IF A JUDGE’S FAVORITE FOOTBALL TEAM LOSES AN UPSET, THEY GIVE OUT MUCH HARSHER SENTENCES
It’s Super Bowl Weekend yet again! But this news isn’t the usual commercial fare discussing injuries, personal drama or the best way to choose your pool box. This is about how Football fans’ personal losses can translate into the halls of justice itself. And yes, I’m talking about judges, the very arbiters of said, justice, and the ones who are supposed to mete it out with neutral aplomb. But guess what? A new study has found that when a judge’s favorite football team loses, they give out a harsher sentence! The study came from the American Economic Journal, and it was titled, “Emotional Judges and Unlucky Juveniles.”
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WANT TO AVOID JUVIE? GET YOUR CASE DELAYED TO AVOID A HARSHER SENTENCE
Unlucky, indeed. So if you are a juvenile and have any concerns about heading to Juvie early next week, maybe try to get your lawyer to bump your hearing to the end of the week. Because that might help you! Might being the key word. Because the study did some long math, looking at juvenile court decision between 1996 and 2012. It measured the “effects of emotional shocks associated with unexpected outcomes of football games played by a prominent college team in (a) state.” That means they looked at how judges lashed out with their gavels and harsher sentences when their favorite college team lost, unexpectedly. So yes, that’s not the Super Bowl, but the logic seems to apply, don’t you think?
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CLOSE LOSS? NO PROBLEM. GOOD WIN? NO PROBLEM. UPSET LOSS? JUDGE’S GAVEL LANDS HARDER
But let’s tighten up the study’s findings. If a judge’s team was expected to lose and won, it didn’t affect their rulings. It their team lost and the contest was expected to be close, same deal. But if their team was the favorite to win and lost in a perceived upset, look out! That’s when the harsher rulings hit in a big way. And I’m talking about longer sentences. And if the judge did undergrad at the very school whose team lost in an upset? Even longer sentences. And, of course, let’s not forget the inevitable fact of who the affected defendants were: young African-American males.