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Study: Judges are harsher after football loss

Raisor
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10/9/2016 10:07:09 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
http://www.nber.org...

This working paper finds that the sentences given by judges whose alma mater suffered a loss in football give longer sentences.

The sentences are also disproportionately harsher for black defendants.

This is what I think of when I hear phrases like "implicitl bias" and "structural racism." The judges in this study likely don't consider themselves racist, probably would never intentionally do or say anything racist, but still there are cultural and social factors that lead to outcomes that are biased along racial lines.

This study is interesting not just for the identity politics discussion, but also for illuminating how trivial and arbitrary factors play into systems which strive for objectivity and fairness. Other studies have found similar corelation between the time of day a judge hears a case and sentencing lengths.

I think we are all subject to the peculiarities of the human condition, it is healthy to reflect on how unconscious behavior manifests itself in our society.
I'm that queen that will make you bounce.
Blade-of-Truth
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10/10/2016 3:20:01 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 10/9/2016 10:07:09 PM, Raisor wrote:
http://www.nber.org...

Luckily I found a free version and had the time to traverse a 41 pg study, lol.

This working paper finds that the sentences given by judges whose alma mater suffered a loss in football give longer sentences.

I found myself both surprised but not surprised by this revelation. I'm surprised simply by the randomness of the cause in this case but once revealed it's quite understandable. As the study points out - it's human nature to strike back after experiencing feelings of being wronged, hurt, offended, etc., and in this instance the 'being wronged' took form in their favored team losing a match. Couple that natural tendency with the emotions connected to a place where 4 years of life experiences occurred and, again, it's not too surprising.

A concern I have here, in terms of curtailing this issue, is finding judges who would admit to doing such a thing, or even if they are aware that they themselves did it (anger or strong emotions tend to blind us from realizing the veracity of our own actions sometimes). This is clearly an issue, but it's one that would be difficult to put an end to unless absolute honesty and transparency is in play.

The sentences are also disproportionately harsher for black defendants.

This portion was not surprising, unfortunately.

This is what I think of when I hear phrases like "implicit bias" and "structural racism." The judges in this study likely don't consider themselves racist, probably would never intentionally do or say anything racist, but still there are cultural and social factors that lead to outcomes that are biased along racial lines.

I completely agree with the underlined portion.

This study is interesting not just for the identity politics discussion, but also for illuminating how trivial and arbitrary factors play into systems which strive for objectivity and fairness. Other studies have found similar correlation between the time of day a judge hears a case and sentencing lengths.

Yup, all of these factor into the resulting rulings. There's a reason good lawyers are always scrambling to sign up first on the docket list, lol.

Something I find increasingly interesting is our reliance on tradition in such a system such as making those who go on the stand swear on a Bible to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. Just the other day I saw this same procedure occur and thought to myself how outdated and silly it is to honestly expect that act alone to overpower someone's own intent upon entering the stand to give testimony. Now, of course, there's always legal ramifications that can occur should someone provide a false testimony but still... I couldn't help but think how silly it is.

Regardless, I completely agree with you in that this was an interesting study that serves (for me) mostly as a reminder that even a seemingly concrete system such as our justice system still suffers from many, many flaws. Human nature is not, nor will ever be 'perfect', but studies such as this should, if anything, serve to motivate the younger generations thinking of getting into this field to always check themselves, even if for such trivial things as being emotionally frazzled after a football game.

I think we are all subject to the peculiarities of the human condition, it is healthy to reflect on how unconscious behavior manifests itself in our society.

+1
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YYW
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10/10/2016 5:25:05 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
While I have not read the paper (only skimmed it), realizing that the data seems to only present from Louisiana, their results do raise some interesting questions.... namely, in how many other states could this trend be analyzed, and, beyond that, how many other external factors could be empirically measured to have similar effects (whether the effect is in the accused's favor, or not).

To be clear, the results suggest that external influences from upset football losses at LSU increase the sentencing rate by a statistically significant (and I think substantial) amount of time, which would not have otherwise occurred without the football loss which is adversely borne by black youths in the youth criminal justice system, relative to non-blacks in the same youth criminal justice system. LSU is a particularly interesting setting because it is football country if ever there was football country.

