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October 3, 2009

Do women make better sentencing Judges?

The question in the title of this post is inspired by this recent piece at Slate, which is titled "Do Women Make Better Judges? Asked and answered — with data."  The essay is from a group of law professors (who explain their empirical work more fully in this long paper available via SSRN titled "Judging Women" ), and here is the essay's final assessment based on empirical measures of productivity, influence, and independence:

[O]ur basic point is this: The fact that female judges are selected from a shallower pool of talent does not imply that they are worse judges than men.  In fact, the evidence suggests that they are at least as good as male judges, perhaps better.

Though it would be very hard to empirically measure how male and female judges "perform" at sentencing, I suspect some readers may have instincts and/or anecdotes to support or assail the notion that women are perhaps better sentencing judges than men. 

So, dear readers, please share your insights and reactions to the question in the title of this post.

October 3, 2009 at 11:08 PM | Permalink


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This paper is a self-serving lawyer propaganda garbage. It measures irrelevant quantitative aspects of judging rather than content of feminist ideological extremism and hatred.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 4, 2009 4:33:41 AM

Really interesting question Doug. Obviously any study would have limitations, but has anyone seen one?

Posted by: dm | Oct 4, 2009 8:31:18 AM

I've been in front of some great judges for sentencing. Some have been women, some men. The same is true for the bottom-of-the-barrel judges, too. I'm convinced that it isn't gender, age, whether the judge got to the bench by election or by appointment, or any other such factor, including undergraduate or legal education, that matters about the judge at sentencing. His or her humanity and outlook on life are ctitical.

Posted by: Greg Jones | Oct 5, 2009 11:36:51 AM

i wanna to write an essay about women can be judges

Posted by: mira | Nov 6, 2009 10:25:34 AM

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