Will Vermont Judge Edward Cashman Resentence a Convicted Child Rapist?
This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," January 25, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: The top story tonight, the latest from the Green Mountain State. Joining us now from Burlington is Vermont attorney, James Levy, who's been closely following the case.
We just got the results of a Zogby poll, a nationwide poll. It finds that ninety-two percent of Americans disagree with Cashman's sentence, three percent agree. And I guess they are all NAMBLA members.
I'm just stunned that this thing is still going on after two weeks. What do you think is going to happen tomorrow?
JAMES LEVY, ATTORNEY: Well, first off, I'm stunned that it is only 92 percent that disagree with it. What I think is going to happen might not be what ought to happen.
What ought to happen is based upon the state's motion for reconsideration and the fact that the Department of Corrections now is willing to afford the defendant sex offender treatment with an extended prison term, the underpinning of Judge Cashman's original decision has been cut out. So there is ample basis for the Judge now to impose a harsh term, maybe eight years to life.
That's what I think ought to happen. What I think will happen will be the reverse. And, again, I have no objective criteria to go on other than my instincts. But my instincts tells me that the judge will take the position that the change in the Department of Corrections position would be available for sentencing in future cases, but the standard by which he is compelled to follow requires that new evidence or new circumstances that did not exist on the day of the original sentencing should not be considered. I disagree with that, but I think there is a strong possibility the original sentence might be reversed.
O'REILLY: All right. So if he digs in his heels and doesn't change when he legally could change the sentence, what happens then?
LEVY: He could.
O'REILLY: Is the state of Vermont then try to remove him? Because they could move him into Civil Court, move him out of criminal proceedings. I mean, is the state just going to let that guy sit there and do this, is my question?
LEVY: What I would like to see happen, as I suspect it will, is the state will appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court the decision.
I think there's a line, which I believe shouldn't be crossed between what actually transpires in the courtroom and legitimate public criticism of what occurred. I would like to see the legal process play out. I also would like to see the Vermont legislature bring up for a vote one way or the other on a resolution urging Judge Cashman to consider resignation.
O'REILLY: But the Democrats, Symington, the House speaker is preventing that. They got it in committee and they don't want that to happen for varying reasons.
Did you see our report? The brother-in-law of Cashman is one of the big movers and shakers behind the scenes in Vermont politics. In fact, he's is the president of the Governor's Economic Advisory Council, this guy Harlan Sylvester.
LEVY: I know Harlan Sylvester.
O'REILLY: So what we're getting here, Counselor, is all of America is watching Vermont. All of America is watching. And we are seeing a system that doesn't work. And they are getting angry at the state. And I just don't know if the state of Vermont, the people who run it, understand this.
LEVY: Well, I think appropriately the nation should be angry at Vermont. I don't think it is unique to Vermont. And I think wherever you see it has to be exposed.
O'REILLY: But this is what is happening now. You know, this is happening now. This guy Cashman could legally give the guy, as you said, eight years in prison to life, tomorrow.
LEVY: Yes, he could.
O'REILLY: And if he doesn't then all hell is going to break loose.
LEVY: And I think one point I will make is that, in our constitution, our Vermont constitution, a very interesting provision at Chapter 2, Section 64 states that punishment ought to be imposed by hard labor, hard labor on criminals. And interestingly, this is the one standard above all others, more than rehabilitation, more than deterrence, that should be considered in a Vermont courtroom.
O'REILLY: Hey, I'd give the guy hard labor if I was up there.
All right, Counselor, we appreciate your time once again. FOX News is going to be on the scene.
LEVY: All right. Excellent.
O'REILLY: And we'll let you know tomorrow what happens. And we hope he does the right thing, Cashman. We don't want to punish the state of Vermont. We like the state of Vermont. But this little girl has to get justice. That's what has to happen.
LEVY: I agree with you wholeheartedly.
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