The results do not suggest, however, that institutional, systemic, structural, or any other form of non-individual racism exists or should be recognized. It suggests that when judges experience emotionally significant events (in this case, football losses of their undergraduate alma maters) they are harsher on black kids individually than they would be on other kids. Home comes to work, perhaps. I wonder how much work comes home... but that's a tangential point.

This is consistent with other findings that, for example, in schools which utilize paddling, black boys are consistently paddled more than white boys. (However, with respect to paddling, there are statistically significant differences between girls for reasons that are beyond the scope of this conversation. Also, to my knowledge, no studies have been performed examining the impact of any athletic event on grade school discipline.)

tl;dr the paper suggests that Judges who got their bachelors degrees sentence black kids to longer sentences on weeks where LSU unexpectedly lost, relative to other sentences on weeks where LSU did not experience upset losses on the football field. The paper is incapable of reaching any conclusions on structural, systemic, etc. racism.

Link:

http://economics.gsu.edu...
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Stymie13
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10/10/2016 11:28:37 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
When Ohio state, Oakland, and mainly my fantasy team loses, I kick the dog, beat my ex wife, shoot heroin, drink a fifth of bourbon, randomly fire the shotgun in neighbors direction, and go to work the next day pissing on the desk of my opponent or fan opposite of my team.

Maybe over the top but many people generally do take things outside their control out on others. Right, wrong? Human nature.

I would hate to be a dependent on court on the first Wednesday in November of a partisan Republican judge if Hillary wins... and vice versa.
Raisor
Posts: 4,796
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10/10/2016 12:03:09 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 10/10/2016 3:20:01 AM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
At 10/9/2016 10:07:09 PM, Raisor wrote:
http://www.nber.org...

Luckily I found a free version and had the time to traverse a 41 pg study, lol.

This working paper finds that the sentences given by judges whose alma mater suffered a loss in football give longer sentences.

I found myself both surprised but not surprised by this revelation. I'm surprised simply by the randomness of the cause in this case but once revealed it's quite understandable. As the study points out - it's human nature to strike back after experiencing feelings of being wronged, hurt, offended, etc., and in this instance the 'being wronged' took form in their favored team losing a match. Couple that natural tendency with the emotions connected to a place where 4 years of life experiences occurred and, again, it's not too surprising.

A concern I have here, in terms of curtailing this issue, is finding judges who would admit to doing such a thing, or even if they are aware that they themselves did it (anger or strong emotions tend to blind us from realizing the veracity of our own actions sometimes). This is clearly an issue, but it's one that would be difficult to put an end to unless absolute honesty and transparency is in play.

The sentences are also disproportionately harsher for black defendants.

This portion was not surprising, unfortunately.

This is what I think of when I hear phrases like "implicit bias" and "structural racism." The judges in this study likely don't consider themselves racist, probably would never intentionally do or say anything racist, but still there are cultural and social factors that lead to outcomes that are biased along racial lines.

I completely agree with the underlined portion.

This study is interesting not just for the identity politics discussion, but also for illuminating how trivial and arbitrary factors play into systems which strive for objectivity and fairness. Other studies have found similar correlation between the time of day a judge hears a case and sentencing lengths.

Yup, all of these factor into the resulting rulings. There's a reason good lawyers are always scrambling to sign up first on the docket list, lol.

Something I find increasingly interesting is our reliance on tradition in such a system such as making those who go on the stand swear on a Bible to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. Just the other day I saw this same procedure occur and thought to myself how outdated and silly it is to honestly expect that act alone to overpower someone's own intent upon entering the stand to give testimony. Now, of course, there's always legal ramifications that can occur should someone provide a false testimony but still... I couldn't help but think how silly it is.

Regardless, I completely agree with you in that this was an interesting study that serves (for me) mostly as a reminder that even a seemingly concrete system such as our justice system still suffers from many, many flaws. Human nature is not, nor will ever be 'perfect', but studies such as this should, if anything, serve to motivate the younger generations thinking of getting into this field to always check themselves, even if for such trivial things as being emotionally frazzled after a football game.

