Most of the time, the men and women who work to maintain order and pursue justice comport themselves with a professionalism bordering on stoicism. But every now and then, something truly evil rises up to challenge the legitimacy of those whose job it is to protect the public and administer justice.
During the sentencing Tuesday of a man convicted of raping and murdering his 2-year-old daughter, Judge David Cashman was confronted by someone who has made his peace with evil.
William Page of Braddock taunted Judge Cashman, the jury and the prosecutor who put him away, boasting that he was "too strong" for them to break. He even called Judge Cashman an "idiot."
Burning with righteous indignation on behalf of the young victim and her family, the judge pronounced the convicted killer a "despicable human being" before sentencing him to life in prison without parole.
Judge Cashman broke with the usual protocol of the courtroom by giving his blunt assessment of the man's character. Sometimes even a judge has to say what is obvious to everyone.
William Page truly is a despicable human being who will have the rest of his life to think about what he did. Not a day will go by in which he won't be reminded of his heinous crime.
Calling the murderer names won't bring his young victim back, but at least we can take vicarious comfort in it. Judge Cashman was speaking for all of us.