Presidential candidate Mitt Romney threw one of his Massachusetts judicial appointees under the bus even before it had come into view, says Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen. Superior Court Judge Kathe Tuttman released a convicted killer named Daniel Tavares awaiting trial for assaulting two prison guards before he wrapped up a 16-year stint for hacking his mother to death. Tavares thumbed his nose at probation officers and moved cross-country to Washington state, where allegedly slaughtered a newlywed couple over 50 bucks and a perceived insult.
Romney called on Tuttman to resign, as his campaign staff said the “law-and-order” career prosecutor he had appointed to the bench was actually a liberal. Kevin Burke, state secretary for public safety and former prosecutor, hired Tuttman to run his family crimes and sexual assault unit. “She prosecuted some of the most vicious criminals you can think of and she never expressed sympathy for them,” he says. Romney got it right when he called the release of Tavares “a systemwide failure.” He got it wrong when he called for Tuttman to resign, Cullen says, “because he was looking for a scapegoat rather than a measured review of what went wrong with the system, a system over which he once presided.” A spokesman for Romney, took issue with Rudy Giuliani going after Romney on the Washington state murders. “It’s troubling,” said the spokesman, “that Mayor Giuliani would politicize this tragedy.”