I think we are all subject to the peculiarities of the human condition, it is healthy to reflect on how unconscious behavior manifests itself in our society.

+1

Lol sorry it's behind a pay wall - I should have provided a more comprehensive summary.

This isn't surprising to me. I think we are just starting to understand how much of human behavior is driven by environmental factors, how much of individual decision making happens at an unconscious level. We lack the vocabulary to talk about these things without triggering partisan objections and feelings of personal incrimination.

I don't think this is a case of judges striking back after feeling wronged, I think it's as simple as judges being harsher when they are in a bad or even just not good mood. I also don't think this is unique to judges, there have been similar studies on the various factor that impact the decisions of doctors.

Studies also exist that show the use of honesty pledges do lead to more honest behavior, so I actually think it is a good thing we swear on bibles in court haha
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Quadrunner
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10/10/2016 12:04:35 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 10/10/2016 3:20:01 AM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
At 10/9/2016 10:07:09 PM, Raisor wrote:
http://www.nber.org...

Luckily I found a free version and had the time to traverse a 41 pg study, lol.

This working paper finds that the sentences given by judges whose alma mater suffered a loss in football give longer sentences.

I found myself both surprised but not surprised by this revelation. I'm surprised simply by the randomness of the cause in this case but once revealed it's quite understandable. As the study points out - it's human nature to strike back after experiencing feelings of being wronged, hurt, offended, etc., and in this instance the 'being wronged' took form in their favored team losing a match. Couple that natural tendency with the emotions connected to a place where 4 years of life experiences occurred and, again, it's not too surprising.

A concern I have here, in terms of curtailing this issue, is finding judges who would admit to doing such a thing, or even if they are aware that they themselves did it (anger or strong emotions tend to blind us from realizing the veracity of our own actions sometimes). This is clearly an issue, but it's one that would be difficult to put an end to unless absolute honesty and transparency is in play.

The sentences are also disproportionately harsher for black defendants.

This portion was not surprising, unfortunately.

I'm curious if it was possible for them to delve any further to discuss bias in terms of being less harsh towards ones own race......I would think this would be helpful in eventually determining or ruling out the possibility of association with strong protection 'instincts' or general preference of whatever nature towards ones own family.

This is what I think of when I hear phrases like "implicit bias" and "structural racism." The judges in this study likely don't consider themselves racist, probably would never intentionally do or say anything racist, but still there are cultural and social factors that lead to outcomes that are biased along racial lines.

I completely agree with the underlined portion.

This study is interesting not just for the identity politics discussion, but also for illuminating how trivial and arbitrary factors play into systems which strive for objectivity and fairness. Other studies have found similar correlation between the time of day a judge hears a case and sentencing lengths.

Yup, all of these factor into the resulting rulings. There's a reason good lawyers are always scrambling to sign up first on the docket list, lol.

Something I find increasingly interesting is our reliance on tradition in such a system such as making those who go on the stand swear on a Bible to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. Just the other day I saw this same procedure occur and thought to myself how outdated and silly it is to honestly expect that act alone to overpower someone's own intent upon entering the stand to give testimony. Now, of course, there's always legal ramifications that can occur should someone provide a false testimony but still... I couldn't help but think how silly it is.

Regardless, I completely agree with you in that this was an interesting study that serves (for me) mostly as a reminder that even a seemingly concrete system such as our justice system still suffers from many, many flaws. Human nature is not, nor will ever be 'perfect', but studies such as this should, if anything, serve to motivate the younger generations thinking of getting into this field to always check themselves, even if for such trivial things as being emotionally frazzled after a football game.

I think we are all subject to the peculiarities of the human condition, it is healthy to reflect on how unconscious behavior manifests itself in our society.

+1
Raisor
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10/10/2016 12:05:12 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 10/10/2016 11:28:37 AM, Stymie13 wrote:
When Ohio state, Oakland, and mainly my fantasy team loses, I kick the dog, beat my ex wife, shoot heroin, drink a fifth of bourbon, randomly fire the shotgun in neighbors direction, and go to work the next day pissing on the desk of my opponent or fan opposite of my team.

