Call yourself unlucky if your parole judge is peckish. A new study finds that judges are most lenient early in the morning or right after a break, like lunch.
“We find that the likelihood of a favourable ruling is greater at the very beginning of the work day or after a food break than later in the sequence of cases,” the researchers concluded in a report after studying 1,112 parole cases in Israel.
Most defendants – up to 65 percent – were given favourable rulings in the beginning of each session. The rate dropped down near zero by the end of the session. The judges returned to more lenient rulings after their breaks, with similar numbers to the morning, but the same pattern of decline was also repeated, the Associated Press cited the report in Tuesday’s edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The cases were handled by eight judges over 50 days. The same pattern applied to all of them. The researchers noted that the severity of the crime or the gender or ethnicity of the defendant were not factors influencing the judges’ decisions.
By Ali Sheikholeslami