Fritzl Chooses Luxury Prison – Where’s the Outrage?


Author: Lowell Steiger

Published On: March 22, 2009

Timesonline reports that per Austrian law Josef Fritzl, who was convicted of rape, murder, false imprisonment and other atrocities which he committed during the 24 years that he kept his daughter Elisabeth and the 6 surviving children that he forced her to bear in while confined in a windowless dungeon, will get to pick his poison … I mean prison. (I apologize for the long sentence but, after all, I am a lawyer and we tend to be verbose).Associated Press Video

Can this horrific story get any more bizarre? 73 year old Fritzl, a creature who has no right to call himself a human being, was sentenced to life in prison but will be eligible for parole in 15 years. I am disgusted by the fact that he was allowed to choose to spend his incarceration at Garsten, prison for the “psychologically abnormal” where, according to Timesonline, “he will be able to improve his English or study other foreign languages, as well as singing in the choir or training in a gym that is better-equipped than those of many hotels. As an inmate, he will be offered a wide variety of hobbies and entertainment, including tennis, darts and art classes.”

Where is the outrage? This treatment calls for reform. Garsten is set in the foothills of the Alps and boasts of one of the largest prison libraries in Austria so that Fritzl won’t be deprived of the ability to indulge in his passion for reading. What about Elisabeth’s passion for, well, anything? Even though she’s been freed from her prison, common sense dictates that she will never be freed from the memory of the horror that was her life.

Details of Elisabeth Fritzl’s Abuse at the Hands of Her Father, Josef Fritzl

Fritzl’s fellow inmates include such dignitaries as a former TV presenter, Helmut Frodl, serving life for murdering a rival and dismembering his body with a chainsaw. Frodl is working on a PhD and is allowed out twice a month with an escort to discuss his thesis with a professor.

Although in theory it’s commendable that, per a spokesman for the Austrian prisons, “The Austrian penal system aims not only at enforcing punishment, but also attempts to bring the inmate back within the norms of society,” the inhuman wrongs that this man committed against his daughter and the children that he begat with her, can never be made right. Every day of the rest of his life should be filled with the same fear, terror, frustration and horror that he bestowed upon his family.

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