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Comment Archives: Stories: News + Opinion: Crime

Re: “Vermont Inmate No. 144711 Is a 90-Year-Old Veteran

There used to be a safety net, as distasteful as it may seem to some, the Vermont State Hospital that was part of a system discarded by Shumlin after Irene. There were, from time to time, patients who were much too disruptive to be unsupervised when required interactions take place. These patients could be very aggressive leading to many staff injuries but it was felt at the time correctly that prison would be much worse for them. There is no easy answer, a person who is experiencing dementia cannot be expected to exercise appropriate impulse control.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jeff Marshall on 03/26/2017 at 4:43 PM

Re: “Vermont Inmate No. 144711 Is a 90-Year-Old Veteran

"What kind of eldercare facility allows one of their residents to be taken out in handcuffs just for getting agitated?"

One that wants to keep staff. Assaulting healthcare workers is a crime in several states, including Vermont. Being a 90-year-old veteran does not make anyone a saint.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Liz Leyden on 03/25/2017 at 9:30 PM

Re: “Up in Arms: Bill Would Let Cops Take Guns in Domestic Violence Cases

What this article fails to mention about this terrible legislation is that ALL guns in the home would be seized. Including any belonging to the victim. So if the abuser returns, the victim has also lost the means for self defense. I know someone whose ex has been stalking her for over a year, violating multiple restraining orders. She is convinced that the only thing stopping him from kicking in her door is the knowledge that she has a gun and knows how to use it

10 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Heidi Clark on 03/25/2017 at 8:46 AM

Re: “Up in Arms: Bill Would Let Cops Take Guns in Domestic Violence Cases

Norm, regarding your unconstitutional proposal to "temporarily remove weapons from the domestic abuse scene was one of the measures that received overwhelming support..."
The facts however, disprove the "overwhelming support."
Only 25% of the voters in Burlington actually cared enough to go vote.
There was a difference of 11.8% of the voters to SUPPORT the charter change.
Yet you consider 11.8% overwhelming support?
Your continued support for unconstitutional bills is disturbing, but not surprising.

12 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by bobdepino on 03/25/2017 at 8:41 AM

Re: “Up in Arms: Bill Would Let Cops Take Guns in Domestic Violence Cases

No mention of the Fourth or Fifth Amendments, the real casualties of this bill. While it does have Second Amendment ramifications, it goes far beyond that with its overreach. This bill presumes guilt in contradiction to the Fifth, and legalizes the unlawful search for and seizure of private property without any conviction of guilt in violation of the Fourth. Keep in mind that the Constitution does not enumerate rights "granted" to the citizenry by government, but is the restraint of government. THESE RIGHTS ARE UNASSAILABLE, and for this article to mention neither the Fourth or Fifth Amendment violations inherent in this horrible piece of legislation is nothing short of shameful.

There are a great deal of folks with an irrational fear of firearms. By focusing on guns, we ignore the greater concern, the removal of our rights to trial and freedom from unwarranted search and seizure. What will this apply to next?

Generally, the responsible thing to do with a mess is clean it up, not try to pass it off as somehow beneficial. This bill is a clear attempt to cater to the gun-control crowd as they grasp at straws for ANYTHING that can be spun to pass off as a "win".

In closing, it is my understanding that after noting what a mess this bill is, one committee member suggested that rather than continue discussion in committee, they should "just vote on it". This bill is garbage, and even those supporting it are clearly aware of the fact.

19 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mike Covey on 03/25/2017 at 1:04 AM

Re: “Up in Arms: Bill Would Let Cops Take Guns in Domestic Violence Cases

Now that H.422 has had its run through the House, let me make a comment as to what each "Yes" vote accomplished, as I see it:

1. Presented a willingness to circumvent multiple constitutional amendments (the fourth and fifth, at least). These have been brought up many times in many articles on this subject. No doubt Vermont will now face many extremely expensive constitutional law suits.

2. When someone with extreme anger management issues gets released SOON after being arrested...and they usually do get released VERY SOON...and right after having seen their possessions unconstitutionally confiscated...how do you think they're going to react when they get home? And, at who? You really believe this is just a little 5-day inconvenience of a confiscation to them which they'll just get over? They still have a house full of potential weapons, including bare hands, at their disposal.

Yup...each "yes" vote has contributed to the start of a chain of events that will result in the eventual murder of an abused spouse. This is not an exaggeration.

3. When an abused spouse (of either gender) knows how coming forward with a dangerous situation will result in confiscation and the additional dangerous angering of their abusive spouse...do you believe this victim will be, in any way, encouraged to speak up? Yup...each "yes" vote in favor of this bill has resulted in the start of a chain of events whereby many abused spouses will remain in the shadows for fear of further retaliation by the abuser.

So, the folks in the House who voted yes to this have made an EXTREMELY dangerous situation MUCH worse.

