Canadian Justice could learn much from the Ariel Castro case.
Castro caught a life sentence with no chance of parole plus an additional 1,000 years after he plead guilty to 937 criminal charges that included murder, kidnapping and a multitude of sexual offences in connection with more than a decade long nightmare of forcible confinement, rape and abuse suffered by the three young woman he victimized.
In handing down the sentence, Judge Michael Russo said, “You don’t deserve to be out in our community, you’re too dangerous.”
The riveting sentencing hearing was televised on CNN and highlighted graphic testimony from a number of witnesses and included impact statements from the three victims of Castro’s heinous crimes.
The most compelling part of the hearing for me centered on Castro’s statement to the Court and his disingenuous “apology” to the victims of his crimes.
Castro’s verbal diatribe is important because it offers a window into the mind of a serious sexual predator. A predator with absolutely no insight into his crimes, his own words illustrating the need to keep dangerous offenders like him locked up in prison for the rest of their lives.
Among the incredulous claims he made, Castro indicated the following;
- he has an addiction to pornography, watched pornography incessantly and masturbated for up to three hours a day
- none of his captives were virgins when he abducted them
- the sex he had with the victims was consensual
- there was “harmony” in the home and that it was a “happy household”
- he wasn’t a violent man
- he wasn’t the “monster” he was being portrayed as
When it comes to serious sexual predators like Ariel Castro, American Justice gets it while Canadian Justice is simply out to lunch.
American Justice places much emphasis on the protection of their citizenry as evidenced by their ability to deliver 1,000 year sentences to offenders who are indisputably beyond any hope of rehabilitation.
With no death penalty and no ability to sentence offenders to life without parole, killers like Paul Bernardo, Allan Legere, Clifford Olson, Robert Pickton, Russell Williams and a host of others continue to be the undeserving benefactors of Parole Hearings and soft justice that may eventually see them gain their freedom.
That reality is not only an insult to the victims and surviving members of their heinous crimes, it also sacrifices the safety of an unsuspecting Canadian public.
Although I’m encouraged by MP James Bezan’s efforts to table Bill C-478, The Respecting Families of Murdered and Brutalized Persons Act, an Act that would provide for increased Parole ineligibility periods of between 25 – 40 years for Canadian offenders, the Castro case shows us just how far Canadian Justice lags behind our neighbours to the South.
It would be nice if Parliament could figure this one out.