Maybe over the top but many people generally do take things outside their control out on others. Right, wrong? Human nature.

I would hate to be a dependent on court on the first Wednesday in November of a partisan Republican judge if Hillary wins... and vice versa.

This is why I don't follow sports. I've seen too many people start their heroin habit as a result of being a Cleveland Browns fan.
I'm that queen that will make you bounce.
Stymie13
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10/10/2016 12:12:42 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 10/10/2016 12:05:12 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 10/10/2016 11:28:37 AM, Stymie13 wrote:
When Ohio state, Oakland, and mainly my fantasy team loses, I kick the dog, beat my ex wife, shoot heroin, drink a fifth of bourbon, randomly fire the shotgun in neighbors direction, and go to work the next day pissing on the desk of my opponent or fan opposite of my team.

Maybe over the top but many people generally do take things outside their control out on others. Right, wrong? Human nature.

I would hate to be a dependent on court on the first Wednesday in November of a partisan Republican judge if Hillary wins... and vice versa.

This is why I don't follow sports. I've seen too many people start their heroin habit as a result of being a Cleveland Browns fan.

I have clevelands running back who didn't do jack yesterday. Thankfully I don't have to change my sobriety date because the rest of my team went off.
kevin24018
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10/10/2016 1:53:53 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 10/10/2016 11:28:37 AM, Stymie13 wrote:
When Ohio state, Oakland, and mainly my fantasy team loses, I kick the dog, beat my ex wife, shoot heroin, drink a fifth of bourbon, randomly fire the shotgun in neighbors direction, and go to work the next day pissing on the desk of my opponent or fan opposite of my team.

Maybe over the top but many people generally do take things outside their control out on others. Right, wrong? Human nature.

I would hate to be a dependent on court on the first Wednesday in November of a partisan Republican judge if Hillary wins... and vice versa.

maybe we should have more than 1 judge for crimes with 5 year minimums or something like that. Were's the study of female judges when they have their cycle or hot flashes/menopause!? lol
BobTheRocket2 wrote:
Arguing with a liberal is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter what, it's going to knock over the pieces, crap all over the board, and strut around like it's victorious.

"Beware the engineers of society, I say, who would make everyone in all the world equal. Opportunity should be equal, must be equal, but achievement must remain individual.
- Drizzt Do'Urden"
Fernyx
Posts: 583
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10/10/2016 2:06:10 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 10/9/2016 10:07:09 PM, Raisor wrote:
http://www.nber.org...

This working paper finds that the sentences given by judges whose alma mater suffered a loss in football give longer sentences.

The sentences are also disproportionately harsher for black defendants.

This is what I think of when I hear phrases like "implicitl bias" and "structural racism." The judges in this study likely don't consider themselves racist, probably would never intentionally do or say anything racist, but still there are cultural and social factors that lead to outcomes that are biased along racial lines.

This study is interesting not just for the identity politics discussion, but also for illuminating how trivial and arbitrary factors play into systems which strive for objectivity and fairness. Other studies have found similar corelation between the time of day a judge hears a case and sentencing lengths.

I think we are all subject to the peculiarities of the human condition, it is healthy to reflect on how unconscious behavior manifests itself in our society.

Does it take account for previous sentencing, like if someone has had another charge in the past?
Stymie13
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10/10/2016 3:11:06 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 10/10/2016 1:53:53 PM, kevin24018 wrote:
At 10/10/2016 11:28:37 AM, Stymie13 wrote:
When Ohio state, Oakland, and mainly my fantasy team loses, I kick the dog, beat my ex wife, shoot heroin, drink a fifth of bourbon, randomly fire the shotgun in neighbors direction, and go to work the next day pissing on the desk of my opponent or fan opposite of my team.

Maybe over the top but many people generally do take things outside their control out on others. Right, wrong? Human nature.

