Oh, to be young and in Louisiana…

Except when LSU loses.

A new study points to an even more disturbing pattern of haphazard justice: In Louisiana, juvenile court judges appear to have issued harsher punishments following an unexpected loss by the Louisiana State University football team. And disproportionately, those longer sentences fell on black children.

LSU economists Ozkan Eren and Naci Mocan came to these conclusions after studying more than a decade of state court data. In a draft of their paper, released this week by the National Bureau of Economic Research, they show that the Louisiana judges sentenced children differently during the football season, depending on how well LSU had played the previous weekend.

If I were a Louisiana criminal lawyer with a juvenile defendant, I guess I’d be doing anything I could to get a continuance this week.  Thanks, Coach Miles!


Filed under Crime and Punishment

43 responses to “Oh, to be young and in Louisiana…

  1. Derek

    A racist AND a capricious criminal justice system? That’s even more shocking than gambling at Rick’s Cafe.

  2. Spike

    I don’t believe it.

  3. 69Dawg

    I’m sure the rate of domestic violence goes sky high too.

    • rick marbles

      Using aggregate level county data, Card and Dahl (2011) show that an upset loss leads to around 10 percent increase
      in the rate of at-home violence by men against their wives or girlfriends. Closes losses and upset wins, on the other hand,
      have little to no impact on domestic violence. The authors also show that violence is concentrated in a narrow time interval
      surrounding the end of the game. Comparing our results with Card and Dahl (2011), we Önd similar but more persistent
      e§ects of emotional cues to unexpected game outcomes. Several factors including but not limited to the unit of observation
      (judge vs. domestic abuser), outcome of interest (disposition vs. domestic violence) and nature of the data (

  4. Juan

    Ozkan and Naci with a surely factual and unbiased report

  5. 92 grad

    I married a girl from Houma, so when you place “to be young again” with “Louisiana” my mind goes “senator linked us to pictures of beautiful women”. Needless to say, I didn’t read the findings of the research at the link.

  6. AthensHomerDawg

    “We investigate the behavior of judges, the conduct of whom should, by law, be free of personal biases and emotions. ”

    …so why is everyone so concerned about the next prez and supreme court judges.

    • I guess the lesson for the next POTUS is not to appoint any judges from Louisiana.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        Senator I hope that’s all it takes. I’ve flipped burgers and hosted too many law students and listened in to their exchanges. I came away with the impression that supreme court justices interpret law with personal biases and emotion. Corresponding with who appointed them. What i know about law has little to do with the supreme court.

        Hands up don’t shoot was the biggest Pinocchio of 2015.
        Colin Kapernick with white mom and adopted by white parents was a surprise that he chose to sit down.

        Racism seems to be the new stop Wallstreet.

        You and I both know you put a name on a group…say it long enough and loud enough. Bad things happen.
        In spite of the facts.

        Oh and New Orleans is an armpit Da’Rek. Infrastructure is failing,architecture is rotting away and it stinks. And the state is busted. Whore houses and bars are fine. Knok yourself out on your vacay.

  7. Normaltown Mike

    “The researchers used betting data from Las Vegas to classify each LSU victory or loss. They focused on losses where LSU had been predicted to win by four points or more. Between 1996 and 2012, these surprise defeats happened 14 times out of the 179 games that there was information on.”

    Great way to cherry pick your data.

    • Derek

      They compared the other 165 weeks to those 14. How is that cherry picking?

      • Normaltown Mike

        The article gives you all the cherry picking. Here are the qualifiers: 1/3 of the juvenile judges (not superior, state, magistrate, probate, appeal) in Louisiana are LSU undergrads (not law school b/c law students never become football fans, right Senator?) and they lash out as bitter racist…but only after LSU doesn’t cover a spread of 4 or more.

        This is as stupid as studies that identify the winner of the Presidency by hemline fashion trends moving up or down.

        • Derek

          Your response is unintelligible. No allegation of “bitter racist” is in the article at all. The correlation they were studying was whether or not a bad weekend of football made judges more harsh when it came to sentencing. They found that it did, but only with a certain segment of defendants. Other than you think they’ve wasted their time with this because no one gives a damn about young black criminals who showed up in court on the wrong day, what’s your point?

          If you’re convinced that racism is just a bullshit allegation in this country tell me why Ted Cruz finished second for the GOP nomination while Obama is considered ineligible to be president among a large segment of the same voters. I mean it’s not as if anyone has argued Obama’s mom wasn’t born in Kansas, but Cruz admittedly was born in Canada. I’d love a race neutral explanation for that bit of political schizophrenia.

  8. 3rdandGrantham

    There is a reason why Louisiana seemingly is always overcast — its God’s way of saying, “hey, I don’t even want to know what’s going on down there.”

    During my last visit to New Orleans for a meeting roughly a year ago, I met a colleague for dinner who had never been to N.O. As we were walking just off Bourbon St (Royal St?), we passed by the (quite large) Louisiana Supreme/Appellate Court building. He looked at me with genuine shock and said, “no wonder why this state is so screwed up…even their main state court is located in the middle of this party hell hole.”

