Friday, January 06, 2006

Outrage Of The Week

Rapist's Prison Sentence Triggers Outrage

Burlington, Vermont -- January 4, 2005

There was outrage Wednesday when a Vermont judge handed out a 60-day jail sentence to a man who raped a little girl many,many times over a four-year span starting when she was seven.

The judge said he no longer believes in punishment and is more concerned about rehabilitation.

Prosecutors argued that confessed child-rapist Mark Hulett, 34, of Williston deserved at least eight years behind bars for repeatedly raping a littler girl countless times starting when she was seven.

But Judge Edward Cashman disagreed explaining that he no longer believes that punishment works.

"The one message I want to get through is that anger doesn't solve anything. It just corrodes your soul," said Judge Edward Cashman speaking to a packed Burlington courtroom. Most of the on-lookers were related to a young girl who was repeatedly raped by Mark Hulett who was in court to be sentenced.

The sex abuse started when the girl was seven and ended when she was ten. Prosecutors were seeking a sentence of eight to twenty years in prison, in part, as punishment.

"Punishment is a valid purpose," Chittenden Deputy Prosecutor Nicole Andreson argued to Judge Edward Cashman.

"The state recognizes that the court may not agree or subscribe to that method of sentencing but the state does. The state thinks that it is a very important factor for the court to consider," Andreson added.

But Judge Cashman explained that he is more concerned that Hulett receive sex offender treatment as rehabilitation. But under Department of Corrections classification, Hulett is considered a low-risk for re-offense so he does not qualify for in-prison treatment.So the judge sentenced him to just 60 days in prison and then Hulett must complete sex treatment when he gets out or face a possible life sentence.

Judge Cashman also also revealed that he once handed down stiff sentences when he first got on the bench 25 years ago, but he no longer believes in punishment.

"I discovered it accomplishes nothing of value;it doesn't make anything better;it costs us a lot of money; we create a lot of expectation, and we feed on anger,"Cashman explained to the people in the court.

The sentence outraged the victim's family who asked not to be identified.

"I don't like it," the victim's mother,in tears, told Channel 3. "He should pay for what he did to my baby and stop it here. She's not even home with me and he can be home for all this time, and do what he did in my house," she added.

Hulett -- who had been out on bail-- was taken away to start his sentence immediately.
A judge that doesn't believe in punishment? What the hell is he doing on the bench? This makes about as much sense as a Minister that doesn't believe in forgiveness.


At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think they should have given him a far shorter sentence like a four foot piece of rope.

Jim in PA

At 12:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, actually, I think it would take a little more then 4 foot of rope to get the job done. But, 10' should be enough to get the job done!
The real question is, who should get the longer sentence, the judge or the perp.

The other Jim in PA

At 2:49 PM, Anonymous bill "the future antichrist" clinton said...

The results of rehab training is a lot like attending AA meetings. You have to admit you have a problem and want to do what it takes to change. If perps know that they're likely to get a severe sentence, they'll be more motivated to participate in their rehab with sincere intentions of changing. If there is no sentence, then rehab is like being sent to driving school for drunk driving; it's nothing more than a minor inconvenience which the perp endures with no intention of ever changing his / her ways.

If nothing else, putting the perp behind bars makes it impossible to molest any other little kids for the duration of his sentence.

At 11:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a 29 year old mom of five children. I have been fighting to protect my daughter whom is now 5 years of age. I have been trying to protect her from her father whom she has said has sexually abused her. Judge Edward Cashman has done the unspeakable... Instead of asking for a Forensic evaluation on her father or even requiring any limitations of his contact with her...He decides I am the problem and takes her custody away from me and gives it to her father!!! The one who has did things to her that are criminal and unforgivable. My daughter has disclosed to a play therapist this sexual abuse in detail. Yet instead of this judge helping to protect her he puts her in the perpetrator's custody!!!!

I understand that some women have made up stories about they're children's father abusing them when it did not really happen. I even think it is labeled as an actual sickness, yet I have never heard of a child making multiple disclosures, being ignored, and then the punishment placed on the child?! I am now not only trying to protect my daughter, I am now trying to re establish my creditability and get my daughter back. I have reached out to politicians and local agencies, yet no one has been able to make a difference. So I am writing you to see if you have anything that I may be able to use to help in my fight to get my daughter back and insure her safety. If nothing else to do what I can to get judge Cashman (who seems to have a thing for looking at sexual abusers as the victim) off the bench to pay for his mess ups!

Please let me know if you know of any way I can get some help.

Sincerely yours,


At 7:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

January 17, 2006
Bill O'Reilly to Vermont: Do My Bidding or Face Economic Armageddon
As Deborah reported on January 14th, Bill O'Reilly has declared war on the state of Vermont because that state's leaders refuse to dance to his tune and impeach or reassign District Court Judge Edward Cashman. In a typical flurry of half-truths, bombast, bluster and deliberate omissions, O'Reilly painted Cashman as the "worst judge in the United States," because he gave a very short 60-day sentence to a convicted child molester, Mark Hulett, age 34. O'Reilly cross-promoted his jihad last week by appearing on FOX and Friends and Heartland. The judge has been discussed (unflatteringly) on Hannity & Colmes and The Big Story.

However, Judge Cashman it turns out doesn't fit the "bleeding heart liberal" profile O'Reilly is so fond of condemning.

