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UPDATE: State Needs to Investigate Castro Suicide, ACLU Says
CLEVELAND -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio says that Ohio officials have the responsibility to fully investigate the circumstances surrounding Ariel Castro's death.
Castro was convicted in August of kidnapping, torturing and imprisoning three women for about 10 years.
ACLU of Ohio Executive Director Christine Link says that questions remain whether Castro was properly screened for suicide risk and mental illness.
"Prison officials must address these issues, not only to fully account for how Mr. Castro was able to commit suicide, but also to prevent this from occurring again," Link said.
Link said Castro's suicide marks the seventh in Ohio prisons this year. Less than a month ago, death row inmate Billy Slagle was found hanged in his cell days before his scheduled execution.
Unfortunately, mental illness is all too common in our prisons, as our justice system increasingly is used to criminalize those with mental illness rather than provide them with treatment. Those who do not enter prison with severe mental illness are likely to develop issues given the severe prison atmosphere, said Link. With a prison system that is expanding, rather than contracting, mental health services are strained more than ever. Prisons must be safe in order for them to run effectively. While it is important to investigate Mr. Castro's death and the events surrounding his suicide, prison officials must also take this opportunity to assess the entire system to ensure those most in need are provided treatment.
UPDATE: Ariel Castro Hanged Himself With Sheet
COLUMBUS -- New details are emerging about the jail death of Ariel Castro. Prison officials confirm the Cleveland man convicted of holding three women captive at his home for about a decade hanged himself with a sheet.
The 53-year-old was found hanging in his cell around 9:20 p.m. Tuesday at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, in central Ohio. Prison medical staff performed CPR before Castro was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The Franklin County coroner says an autopsy done early Wednesday showed it was a suicide, and the cause of death was hanging. She said toxicology tests still would be completed in the coming weeks.
A prisons spokeswoman says Castro was in protective custody because of the notoriety of his case, meaning he was checked every 30 minutes. But he was not on suicide watch.
Ariel Castro Found Dead in His Jail Cell
COLUMBUS (AP) -- Ohio corrections officials say Ariel Castro, who held three women captive in his home for nearly a decade, has committed suicide at a state prison facility.
Spokeswoman JoEllen Smith says 53-year-old Castro was found hanging in his cell about 9:20 p.m. Tuesday at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient. Prison medical staff performed CPR before Castro was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The three women disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old. They escaped May 6, when one of the women broke part of a door and yelled to neighbors for help. Castro was arrested that evening.
Castro was sentenced Sept. 1 to life in prison plus 1,000 years on his guilty plea to 937 counts including kidnapping and rape.
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