Thursday, January 05, 2006

Child rapist in vermont gets 60 days, Judge a moron

Crime: Vermont is the place to be if you want to go after little kids, make sure you get this judge.

"There was outrage Wednesday when a Vermont judge handed out a 60-day jail sentence to a man who raped a little girl many,many times over a four-year span starting when she was seven. The judge said he no longer believes in punishment and is more concerned about rehabilitation. Prosecutors argued that confessed child-rapist Mark Hulett, 34, of Williston deserved at least eight years behind bars for repeatedly raping a littler girl countless times starting when she was seven. But Judge Edward Cashman disagreed explaining that he no longer believes that punishment works. "The one message I want to get through is that anger doesn't solve anything. It just corrodes your soul," said Judge Edward Cashman speaking to a packed Burlington courtroom. Most of the on-lookers were related to a young girl who was repeatedly raped by Mark Hulett who was in court to be sentenced. "
There is always "prison" punishment. Update# Cashman doesn't follow Supreme Court rulings or Vermont is just screwed up in general, take a pick
MONTPELIER — The Vermont Supreme Court on Friday changed a quadruple murderer's punishment and deemed a nearly 20-year-old Vermont sentencing law unconstitutional. The ruling is expected to alter — and in some cases shorten — the prison terms of an unknown number of other murderers. "It is unclear how widespread this decision may be," said Janet Murnane, a Vermont assistant attorney general. "I don't anticipate the floodgates opening wide. But we will be reviewing it." The high court unanimously ruled that Douglas Provost, who murdered four people in Belvidere in 2001, was improperly sentenced to life without parole. The court altered Provost's sentence to four life sentences with minimum terms of 35 years to be served consecutively, which will keep him behind bars for life. But in reviewing his case, the court found that Vermont law — which allows judges to increase prison sentences beyond the statutory maximum without consulting a jury — violates the Constitution's Sixth Amendment. The ruling is expected to trigger appeals from other prisoners sentenced beyond the statutory maximum by a judge instead of a jury. ....Vermont in 1987 passed a law allowing judges to increase the maximum sentence for both first- and second-degree homicide if they find "aggravating factors" that justify harsher punishment. The statute lists eight aggravating factors — including brutality and multiple victims — that can be used to increase a sentence. Judge Edward Cashman sentenced Provost to life without parole, instead of the statutory maximum of life with a minimum term of 35 years, for each person he killed. The ruling complied with state law, but violated a 2000 U.S. Supreme Court decision that said any penalty beyond the statutory maximum must be submitted to a jury, and the citizen panel must conclude the aggravating factors are true beyond a reasonable doubt. "Increasing that sentence to life without parole on the basis of any facts, other than a prior conviction, that the jury has not found beyond a reasonable doubt violates the Sixth Amendment," which guarantees citizens the right to a jury trial, the Vermont Supreme Court wrote in a 10-page ruling. Lee Suskin, Vermont's court administrator, said the Legislature will have to change Vermont law to comply with the court's decision.

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