This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," January 12, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
JOHN GIBSON, HOST: Joining me now is the man representing Mark Hulett, defense lawyer Mark Kaplan. So, Mark, you've heard all of this, is anything going to change in the way you approach this next hearing?
MARK KAPLAN, MARK HULETT'S LAWYER: Well, you know, I haven't had an opportunity to review the state's motion. In fact, it hasn't been filed yet. I would have to look at that and see what the grounds are for the state's motion. I don't think under our existing state common law that the prosecution would be able to rely upon the fact that the department has agreed to change its policies. That would be considered a new factor that wasn't in existence at the time of the sentencing.
GIBSON: Well, Mark, let me ask you. Do you think the sentence as it turned out, the two months, do you think that was a fair and just sentence?
KAPLAN: I think it's a little more complicated than that. First of all, it's not accurate to depict the sentence as being a lenient sentence. My client was given a five-year, 60-day to life sentence, which means that he'll be under the supervision of department of corrections for the remainder of his life.
GIBSON: What does supervision mean?
KAPLAN: Supervision under these circumstances is very stringent. The department will dictate where he lives, who he associates with, where he works. They can impose a curfew if they want. The conditions go on and on. So, they are very stringent conditions.
GIBSON: Mark, I understand. You characterize them as stringent, but most people see this two-month sentence and then some supervision for a long time for a guy who repeatedly molested a little girl over a four-year period. This isn't an isolated incident.
KAPLAN: I mean, the options that the judge was presented with was either put him in jail for a lengthy time and leave him untreated and then have him released as an untreated sex offender or have him receive treatment from the beginning. And all of the experts, the defense expert for example, testified that when you have a sex offender who's low risk — and both the Department of Corrections and defense agreed my client was low risk to re-offend — that it doesn't make sense. It's not advisable not to treat him.
GIBSON: Mark, let's look at the macro picture. The case that you defended and your client probably are going to cause a judge his job. It's going to cost that judge his seat on the bench. And it may change the law in Vermont. It may actually change the way all your future cases are dealt with. Don't you wish you had asked for more of a sentence so this hadn't come down this way?
KAPLAN: You know, when I assume the responsibility of representing a defendant, along with that goes the responsibility to represent him to the best of my abilities. And I think I did that in this case. I can't be concerned about the long-range ramifications in terms of public policy unless it directly impacts my client. I conducted myself in this case as I would in any other case.
GIBSON: You would do it all over again? Two months is a good sentence?
KAPLAN: You know, it's my obligation as a defense lawyer to advocate for a sentence that I think is appropriate for my client and after consulting with him and consulting with the prosecution and the judge. And in this particular case, what made it appropriate was that he would be receiving treatment immediately. And he wanted to receive treatment. And he was low risk.
GIBSON: Mark Kaplan, defense lawyer for Mark Hulett. Mark, thanks very much.
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