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April 20, 2024

"A Randomization-based Analysis of the Effects of Electoral Pressure on Judges' Sentencing Decisions"

The title of this post is the title of this new paper authored by Benjamin Lu and available via SSRN. Here is its abstract:

Until recently, studies have consistently found that judges sentence more harshly under electoral pressure.  We add to growing evidence complicating that account.  We analyze an open dataset of felony cases prosecuted in Cook County, the second-most populous county in the United States, between 2011 and 2018 and an original dataset of county judges’ electoral histories.  Unlike previous work in this area, we leverage the fact that some cases in the county are randomly assigned to judges to conduct explicitly causal analyses without conditional ignorability or functional form assumptions. We do not find strong evidence that judges in the county sentence more harshly in response to electoral pressure.

April 20, 2024 at 10:27 AM | Permalink


But it takes an act of God for a Cook County judge not to be re-elected in a retention election. A finding of insanity in a criminal case in which the judge is a defendant isn't quite enough...


Posted by: Jason | Apr 20, 2024 2:14:29 PM

Jason --


Thanks for posting.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Apr 22, 2024 12:07:37 PM

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