Blog Ipsa Loquitur

Published on under Irreverently Irrelevant

A study in Israel suggests that it’s easier to get parole if the judge hearing your parole request is just coming back from a break.

The authors examined more than 1,000 parole decisions made by eight judges in Israel over a 10-month period. In each parole request, a prisoner appeared in front of a judge, and the judge could either accept or deny the request. The judges heard between 14 and 35 of these cases per day, separated into three distinct sessions.


Overall, judges were much more likely to accept prisoners’ requests for parole at the beginning of the day than the at end. Moreover, a prisoner’s chances of receiving parole more than doubled if his case was heard at the beginning of one of the three sessions, rather than later on in the session. More specifically, it was the number of rulings that a judge made, rather than the time elapsed in a session, that significantly affected later decisions. Every single judge in the sample followed this pattern.

For more tips on getting parole, check Wired Science.