This is a pretty interesting Slate article that argues that, although nobody liked Ariel Castro, we should not be rejoicing that he managed to kill himself in custody. That his death indicates some serious problems with the system that was supposed to keep him alive.
Unfortunately, much as I hate to admit it, I’m inclined to agree with them. I’m not thinking about Castro so much as other people I’ve heard about, people locked up for far lesser crimes, who were also permitted to kill themselves behind bars. The article points out that suicide is responsible for about one-third of all inmate deaths — and that’s not something anyone should be proud of.
Internet commenters can gloat that Castro’s no longer a guest of the taxpayers, but he’s also not serving his sentence. And if you want to talk about where your taxpayer money is going, you might also want to ask how it’s managing to pay for a system of “protective custody” that makes it that easy for a man to die in it.
Quite so. As for Castro himself, as the article points out:
And on NBC Wednesday, psychologist Dr. Linda Papadopoulos said that Castro “decided his fate, something [his victims] were never ever able to do for themselves. He had ultimate control. To some extent this was in a way his last slap to their faces — ‘I’ve got this over you.'” […] Today, it appears instead that Ariel Castro got to choose a means of escape – an escape that came mere weeks after his confinement — in sharp contrast to the years of isolation his victims knew. That death suggests that a man whose entire modus operandi was about power and control got to exercise his power and control right up to his final breath. And there’s no way you can convince me that’s any kind of justice, for anybody.