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February 08, 2006

Two Recent Incidents

Here are updates on two incidents that recently took place.

1) Nixzmary's Brown Legacy: As of January 7, 2006, the New York State Senate passed Nixzmary's Law. Currently, those responsible for Nixzmary's death can be eligible for parole in 15 years. The new law closes that loophole and imposes a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a person entrusted with a child under the age of 14 who intentionally or otherwise causes the child's death.

Also, one of the bills being reviewed today by the N.Y. State Senate deals directly with improving local child protective services investigations.

This coming Saturday marks one month of Nixzmary Brown death.

Norbela

Related Links:
NY State Senate Press Release: Nixzmary's Law
Senatorbruno.com regarding Nixzmary's Law and Child Protection Legislation

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2) Vermont's Speaks!: This is a follow up to Where is your heart? an entry I wrote on January 18, 2006. I was shocked that VT. Judge Cashman handed a mild sentence to rapist Mark Hulett.

In Anatomy of a Smear, writer Will Hunter of the Vermont Guardian points out that the initial reports of a 60 day sentence imposed by Judge Cashman were erroneous. He wrote a very informative article touching upon the several inaccuracies reported by the media and that is why I added that link here.

Before writing my Jan 18th entry I read several documents where Judge Cashman expressed his views on doing more than just punishing rapists. Judge Cashman's views alarmed me because they greatly overshadowed any intentions he may have had regarding seeking justice for child rape victims. I am not going to deny that one of the facts that shocked me was that a 60 days minimum sentence was even an option available to a repeated child rapist. Let's forget that fact for just a second and move onto quoting Mr. Hunter's article, "The defendant pled guilty to three crimes pursuant to an agreement that gave him the chance to withdraw his plea if he was sentenced to more than 90 days to serve."

Okay why are we even doing plea agreements with such a character? Did the little girl he violated have a say in what he did to her? Granted, I am not a lawyer yet it does not take a legal mind to see that raping and then pleading guilty, should not be rewarded with a diluted punishment. Judge Cashman eventually changed the sentence from a minimum of 60 days to a 3 year minimum.

Is this the incentive? Violate, plead guilty and we might not go hard on you. Oh and while we're at it, let's see if we can get you some help. By the way, when you do get back out, we have very few ways of ensuring you keep us posted with your current address. In the meantime we'll cross our fingers and hope you don't violate another child. The fact is you know you will, we know it too! Soon after you're caught again, the blame game promptly starts. Everyone involved with your case will suddenly drown the issue with political jargon and again nothing will be done to stop this cycle!

Is this the best we can do?

On that note, I'll leave you with a January 27, 2006 Yahoo news article regarding VT. Judge Increases Sex Offender's Penalty.

Norbela

edited by Norbela 5:48pm

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