What Is It About Massachusetts Judges?

An incomprehensible decision earlier this year by Superior Court Judge Kathe Tuttman, a Romney appointee who at her confirmation hearing partially justified her appointment based on her experience as president of her synagogue, is only the latest in a series of disasters for the Massachusetts judiciary.
Tuttman is the judge who overturned a district court ruling and released Daniel Tavares Jr. on personal recognizance following his assault on two guards at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center. Why was Tavares in prison? In 1991, he stabbed his mother to death with a carving knife and copped a manslaughter plea.
Tavares then moved to Washington state, where earlier this week he admitted murdering neighbors Brian and Beverly Mauck, claiming that they had “insulted” him.
Judge Tuttman’s decisions have been in the news before: it was she who denied hospital visitation rights to the mother of Haleigh Poutre, the little girl who was beaten senseless by her adoptive parents, Holli and Jason Strickland.
With this latest exercise in dubious (pardon the pun) judgment, she joins Hiller Zobel, Leila Kern, Maria Lopez, Patrick F. Brady, Walter E. Steele and others in the bumbling pantheon that has given Massachusetts a national reputation for judicial incompetence.