of her infant daughter and herself were primarily mental health source - which she might have had more problems with due to abuse in the home when growing up. Add post partum depression and what is troubling to me is that she was not screened and monitored better by her OB and the doc following the baby.

        I personally am waiting to see what is happening in researching children who had very traumatic experiences as NICU babies and even those not born prematurely but sick enough during infancy or early childhood that they spent a lot of time in the hospital, whether a Peds ICU or reg unit. It's only been in the last decade that NICU docs decided these kids DID have sensation and stopped doing, open heart surgery, etc. without anesthesia. There are NICU nurses with PTSD from assisting or witnessing the procedures.

        Research decades ago established the difference in violence between countries that circumscribe shortly after birth and those who don't.

        Other circumstances such as psych diagnoses, ADD, significant learning disabilities and similar problems beyond the baseline 'layers of abuse' can take the suspect off consideration for the DP. One of Bob's long term, high profile clients has some new testing and diagnoses that will probably change him from execution to life without.

        Other factors that are 'abuse' not from parents, but do affect a child are stress in utero and during early childhood. The first promotes development of the hindbrain and less emphasis on the frontal cortexes. The nanosecond fight-flight- freeze reactions source in the brain and the executive function areas, which are not completed until 25. The early childhood brain development through age 2 can be shut down at a critical point - and cannot be recovered later. Think war zones as much as ghettos.

        Aside from the damage done to the prison crews that carryout the 'approved' killings, some of these individuals  grow up, gain insight, offer something to our knowledge, etc. One of the CA inmates got into an arts class as part of therapy. Decades later his work had become well known, appreciated and used for fundraising to help DP causes, victims, etc.

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Sun May 19, 2013 at 04:46:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It is not about truth (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    misslegalbeagle, gfv6800

    There is no need to take the remarks of the attorneys seriously, as if they were assertions about what is true.  Think of their remarks more as a move in a game. What they are really saying is, “If you want to convict our client, the women will have to get on the stand and testify, and we will see to it that our cross examination makes them miserable.”  This sets things up for a plea deal that avoids the death penalty.

  •  it appears his attorneys will attempt the up hill (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    battle of humanizing this guy.  Some speculate that they may go so far as to try to claim the "arrangement" with the victims was consensual after a while and actually was no worse than many common law marriages which include spousal violence.  He may also apply for custody of his daughter (As a ploy to discourage the victims from testifying)

    However, even his adult daughter, who is in prison for slashing her own daughter's throat, has blasted her father as a monster and his son has alleged his father also tortured his family.

    Should his attorneys attempt to claim Castro was involved in some sort of nontraditional family arrangement, I will be amazed but then OJ is also applying for a new trial, alleging his original attorneys were incompetent, so I guess you can find an attorney who will make any sort of claim on your behalf.

    My guess is this guy will brag while in prison to the stool pigeons and when his claims are made public, his legal team will scramble for some sort of deal such as 25 to life with some possibility of parole.  Question is if DA will go for it  

  •  Use of the death penalty in fetal homicide cases (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Duane Kilian

    is of dubious constitutionality.  SCOTUS has really chipped away at the use of the death penalty (there must be aggravating factors involved, those factors must be found by a jury, DP can only be used in murder cases and even then only rarely when operating under a felony murder theory).  I'm not sure the DP is even applicable here.

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