January 06, 2006 | 05:48 PM
Impeach Vermont District Court Judge Edward Cashman
District Court Judge Edward Cashman of Vermont is allowing a child rapist who confessed to repeatedly raping a girl over a four-year period to go free in 60 days.
At the sentencing phase of the criminal proceedings, Judge Cashman argued against prosecutors who asserted that Mark Hulett deserved eight to 20 years in prison for raping the girl since she was six years old.
Judge Cashman, claiming that he no longer believes in punishment, lectured the packed courtroom mostly made up of family and friends of the victim: "The one message I want to get through is that anger doesn't solve anything. It just corrodes your soul." Cashman stated that a lengthy prison term "will accomplish nothing but to harden this fellow," citing that the man needs treatment instead of punishment for his crimes.
Prior to the decision, Deputy Prosecutor Nicole Andreson argued punishment "is a valid purpose."
The decision by Judge Cashman to allow this child rapist to essentially go free is inexcusable. The judge's confessed belief of no longer desiring to administer justice, accompanied by his actions in this case, are sufficient grounds for impeachment. A judge who does not believe in punishment is a judge who is a danger to all people.
Judge Cashman's sentence sends a clear message to those who desire to rape children, which is, "Go ahead and I'll make sure you get out in no time."
Under the Vermont Constitution, the legislature has the ability to impeach judges. Therefore, please contact Vermont's House of Representatives at (802) 828-2228, ask to speak with a state representative, and encourage the representative to take the necessary steps to have Judge Edward Cashman impeached. Additionally, contact the prosecutor assigned to the case, Nicole Andreson, at (802) 863-2865 and exhort her to file an appeal, which must be done within seven days.
Judge Cashman was appointed by former Republican Governor Richard Snelling (now deceased) on January 26, 1982. His current term ends on March 31, 2007 at which time he could be retained. Please call his office at (802) 651-1950, ask to speak to court manager Chris Brock, voice your opposition to the decision, and kindly ask that she forwards the message to Judge Cashman.
"For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." (Romans 13:4)