Tuesday, November 28, 2006

O'Reilly Slams Missouri Judge

Bill O'Reilly is taking aim at a Missouri judge who sentenced a child rapist to probation after being convicted of having sexual intercourse and oral sex with his nine-year-old stepdaughter.

It's the case of 50-year-old Kenneth Slaght. O'Reilly said the prosecutor asked for 15 years, but the Judge gave him probation.

Circuit Court Judge Larry Meyer said he couldn't talk about the sentence.

So O'Reilly brought Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt onto his cable TV show tonight, who was more than obliged to talk about the case.

"I certainly want to say that my thoughts go out to the victim and their family and the victim. I can only imagine how excruciating it is for them. This is really a great example of why we need to take discretion away from judges. In Missouri, that's what we've done," Blunt told O'Reilly. "Unfortunately, a law that I signed last year -- excuse me, this year, wasn't in effect at the time this crime was committed," Blunt added referring to Jessica's Law.

But Blunt reminded O'Reilly that since Missouri judges are elected, the voters could ultimately punish Judge Meyer at the polls.

"In one of the advantages of Missouri, as you point out, most of our judges are elected. And the people of -- I believe it's Lawrence County, will be able to ask those questions and make him -- an informed decision when they select a person to act as the judge in that county," Blunt said.

"And certainly, there will be people, I think, that want an explanation. It is, though, important to remind ourselves, that that's why we need to take discretion away from judges and have strict mandatory sentences. And that's what we'll have in the future in Missouri. It will be at least 30 years behind bars. It's a life sentence ... from 30 years served behind bars and then lifetime supervision. So for example, in this case this person would have a 30-year behind bar sentence and a lifetime sentence with 30 years served behind bars."

"So we've taken steps to take that discretion away from judges so that we can better protect our children, our families. And we should have no higher priority," the Governor said.

O'Reilly noted that Judge Meyer is a 64-year-old Republican.

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