Stupid Is as Stupid Does — More Judicial Lunacy
New Mexico’s Judge Daniel Sanchez will be glad to know there is a judge in who may actually be a bigger dunce than he is. At the opposite corner of the country, in bucolic Vermont, sits a Family Court judge who feels sorry for child rapists.
34-year-old Mark Hulett was sentenced to a paltry 60 days in jail after admitting he raped a young girl for four years beginning when she was 6 years old. He could have received a sentence as severe as life in prison. Prosecutors asked for at least eight years. Instead, Hulett’s victim gets sentenced to unknown years of fear that he will hurt her again.
As if it wasn’t bad enough that she was repeatedly raped, Judge Edward Cashman decided to victimize her further. He didn’t want to incarcerate the confessed rapist if the prison wouldn’t provide him with sex offender therapy, so his solution was to give him mere days in prison and then make him get therapy as a free man. The fact that Hulett might be subject to life in prison if he doesn’t get treatment does nothing to protect his victim or potential future victims. Contemporary study shows an astronomical recidivism rate among sex offenders, and even with offenders who get treatment, there is no way to tell which ones will re-offend and which won’t.
Some sex offenders will inevitably commit subsequent sex offenses, in spite of our best efforts to identify risk factors and institute management and treatment processes aimed at minimizing these conditions. Likewise, not all sex offenders who have reoffense risk characteristics will recidivate.
Studies may not agree on which types of sex offenders are most likely to offend again and with what frequency, but they all show a risk to reoffend that makes long-term incarceration not only appropriate but the only responsible sentence for a reasonable judge to impose.
Besides, Cashman ignores the three-fold purpose of incarceration: not only rehabilitation, but also deterrence and punishment. Thanks to Cashman’s boneheaded decision, every sexual predator in Vermont knows that he can rape or molest at will with virtually no consequences. And Hulett gets by with a mere slap on the wrist rather than paying the debt that he can only begin to settle by forfeiting his freedom for a good long time.
This story has been all over the newsI heard it this morning on sports radio, of all placesso I would imagine Judge Cashman has gotten an earful about this. If you’d like to add to it, feel free.
- Judge Edward J. Cashman, Presiding Judge
Grand Isle Family Court
P.O. Box 7
North Hero, VT 05474
Give him a call, and pile on. You know you want to. And you know the judge deserves it.