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Think how defendants must feel

Equal justice under the law might just depend simply on whether a judge’s stomach is growling when he pronounces sentence, according to a study of 1,000 parole decisions during 50 courtroom days observed by students from Columbia University and Israel’s Ben Gurion University.
The students found that, day after day, judges were increasingly stingy with parole as a morning or afternoon session wore on.
But dramatic spikes in generosity took effect immediately following lunch or a snack break.
The lead researcher, Columbia professor Jonathan Levav, expressed satisfaction with the scholarship but disappointment “as a citizen” with the ...


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