Judge Edward Cashman should be the darling of conservatives: a churchgoer, a former prosecutor, a Vietnam vet and a member of the bench known for his hard-line stands: A decade ago he jailed for 41 days the parents of a suspect in a rape case because they refused to cooperate with prosecutors. - Associated Press 1-13-06
Later, the AP went on to report:

The Corrections Department had concluded that Hulett was unlikely to commit another such offense, and Vermont does not provide sex-offender treatment to such inmates until they reach the end of their jail time.
Cashman said he would have imposed more jail time - a three-year minimum - if the state promised treatment while Hulett was jailed.

"The solution to these concerns requires quick and effective treatment," the judge wrote. He also noted that Hulett tested at a borderline intelligence level, has the emotional maturity of a 12- to 14-year-old and did not understand why others were so upset by his actions.

Not once has O'Reilly or any of his guests mentioned that Hulett is also mentally challenged.

Last night [1-16-06] Bill O'Reilly interviewed Vermont State Representative Michael Kainen (R) who clearly didn't understand what he was up against. Mr. Kainen tried to explain the complexities of the case to O'Reilly, telling him that the actual sentence was 60 days to 10 years, that Hulett will be monitored every step of the way, required to enter and continue in treatment, and subject to a sentence of up to 115 years, should he fail to fulfill any part of his sentence. Kainen also noted that the Vermont legislature is considering enacting a mandatory minimum sentencing law. Kainen is clearly a thoughtful man, not prone to knee-jerk reactions (which might be a good description of many Vermonters, who are a fiercely independent lot.) Here's a portion of their interchange:

KAINEN: ... there is a Jessica's Law proposal that is currently in my committee and we're reviewing that right now. Until I review it completely, I don't know that I'm going to make a comment on it. I would say, in terms of what we're talking about on Judge Cashman, he's been on the bench for 24 years. He used to be thought of as a hangin' judge. He may know something that you and I don't in terms of ...

O'REILLY: Well, we should know it.

KAINEN: ... what works and what doesn't.

O'REILLY: I tell you what. I hope you pass the Jessica's Law and I hope you rethink this. I think you're a good man, Mr. Kainen, but there are two things I'm gonna say to you. The state of Vermont's never gonna recover from this- ever! - unless Cashman is removed. People will not go there. They will not buy your products. They will turn their back (sic) and your state will be - have a stigma for-ever. People will remember. This isn't goin' away. And the second thing is, think about that little girl, sir. This was the most vulnerable girl in your state. Mentally challenged parents. Raped by a brutal guy and his friend allegedly. The guy confessed to it. And you say three years [is enough].


As someone who has known five women who were the victims of molesters (all family members, not strangers), I am generally in favor of the Jessica's Law concept. Personally, given the state of modern psychiatry, I do not believe pedophiles can be successfully treated.

In light of this, I will admit to having difficulty reporting on this whole story.

However, after reviewing the facts, I see that Judge Cashman had legitimate reasons for his decision, reasons grounded in his concern for the long-term health of his community and his detailed knowledge of the case. This was not a capricious ruling on his part, especially when one realizes that all of the participants (possibly even the young girl) are mentally challenged. While I may not agree with Cahsman's 60-day sentence, I understand his reasons for it. From everything I've read, he is definitely not averse to the concept of punishment and has a reputation for being very tough. He also put strong protections for the community in his ruling.

Cashman's early years as a judge were marked by complaints that he was insensitive to the concerns of female victims of abuse and that he unfairly favored fathers in custody cases. But those concerns seemed to have vanished by 2001 when Cashman won a new six-year term by a legislative vote of 137-15.
Sen. Vincent Illuzzi, a Republican who is also a prosecutor, said the criticism that Cashman is a lenient judge and should be thrown out of office is "contrary to his judicial philosophy and career."

"Over the years, if there's been criticism of Judge Cashman, it has been he has been overly harsh on offenders when it comes to sentences and conditions of probation," Illuzzi said.

In Cashman's most-publicized case before this one, he threw Arthur and Geneva Yandow in jail after they refused to help prosecutors make a case against their son, a suspect in a rape. The parents said it would violate their Roman Catholic beliefs; Cashman, himself a Catholic, argued otherwise. - AP, 1-13-06

As for Bill O'Reilly, this attack is just another in a long series of prodigiously flawed assaults on public servants, especially judges and district attorneys. While most of his victims are Democrats, he has, as in this case, gone after Republicans on a couple of occasions. This gives him the right to say he's "fair and balanced" when the truth is quite the opposite.

As a man ever in search of new viewers and higher ratings, O'Reilly has learned well the cardinal rule of tabloid journalism, i.e., hot-button issues are sure-fire ratings grabbers that can be counted on to engender a visceral reaction in an established base and also attract a new audience. And, as any good marketer knows, people need a human face on which to focus their attention.

It's hard to arouse anger and bloodlust when discussing a judicial concept or the fine points of law. It''s a lot easier to focus anger if you paint a target on a guy's back and loose the dogs on him, a skill that Bill O'Reilly, much to society's detriment, practices daily on the FOX News Channel.

As for O'Reilly's claim that his two million viewers represent all of America and that Vermont will suffer economically as a result of some kind of Factor boycott, why, I think that should be high on the list as his next "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."


At 3:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

O'Reilly's head is so far up his you know where, that he actually believes he makes a difference.


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