A Vermont judge who drew heated criticism when he sentenced a sex offender to two months in jail will retire, he said Friday. Vermont District Court Judge Edward Cashman made no mention of the case that made him a target of heated criticism from lawmakers, editorial writers and national cable news commentators. In January, he imposed the sentence on Mark Hulett, 34, who had been convicted for repeated sexual assaults on a young girl. He said it was the best way to get Hulett the sex offender treatment he needed.
The sentencing drew fire from Gov. Jim Douglas and a host of others who called Cashman soft on child predators and demanded his resignation. State corrections officials later changed their policy for treating sex offenders, allowing Hulett to get treatment in prison, prompting Cashman to increase the sentence to a three-year minimum. Cashman's retirement will enable him to avoid a process under which Vermont judges are reviewed by lawmakers every six years and the Legislature votes on whether to retain them. Cashman announced his retirement in a letter to Chief Justice Paul Reiber.