by Kim Chittick, member, Time Out Board of Directors
Once again, I am outraged by Judge Peter Cahill.
Last week, the Gila County justice system, under the authority of Judge Peter Cahill, sent the message to all women, that their lives, souls and self-esteem are worth less than $100.
In the last month, the father and son team of Jerry and Zachary Smith were each sentenced by Judge Peter Cahill to three years of probation, after tag-teaming the beating of Zachary’s fiancee. They left her choked, with a concussion, multiple bruises and contusions and the memory of an apartment covered with her blood.
Michael Basner got drunk, fought with his girlfriend, drove drunk, ran from police, drove recklessly, violated a restraining order and drove on a suspended driver’s license. Judge Peter Cahill accepted his words of remorse and sentenced him to the mandatory minimum sentence of four months imprisonment and probation.
Anthony Aguilar ran his bicycle into a vehicle and then told the driver that he would forget her hitting him for $100. The driver became suspicious and called police. Judge Peter Cahill sentenced him to three years in prison for attempting to extort $100 dollars. Reportedly, the basic cost to house an inmate for a year is $40,000.
What is the common denominator in each of these cases? Judge Peter Cahill.
Do any of these sentences make sense?
The message that Judge Peter Cahill has sent to all of Rim Country? Beat a woman bloody, or get drunk and fight with your girlfriend and then drive drunk and recklessly, and Judge Peter Cahill will give you a gentle pass; a few months of jail or a few years of probation. However, don’t dream of trying to scam someone for $100; Judge Peter Cahill will throw the book at you, and sentence the taxpayers to support you for three years at a cost of about $120,000.
Until and unless the message is sent that beating a woman is not acceptable, domestic violence will be prevalent. As long as Judge Peter Cahill continues to sentence violent abusers to probation and/or the minimum sentence, abusers will continue to receive the message that the justice system will give them a pass. And as long as abusers are being given a pass, there will be victims being beaten, destroyed and killed.
Judge Peter Cahill, by his judicial actions, told each and every one of us that the almighty dollar, even 100 of them, is much more important than a human life.