Governor gets ear full over soft-on-child-rapist judge
Jan. 14, 2006: A spokesman for Gov. Jim Douglas of Vermont told WND the governor shared the outrage being expressed over a judge’s decision to give a 60-day sentence to a child rapist who admitted abusing the young girl over a period of four years. His office had received more than 20,000 e-mails, phone calls and letters, most of them in protest.
At the sentencing, District Court Judge Edward Cashman told a packed courtroom made up mostly of people related to the victim: “The one message I want to get through is that anger doesn’t solve anything. It just corrodes your soul.”
The judge said that when he began 25 years ago, he handed down tough sentences but now believes “it accomplishes nothing of value.”
“It doesn’t make anything better; it costs us a lot of money; we create a lot of expectation, and we feed on anger,” Cashman explained.
The judge said he imposed the light sentence because the man did not qualify for in-prison sex-offnder treatment. He therefore gave him a minimum of 60 days in jail and ordered him to complete the treatment when he got out or face a possible life sentence.
“What is equally troubling is that the judge no longer believes in punishment,” said Douglas’ spokesman. “The governor says that if a criminal court judge no longer believes in punishment, he shouldn’t be on the bench.”
Judge Edward Cashman remains on the bench today.