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March 19, 2009
Posted: 1449 GMT

Hello everyone,

It's still hard for me to wrap my mind around the Josef Fritzl case. A father, who enslaved and raped his own daughter, fathered her seven children, one of which he admits murdering, gets life in a psychiatric facility.

Really, any punishment would seem like a slap on the wrist in the face of a crime so unthinkable.

The 73-year old's lawyer told the court Fritzl had raped his own daughter 3,000 times. The sickening image linked to that number.

And there's the statement from Fritzl's lawyer that he had felt guilty about his actions over the years or that he decided to plead guilty to some of the charges after watching the video testimony of his daughter, now 42, describe her near quarter century ordeal. A little to late to feel sorry. And hard to believe he had qualms about torturing his daughter. Remember that vacation video of a half naked Fritzl frolicking on a Thai beach?

It's a case that fascinates because it forces us to look at our own humanity.

If a human can do this, can live years hiding a crime in a fetid, windowless basement, planning every inch of the living space to accommodate his perverted desires, if, as Longfellow says "every human heart is human," how can our faith in people not be shaken?

Now attention turns to the sentence. Life in a mental hospital. We want to know what you think. Does the punishment fit the crime? Take part in today's poll.

Turning away from the case in Austria, we look at the latest economic indicators. Some investors are hoping, for the first time in a long time, that maybe – just maybe – the markets are starting to bottom out. After several triple-digit rallies for the Dow Jones, the markets are not tanking today. We'll look at the latest economic indicators with Susan Lisovicz at the New York Stock Exchange.

Also on tap today: we'll take you live to London for reaction to Natasha Richardson's shocking death following a ski accident. Phil Black will tell us how her home country is reacting to the unexpected death of one of the members of a British acting dynasty.

Plus the rest of the day's top news, of course.

See you on air,

Hala

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Filed under: Today At The I-Desk


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tarek(BB)   March 19th, 2009 4:59 pm ET

Hello dear Hala.

I would like to say in my comment for your remarks for today, that life full of sad stories, if you go back to the past years you will find so many stories more sad then the one going right now. I am full of pain and sadness for this strange world so i decided to be far away of this funny world, never never never again involve my self in any thing minding only my owns, never interfere with any one never let any one to interfere with my own life. But still like to make my comments and share them with you and with others when they like to do so. Also to give my opinion to you and to others when they ask for comments.

Please do not be surprise again when you hear in the coming days or years that some one killed his mother or father or raped his sister or school shooting somewhere in this ugly wold or some other like madoff to come and take away other hard worker people money or smiler to the above or even more miserable thing then the one we have right now.

THE PANDORA box was accidentally opened and no one dare to come near it to close it again. i hope you understand my comments.

bye take care and my best regards to you and to CNN all of them.

Virgil Chitu,Romania   March 19th, 2009 5:06 pm ET

He should be hung

Julie   March 19th, 2009 5:55 pm ET

What a good post. Indeed it is very hard to think of a suitable punishment to this monster. In fact, in my opinion no punishment would be big enough in order to make him pay for his evil and horrible crimes. He is a lost cause and can not be rehabilitated. One can only hope that the people whose lives he destroyed can find a way to live from now on. Anyway, he should be locked up in solitary confinement and not be allowed to see the light of the day for the rest of his life. Lock him up and throw away the key.

Reinhardt   March 20th, 2009 10:13 am ET

Dear Hala,
The Austrian as well as the German justice systems are far too lenient when it comes to these crimes, and that is why these two countries have these repetitive cirmes happeneing over and over. Perverted people know that the laws are too lax and take advantage. There is nothing humane about Fritzl and he should therefore not even be considered for rehabilitation – even execution would be too humane – he should spend the rest of his days in solitary confinement in absolute darkness being subjected daily to mental toture equivilent to the abuse he subjected his daughter to. The Austrian judiciary should be ashamed for passing such a sentence.

Daniel E   March 21st, 2009 9:06 pm ET

A classic case why Death Penalty should not have been done away with ! Evil should be flushed from the society.

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