Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ten Minutes, Two Dead People, One Dopey Massachusetts Judge

After all but conceding the story to the Boston Herald, the Globe-Democrat has finally decided to take the Daniel Tavares/Kathe Tuttman story seriously. They ran a front-page story today that, to the surprise of no one, shifts the blame for this unforgivable foul-up as far from Judge Kathe Tuttman as possible.

Judge Tuttman is, after all, a liberal, a Democrat, a woman and a judge. Therefore, the Globe-Democrat concludes, she couldn't have done anything wrong.

However, even the BG-D couldn't help noticing one particularly disturbing fact about Tuttman's hearing in which she overruled a lower-court's $100,000 bail and ignored his openly-stated and well-known plans to travel to Washington State to meet his woman. The entire hearing lasted just 10 minutes.

The Globe-Democrat goes to great lengths to blame this on Worcestor County prosecutors, pointing out that they did very little talking during the hearing and the prosecutor in the case seemed to have little knowledge of the specifics of the Tavares case. All fair criticism and, it is hoped, the voters in Worcester County will keep that in mind.

However, the Globe-Democrat--in a disturbing abandonment of the basics of journalistic integrity--completely leaves out the fact that Tavares entered the hearing with a $100,000 bail already in place. They refuse to report Tavares' own attorney requesting a monitoring bracelet for his client. They also give less than one sentence to the fact that the Worcester County attorney specifically mentioned the likelihood that Tavares would leave the state. Not just "won't show up for court," but "will flee Massachusetts."

As Worcester DA Joseph Early put it, "We told the court he'd take off, and unfortunately he did."

Yes, there is plenty of blame to go around. But Judge Tuttman was the only person in this case who wanted this mother-murdering dirtbag on the streets on his own recognizance. Even his own attorney didn't ask for that. She had to reduce $100,000 bail to $0, and put him on the streets scott-free. And she did. And now two more people are dead.

One final note about the "integrity" of the Boston Globe-Democrat's coverage: Their story is 2500 words long. Judge Tuttman's name appears just six times. Their entire coverage of her bail hearing?

One paragraph.