January 13, 2006
VT Judge Cashman Controversy Continues
From CNN.com: Vermont Judge Edward Cashman continues to stand behind the controversial 60 day sentence he handed down to a child molester, in hopes of expediting the convict's enrollment in sex offender treatment. And it looks like that decision may cost the judge his robe. [Mark Godsey]
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What is the right thing to do with someone who sexually abuses a child? On its face this seems like an easy question to answer: Lock them up. Kill them. Cut off their dicks and stuff them down their... [Read More]
Tracked on Jan 15, 2006 3:03:48 PM
what is wrong with you people, the guy
should be in prison for life and with him the judge!that litle girl will never recover 4 years of rape!it makes me sick to my stomach!
Posted by: SABINE | Jan 17, 2006 3:06:52 PM
Terrible, stupid horrendous decision by judge
He is out of his mind and should be removed.
Posted by: lowell dickmeyer | Jan 18, 2006 4:40:13 PM
I have been reading a bit more on this case and I hope that my comments help to further illuminate. I am deeply upset about this matter and I continue to demand that Judge Cashman be removed from the bench for issuing a sentence that might encourage the further willful destruction of our children’s lives.
Liberals and Conservatives alike deplore Cashman's recent sentence and the underlying litigious environment that allowed such a sentence.
I hope that the attention of this case will deeply stir Vermont legislative powers to join together to correct their flawed legal system, which has proved completely ineffective in this matter.
Mandatory sentencing for crimes as heinous as this, have proven to reduce crime. However, it is unclear to me if this is because many crimes go unreported under these circumstances. I have heard compelling argument that suggests juries are less likely to convict when the defendant is faced with a mandatory sentence. If this is true, then mandatory sentencing could potentially put victims in an extremely vulnerable position and ironically, may not be in the victim’s interest. When acquitted, rapists don’t get any jail time or probation and they are not registered as sex offenders.
I don’t know that I agree or disagree that sex offenders can be treated effectively with rehabilitation. The relatively high levels of recidivism suggest to me, that they cannot. However, it should deeply concern all of us that until a recent development in the Hulett case, rehabilitation concurrent with sentencing was not an option.
Cashman’s decision was based heavily on his belief that prompt rehabilitation was necessary. Being that other judges and even lawmakers may believe similarly, does it not make sense to have a legal system that offers rehabilitation concurrent with a reasonable amount of time behind bars?
Last Friday Cashman was given the opportunity to re-evaluate the terms of his sentence based on an unconventional option of rehabilitation concurrent with the sentence. We’ll see what he does.
The really despicable aspect of this case, is that the sentence is held up by a plea-bargain. This means that even if Cashman were to throw the book at Hulett after re-evaluation, Hulett could then withdraw his guilty plea!!!
I think Cashman should look past the plea-bargain in this case and redeem himself by sentencing Hulett to jail for life. The national attention that this case has received should be more than enough to convict Hulett now! If not, Cashman’s removal from the bench will rightfully help to balance this outrageous travesty of justice!
Posted by: Christopher T. Ostler | Jan 19, 2006 7:17:07 AM
Apparently, most of you idiots just listen to "Bill of OLiely"
The judge was trying to get the man into treatment. Mark Hulett, (the molester) 34 has the mental age of 12 to 14 and thinks he did nothing wrong. The reason for the 60-day sentence was to get him into treatment now and not 3 years down the road. You dumb shits should get a little more background before you passing judgment.
Posted by: Art | Jan 19, 2006 1:45:46 PM
Does anybody in this case care about the little girl? She is only ten years old, and has been abused and betrayed by the very people who are supposed to be looking out for her. I want to know this: where were her parents that they couldn't see this abuse going on for FOUR YEARS? Why is all the sympathy going to either the bastard who molested her, or the judge? Someone on here has taken the side of Mark Hulett, saying he "has the mental age of 12 to 14 and thinks he did nothing wrong. The reason for the 60-day sentence was to get him into treatment now and not 3 years down the road." That is the first i have heard of that, and i won't challenge what i don't know, but, to end on an equally immature note as "You dumb shits should get a little more background before you passing judgment" is enough to make me question the validity of any claim.How is it that after a natural disaster like hurricane Katrina, our president is practically blamed for sending it upon the residents of New Orleans, but a judge who sentences an admitted child molestor to 60 days in jail is backed not only by his boss and peers, but the whole state as well? When the outraged do speak out, this is the kind of response that is received:
"It's a mild thing to call for someone's resignation but I do think it crosses the line," said attorney Paul Gillies, a former deputy secretary of state. "I think it's unwarranted and it's an important invasion that should be carefully measured and avoided."
