The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who look on and do nothing.

~~~ Albert Einstein

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Rehabilitation vs Retribution

There is a difference between the two, and there is a clear difference in how they should be seen by the law.
Rehabilitation, in the criminal sense, happens after a crime is committed. It is not meant to be a source of punishment for the crime already committed, but as a treatment to prevent the same crime from being committed again in the future. In theory, it would be nice to be able to rehabilitate every criminal, but we must be willing to understand that it is not always possible.
On the other hand, retribution by it's very definition is something demanded in repayment. In the criminal instance, it is the cost of the crime that has already been committed. It's the price we demand the guilty pay, it's not meant as a preventive measure against future crimes, although we can all hope that a lesson would be learned, and other crimes not follow. Retribution is something we can, and should expect from ever criminal. It is the very reason why we process them through the criminal justice system.

Judge Edward Cashman has forgotten what his job is. He has forgotten that the criminal, the child rapist who sat before him was there because of a crime he had already committed. Whether Cashman's supporters want to accept it or not, his role as judge in this case was to seek retribution from Mark Hulett for the heinous acts he committed against a child. Hulett was not in court to prevent future crimes.

It seems to me that Cashman has forgotten about the most important reason Hulett was in that court room, and the most important person involved in the case. A child, a young girl, was sexually abused by Hulett for years. And yet, it took over 800 words in Cashman's sentencing order to even mention the victim. Yes, I would like to prevent future crimes by this devaint- but we can not use our desire to prevent them to ignore the crimes he already committed.

It took Judge Edward Cashman three pages and more than 800 words in his recent sentencing order of sex offender Mark Hulett, who preyed on a 6-year-old girl for years, to even refer to the victim. In the opening pages of the Jan. 9 decision sentencing Hulett to as few as 60 days in prison, Cashman talks about the defendant. He talks about the Corrections Department and its policies regarding sex offenders. He talks about public safety and Hulett's potential risk to our grandchildren. Full Source

This case was not about public safety, it was not about a potential risk. It was about blatant and heinous crimes already committed, and about seeking retribution for those crimes. A incredible insult has been done to our judicial system by Judge Cashman, and worst of all, a incredible insult has been done to a child that had already suffered at the hands of Mark Hulett.

Like every story, this one too will grow old. The media will again push it aside for the latest "hot news item" of the day, and we as a public will be left with the consequences of this judges lack of moral decency. In sixty days, when Hulett is again on the streets, who will be willing to accept blame for the trauma this child will suffer again?

Our system has let us down, it has allowed a judge with a tainted opinion to rule by his beliefs other than by the law. Cashman would have us believe that rehabilitation should be the sole purpose of the court. His lack of integrity in upholding the law, and making the punishment fitting of the crime is a disgrace to those who enter his court room. It is time that we demand justice, because the next judge to do this could just as easily be the one sentencing the man who raped your child.

Yes, we as a society want these predators rehabilitated, but we also understand that rehabilitation for every predator is not possible. We can not set aside retribution in the hopes that rehabilitation will work. We must hold them accountable for the crimes he has already committed, because that is the very purpose of the courts.

The transcript of the Jan 4th hearing had been released. Also available is the Reconsideration Sentence Order.

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Brian Kastel said...

I made it to page 28 before I was too sickened to read any further.

That judge is a menace to society, completely callous, and he needs to be removed from the bench immediately. Period. Dot. End of sentence.

That is unbelievable, L. Thank you for the links to those documents. The pediatrician's testimony is worth repeating. That is something every offender should read and understand.

Also, if I may say so, that was a fine piece of writing on your part, too.

Brian Kastel said...

I actually meant that I made it to page 36. The badgering of the witness reading the victim's mother's statement was just insane.