I would hate to be a dependent on court on the first Wednesday in November of a partisan Republican judge if Hillary wins... and vice versa.

maybe we should have more than 1 judge for crimes with 5 year minimums or something like that. Were's the study of female judges when they have their cycle or hot flashes/menopause!? lol

Oh that's when the judge just shoots you! Lol
Raisor
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10/10/2016 6:01:54 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 10/10/2016 2:06:10 PM, Fernyx wrote:
At 10/9/2016 10:07:09 PM, Raisor wrote:
http://www.nber.org...

This working paper finds that the sentences given by judges whose alma mater suffered a loss in football give longer sentences.

The sentences are also disproportionately harsher for black defendants.

This is what I think of when I hear phrases like "implicitl bias" and "structural racism." The judges in this study likely don't consider themselves racist, probably would never intentionally do or say anything racist, but still there are cultural and social factors that lead to outcomes that are biased along racial lines.

This study is interesting not just for the identity politics discussion, but also for illuminating how trivial and arbitrary factors play into systems which strive for objectivity and fairness. Other studies have found similar corelation between the time of day a judge hears a case and sentencing lengths.

I think we are all subject to the peculiarities of the human condition, it is healthy to reflect on how unconscious behavior manifests itself in our society.

Does it take account for previous sentencing, like if someone has had another charge in the past?

That is a good question, I don't have access to the full paper at the moment. If I was a betting man I would say it does, as that's a fairly obvious variable to control for. Any study needs to be taken with a grain of salt and nothing is ever conclusive, but it would surprise me if they didn't control for priors when comparing sentencing.
I'm that queen that will make you bounce.
kevin24018
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10/10/2016 6:06:53 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 10/10/2016 6:01:54 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 10/10/2016 2:06:10 PM, Fernyx wrote:
At 10/9/2016 10:07:09 PM, Raisor wrote:
http://www.nber.org...

This working paper finds that the sentences given by judges whose alma mater suffered a loss in football give longer sentences.

The sentences are also disproportionately harsher for black defendants.

This is what I think of when I hear phrases like "implicitl bias" and "structural racism." The judges in this study likely don't consider themselves racist, probably would never intentionally do or say anything racist, but still there are cultural and social factors that lead to outcomes that are biased along racial lines.

This study is interesting not just for the identity politics discussion, but also for illuminating how trivial and arbitrary factors play into systems which strive for objectivity and fairness. Other studies have found similar corelation between the time of day a judge hears a case and sentencing lengths.

I think we are all subject to the peculiarities of the human condition, it is healthy to reflect on how unconscious behavior manifests itself in our society.

Does it take account for previous sentencing, like if someone has had another charge in the past?

That is a good question, I don't have access to the full paper at the moment. If I was a betting man I would say it does, as that's a fairly obvious variable to control for. Any study needs to be taken with a grain of salt and nothing is ever conclusive, but it would surprise me if they didn't control for priors when comparing sentencing.

in short if a judge is having a bad day (going through a divorce whatever) then you probably will also. perhaps a panel type system would be better than one person wielding that much power.
BobTheRocket2 wrote:
Arguing with a liberal is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter what, it's going to knock over the pieces, crap all over the board, and strut around like it's victorious.

"Beware the engineers of society, I say, who would make everyone in all the world equal. Opportunity should be equal, must be equal, but achievement must remain individual.
- Drizzt Do'Urden"
Raisor
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10/10/2016 7:12:21 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 10/10/2016 6:06:53 PM, kevin24018 wrote:
At 10/10/2016 6:01:54 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 10/10/2016 2:06:10 PM, Fernyx wrote:
At 10/9/2016 10:07:09 PM, Raisor wrote:
http://www.nber.org...

This working paper finds that the sentences given by judges whose alma mater suffered a loss in football give longer sentences.

The sentences are also disproportionately harsher for black defendants.

This is what I think of when I hear phrases like "implicitl bias" and "structural racism." The judges in this study likely don't consider themselves racist, probably would never intentionally do or say anything racist, but still there are cultural and social factors that lead to outcomes that are biased along racial lines.

This study is interesting not just for the identity politics discussion, but also for illuminating how trivial and arbitrary factors play into systems which strive for objectivity and fairness. Other studies have found similar corelation between the time of day a judge hears a case and sentencing lengths.