I personally think that Mark Hulett raping and molesting a SIX YEAR OLD girl, whatever his mental age may be, is a definate fucking unwarranted and important invasion of that little girl's life. She will NEVER forget what happened to her. She will ALWAYS know what happened to her, and how others reacted. ALL of her future relationships will be tainted because of this man's problems that he exposed her to. Not to mention the fact that he is not the only one being charged with her abuse; he brought a firend along for the ride (Derek Kimball), his trial is currently pending. Does that not show a little more of a mental capacity than that of a 12 to 14 year old? Do you know that when people in the town and surrounding areas were asked about this case, this was the general consensus: "A lot of people are blaming the media for sensationalizing it and stuff like that. It is kind of a college town. They consider themselves to be progressive. So they think they have maybe a more enlightened view of punishment.I talked to a lot of people today. They thought maybe punishment wasn't a good idea. They blamed America's repressed sexuality on some of these things that were happening." Excuse me? AMERICA'S REPRESSED SEXUALITY? Is it too much to ask that you don't molest people? I mean, is that just us being "typical stupid Americans"? I live in Texas, and everybody knows the stereotype of it being overrun by cousin-fuckers, but how is it that the state of Vermont is being called "progressive" for supporting a sentence of 60 fucking days in jail for a man who abused a little girl for four years? If that happened here, that bastard would be frying as we speak. And maybe that's the way it should be. I mean, "progressive"? Doesn't that seem a little backwards to anybody else? These two men should be thrown on the mercy of a maximum security prison's population. See how they like getting raped for years, with no-one to help them.In all fairness, if you want to rehabilitate this douchebag, go right ahead, but he needs punishment along with it. If a police officer caught a man beating the shit out of a woman, and instead of arresting him, he just sat him down to talk about it, what would be our reaction? People would be pissed! So why is that not the case now? Because it's a judge and we should respect his opinion? Fuck 'em. That's what i'll close with. Fuck 'em.
Posted by: liana | Jan 19, 2006 9:28:01 PM
Even if the rapist is mentally retarded, that does not change the fact that he's a child molestor and a danger to society. I don't care about justice and I don't care about rehabilitation. None of these ideological issues mean anything to me. The only thing that matters is protecting innocent children in the community. I guarantee you that as long as that man remains in jail he will not rape another child. No amount of rehabilitation could ever match that guarantee.
Posted by: victor | Jan 20, 2006 8:28:24 AM
Apparently Art, you should be listening to Bill O'Reily and gather the true facts of this case. You want them, here they are:It is with much concern that I am writing to you as a concerned citizen who has been following the publicity on the Cashman ruling. It is not in my nature to take at face value the opinion of others; therefore, I have spent much time investigating this matter fully.
It appears that Hulett was investigated for abusing this child in 2003. At that time, both law enforcement, and child protective services found the claim of abuse to be unfounded. Some two years later, the child had the courage to tell a trusted family friend and the arrest of Hulett came shortly thereafter in May 2005. At the time of his arrest, he acknowledged his abuse of the child, as well as confessed to the law enforcement officer that not only had he been molesting this child for a period of 3-4 years, his friend had as well. Hulett prostituted this child out to his friend (Derek Kimball). In June/July 2005, this monster underwent psychological evaluations by Dr. Cunningham (the defense's expert witness). In addition, during this time period the DOC graded his crimes against this child as only a Level 1 offender. In August 2005, Hulett placed his conditional plea before Judge Cashman. Mr. Hulett's accomplice was not arrested until October 2005. So from arrest in May to conditional guilty plea in August, to a sentence of 60 days in jail in January. It took less than four months for this pervert to be adjudicated with basically no punishment.
