Thursday, January 05, 2006

A judge who needs to be taken off the bench >link<

I don't vouch for the accuracy of the news report linked to above. But if it is true, this judge needs to be sanctioned and/or removed from the bench.

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.

I have heard of jury nullification, but never JUDGE nullification. I am making a lot of assumptions here, but I think this judge is probably violating his oath of office and probably the applicable professional standards.

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.

I took a quick look at information on the web concerning the selection of judges in Vermont: they are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state senate. Subsequently, there are retention votes in the state legislature. The public does not get to vote for judges.

Vermont judges may be removed in one of two ways: (1) Judges may be impeached by a two-thirds vote of the house of representatives and convicted by a two-thirds vote of the senate; or (2) The judicial conduct board investigates complaints of judicial misconduct or disability and recommends any necessary action to the supreme court. Possible disciplinary actions include public reprimand of the judge, suspension for a part or the remainder of the judge's term of office, or retirement of the judge if physically or mentally disabled.

I think that Judge Cashman should be removed from the bench as soon as possible. This man has become a hazard to his community and is quite possibly mentally ill.

******** UPDATE *********

The Volokh Conspiracy had a spirited discussion on this story. The initial news report did not completely describe what the judge did. Apparently, the defendant was categorized as having being a "low risk offender." As such, he was not eligible for therapy or counseling until after he finished his prison sentence...and the judge felt it was important to get the defendant into therapy as quickly as possible.

Here is the link for the Volokh Conspiracy debate:


Blogger gt said...

You mentioned you are reading the Power Broker. I also recommend Caro's other books if you haven't read them - 3 of 4 parts of his LBJ bio are out, most recently master of the Senate.

6:42 PM  

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