William H. Orrick, the federal judge who sentenced Patty Hearst, died in his sleep on Aug. 15. He was 87.
Orrick attended Yale and the law school on the University of California, Berkeley campus. He served as a counter-intelligence officer in the Pacific and Europe during World War II, then worked for his father’s law firm, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.
Orrick spent the 1960s working for the Justice Department in Washington D.C., and in 1974 was appointed to the Federal District Court in San Francisco by President Richard M. Nixon.
When one of his colleagues died, Orrick inherited the Patty Hearst case. Hearst, who was convicted of robbing a bank with the people who kidnapped her, was sentenced by Orrick to seven years in prison in 1977. Her sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter less than two years later; President Bill Clinton pardoned her. Orrick also presided over a 23-year school desegregation case and a civil rights suit challenging conditions at San Francisco’s jail in San Bruno.