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Archive for January 26th, 2006

Think what you want about Fox News analyst Bill O’Reilly, but I think he deserves some credit in this.
A judge who was widely vilified for giving a child molester a 60-day jail term imposed a new sentence Thursday, increasing the man’s prison time to three to 10 years.

Judge Edward Cashman said he felt he could now impose the longer sentence because the state had agreed to provide treatment to the man while he is behind bars. The state had initially said such treatment would not come until after the man served his time.

I’m sure that public pressure is not at all directly related to Judge Cashman changing his mind, but it may have factored in to the state’s offering treatment while the molester was in prison. Personally, I think three years is still a slap on the wrist for what this man did, but 60 days was beyond absurd.

I believe that light has been shed on a corner of the system that does not serve the citizenry. I hope Vermont passes Jessica’s Law, and soon. I hope New York does as well.

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Sympathy?

I am as hopeful as any for a peaceful solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. What has figured prominently is the idea that a silent majority of Palestinians abhor terrorism and simply want peace, making them sympathetic figures. But now, these people have given Hamas a victory in the election. Am I to believe that the Palestinians who want peace through diplomatic channels are in the minority? What message does that send to the rest of the world?

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Judgment Day in Vermont

At a time in our country when more and more states are passing Jessica’s Law, my eyes are on Vermont today:
When Judge Edward Cashman sentenced a man to a 60-day prison sentence for sexually abusing a child, he said he wanted to make sure he got treatment that was unavailable to the criminal from inside a jail cell.

Ever since, he’s been vilified by television commentators, bloggers and others who say he was too soft.

Thursday, the case is scheduled to return to court, where the state hopes to convince Cashman to reconsider the sentence.

The state prosecutor, Robert Simpson, said in court papers that the 60-day jail time was insufficient to constitute punishment.

"This court’s sentence must consider and include punishment for the defendant’s action in repeatedly sexually assaulting this child," said Simpson.

The firestorm began when Cashman sentenced Mark Huelett, 34, who pleaded guilty to charges that he had sexual contact with a girl during a four-year period beginning when she was 6.

During the sentencing, Cashman said the best way to ensure public safety was to get Hulett out of prison so he could receive sex offender treatment. Because the Corrections Department concluded that Hulett wasn’t likely to reoffend, he wouldn’t be eligible to receive sex-offender treatment until he reached the end of his jail term.

The state has since offered to give the rapist treatment so that Cashman can stiffen the sentence without the treatment objection in play. People who side with Cashman’s original sentence cite that he has the details and we don’t. If you know of a detail that could possibly make my children safer than locking the guy up for 25 years and giving him treatment while incarcerated, do tell.

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