I think we are all subject to the peculiarities of the human condition, it is healthy to reflect on how unconscious behavior manifests itself in our society.

Does it take account for previous sentencing, like if someone has had another charge in the past?

That is a good question, I don't have access to the full paper at the moment. If I was a betting man I would say it does, as that's a fairly obvious variable to control for. Any study needs to be taken with a grain of salt and nothing is ever conclusive, but it would surprise me if they didn't control for priors when comparing sentencing.

in short if a judge is having a bad day (going through a divorce whatever) then you probably will also. perhaps a panel type system would be better than one person wielding that much power.

That may be.

Our system couldn't handle a panel system. Judges are expensive and the criminal justice system is overtaxed as is. It would be a major overhaul to triple the number of judges hearing criminal cases. Not impossible but color me skeptical that such a proposal would be politically feasible.
I'm that queen that will make you bounce.
kevin24018
Posts: 3,008
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10/10/2016 7:19:05 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 10/10/2016 7:12:21 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 10/10/2016 6:06:53 PM, kevin24018 wrote:
At 10/10/2016 6:01:54 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 10/10/2016 2:06:10 PM, Fernyx wrote:
At 10/9/2016 10:07:09 PM, Raisor wrote:
http://www.nber.org...

This working paper finds that the sentences given by judges whose alma mater suffered a loss in football give longer sentences.

The sentences are also disproportionately harsher for black defendants.

This is what I think of when I hear phrases like "implicitl bias" and "structural racism." The judges in this study likely don't consider themselves racist, probably would never intentionally do or say anything racist, but still there are cultural and social factors that lead to outcomes that are biased along racial lines.

This study is interesting not just for the identity politics discussion, but also for illuminating how trivial and arbitrary factors play into systems which strive for objectivity and fairness. Other studies have found similar corelation between the time of day a judge hears a case and sentencing lengths.

I think we are all subject to the peculiarities of the human condition, it is healthy to reflect on how unconscious behavior manifests itself in our society.

Does it take account for previous sentencing, like if someone has had another charge in the past?

That is a good question, I don't have access to the full paper at the moment. If I was a betting man I would say it does, as that's a fairly obvious variable to control for. Any study needs to be taken with a grain of salt and nothing is ever conclusive, but it would surprise me if they didn't control for priors when comparing sentencing.

in short if a judge is having a bad day (going through a divorce whatever) then you probably will also. perhaps a panel type system would be better than one person wielding that much power.

That may be.

Our system couldn't handle a panel system. Judges are expensive and the criminal justice system is overtaxed as is. It would be a major overhaul to triple the number of judges hearing criminal cases. Not impossible but color me skeptical that such a proposal would be politically feasible.

oh I know it wouldn't, mediation would be more accessible if they didn't want to give up the control, that's probably a huge part of it as well, control. It's funny they call it our justice systems but actually it's our punishment and revenge system, very little to do with justice. Though tracking for consistency and maybe some random reviews might be a little helpful. It's definitely a system you want to really avoid because you never know what will happen to you, if you can't afford a really good lawyer.
BobTheRocket2 wrote:
Arguing with a liberal is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter what, it's going to knock over the pieces, crap all over the board, and strut around like it's victorious.

"Beware the engineers of society, I say, who would make everyone in all the world equal. Opportunity should be equal, must be equal, but achievement must remain individual.
- Drizzt Do'Urden"
Stymie13
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10/10/2016 8:00:16 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
My jokes aside... I am familiar with the sentencing process in 5 specific states. I am not extrapolating to all 50 or the federal system, however, in all 5 the prosecutor/da office 'recommends' sentencing, whether plea or trial, and the judge overwhelmingly follows those recommendations except in rare circumstances, like defendant telling the judge to fvck off.

Was that part of the study?

Ok rationality gone, I'm still kicking the dog and going Rampage Kackson when my fantasy team loses.
Stymie13
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10/17/2016 10:34:47 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
My college team won but my pro and fantasy stunk up the joint (except gronk. Gronk catch ball. Gronk score td. Gronk spike ball!)

So... stay off the roads, hide your dog, don't submit a sql request, and wear Kevlar....