On January 30, 1974, a young woman, who shall remain nameless, was arrested for prostitution. Having solicited a police officer (doh!), she sought a sentence of probation. Magistrate Judge Richard J. Rome complied. Unfortunately, he also issued the following Memorandum Decision:
This is the saga of ___ ___ ___,
Whose ancient profession brings her before us.
On January 30th, 1974,
This lass agreed to work as a whore.
Her great mistake, as was to unfold,
Was the enticing of a cop named Harold.
Unknown to ___, this officer, surnamed Harris,
Was duty-bent on ___’s lot to embarrass.
At the Brass Rail they met,
And for twenty dollars the trick was all set.
In separate cars they did pursue,
To the sensuous apartment of ___ ___.
Bound for her bed she spared not a minute,
Followed by Harris with his heart not in it!
As she prepared to repose there in her bay,
She was arrested by Harris, to her great dismay!
Off to the jailhouse poor ___ was taken,
Printed and mugged, her confidence shaken.
Formally charged by this great State,
With offering to Harris to fornicate.
Her arraignment was formal, then back to jail,
And quick as a flash she was admitted to bail.
On February 26, 1974,
The State of Kansas tried this young whore.
A prosecutor named Brown,
Represented the Crown.
___ ___, her freedom in danger,
Was being defended by a chap named Granger.
Testimony was presented and arguments heard,
Poor ___ waited for the Judge’s last word.
The finding was guilty, with no great alarm,
And ___ was sentenced to the Women’s State Farm.
An appeal was taken, to a higher court ___ went,
The thousand dollar fine was added to imprisonment.
Trial was set in this higher court,
But the route of appeal ___ chose to abort.
And back to Judge Rome, came this lady of the night,
To plead for her freedom and end this great fight.
So under advisement ___’s freedom was taken,
And in the bastille this lady did waken.
The judge showed mercy and ___ was free,
But back to the street she could not flee.
The fine she’d pay while out on parole,
But not from men she used to cajole.
From her ancient profession she’d been busted,
And to society’s rules she must be adjusted.
If from all of this a moral doth unfurl,
It is that Pimps do not protect the working girl!
The matter was brought to the attention of the Commission on Judicial Qualifications to determine if Judge Rome violated the Code of Judicial Conduct. What do you think they decided?
Guilty! – of violating Canon 3A(3) (“A judge should be patient, dignified, and courteous to litigants …”). Judge Rome rejected the Commission’s finding, and the Supreme Court of Kansas said … guilty! The Kansas Supreme Court affirmed the Commission’s conclusion that Judge Rome be publicly censured. The case is In re Rome, 542 P. 2nd 676 (Kan. 1975).