The August issue of Harper’s contains, in its Readings section, a fantastic sentencing memorandum offered by Judge Gregory R. Todd, in the case of Montana vs. Andrew McCormack:
Mr. McCormack, to the question of “Give your recommendation as to what you think the Court should do in this case,” you said, “Like the Beatles say, ‘Let it be.'” If I were to overlook your actions and let it be, I would have to ignore that day in the life on April 21, 2006. Evidently, you said to yourself, “I feel fine,” while drinking beer. Later, whether you wanted money or were just trying to act naturally, you became the fool on the hill. As Mr. Moonlight at 1:30 A.M., you did not think for yourself, but just focused on I, me, mine. Because you didn’t ask for help, wait for something else, or listen to your conscience saying, “Honey, don’t,” the victim later that day was fixing a hole in the glass door you broke. After you stole the eighteen-pack of Old Milwaukee, you decided it was time to run for your life and carry that weight. But when the witness said, “Baby, it’s you,” the police responded, “I’ll get you,” and you had to admit, “You really got a hold on me.” You were not able to get back home because of the chains they put on you. Although you hoped the police would say, “I don’t want to spoil the party” and “We can work it out,” you were in misery when they said you were a bad boy. When the police took you to jail, they said, “Hello, goodbye,” and you became a nowhere man. 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 were looking at a ticket to ride that long and winding road. Hopefully, you can say when I’m sixty-four, “I should have known better.”
© 2007, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.