This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," May 30, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: You're looking at 5-feet-1-inch-tall Richard Thompson — there he is — a 50-year-old Nebraska man who was recently convicted of two felony sexual assault charges for molesting a 12-year-old girl. Judge Kristine Cecava citing the man's height as her reason to decline to send him to prison, handing out 10 years of probation instead. What?
Joining us now, a Nebraska state senator, Mike Friend.
Senator, does anybody see this the judge's way?
MIKE FRIEND, NEBRASKA STATE SENATOR: Well, I'm not hearing it that way, Alan. I think that the interesting part about all this — and it is interesting — that's why we're here, is that we're talking about such questionable judicial behavior. And the funny thing — I wouldn't say it's funny — when you look at it from — the standpoint of politics, you talk executive branch, you talk — you talk legislative branch.
FRIEND: We're all responsible to somebody. Well, I think that there are people saying shouldn't, you know, we shelter our judiciary from political, you know, behavior. They still have to respond to societal needs, don't they?
COLMES: And it's a bad decision. But I know there's probably a movement to impeach this judge, and that concerns me, much as I disagree with her decision. You impeach somebody because of one stupid decision.
FRIEND: Well Alan, impeachment is not a possibility here.
COLMES: Or removal?
FRIEND: A district court judge in the state of Nebraska is not a lifetime appointment. There's going to be retention hearing — she'll actually be up for retention in 2008.
I would imagine out in Cheyenne County she's taking a lot of heat. And that will affect retention, I would imagine, in 2008. But a lot of...
COLMES: But shouldn't the judge be looked at on the entire record rather than one, again, bone-headed decision that they make?
FRIEND: Yes. Absolutely. And I think that the voters will do that. But our Constitution allows for that retention review. In 2008, that'll happen.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Hi, Mike.
FRIEND: Hi, Sean.
HANNITY: How are you doing? Welcome to the program.
HANNITY: Let's remind people. This guy was convicted and sentenced. We're talking about two felony sexual assault charges against a 12-year-old girl.
FRIEND: Sean, that's absolutely right. And we as legislature, we dealt with that, and the governor. We dealt with that in this last session. If this man would have committed these crimes 15 days from now, he would have gotten a 15-year minimum. I mean, that's it.
HANNITY: Well, he could have been sentenced to 10 years in jail. This is what really angers me, though, about the judge in this particular case.
HANNITY: Because the judge acknowledged that he deserved a long prison sentence and that he was, quote, too small to survive in a state prison. Well, if that's the case, you know, put him in an independent cell. But don't put him on the street where he can commit more crimes against more 12-year-old girls.
FRIEND: Sean, I'm in total agreement. The bottom line is this was a flat out, I think for lack of a better term, a very questionable and bad decision. I mean, our laws in the state of Nebraska, you just mentioned it, could have put this man away for 10 years.
Now, like I said, 15 days from now, it's a 15-year minimum. I mean, we've got model legislation created, and the judge signed it — or the governor signed it. We're ready to go.
HANNITY: Right. So I guess the big question everybody wants to know is what are the alternatives? The judge is this egregious and acknowledges this guy deserved the term. And we're talking about a 12-year-old little girl here. You know, what are the options left here? Is there anything anybody can do?
FRIEND: Well, the attorney general's already spoken to this issue, and I think — I don't know if the governor has, but Attorney General John Bruning has already, to my understanding, has spoke to this. And they're looking for an appeal immediately.
The bottom line is what needs to happen is you look at the 2008 retention time frame, and deal with it in that manner.
Now, the other thing, I have to point this out, Sean. I mean, we — this has got to — this didn't have to happen.
FRIEND: I mean, you're talking about judicial discretion here. Judicial discretion wasn't used.
COLMES: We have to run. We thank you very much for being with us tonight. We'll be following it.
FRIEND: Thanks for your time.
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