(Cleveland Jewish News/Exclusive to JNS.org) The Jewish lawyers who defended Ariel Castro, the 53-year-old former school bus driver who kept Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight captive in his house for about a decade, are pleased with the deal they arranged for Castro, they said in an exclusive interview with the Cleveland Jewish News.
On Aug. 1, Castro was sentenced to life in prison without parole, plus 1,000 years, after pleading guilty to 937 counts including aggravated murder, kidnapping and rape. Lead Castro lawyer Craig Weintraub and co-counsel Jaye Schlachet say that Castro was entitled to counsel. "I think it's important to represent unpopular causes because, first of all, it's what we took an oath to do," Schlachet said.
"We saved him from potentially lethal injection and 20 years on death row, which would have cost the taxpayers and the community millions and millions of dollars, and we spared the women the anguish and 'revictimization' of events,” Weintraub said.
The lawyers added that they are stunned that Castro's family never pushed to find out what was wrong with their relative. "It's so troubling that nobody picked up any signals. It's probably a reflection of our current societal approach to each other,” Weintraub said.
Read the full Cleveland Jewish News interview here.