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Judges' Rulings Affected by Hunger and Fatigue

Posted on May 12, 2011

A research team at New York's Columbia Business School studied the results of over 1,000 parole hearings for Israeli prisoners.  The hearings took place over a ten-month period, and were presided over by eight different judges. 

They found that the judges granted parole much more often for inmates whose cases were heard shortly after a meal break, and were denied much more frequently for those heard just before a break, leading them to conclude that hunger and fatigue play a part in the decision-making.

They also suspect that it isn't limited just to the legal field, and that doctors and other decision-makers may also choose an easy decision when they are tired or hungry.

The article in Scientific America inlcludes more details of the study.

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Paul Liam McGlone
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DWI and Criminal Defense Attorney and Founder of McGlone Law Firm