Note to criminal defendants: Get to court early, and bring the judge a sandwich.
That could be the conclusion of a new study of judges’ behavior, reported by Michael Haederle at Miller-McCune. Researchers studying the rulings of Israeli parole board judges found that prisoners were far more likely to get a favorable ruling at the start of the workday or right after a meal break. Just before the break, or at the end of the day, the success rate dropped to near zero.
“This is a pretty stark demonstration of how arbitrary things can be,” said researcher Jonathan Levav, an associate professor at the Columbia Business School. “On the one hand, it confirms our intuition, and on the other hand it’s terrifying.”