Alyssa Bustamante's Sentence for Murdering a 9-Year-Old Doesn't Feel Like Justice

prisonThe shocking story of 18-year-old Alyssa Bustamante -- the Missouri teen who brutally murdered 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten back in 2009 -- came to a heartbreaking end today when a judge sentenced her to life in prison with the possibility of parole plus 30 years (to be served consecutively).

If you think a life in prison might seem like a harsh sentence given that Alyssa was so young (15) when she committed the crime, then you obviously aren't familiar with the grisly details of the murder ...

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Alyssa strangled Elizabeth unconscious before stabbing her in the chest repeatedly and slitting her throat. Just as chilling is that afterward Alyssa described the killing as "ahmazing" and "pretty enjoyable" in her journal. And the reason the teen gave to police as to why she brutally murdered someone so innocent as a 9-year-old will make your blood run cold -- "she wanted to know what it felt like" to kill someone.

Now, if you're a parent or family member of the murdered 9-year-old, it's likely you don't think a life sentence is nearly enough; perhaps death would be more appropriate (via sentence or otherwise). But for the rest of us removed from the situation who have no choice but to sit back in judgement, there's something so depressing and hopeless about the sentence.

Clearly, Alyssa is a deeply disturbed and very mentally ill individual. (Doctors testified that the use of the antidepressant Prozac had made her more prone to violence, but it's obvious it goes much deeper than that.) She needs serious psychological care and rehabilitation if she has any chance of getting better. And the probability of her getting what she needs during a life behind bars is pretty much slim to none.

This already tragic story has an equally tragic ending with the sentence. It's meant to be justice for a horrible crime, so why doesn't it feel like it?

What sentence do you think Alyssa should have gotten?

 

Image via katerha/Flickr

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