Study: Elected Judges Hand Down Harsher Sentences Closer To An Election

A study by Loyola law Professor Carlos Berdejó and Berkeley business Professor Noam Yuchtman finds that elected judges in Washington state hand down demonstrably higher sentences during the lead up to their reelection bid, and that this spike in sentences drops shortly after the election is over:

According to the Wall Street Journal, “the authors identified a 10% increase in sentence length from the start of a judge’s term to the election (or, for judges who ran opposed, to the filing deadline for running, several months earlier).”