The fact that there was second man brought into the abusive situation was never before the Court, was never taken into account with the DOC's assessment of his offender status, and never brought to the attention of the supposed "expert" witness in the case. The original molestation is horrendous alone; however, knowing that this monster not only abused this child, he brought his pedophile buddy to do the same is unbearable!
There are so many misconceptions going around about Hulett's mental stability. Hulett's own expert witness (Dr. Cunningham) testified that his IQ was 101. He states that Hulett knew what he was doing was wrong and continued to do it. It is my opinion that Hulett is not only a pedophile, but he is a sociopath as well. This opinion was formed from reading the court transcript and examining closely the testimony of Dr. Cunningham. If you would like to see for yourself, please follow this link. http://burlingtonfreepress.com/assets/pdf/BT16071113.PDF Cunningham's testimony starts on page 64. After reading this, if you have not already questioned, you may want to question, how could a Judge turn this monster out into society again? Think about it, and add to it the fact that he also prostituted this child out to another pedophile and this information was NEVER taken into consideration with Hulett's classification or his sentencing.
How supposedly learned people take the stance of defending Judge Cashman is beyond me. He had every opportunity to do the job to which he was appointed - and that is to be a fair and impartial judge. Punishment is necessary moreso for these types of crimes than any other. What message are we sending to others who abuse children. It is okay? That children do not count? That the rights of the child abuster are more important than the rights of a child? The our judicial system is too afraid to punishing the wrong?
You will see that the Judge states in the order linked above, that the child is "remedial" in all of this. In other words, she is secondary. Given all the facts, it is time to decide if this is the kind of Judge that we want representing us on the bench.
How sex offenders are elevated in status to not receive punishment the same as a bank robber, or other criminal is beyond me. When did our society get to this point?
Posted by: Popsicle | Jan 20, 2006 8:47:28 AM
maybe this guys needs treatment but his crime should fit his punishment. He should do hard time and then when that is up......get into treatment. It just does not make sense to give 60 days so he can get treatment....that's just a farce. Do the time for your crime then if your still alive....seek treatment. Everyone wins in a losing situation.
Posted by: brian | Jan 20, 2006 11:03:32 AM
Howdy to Prof. Godsey -- I'm a Salmon P. Chase Alum working in Burlington, Vermont now. I can only surmise that the attention on this case from across the country is being drummed up by Fox News. The bandwagon that O'Reily's driving rests, I think, on the often misquoted portion of the judge's sentencing statement. The judge was deliberately, I think, mischaracterized as saying "I don't believe in punishment anymore." What he actually said was, "Punishment is not enough." The transcript is awfully clear on that matter.
Posted by: jason | Jan 21, 2006 6:17:08 PM
I have one comment - what in heaven's name leads any Judge to believe that it is his right to sentence based on some pretense of rehabilitation??? Nothing in our constitution or justice system talks of rehab being the prevalent objective. Punishment that fits the crime is the primary objective - period. To do these things to an innocent little girl will remove not only her childhood, but inflict mental anguish for years. 60 days, should be 60 years - this is a lifetime crime that has been inflicted upon an innocent child. Castration comes to mind, but we are a bit more enlightened then the Greeks and Romans - or so we think. I am not in favor or rehab - lock him up and make the penalty fit the crime. That is what we have judges for - justice, not some contrived personal agenda focused on rehabilitation of sexual offenders. Had this been my daughter, granddaughter, or next door neighbor's child - this guy would not have made it to trial with his genitals intact. I am incensed at the license this judge took, and the abuse of our trust he enacted. I'd like to see him face this little girl and explain to her why her 4 years of torture are repaid with 60 days, or now 3-10 years. Deplorable, inexcusable, absolutely what is wrong with our systems today. I have known adults who struggle with the aftermath of their childhood abuse by another adult- it is lifelong, life altering, and debilitating to most. Cashman - you are a complete and utter idiot, misguided and should be impeached. Punishment IS enough - when you make it meaningful. This idiot judge has no idea of justice or what punishment to fit the crime means. He isn't getting out of this one.
