Ariel Castro is accused of crimes so heinous, they are hard to even discuss. He stands accused of kidnapping three girls -- Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight, and Georgina "Gina" DeJesus -- off the street, keeping them chained in his Cleveland house of horrors for nearly a decade, and beating at least one of them to end pregnancies that developed as a result of his near constant rapes. It's a crime so heinous, it's hard to even fathom.
Now, Castro is mulling over the possibility of a plea deal, which may come as soon as this morning. It would include a lesser sentence (life in prison as opposed to death) in exchange for one "guilty" plea and the end of all the back and forth.
Many times, plea deals are ways that criminals get lesser sentences, and many times they feel horrifically unfair. In this case, though, a plea deal could possibly be the best thing for everyone involved.
For the women, it could mean having to spend less time in court, rehashing all the horrible things that happened to them. Though it's not entirely clear how it will all work and whether there truly would be no trial, it could also mean that the insanity and circus that would surround such an event would be dulled.
If he were getting less than life in prison or some kind of reduced sentence, then we might feel differently, but life in prison is, for many inmates, far worse than death. In some sort of poetic justice, he is being sentenced to the kind of life he once forced these women into -- one with small rooms, closed doors, and no chance of freedom and sunlight.
What he is accused of doing is simply beyond anything most of us could even begin to imagine. And what those girls had to endure is despicable. If this gives them some small measure of comfort, then it's a good deal.
I have to imagine that hearing him admit guilt, take responsibility, and be locked away for life would give these women some closure and would do so much faster than a long, drawn-out, aggravated murder trial and death penalty trial.
There is no even exchange here and no one really wins. What he is accused of doing to those girls is depraved beyond belief. But this potential plea deal may make their lives a little easier, and for that, it seems well worth it.
Do you think this plea deal seems fair?
Image via AP/Cuyahoga County Jail