Huckleberries Online

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 19, 2012, 8:57 A.M.

Study: Judges Harsher Before Elections

If you have to be hauled before a judge for sentencing, try to schedule it after an election. New research shows that Washington judges are more likely to throw the book at criminals in the weeks before they’re in an election, suggesting that they respond, consciously or not, to the public’s strong preference for tough sentences. The study examined criminal sentencings by Washington state Superior Court judges between 1995 and 2006 and found that sentences were about 10 percent longer when judges were nearing an election or crucial political cycle than afterward. The number of sentences above the standard range rose by 50 percent/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.

Question: Do you think judges are affected by politics?

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D.F. Oliveria
Dave Oliveria writes the Huckleberries Online Blog for North Idaho readers and the Huckleberries print column.

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