Posted by: Gene | Jan 26, 2006 12:41:57 PM
I cannot believe what I am reading. Do you really think Fox or O'Reilly are the only reason this story hit the air waves? I don't like either one. Could it be that it hit because it is an assault on the integrity of our society. The fact that this "retarded" man pimped out the little girl shows he has been fooling alot of people. What I don't understand is why the parents have not lost their parental rights for allowing this man to sleep with a child for four years!
Posted by: Kirsten | Jan 26, 2006 7:19:24 PM
As a Vermont resident I am appalled at some of the attitudes I have been hearing generalizing the entire population of our state as supporting Judge Cashman. One of the many statements I have heard is about a "judge who sentences an admitted child molestor to 60 days in jail [and] is backed not only by his boss and peers, but the whole state as well?" I do not in anyway support Hulett's actions but I think it is horrible the way Cashman is being torn apart. I'm not going to say that I support his sentence in any way but I can see WHY he senteced the way he did. In his mind it would benefit everyone more in the end if Hulett was treated rather than incarcerated. If he were jailed he would not have been able to recieve treatment until he was released. I can't agree with that due to the fact that the first person to graduate from the states treatment program went and killed his next victim (one of my classmates sisters) saying that the only thing the program taught him was that he shouldn't leave witnesses.
Posted by: amber | Feb 1, 2006 1:36:40 PM
Okay, I feel obligated to shed some light onto this subject for you sadly misinformed people. I have a transcript of the hearing, and it has been awfully reported on. First of all, the accused was charged with only oral intercourse, which is rape by definition, but not as bad as has been reported. Please note that I am not in any way supporting Hulett, as it sickens me, but I am saying that this issue has been blown out of proportion. He was found guilty on three crmies, "two counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of lewd and lascivious conduct." For the first count, Judge Cashman sentenced an "incarcerative sentence of 60 days to 10 years." The second count was a "consecutive probationary sentence of 5 years to life", and the third count was "a consecutive probationary 2- to 5-year sentence on the third count." My memory fails me as to who it was, but a famous news reporter quoted Cashman as saying "I don't believe in punishment," a horrifically inaccurate quote. Now, thanks to this disgusting exaggeration, there are many people who think that that's what Cashman actually said. To help out a bit, what he actually said was "I keep telling prosecutors, and they won't hear me, that punishment is not enough." I am not defending Hulett, I am just attempting to help get to the truth of the matter. This incident has been blown way out of proportion and has been exaggerated at every turn. While most of you will likely dismiss what I say, I hope this sheds some light on the subject for the majority of the misinformed people who have reason to frequent this site.
Posted by: Anonymous | Feb 4, 2006 8:16:21 AM
Okay, I feel obligated to shed some light onto this subject for you sadly misinformed people. I have a transcript of the hearing, and it's been awfully reported on. First of all, the accused was charged with only oral intercourse, which is rape by definition, but not as bad as has been reported. Please note that I am not in any way supporting Hulett, as it sickens me, but I am saying that this issue has been blown out of proportion. He was found guilty on three crmies, "two counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of lewd and lascivious conduct." For the first count, Judge Cashman sentenced an "incarcerative sentence of 60 days to 10 years." The second count was a "consecutive probationary sentence of 5 years to life", and the third count was "a consecutive probationary 2- to 5-year sentence on the third count." My memory fails me as to who it was, but a famous news reporter quoted Cashman as saying "I don't believe in punishment," a horrifically inaccurate quote. Now, thanks to this disgusting exaggeration, there are many people who think that that's what Cashman actually said. To help out a bit, what he actually said was "I keep telling prosecutors, and they won't hear me, that punishment is not enough." I am not defending Hulett, I am just attempting to help get to the truth of the matter. This incident has been blown way out of proportion and has been exaggerated at every turn. While most of you will likely dismiss what I say, I hope this sheds some light on the subject for the majority of the misinformed people who have reason to frequent this site.
Posted by: John | Feb 4, 2006 8:21:07 AM
I am surprised or rather shocked to see how many people support Cashman in this judgement. So a person with mental problem or lower iq than his age has all the right in this world to go out and rape. My friend the treatment should be done before the crime is committed. After the crime is committed, the punishment is the only option. There are two major reasons behind the punishment - Get justice to the victim and deter other people from commiting crime. However your forgiveness and treatment theory does just the opposite. No justice and encourage the criminals to get into more crime because the law is forgiving. Here is my point - it is okay to treat people but before they take this extreme step of really daring to harm others.
