Once More Into the Breach

Finding Nonsense and Beating it Sensible

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I used to watch TV news and yell at the box. Now I jump up from the couch, sit at the computer and begin to type laughing maniacally saying "Wait until they read this." It's more fun than squashing tadpoles

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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Judge Cashman Cashs it In

Vermont District Court Judge Edward Cashman, best remembered for his sentencing a chid rapist to 3 months in jail has announced his retirement. The timing is significant because Vermont has a judicial review every six years. Judge Cashmen's review is due in April, just after his announced retirement date.

Once considered a straight forward judge he had clouded his duty to uphold the law with a philosophy of restoriative justice.. The thinking here is that having the criminal understand the impact of his crime on the victim is more productive that punishment in solving the problem of criminal activity. Unfortunately as promising am idea this is criminals, especially child rapists don't generally care about what other people think. For the young vandal or bully there is merit in this approach. To the adult criminal it is a new way to exploit the system to avoid punishment. We can take an analogy for he world of sports. A pitcher in baseball who can throw a 90 mile an hour fast ball will strike out nearly every batter on a high school baseball team by throwing it consistently.. If he were to do so against seasoned professionals he would see one after another send the ball over the outfield fence.

In spite of the clear nonsense of Cashman's ruling he still has those who lament his fall from the bench. They are of course others in the legal profession who seemingly by virtue of their profession have abandoned reason.

State Sen. Vincent Illuzzi said Friday he would have fought to keep Cashman on the bench had the judge not opted to step down, saying the Hulett sentence had a beneficial result.

"Taking the long view, he brought about much needed, constructive change to the need for an effective sex-offender treatment in the (prisons)," said Illuzzi, who is also the state's attorney in Essex County...

... James Gallagher, president of the Vermont Bar Association, said it was unfortunate that Cashman had to endure the criticism that he did.

"He has always struck me as a thoughtful, deliberative, careful person who was trying to do the right thing," Gallagher said. "It's sad to see someone with 23 years of honorable experience in the judiciary be subjected to so much criticism for a good-faith effort in trying to find the ethical requirements."

The last statement exemplifies the problem with justice in our country. Ethics has replaced the law and morality. Judges are no longer seeking to apply the law but look to apply philosophy or an outcome. Fortunately many more citizens are taking notice and seeking to bring to the bench judges that will that will judge each case according to the law rather than their capricious notions.

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