Judge Tuttman unfairly vilified

By | November 29, 2007

I sent this letter to the editor to the Boston Herald three days ago:

To the editor:

Shame on Michael Graham for his misogynistic attack on Judge Kathe Tuttman. Shame on Mitt Romney for throwing a competent judge under the bus to save his own skin. And shame on everyone else who has unfairly vilified Judge Tuttman.

Judge Tuttman was prohibited by law from taking dangerousness into account when deciding on Daniel Tavares Jr.’s bail. It was the prosecutor’s responsibility to request a separate dangerousness hearing. He didn’t. Tavares was free to kill again because the prosecutor didn’t do his job. Judge Tuttman applied the law correctly and appropriately.

Apparently, the politicians and pundits who are attacking Judge Tuttman would prefer judges who exceed their authority. You can’t have it both ways, fellas… do you want “activist judges,” or don’t you?

Jonathan Kamens

The Herald printed it with minor modifications yesterday. They also printed a superb column by Hiller B. Zobel, who sits on the Massachusetts Superior Court, explaining how the bail system works and why Tuttman’s actions were appropriate. Finally, they printed an excellent editorial two days ago, addressing not just the Tuttman question, but also the many other failures which led to Tavares’s being out on the street to kill again rather than locked up in prison. The Herald‘s editorial said exactly what I would have said if my letter were allowed to be as long as their editorial was :-).

Kudos to the editorial page editors of the Herald for hitting a bulls-eye on this one.

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2 thoughts on “Judge Tuttman unfairly vilified

  1. jik Post author

    Margery Eagan just wrote another obnoxious column about Tuttman. I tried to post comments on the Boston Herald Web site in response to her column, but the Web site won’t accept my comments, nor does it explain why — it just gives me a blank page when I attempt to post them. Gotta love that quality control! In any case, here’s what I had to say about what she wrote:

    Enough information is available to understand Tuttman’s ruling. It was correct, and that is, frankly, obvious to anyone who doesn’t have an ax to grind.

    But then, opinion columns aren’t about facts or truth, they’re about selling newspapers, or about building the author’s popularity to sell books or increase talk show ratings.

    There are two overarching philosophies about seating judges. One is that they should be accountable to the people and therefore elected, and the other that they should be appointed to insulate them from the corrupting influence of the desire to be re-elected.

    The fact that so many people in this case are decrying what Tuttman did, when she clearly applied the law properly, is ample evidence that what people want, and thus what gets judges re-elected, is not the correct application of the law.

    The system of appointing judges isn’t perfect, but I’ll take it over the alternative any day.


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