Monday, January 16, 2006

Rapist Hulett gets 60 days

The story of Vermont Judge Edward Cashman and convicted rapist Mark Hulett landed on Sean Hannity's radar last week when the TV and radio talk show political pundit weighed in on the judge's 60-day sentence of the rapist. According to News Hounds, "Actually, Judge Cashman gave the rapist three years to life, but suspended all but 60 days because the state said he would not receive treatment in prison. If he rejects treatment or neglects other parts of his sentencing, he faces life in prison. But that fact is never mentioned by Hannity who seems more interested in dictating what Vermont should do than he is in having any real discussion about the issues of criminal sentencing, rape or child abuse."

At the same time, the White House is more interest in "the trafficking of humans" than the light sentence placed on the Vermont rapist.

In a recent Washington Times op/ed (A 60-day travesty), "(Cashman) is a mockery of our judicial system. In sentencing a confessed child rapist to just 60 days in jail recently, because punishment 'accomplishes nothing of value,' he has abdicated his judicial responsibility. State prosecutors formally asked him yesterday to reconsider his decision, but so far the judge has refused. Should he continue to do so, Vermont legislators should follow all means necessary in removing him from the bench. Unfortunately, neither Judge Cashman's resignation nor his impeachment will help the little girl whom Mark Hulett raped over a four-year period. Nor will it help her family, who one day will have to explain to her what happened."

Cashman acknowledged that the "short sentence was the only way he could work around prison policies that prevent getting Hulett into sex offender therapy quickly to protect the public. But the judge also announced he no longer believes in punishment." In response, the state said it will provide treatment to the rapist in "a move to convince (Cashman) to reconsider a controversial sentence freeing Hulett after 60 days. The state will also reconsider the underlying policy that prompted the sentence." Originally Hulett "was considered a low-risk for re-offense, which meant he didn't qualify for in-prison treatment."

Sixty days in jail? If I was the little girl's father, by day 61 Hulett would be wishing he was back in prison.

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