Let me ask you all Cashman supporters - isn't it true that a large number of crimes are committed not to have fun or with ill will against victim but because of the circumstances, mental state or poverty - all need treatment and forgiveness. For example a thief who steals or a murderer who murders a stranger for money gets into this because he/she needs money to survive and is not capable to earning enough for himself. Shouldn't we treat them and provide them with job. I can bet you if you give a criminal education and a job and money which is the treatment for those who do it for money, most of them will quit the criminal activities. And with this rapist too there is no guarantee how effective the treatment will be.
I think analyzing the problem and passing comments and judgements is just so easy compared to getting raped for four years and see your life ruined. We all have no right to ignore what has happened to the girl. She suffered and will suffer for the rest of her life and we talk Philosophy!! Lets set all the criminals free. And hey I feel like going to Vermont and get into some crime activity. May be I will steal maple syrup from some farm in Cashman's town and will ask for treatment in the courtroom; afterall the Vermont law is so tempting, I can't resist.
Posted by: Unknown | Feb 11, 2006 7:58:47 AM
For those of you who retain any last shred of faith in our justice system, it may come as a shock to learn that my hometown of Denton, TX is home to dozens of people convicted of sex crimes against children 13 and younger, all the way down to an appalling age 4, who never served a single day in jail. You may be more shocked to discover that some of these predators have been convicted of multiple offenses against multiple children. You may be even more shocked to realize this same injustice is occurring all across our nation. If someone rapes a child in America, he or she might not serve any jail time, or received appalingly low bail amounts.
Sit with that a moment The same system of "justice" that sentences vandals, petty thieves and marijuana users to jail, might release a child rapist back into your neighborhood. As if personal property and morality were more important than public safety, and pot smokers and pilferers were more threatening than perverted predators.
This disparity is not for lack of resources. After all, the United States leads the world in incarceration rates, largely due to Draconian drug policies implemented in the name of "protecting the children". Our judges lock up a higher percentage of our population than Iraq, China, Iran, and North Korea, yet many of these judges fail to even temporarily incarcerate child predators. And American children are being abducted, raped, videotaped for the perverse pleasure of monsters, tortured, and murdered. In at least one case last year, a beautiful little girl named Jessica Lunsford was murdered by a previously convicted molester who was set free to enter her bedroom window, abduct her, rape her repeatedly for two days, and bury her alive in her neighbor's yard. Yet even when sexual predators are convicted, they often remain on the streets, to brutalize children again and again.
This is inexcusable. It should make us sick at heart, angry in spirit, and most importantly, active. A national judicial scandal of this magnitude should cause massive political reverberations, as people elect to replace the legislators, district attorneys and judges who lack the insight or the concern to prioritize the protection of children, families, and communities.
Don't hold your breath waiting for the national media to cover this issue. Pundits have repeatedly reported that Vermont Judge Cashman sentenced an admitted child rapist (the girl was six years old, with assaults occurring over a four-year period) to a pathetic 60 days in jail. However, these reporters spun the story as an isolated incident involving a single renegade judge who needs to be removed, and they failed to cover the broader issue.
None dare call it corruption, but information regarding probated sentences for child rapists is easily available online at sex offender registry sites. At the very least, media moguls have been negligent. Are they hoping people will simply raise an outcry against one judge, engage in primal scream therapy, and then move on to the next flavor of the month, without changing the system itself?
I was determined to find out, so I contacted representatives at CNN, FOX, and MSNBC, and they didn't even want to talk about it. They didn't return my calls or my emails. I've contacted the Denton Record-Chronicle over several months, to no avail. Finally, while waiting for police to arrive at my home so I could report a toy bullet that was suspiciously left in the back of my car on Martin Luther King Day, I called our local child advocacy center about the possibility of joining forces. I was told they didn't want to get involved in political issues that might upset the system of cooperation between law enforcement officials, district attorneys, and therapists. The one group that remained unmentioned was the children themselves.
