Judges Who Are Elected Like Politicians Tend to Act Like Them

From the NY Times, Adam Liptak discusses studies showing that judges facing re-election are more likely to impose harsh criminal sentences, including death sentences.

“Proximity to re-election makes judges more punitive — more likely to impose longer sentences, affirm death sentences and even override life sentences to impose death,” a report from the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law concluded last year.

One study released last week found that elected judges are less likely to support gay rights than are appointed ones. The effect was most pronounced in cases decided by judges who ran in partisan elections.

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