Ariel Castro, the man accused of kidnapping, imprisoning and raping Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, could face charges of murder and be sentenced to death in accordance with Ohio law, where capital punishment is still legal.
“I fully intend to seek charges for each and every act of sexual violence, rape, each day of kidnapping, every felonious assault, all his attempted murders.” Timothy J. McGinty, a county prosecutor, said. "The law of Ohio calls for the death penalty for those most depraved criminals who commit aggravated murder during the course of a kidnapping."
According to the prosecution’s report, Castro impregnated Knight five times and aborted each fetus by starving her and punching her in the stomach. He also forced Knight to deliver Berry’s baby in a plastic kiddie pool under threat of murder.
Because Ohio law gives personhood to fetuses, Castro could potentially be charged with five counts of murder, in addition to his other monstrous crimes.
The complication arises from the legality of abortion in Ohio – the classification of murder depends on the mother’s consent.
Lawmakers have yet to politicize the latest news to shock the nation. Republicans have been surprisingly quiet while raw material for pro-life campaigning passes them by – countless Americans would surely be satisfied if Castro were brought to justice because of the personhood technicality.
“The horrific brutality and torture the victims endured for more than decade is beyond comprehension,” he said, but certainly not beyond punishment.