The Intersectionality of Age and Gender on the Bench: Are Younger Female Judges Harsher with Serious Crimes?

38 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2020

See all articles by Morris B. Hoffman

Morris B. Hoffman

Second Judicial District Court Judge, State of Colorado

Francis X. Shen

University of Minnesota Law School; Harvard University - Department of Psychiatry

Vijeth Iyengar

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Frank Krueger

George Mason University - Department of Psychology; George Mason University - Center for the Study of Neuroeconomics

Date Written: September 10, 2020

Abstract

We analyzed sentencing data from sixteen years of criminal trials in the State of Colorado, consisting of almost 3,000 individual sentences, and discovered an interaction effect of harm, gender, and age not reported in any of the empirical or experimental literature. Young female judges punished high harm crimes substantially more than their male and older female colleagues. These results, if confirmed, could have significant strategic and tactical implications for practicing lawyers. They may also inform policies surrounding judicial selection, education, training, and retirement.

Keywords: judges, judging, neuroscience, law, neurolaw, aging, gender, punishment, empirical, criminal law, criminal sentencing

Suggested Citation

Hoffman, Morris B. and Shen, Francis X. and Iyengar, Vijeth and Krueger, Frank, The Intersectionality of Age and Gender on the Bench: Are Younger Female Judges Harsher with Serious Crimes? (September 10, 2020). Morris B. Hoffman, Francis X. Shen, Vijeth Iyengar & Frank Krueger, The Intersection of Age and Gender on the Bench: Are Younger Female Judges Harsher With Serious Crimes?, 40.1 COLUM. J. GENDER & L. 128 (2020), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3719660

Morris B. Hoffman

Second Judicial District Court Judge, State of Colorado ( email )

Denver, CO
United States

Francis X. Shen (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota Law School ( email )

Minneapolis, MN
United States

Harvard University - Department of Psychiatry ( email )

Boston, MA
United States

Vijeth Iyengar

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Frank Krueger

George Mason University - Department of Psychology

Fairfax, VA 22030-4444
United States

George Mason University - Center for the Study of Neuroeconomics

Fairfax, VA
United States

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