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Judges Swayed By Lunch and Snack Breaks

In 2010, three researchers from the U.S. and Israel decided to test the legal adage that justice equals "what the judge ate for breakfast." The research team tracked the rulings of eight judges in over 1,100 parole-board hearings over 10 months. The results overwhelmingly led them to the following conclusion: the chances of a prisoner being granted parole depended on the time of day that the judge heard the case. To put it bluntly, the judges'—who had an average of 22 years of experience—ability to make decisions was about as reliable as a kindergartner who needs a snack break.

Prisoners' odds for getting their parole granted started out high in the morning right after breakfast. About 65 percent of the prisoners were granted a parole. Then for the next few hours, the chances of getting a favorable parole hearing started to plummet. This was followed by a cycle of peaks and valleys that repeated itself throughout the day. Prisoners' chances of parole leapt back up to 65 percent at two distinct times: right after the judges' mid-morning snack and again after lunch.

One blogger concluded: "The law, being a human concoction, is subject to the same foibles, biases and imperfections that affect everything humans do"—biases like a bad mood or even breakfast.

Possible Preaching Angles: Our expressions of wrath and judgment are always flawed (which is perhaps one reason why we're turned off by the wrath of God). God alone can deliver perfect, unbiased, impartial justice on the earth.

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