He has worked in the legal field since 1967, and he was a Massachusetts Superior Court Judge before being appointed to the federal judiciary by President Reagan in 1985.
Judge Young was the trial judge in Massachusetts state court for the highly publicized 'Big Dan' rape case which was the inspiration for the movie The Accused starring Jodie Foster. Judge Young served as Chief Judge of the Federal District Court for the District of Massachusetts from 1997 until 2005.
After his federal appointment, Judge Young sentenced Richard Reid who is better known as the terrorist shoe bomber to life in prison. During sentencing Young reportedly stated "You hate our freedom -- our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, and to believe or not believe as we individually choose. ... See that flag, Mr. Reid? That is the flag of the United States of America. That flag will fly there long after this is forgotten. And it still stands for freedom."