Want to get a parole? Have your attorney schedule your parole hearing after lunch. A new study revealed that the timing of a parole hearing is quite crucial in determining the outcome.
As a case study, one of the judges started in the morning by granting parole to about 65 percent of the prisoners; that percentage dropped to near zero by the end of the first session, then rebounded to about 65 percent after the snack break. The same pattern repeated in the second and third sessions.
The researchers suggest that as the number of rulings in a session increase, the judges become mentally fatigued. Once their mental resources are depleted, the judges are more likely to simplify their decisions. Ruling in favor of the status quo—denying parole—is the "easier" decision, the authors argue, since these rulings take generally take less time and require shorter written verdicts. After taking a break, their faculties are restored, and they are more likely to make "harder" decisions and grant parole requests again.