Does justice depend on what the judge had for breakfast? To some extent, the answer is, perhaps, yes. Or, perhaps more accurately, it is dependent on when they had breakfast and when justice is sought.
In a 2011 study by Shai Danziger, Jonathan Levav and Liora Avnaim-Pesso, it was found that in the context parole hearings, there is a good time and a bad time to have your hearing held.
The study, published at Extraneous factors in judicial decisions, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 108, no. 17 (April 26, 2011), found that the percentage of “favourable” rulings dropped gradually from 65% to 0% as the morning went on. The favourable ruling percentage shot up again after the morning break, and the afternoon break, only to drop as the day’s sittings went on.
The authors conclude that their results indicate that extraneous variables can influence judicial decisions. Further, they conclude that their findings support the view that “the law is indeterminate by showing that legally irrelevant situational developments – in this case, merely taking a food break – may lead a judge to rule differently in cases with similar legal characteristics.”
It is not clear how this may apply to civil litigation, where one litigant’s “favourable decision” is another litigant’s “unfavourable decision”.
Thanks for reading.
As noted in a recent article in the Huffington Post, your chances of dying are one in one. However, WHAT you will die from is not so certain.
The article in the Huffington Post, by Dean Praetorius, reports, in pictorial form no less, on the 2010 edition of “Injury Facts”, published by the National Safety Council, out of the U.S. The National Safety Council report provides the lifetime odds of death for selected causes of death for the U.S. in 2006. These odds are as follows:
Heart disease: 1 in 6
Cancer: 1 in 7
Stroke: 1 in 28
Motor vehicle accidents: 1 in 85
Intentional self harm: 1 in 115
Accidental poisoning/noxious substances: 1 in 139
Falls: 1 in 184
Car occupant: 1 in 272
Assault by firearms: 1 in 300
Pedestrian: 1 in 623
Motorcycle rider: 1 in 802
Accidental drowning: 1 in 1,073
Exposure to smoke, fire: 1 in 1,235
Bicycle accidents: 1 in 4,147
Air and space transport accidents: 1 in 5,862
Firearms discharge: 1 in 5,981
Exposure to excessive natural heat: 1 in 6,174
Exposure to electric current, radiation, temperature and pressure: 1 in 9,412
Cataclysmic storm: 1 in 51,199
Hornets, wasps, bees: 1 in 62,950
Lightning: 1 in 81,701
Dog bite/attack: 1 in 119,998
Earthquake: 1 in 153,597
Be careful out there. We may not be able to beat the odds, but hopefully we can delay the payout as long as possible.
Paul E. Trudelle – Click here for more information on Paul Trudelle.