15 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Will Waizenegger on 03/24/2017 at 10:27 PM

Re: “Vermont Inmate No. 144711 Is a 90-Year-Old Veteran

This story does not bode well for an aging baby boomer generation. When dementia strikes, we may all be aggressive and agitated, and the zombie apocalypse will be upon us with wandering dementia patients with nowhere to go. This is an allegedly progressive state. Can't we do better? And why should his claimed behavior decades ago with his children change our current obligation to care for our elderly and infirm?

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Barbara Alsop on 03/24/2017 at 2:24 PM

Re: “Up in Arms: Bill Would Let Cops Take Guns in Domestic Violence Cases

Imagine a country where:
You could be forced from your house and kids based solely on a lie.
You appear in court, guilty until you prove yourself innocent.
If you cannot afford and attorney, one will not provided to you.
You cannot subpoena evidence by those that accused you.
Your Trial is not done by a jury of your peers, but by a poorly trained family court judge who's ruling you will never be able to appeal because of the wide discretion they are afforded.
Even if you prove yourself innocent, your accuser is never held accountable for their actions.

You dont have to imagine, it is the USA under the current domestic violence laws.

Domestic violence is an ugly crime, so are false accusations of abuse. This is the reality of Vermont

This law does nothing to reduce the threat of future incidents domestic violence but is surely does enable and enhance the motivation to submit false allegations of abuse.

Perhaps a rider could be attached to this that would:
A) Require the State to prosecute any allegation of abuse that was later determined to be unfounded.
B) Provide funding to all Law Enforcement to provide proper and adequate storage of confiscated firearms to prevent any damage.

18 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Martin on 03/24/2017 at 9:40 AM

Re: “Up in Arms: Bill Would Let Cops Take Guns in Domestic Violence Cases

"But, she argued, the bill is the best way to address the threat hanging over domestic violence victims: "Unfortunately, firearms are used in these situations."

So you want to deem a person dangerous enough to warrant taking away their firearms, but not dangerous enough to take them into custody and keep them there? After which they can then use a baseball bat, their fists, boots, a kitchen knife, car/truck, chainsaw etc etc etc... I guess limited intellect equals limited solutions.

If Rhonda Gray had been killed with anything other than a gun, we wouldn't even be having this conversation. The focus would be on the killer and the root of the problem instead of on 1 object out of a possible 1000 that could have been used. Anyone that honestly believes that taking a gun out of the hands of a deranged person, turns them into a perfectly normal person, shouldn't be allowed to hold public office.

24 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by FreedomToThink on 03/23/2017 at 12:53 PM

Re: “Vermont Inmate No. 144711 Is a 90-Year-Old Veteran

What kind of eldercare facility allows one of their residents to be taken out in handcuffs just for getting agitated?

8 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by ReneBushey on 03/22/2017 at 7:51 PM

Re: “Up in Arms: Bill Would Let Cops Take Guns in Domestic Violence Cases

Good Article Terry though you missed what legislative council said, that it had a "trifecta of constitutional problems."
So didn't the Defender General saying it circumvented the judicial and due process.

@Norm Blais,
How many times was your license to practice law suspended? O.o Bad advice to your client? BTW How come you didn't run again for city council?

" received overwhelming support at the polls when Burlington voters" Yea polls. Remember when California banned Marriage Equality via referendum? Hmmm ? Polls don't always lead Constitutional Laws. In Fact, they have a very poor record of Constitutional protection. That is why Vermont is a Republic.

No the NRA didn't stop your bill. Blame the "boogie man" all you want, but the legislature council did. Shall I quote the minutes?
The NRA spent roughly $7K according to the VT SEC State's office, BUT the Gun Sense VT and Everytown Spent over $254K .

17 states have laws similar. 4 have not been enforced, 3 are on judicial appeal and 5 are being challenged in court.
Yea. Due process. What do you know about it?

32 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Bob Pierre on 03/22/2017 at 7:02 PM

Re: “Up in Arms: Bill Would Let Cops Take Guns in Domestic Violence Cases

Folks may remember that such a provision to temporarily remove weapons from the domestic abuse scene was one of the measures that received overwhelming support at the polls when Burlington voters proposed such a change to its charter several years ago. This support at the polls was in the face of a significant effort by NRA-types to defeat the measure. Hopefully members of the legislature have more spine now than they did when they refused to allow the Burlington measure to become law.
Norm Blais

12 likes, 42 dislikes
Posted by Norm Blais on 03/22/2017 at 11:11 AM

Re: “Life Sentence: Former Judge Ed Cashman Finally Defends Himself

All of you that are whining about Cashman not giving a tough enough sentence obviously don't care about rehabilitating a person. With rehabilitation there is a lesser chance of reoffending. Stop hating on Judge Cashman just because he didn't lock this fella up and throw away the key. He truly cares about other people, victim included, and I am sure that the victim would rather have their perp not reoffend rather than raping multiple people down the line because they never got treatment. I know that people can still reoffend either way, but with a lesser chance if they were rehabilitated in any way. Do any of you Fox News pricks know anything more about him other than this ill reported case? Have you ever been in his position (or that of any judge) of making these decisions? You most likely haven't so you should take a personal inventory of yourself instead of taking somebody elses.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Kaylee C. on 03/14/2017 at 6:32 PM

