This story is so Ben & Jerry's I can't believe it really, really did happen in Vermont. But it did.

Here we have a judge who, while sentencing a child molester, said he no longer believes in punishment.

Judge Edward Cashman gave the convicted child molester a 60-day sentence, rejecting the 20-year sentence the prosecutor wanted.

This story comes via WCAX TV in Burlington, Vermont. The TV station reported the judge told the packed courtroom: "The one message I want to get through is that anger doesn't solve anything. It just corrodes your soul."

The judge refused to impose the long stretch in the joint on the convicted sex offender who, by the way, raped a 7-year-old girl more or less continuously until she was 11.

Instead, he said he wanted to make sure the sex offender got treatment.

The judge said 25 years ago when he went on the bench he used to throw the keys away, lock people up for a long time.

Now he thinks it's a waste.

The judge said: "It doesn't make anything better. It costs us a lot of money. We create a lot of expectation. And we feed our anger."

The sound you hear in the background is Howard Dean giving the judge a round of applause.

Evidently up in Vermont the Chubby Hubby ice cream finally got to the judge. "Aww, heck. I've been sitting here for a quarter century sending people to jail and I still got people committing crimes. What's the point?"

Look, this is shooting fish in a barrel, isn't it?

I could rail on for another five minutes on moronic judges. If they're not willing to do their job, they should retire, go into door-to-door sales, something.

I could go on and on like that.

But I find myself a little bit like the judge, wondering if all that sound and fury will do any good.

Maybe it's best to sit quietly and see if anybody notices.

Let's see if there's a sudden change in the faces wearing black robes in Vermont. See if people wake up and notice who's down at the courthouse playing judge this week. Is it somebody who doesn't believe in jail? I would think that's a basic question when you're considering who should be a judge.

That's My Word.

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