It’s alluring to look at the afternoon in which Ariel Castro was sentenced, who kept three women as prisoners in his house in Cleveland, to life plus a thousand years as a final stamp on the decade of evil he committed.
People who watched the court hearing, though, would better understand it as more of a set of ellipses.
Judge Michael Russo, who supervised the unusual affair with equanimity, while Castro could only die in prison once, a millennium behind bars, was a sentence corresponding with the harm he had done. And therein lays the reason it’s impossible to think of this as closure. Castro’s actions warrant ten lifetimes worth of punishment, but his victims have only one in which to recover.
After Listening to Castro’s plea to the court, one was reminded that evil sometimes has no operational definition for itself.
Castro’s most common catch phrase was “I’m not a monster, I’m a normal person.” His version of events included the confession that he found it hard to hold a job because of the stress of his “home situation.”
He said he was obstinate in his claim that he didn’t plan Knight’s abduction, because he’s not that kind of person. The only problem he faced was that he’d become addicted to pornography.
Michelle Knight, four feet seven, spoke with what sounded like a young girl’s voice. When the police first came into the house and rescued her and the two others, she was so scraggy that they thought she was a child.
She said “I will live, but you’ll die a little each day,” and “After eleven years, I am finally being heard, and it is liberating.”