(Cleveland) — The lawyers who defended Ariel Castro, who held three women captive for a decade, say Castro's guilty pleas spared the women from the anguish of reliving what they went through.

They also told the Cleveland Jewish News that the plea deal that took the death penalty off the table saved taxpayers millions of dollars that would have been spent on appeals.

Defense attorney Craig Weintraub says that Castro has significant mental health issues. He says he hopes researchers will study Castro to figure out if there are clues that could be used to stop other predators.

Castro was sentenced in early August to life in prison plus 1,000 years after admitting to kidnapping and repeatedly raping the women until they escaped his home in May.

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(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press, all rights reserved.  Booking photo of Ariel Castro courtesy Cleveland Police.) 

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