BY JAMES TARANTO
Thursday, January 5, 2006 4:28 p.m. EST
Thirty-four-year-old Mark Hulett of Williston, Vt., has been convicted on charges that he "raped a little girl many, many times over a four-year span starting when she was seven," reports Burlington's WCAX-TV. Prosecutors asked for a sentence of eight to 20 years, but the judge gave him . . . 60 days:
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. . . .
"I discovered 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 to the people in the court.
Nothing of value? Locking Hulett up for 20 years would keep him out of circulation, unable to rape more little girls, until 2026, when he would be 54 years old. That in itself seems sufficient reason to do so.
"Cashman explained that he is more concerned that Hulett receive sex offender treatment"--whatever that is--"as rehabilitation," according to the report. Bizarrely, "under Department of Corrections classification, Hulett is considered a low-risk for re-offense so he does not qualify for in-prison treatment." You almost have to wonder if the people who run Vermont are insane.