Steinar Andersen sends this email:
Luther Casteel – Prison Review Board 6-24-2022
On Good Friday of 2001, my wife was shot by Luther Casteel (after he first killed the bartender & another patron).
Her left arm was lifted in front of her face as he shot her & the hallow point bullet wrapped around her bone (destroying muscle & nerves)…& by a blessing – the bullet was not a couple of millimeters off – bypassing the left arm bone & hitting her in the head.
God was watching over her that night.
I pulled up in my minivan after the shooting (3 patrons came to my house & woke me up – telling me of the shooting),
I then handed my son to my wife’s friend, and found my wife bleeding out (as she was taken away to the hospital).
We didn’t know for over 2 hours if she was dying, dead, or alive.
Having spent almost 7 years in the Marine Corps, I’d call the crime scene… a war zone.
She had neuro-surgery on our 10th wedding anniversary (09/11/2001), making an already traumatic experience worse.
It took another 10 years before we started celebrating our anniversary again.
She then had to testify against the “perp”, the man tried to intimidate her by yanking on his chains & I was removed from the proceedings.
He was found guilty (of which there was no doubt, as he was caught red handed with smoke still coming out of the barrels of the weapons as he was tackled).
He was then put onto Death Row after being found guilty. His 2 brothers then directly threatened JB’s staff & the victims & their families.
Then, she had to testify in Springfield, IL regarding then Governor Ryan’s clown show (claiming he was reviewing Capital Punishment).
We then saw right before his last day of his time as Governor, his grandstanding effort at being seen as a savior regarding the commutation of every Death Row inmate.
Victims & their families watched the media highlight the murderers & the Innocence Project (and we were called many things including vengeful & worse)…. whereas we were only seeing Justice AND protection from further harm.
Luther was then put into the general population.
We were ASSURED that he could not get to us & that “Life without Parole” would be his final sentence/status.
I wrote Lawrence Marshall of the “Innocence Project” @ Northwestern University, and we met for lunch (where he assured me that Luther would never be released & expressed regret that the he contributed to the victims & their family’s pain).
I tried talking Corporal Punishment solutions & met him halfway regarding putting all killers into a supermax.
However, he would not commit to that in any public setting.
We went on to live our lives (despite Luther being on Prison PenPal websites & a few years ago – being interviewed by GQ magazine).
He had a new bully pulpit, the victims & their families had nothing.
And this entire time, expressed no regret or contrition. Ever.
In January of this year, a new state law came into effect (unknown to me), providing a path to appeal for a medical release from prison directly to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board.
The law, known as the Joe Coleman Act, applies to prisoners with a terminal illness or “medical incapacitation”.
Please note- the victims & their families were assured he would never see the outside of a prison alive, and yet the same politicians voted in this law with no warning to victims and their families that it could be used by these murderers to circumvent life without parole.
He has no remorse.
He has not attempted to be a better human being.
And my attempts at finding a middle ground regarding capital punishment are now for naught.
Thanks to Chicago House Democrat, Will Guzzardi…. the Coleman Act became law with large Democratic Party majority votes in the House and Senate.
Six Republicans voted in favor as well. Guzzardi’s law skips the governor, speeds up the process and removes the need for lawyers.
Are you kidding me?
And Governor Pritzker actually signed this?
So, do all killers/murderers in Illinois now have this same opportunity for release (despite a sentence meant to keep that killer/murderer behind bars without parole)?
How the hell did Guzzardi get away with such a loophole?
WHAT ABOUT THE VICTIMS AND THEIR FAMILIES?
The thing Luther said in GQ got my attention, he was talking about stockpiling weapons and preparing for something “much bigger”.
We were blindsided by Northwestern University (& prof. Lawrence Marshall)… where Gov. Ryan commuted his sentence from the Death Penalty to Life without Parole.
We had no say during their televised Press Conference (while Casteel would be put into the general population).
Despite his brothers attempts/threats against JB’s and the victims. We were ASSURED he would never see the outside of a prison, and yet the same politicians (Democrats) voted in this law – with no warning to victims & their families that it could be used by murderers to circumvent Life without Parole). So, my attempts at finding a middle ground regarding Capital Punishment are for naught… as the politicians broke their promise. This man has no remorse. None. He has NOT attempted to be a better human being. His various interviews with the media bear this out.
Until the politicians eliminate this new law’s loophole… I will never believe an Illinois Politician again.
I told Lawrence Marshall when I met him to discuss the Death Penalty… that victims families were tired of being lied to.
He said that there’d never be a chance Luther Casteel would be released from prison.
A pox on all who contributed to this debacle…. this is the final insult.
And if you release Luther Casteel, my family & I have to look over our shoulders for the rest of our lives.
I hope the politicians all can sleep well knowing this, but they obviously don’t care.
If you (The Prison Review Board) opt to release Luther Casteel…. you can be sure – that victims & their families will become VERY political and seek any means to throw all of the bums out (legally) both in the legislature AND the Prison Review Board.
And I will need to go out and legally purchase a weapon in order to protect my family should Luther &/or his brothers show up at my door.
I used to be a Democrat.
I am now an Independent Libertarian.
If you release Luther Casteel, I will endeavor to make this issue a campaign issue for the 2022 election.
And the media who contributed to this?
A pox on them also.
PS: Much like Einstein – my Norwegian grandmother was a pacifist also, until the Nazi’s invaded.
I learned a LOT from her.
I come from Norway.
My family dealt with an occupied country in WW2.
I speak up now, as my grandmother taught me that silence (in the face of tyranny) serves no purpose, but those who seek to destroy.
I served in the US Marine Corps in order to give back to the country that helped free mine.
What is happening now tears apart my soul.
And my voice (and other reasonable voices) is being lost in the wilderness of noise.