Ariel Castro, the Cleveland, Ohio, man who kidnapped three young women for a decade, repeatedly raping and brutalizing them — who performed crude and cruel abortions by grotesque battery, and, in effect, engaged in the lifestyle of a vicious slaver — was found hanged in his jail cell on Tuesday.
His bedsheets served as noose.
The slaver-rapist had been kept in “protective” confinement, away from the general prison population, but had not been under suicide watch. There will be an investigation, of course, to rule out murder, but Castro’s lawyer went on record as saying that the convict should have been treated with more caution, as a potential suicide.
And here I part company. Let folks like Castro kill themselves.
I’m not a supporter of the death penalty, in no small part because that’s a dangerous power to give a bureaucratic organization — or even citizens, who too often prove themselves mere pawns in the hands of lying prosecutors and the vengeful passions of the mob.
But I do support a right of self defense, even going so as far as being allowed to kill an assailant in the moments of an attack. (Yes: Stand your ground.) And, further, I support the right to end one’s own life, as shivering a thought as that is.
I understand how a desire for justice might lead one to deny a convicted criminal the right to commit suicide. There’s a case to be made for that. But with murderers, anyway, their suicides would seem to be a great service to the community. They’d save us money. They’d put themselves out of our misery.
And I think we can be big enough to let them take that last slim serving of honor.
Perhaps nooses should be placed above every convicted murderer’s prison toilet.