January 14, 2006 | 12:18 PM
Key Republican attempts to justify Cashman's sentence
How far are some Vermont Republicans willing to go? Rep. Michael Kainen, the ranking Republican on Vermont's House Judiciary Committee, is now attempting to justify the 60-day sentence given to child rapist Mark Hulett, along with the chair of the House Education Committee.
In response to Repent America's petition being sent to all the members of the Vermont House of Representatives, George C. Cross, the chair of the House Education Committee, had these words of advice for one Pennsylvania grandmother who signed the petition: "I would suggest that you spend your time worrying about Sen. Santorum and leave Vermont's problems to those of us who work on them daily!"
Mr. Cross is also forwarding an article to others who have participated in the petition drive, citing that the media is partly to blame for the furor over Judge Cashman's loose sentence. The article entitled "GOP lawmaker says media partly to blame in sex-offender story" includes the remarks of Rep. Kainen who asserts that the child rapist will spend more than 60 days in prison.
According to the report, Rep. Kainen stated, "If it were accurately reported, I think there would have been a little less furor." These comments were made at the end of a news briefing in which the leadership of the Judiciary Committee outlined its latest proposal for tackling sexual crimes. In regards to Rep. Kainen's comments, the AP story further states:
"Kainen said one of the things he had done was read the judge's sentencing memorandum and he had concluded that there was very little likelihood that Hulett would serve just 60 days, especially now that the administration has said he will receive sexual offender treatment.
The judge placed a long list of stringent conditions on when and how he can be released, setting the stage for potentially a life sentence, Kainen said. 'What Cashman did was essentially civil commit this guy,' Kainen said."
Less furor Rep. Kainen? It is a fact that this child rapist received a minimum 60-day sentence and could possibly serve more time. However, the possibility that Mark Hulett will serve more time should in no way diminish the furor over the severely inadequate sentence Judge Cashman issued, nor does it override his actions and position of no longer willing to administer justice through punishment for such heinous crimes.
Sadly, Rep. Kainen, Rep. Cross, and others are now attempting to calm down those outraged over the loose sentence that Judge Cashman issued to the child rapist. The reason? Perhaps it's because Judge Cashman was appointed by a Republican Governor and is considered to be a "conservative" who actually at one time issued harsh sentences. Therefore, they choose to stand by their man, instead of for what is right and by doing what must be done.
However, there is at least one Republican state representative who should be applauded, Rep. Loren T. Shaw. He had this to say about RA's petition calling for Judge Cashman's impeachment: "I will do everything within my power to make it happen!"
It must be said that Judge Cashman's past should not be used to vindicate his present actions. Remember Judge George Greer, the church-going Republican, who illegally ordered the execution of Terri Schiavo? These judges have got to go!