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December 25, 2013

Controversial Montana judge adds notable writing requirement to max sentence for assault

As reported in this Los Angeles Times article, headlined "Judge sentences man to write 'boys do not hit girls' 5,000 times," a Montana judge who made headlines for a lenient sentence in a rape case is now making news with a novel sentence in an assault case. Here are the details:

The Montana judge who sparked ire by sentencing a former teacher to 30 days in jail for the rape of a 14-year-old girl has ordered a man convicted of punching his girlfriend to write “Boys do not hit girls,” 5,000 times.

District Judge G. Todd Baugh, whose actions in the rape case sparked a national furor and a petition drive to have state officials take disciplinary action, sentenced Pace Anthony Ferguson on Monday to the writing exercise, in addition to six months in jail, for fracturing the woman’s face in three places during an August 2012 argument. Ferguson, 27, also was ordered to pay $3,800 in medical bills that came as a result of the woman's injuries.

Baugh told Ferguson to number the list, 1 through 5,000, sign it and mail it to him by May 23, according to the Billings Gazette. The six months in county jail is the maximum allowed sentence for the misdemeanor assault.

Ferguson made two appearances in court on Monday. After being sentenced by Baugh, Ferguson appeared before District Judge Gregory R. Todd for a disposition hearing. The judge ruled that Ferguson had violated the terms of his release from prison after a 2003 robbery conviction and ordered the man to spend eight years in state prison.

December 25, 2013 at 09:11 AM | Permalink


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Doug: Merry Christmas to you and your family! I am grateful for your blog and all the work you do on sentencing issues. Keep up the good work in 2014. Jim Gormley, 859-806-4434.

Posted by: Jim Gormley | Dec 25, 2013 9:25:52 AM

Are Montana judges elected?

Posted by: visitor | Dec 25, 2013 6:39:32 PM

Exhibit A as to why judges should not get 100% sentencing discretion 100% of the time.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Dec 25, 2013 7:42:29 PM

lol I agree. I love the blog! hope everyone had a great Christmas!

as for this idiot judge.

think once the sentence was done. would tell him there was no way in hell I would write that. But would be happy to write "Kiss my Ass! 1500 times.... Just for HIM!

Posted by: rodsmith | Dec 25, 2013 10:40:41 PM

Inept, I would say.

Posted by: Tom McGee | Dec 27, 2013 3:16:48 PM

The judge imposed the writing assignment on top of the prison time which was max for the misdemeanor. Will it help? Maybe. Will it hurt? No.

Posted by: Liberty1st | Dec 27, 2013 11:53:59 PM

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