Strange Judicial Opinions

But Did the Defendant Come in Through the Bathroom Window?

As a member of a mid-life crisis rock band and huge Beatles fan, I have a special appreciation for Montana Judge Gregory R. Todd’s order in a recent criminal case. After the defendant pleaded guilty to burglary, he was asked to fill out portions of a pre-sentence investigation report. In response to the question, “Give your recommendation as to what you think the Court should do in this case,” the defendant replied, “Like the Beetles say, ‘Let It Be.’”

Judge Todd took issue with both the defendant’s apparent plea for leniency and also his misspelling of the name of the Beatles, for who Judge Todd has great fondness. The judge penned a caustic sentencing memorandum, written to the defendant, that managed to work in the titles of these thirty-nine Beatles songs:

Act Naturally
Baby It’s You
Bad Boy
Carry That Weight
Come Together
Day in the Life
Do You Want to Know a Secret?
Fixing a Hole
Fool on the Hill
Get Back
Hard Day’s Night
Hello Goodbye
Here, There and Everywhere
Hey Jude
Honey Don’t
I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party
I Feel Fine
I Should Have Known Better
I, Me, Mine
I’ll Cry
I’ll Get You
I’m a Loser
Let It Be
Long and Winding Road
Magical Mystery Tour
Mr. Moonlight
Nowhere Man
Run for Your Life
Strawberry Fields Forever
The Word
Think for Yourself
Ticket to Ride
We Can Work It Out
When I’m 64
You Really Got a Hold on Me

Here’s a taste from the last paragraph of the memorandum:

Later when you thought about what you did, you may have said I’ll Cry Instead. Now you’re saying Let It Be instead of I’m A Loser. As a result of your Hard Day’s Night, you are looking at a Ticket To Ride that Long and Winding Road to Deer Lodge. Hopefully you can say both now and When I’m 64 that I Should Have Known Better.

Judge, what can I say, but Thank You Girl, er rather, Your Honor. Till There Was You, most judicial opinions were just so Yesterday. I hope we have a chance to Come Together for lunch or Something. Why? Well, just Because.

— Montana v. McCormack, No. DC06-0323, Montana Thirteenth Judicial District, Yellowstone County, Feb. 26, 2007.