Friday, April 15, 2011

Justice May Not Be Blind but It Might Be Hungry

Ed Yong of Not Exactly Rocket Science points to a study that shows that prisoners will have a better chance of parole if the judge has a full stomach.
. . . .prisoners will be successfully paroled start off fairly high at around 65% and quickly plummet to nothing over a few hours. After the judges have returned from their breaks, the odds abruptly climb back up to 65%, before resuming their downward slide. A prisoner’s fate could hinge upon the point in the day when their case is heard.

These rulings were made by eight Jewish-Israeli judges, with an average of 22 years of judging behind them. Their verdicts represented 40% of all parole requests in the country during the ten months. Every day, each judge considers between 14 and 35 cases, spending around 6 minutes on each decision. They take two food breaks that divide their day into three sessions. All of these details, from the decision to the times of the breaks, are duly recorded.
If trained professionals can adversely affected by hunger or blood sugar or whatever causes these results, what factors influence the classroom?

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