Castro was spared the death penalty in exchange for pleading guilty to keeping 3 young women captive in his nightmarish house for a decade. We’ll never know why prosecutors offered Castro the plea deal, but it’s possible his victims Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight didn’t want to endure the pain of a trial.
Knight also said she didn’t want him to die when she spoke at his sentencing. His suicide has deprived her of that wish.
“The death penalty would be the easy way out. You don’t deserve that,” Knight said in court last month, according to a CBS News transcript. “We want you to spend the rest of your life in prison.”
Now that Castro is dead, his victims may feel like he’s not paying for his crimes, psychologist Linda Papadopoulos told NBC.
“They very literally had a sentence dealt out to them … They were literally, metaphorically, in every way imprisoned and held captive,” Papadopoulos told NBC. “The idea that he did this on his terms again is going to make them, at least to some extent, to feel cheated.”
Castro’s suicide also doesn’t make the Ohio prison system look great.
He was taken off suicide watch in June after authorities decided he wasn’t a suicide risk, the Associated Press reported. His defence lawyer Craig Weintraub told the Cleveland Plain Dealer prison officials refused to have his client evaluated for suicidal tendencies two weeks ago.
Instead of being on suicide watch, Castro was in “protective custody” that required officials to check on him every half-hour. He was found hanging in his cell around 9:20 p.m. We don’t know the material he used to hang himself, but it’s disturbing to think that officials didn’t detect his preparations to commit suicide.
Ohio’s department of corrections is investigating Castro’s death, which came just weeks after an Ohio death row inmate made a noose and hanged himself in his cell.
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