    • Connor

      I’m from New Orleans. My father was an attorney there for many years, and after law school clerked for a judge in the building you mention. Louisiana gets a bad rap but there are more good people than bad down there. It’s far from perfect, but its not much different than anywhere else in the south. You don’t think something like this happens in Georgia and Alabama?

      • Derek

        New Orleans maybe my favorite place on the planet. I just wish I didn’t feel like this so often: http://youtu.be/YS5MNK0_X_Q

        People who visit just need to get the hell away from Bourbon Street and the casino and experience what the city has to offer. Go to Frenchmen street. Go to Oak street. Go to magazine street. If you can’t have fun in The Big Easy, you’re just not capable of it.

        • Cosmic Dawg

          I lived in New Orleans twice – Magazine Street might be my favorite street in the country. I actually think it’s a town best experienced sober and during the day.

      • 3rdandGrantham

        Of course it does, and my reply was meant to be taken mostly as humor and not so literally (that God joke, for example, has been used for other places). With that said, Louisiana certainly has its share of problems — worse than most other states in fact. For example, Louisiana has the highest murder rate in the U.S., with a figure that’s almost 300% higher than the state I live in. Its also typically found to be among the least livable states — including #1 for 2015 — by various groups who look at metrics such as crime, education, income, unemployment rate, etc.

        • Connor

          I didn’t take it personally. Just pointing out I’ve had a different experience there. its not all bad, and I hope it will get better.

  9. heyberto

    Some of my worst spankings as a child came at the hand of my father, and I can tell you it was always worse if he was pissed off about something else before hand. So in some ways, this makes sense.

  10. And I just thought the Jim Beam sales increased.

  11. Macallanlover

    A mind, and a life, is a terrible thing to waste so those two need to find something significant to spend time on. I don’t think anyone is shocked that hoping someone will be lenient at times they are unhappy, or stressed, is pretty stupid. It can be right after I watched the last two FU games, or just missed a two foot putt, but anyone with any common sense would already know that (yeah, I know, common sense isn’t so common any more but this is seriously simplistic.)

    • Derek

      but they found that they treated white defendants the same as when they weren’t having a bad day.

      Other than an attitude of “fuck ’em” why isn’t this relevant?

  12. Dolly Llama

    I see threads like this and think “Man, the comments on this are going to be a shitshow.” And they invariably are. I don’t know why I keep clicking through and reading them. I need to stop.

  13. Bulldog Joe

    Does the LSU-Alabama week now qualify as a “religious holiday” on a pretrial continuance request?

  14. ugafidelis

    ‘Appear to…’ ‘Tended to…’ ‘Seemed to…’ ‘Estimate that…’

    Good ol’ rock solid evidence right there!

  15. Hardcoredawg 93

    It would be nice to see a follow up article after it goes through peer review to see if there are many holes in their assumptions- my guess is that we will never see that as the Washington Post likes to flame in my opinion.

    I skimmed the article and did not read the actual study- did it mention how many of the judges were LSU grads? It seems to me it’s not right to assume all judges in Louisiana are LSU fans and are bothered by a Tiger loss.

  16. SemperFiDawg

    Racism. It’s everywhere, and the sole cause of all the Black man’s woes. It’s crap like this that fuels much of the Trump phenomenon, but I digress from football. Damn You Senator! It’s football season! The process 2.0 doesn’t need these distractions.

    • Gee, and all I was trying to do was make fun of LSU’s fans. 😉

    • Derek

      So David Duke and stormfront and the white nationalists who endorse trump, not because they themselves are racists, but because they don’t like claims of non-existent racism? That is some really incredible “logic.”

      Trump polls at 0% among black Americans because? Is it because they are all dumb? Are they all confused? Have they all been misled? Answer that one without being racist.

      At some point you either have to decide either through racist paternalism or racist antipathy that black Americans aren’t really capable of participatory democracy OR you can respect their point of view. From my perspective why would black Americans support anyone who is embraced by racists to a greater degree than any politician since George Wallace?

      Trump may not be a racist. However, racists do love themselves some trump.

      • Macallanlover

        You should learn the definition of the word “racist” before you throw it around so liberally and make a total fool of yourself. Hint: it isn’t people who feel differently than you. Your stupidity on this blog is appalling, but most just let you slide, hence your exaggerated popularity rating of about 10-15%. Grow up son, it is a shame to go through life unaware of what you have totally whiffed on.

        • Derek

          Thank you so for your guidance. So David Duke isn’t a racist? Please, tell me more wise one….

          Other than your ad hominem attack, what do you got? If you think I’m searching for fans, you’re truly are lost. Are you capable of articulating a meaningful point?

          I challenge certain posts here with facts and then it ends up being about me. I can only assume that you, and you aren’t alone, are incapable of dealing with facts. It’s dodge, scream, attack me on personal level or ignore. It’s quite entertaining actually.

          Just in case you were wondering whether your, or anyone else’s, personal attacks concern me in the least let me make this clear: I don’t give a fuck what you, or anyone else, thinks about me. If you aren’t dealing with substance and you’re attacking me, it’s clear to me that I’ve won. So your personal attacks are like “napalm in the morning.” They smell like victory and for that, I thank you.

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