Creative sentences can be innovative and effective, but all too often they are instead a reflection of the personal prejudices of the judge.
In a recent case in Montana, a particularly sexist one was handed down by the same judge who made headlines and invoked ire when he gave a ridiculously short sentence to a rapist and stated that the victim was “older than her chronological age”.
He sentenced Pacer Anthony, 27, convicted of punching his girlfriend, to an additional six months in prison, on top of the eight years the man would have to serve for violating the terms of his previous release, and, to write the sentence
Boys do not hit girls.
five thousand times.
The man has until May to complete the assignment and mail it to the judge.
Apparently Judge G. Todd Baugh mistook his role as Judge for one as recess monitor. These aren’t boys and girls he’s dealing with. They’re grown men and women. The terms ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ make the incident sound small and insignificant, like a schoolyard scuffle instead of an assault that left the victim with her face fractured in three places.
Furthermore, while it’s true that boys shouldn’t hit girls, it is equally true that no child or adult of any gender should be hitting any child or adult of any gender, and it would be nice if Judge Baugh had decided to word his punishment in a way that reflected that, instead of suggesting that people of one gender should behave in a different manner than those of the other.