Ariel Casto, you will recall, was citizen who imprisoned three people – without any evidence of wrong-doing on their part, and for no reason other than his own perverse desires – which lead, inevitably, to their repeated rapes over a period of ten years.
Thirty person-years of confinement to a dungeon, of hopelessness, of rape, of degradation – the mind boggles at the horror.
Castro ended up pleading guilty to 937 felonies including multiple counts of rape, kidnapping, and aggravated murder, and was sentenced to life plus 1,000 years. And, note, this was the result of a deal he negotiated: by pleading guilty and making the process easier for the victims, he got off with a lighter sentence than he might otherwise.
You may or may not have heard of Annie Dookhan. Ms Dookhan is a chemist in Massachusetts and worked doing drug tests. She could have done her job of testing samples for drugs, and then marking the results on sheets of paper. But that sounded too much like work for Ms. Dookhan, so she didn't do it. Instead, she alternated between mixed known drugs into samples and then testing them so as to generate positives, or skipped the tests entirely and just marked the paperwork "drugs present". When tests or investigations done by others would occassionally contradict her work (such as showing that a sample that she had "tested" for cocaine and which had "turned up" cocained was actually not suspected of having cocaine, but only of some other drug), she forged signatures of coworkers and subordinates on lab reports to cover herself.
Despite multiple people observing Dookhan's malfeasance, no corrective action was taken by any other employee at the lab.
However, the troopers’ interviews with other chemists in the lab make clear that Dookhan’s colleagues had concerns about her unusually large caseload and lab habits and raised them with supervisors. But the supervisors took little action even when they learned that she had forged other chemists’ initials on some drug samples.
In fact, the type of malfeasance Dookhan was engaged in was so common that there's a slang term for it: " dry labbing". Backed up on work, but still want to get out in time to beat the Friday rush hour? Just "dry lab" the last few samples.
Before she was caught Dookhan lied about 34,000 samples.
Over 4,000 cases were tainted with her corrupt evidence.
Over 1,100 people were jailed in cases where Dookhan was the primary or secondary chemist finding them "guilty" of drug crimes.
Without knowing the exact durations of their sentences, we can't know how many person-years of confinement Dookhan was responsible for, but taking two years as a conservative guess per person, she was responsible for 2,200 person years of confinement.
Without knowing the exact torture and abuse these 1,100 men and women underwent, we can't know exactly how much rape and degredation Dookhan was responsible for, but given that we do know that most rape victims in the US are men, specifically men in the custody and "protection" of the State, and looking at the multiple studies that show that 9-20% of inmates are raped, we can guess that Dookhan was responsible for over 100 men and women being raped. To hand-wave further, we can guess than because "once a punk, always a punk" in the prisoner's code, she is responsible for thousands of actual rapes.
- crime: 3 prisoners, 30 person years, hundreds of rapes.
- sentence: life plus 1,000 years.
- crime: 1,100+ prisoners, 2,200+ person years, thousands of rapes.
- sentence: three years,
Ariel Castro was a monster.
Annie Dookhan was a government employee who was under too much stress and made some mistakes.
Needless to say, the managers at state-run chemistry lab who allowed Dookhan to commit her illegitimate acts of imprisonment and rape -by-proxy despite being alerted multiple times to the problems were not charged at all.
It kind of sucks, but if we didn't give government employees either explicit or implicit immunity from prosecution for their misdeeds, we'd be incapable of carrying out the core functions of government.