Re: “Bennington Locks Up More People Than Any Other Vermont County

First of all one can get drugs in jail too.So a lot of people continue the cycle in than out of jail. Treatment options is needed here. they can put a dealer in jail but someone is going to pop up in their place. Supply and demand. If we can help the people stop using there will be less selling.Things change, people change, and drugs change, so the way we deal with drugs has to change too. The closed minded way of Marthage's way of just throwing people in jail is obliviously not working. This is a pattern I have seen growing up in Bennington we re-elect the same people though results are poor or minimal. Bennington didn't want growth or new people coming in, we taxed business to high heaven now look there's no jobs left. Now Bennington is in a panic, there's no money coming in and with an aging population what are we to do? really? nobody saw this coming? maybe if there were jobs people wouldn't have so much time on their hands to do drugs in the first place.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by jane doe on 03/12/2017 at 1:04 PM

Re: “Bennington Locks Up More People Than Any Other Vermont County

What they don't mention is that police departments and Sheriff's get paid for keeping the correctional facility full. They get fines for not filling beds.

It's easy to look at the the socioeconomic situation, where the population is largely trained to do factory or assembly work and 95% of those jobs have gone out of state or country.

Non-violent drug offenders are easy catches and then in a county like Bennington where there is already enormous competition for jobs, you are at a disadvantage.
Jailing people takes a breadwinner from a family and puts the entire unit at risk from abuse from the community or system. The rise of for-profit prisons has destroyed the family unit through poverty.

The economic strain on the county has been the catalyst for much of this, add the heroin, and since the 1960's the CIA is responsible for 90% of the heroin distribution worldwide. The Mexican cartels work for the CIA. The war in Afghanistan is about heroin. The doctors in Vermont were giving it out freely in the pill form, and it got people hooked. The street drugs are cheaper, and dirtier. When people are out of work they are depressed. When people are poor, they get depressed. Then they get hurt doing odd jobs or physical work they are less used to, and the doctor gives you opiates for pain. This has been the set up for thousands of falls, not just in Bennington, but all over the country. The script pad gets them initiated and then the CIA makes sure the population has a steady supply.
It keeps your for-profit prisons full, CPS (another money maker) full, and your police and lawyers and their masonic friends fat and happy.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jane Doe, MS Psychology on 03/12/2017 at 10:21 AM

Re: “Life Sentence: Former Judge Ed Cashman Finally Defends Himself

@Essentialsvt.. I am so sorry what you went through..Vermont now is a state who cares more for the criminal then the VICTIM ..I know someone who was sexually molested for 6 yrs, the victim was a child, it was done by an in law..the in law got away with it, this person was suppose to get help but never did..when this happened I went with the family looking for the pervert, lucky for this person we did not find the pervert..
In Vermont and some other states quickly claim insanity and you'll get away with it, be it robbery, rape or murder..or the latest, claim " I don't speak English or don't know the law..!!!..

3 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Donna Boutin on 03/11/2017 at 12:11 PM

Re: “Life Sentence: Former Judge Ed Cashman Finally Defends Himself

I remember how disgusted I was with that sentence. I felt that the girl in the case had been betrayed by the system. I believed that Hulett deserved to go away for a much longer time. Since that time, I became the victim of a man who committed two felonies against me. I learned by going through the court system that it is called the Criminal Justice System for a reason. It's not the victim justice system, although there are victim advocates. My perp was let out of jail with no treatment because he was deemed criminally insane and then all charges were dropped. I had nothing to say in the matter. Victims suffer silently every day at court.

7 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Essentialsvt on 03/11/2017 at 5:59 AM

Re: “Life Sentence: Former Judge Ed Cashman Finally Defends Himself

Donna & Mike- I so agree- and I found the article right out of the pity pool- PITY ME I DID WHAT I THOUGHT WAS BEST.....Sir- if you thought that was best- you have no reason to sit on a bench for a dog fight- and judges like you ( and there are many) SHOULD HAVE BEEN KICKED OFF THE BENCH IMMEDIATELY

8 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Sean Moran 1 on 03/10/2017 at 7:45 PM

Re: “Life Sentence: Former Judge Ed Cashman Finally Defends Himself

If it was my child who had been raped for 5 yrs the SOB wouldn't be alive today.. Cashman made a HUGE mistake..Did the jerk get his treatment and lifetime supervision??? Doubt it.. Was any thought given to the little girl, was she given therapy?? How is her life today..? My husband liked Cashman until this happened...His opinion charged..

9 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Donna Boutin on 03/10/2017 at 6:33 PM

Re: “Life Sentence: Former Judge Ed Cashman Finally Defends Himself

Cashman is no victim. The girl that was raped got a life sentence and the perp wasn't punished. It probably is because Cashman has become to chummy with defense attorneys. Many of them will do anything for money. Cashman wasn't hired to be a therapist, he was hired to be a judge. There is nothing lower than a child molester. His antics in the classroom speak volumes about his moral compass, where students are as clueless as he is.

10 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Mike Burnham on 03/10/2017 at 5:51 PM

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