The truth is painful, but we have to face the fact that our society is failing our kids. We teach them to obey adults, to respect their elders, to stay quiet, to not resist. Our school districts are often less secure than our shopping malls, lacking sufficient security to prevent violent individuals (including predators, terrorists, or mentally unstable students) from harming children, yet we expend resources to teach these kids (some who have already been sexually abused) the ultimate lesson in acquiescence, forcing them to drop their pants and urinate on command, when being "drug free" (excluding "good" prescription drugs like amphetamines and anti-depressents, which render children easier to control) takes precedence over freedom from violence. Then we fail to provide them with information about their bodies and their rights. Having rendered them psychologically helpless to defend themselves, we then release convicted child predators into their neighborhoods (while drug-free school zones extend further than often meager limits placed upon where pedophiles can live). And when children who are raped grow up to develop drug dependencies (as many do, trying to self-medicate symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, and PTSD) or to become prostitutes (again, trying to self-medicate), we'll throw those crime victims in jail for their involvement with prohibited drugs and prostitution, while child rapists walk the street to create more victims (and therefore more drug abuse and prostitution). To add insult to injury, our federal government will deny the drug-using rape victims financial aid for college (thanks to a controversial anti-drug clause contained in the Higher Education Act of 1998), while their rapists attend universities with our tax dollars. That's right. Our federal legislators don't want tax dollars to support the illegal drug use, but they will buy the knife, duct tape, pharmaceutical drugs and videocamera the child pornographers will use on their next victims.
As a survivor of sexual abuse and child pornography who gave personal testimony to a Texas committee hearing on child advocacy, my blood is boiling. As a father of two beautiful children I delivered with my own trembling hands, I am afraid for them. More importantly, I am bound and determined to do anything in my legal power to change this deplorable injustice. You can join me and other survivors, parents, and advocacy groups, who are creating a new organization called Building BLOCK - Better Lives for Our Communities and Kids (find us at www.EndCorruption.org), which will expose this nightmare, along with the authorities who perpetuate the perpetration. Building BLOCK will offer an interactive U.S. map that will provide county by county contact information, case profiles, broad data, and photos of these renegade judges, district attorneys, police chiefs, and school officials, who refuse to prioritize public safety over private morality and health.
Incompetent and corrupt officials take note. The people have grown weary of the ineptitude and apathy that allows fundamental liberties to deteriorate while violence devastates our communities. If you do not prioritize public safety over personal morality, we will ensure you are deprioritized at the ballet box, and shamed in the public eye.
If you have kids, hug them tight when you tuck them in tonight. They deserve your protection. And if you aren't enraged yet, you must be dead or asleep. Here's to waking up and breaking the silence.
Author of Junk (www.ENCPress.com)
And Prescription Pot (www.PrescriptionPot.com)
Posted by: Christopher Largen | Mar 3, 2006 8:04:20 PM
Hey, Bozos! Even a 12 or 14-year old knows the difference between right and wrong, good and evil. The argument of "he did'nt know it was wrong" is totally BOGUS!!
Posted by: nativegirl | Apr 24, 2006 7:42:27 AM
If a child gets hit by a car not wearing a helmet and dies, we all feel badly. We also then remind are child that that is the consequence of not wearing a helmet. ALL ACTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES!! We can all feel bad that these men don't seem to get better even with treatment. We don't however let them back on the streets!All our kids are now prisoners in their own homes. They can't walk or bike to school. If a kid gets grabbed while alone,the answer is stay in groups. Why do we keep losing our rights to freedom, instead of people who commit terrible acts violently to our children losing their rights as a CONSEQUENCE to their action. We are telling are children that they are not worth giving a safe society too. Kids can no longer walk their own street in safety. What has happened!! This judge is awful. Thisboy had a 14 year old mentality. Didn't everyone know by 14 that you should not force yourself on others. Do you mean to say that he never in all the time this was going on knew it was wrong?? Get your head out of the clouds. If he did not think it was wrong he would have thought it was a relationship. He would not have been keeping it secret. Perpetuating this behavior is how we create the criminal society we are living in now.Our children need to know, NO TOLERANCE!!!
Posted by: toniann avery | Jan 21, 2007 10:53:15 AM