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 findings.
‘Good dog’ isn’t
“Man’s best friend” sometimes isn’t, as when a playful dog hops onto a gun on the ground, causing it to fire a round.
John Daniels, 28, took a bullet in the knee from his dog, for example, in Raleigh, N.C.
Dogs betray in other ways, too.
Motorist Joel Dobrin, 32, was pulled over in a traffic stop in Moro, Ore., and rushed to hide his alleged drug stash, which was in a sock.
However, his dog intercepted the sock for an impromptu game of dog-tug-of-war in the car.
Dobrin won but lost his grip, and the sock flew out the driver’s window, right in front of the officer.
Dobrin was cited, and later indicted, for drug possession.
(Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa Fla. 33679 or go to www.newsoftheweird.com.)