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Study shows relationship between LSU's upset losses and criminal sentences

A fascinating study shows a correlation between LSU upset losses and the penalties handed out to juveniles by Louisiana judges.

The SEC motto adopted the "It Just Means More" motto a handful of years ago, and every once in a while something emerges from SEC country where that motto becomes a punchline.

Today the results of an academic study hit social media where that unique SEC love for football spills over with criminal sentences handed out between 1996 and 2012.

The study showed that, during the week following an LSU upset loss, judges in Louisiana handed out significantly harsher sentences to juvenile defendants and being in a bad mood was identified as one of the primary reasons why.

"The reaction of judges to an upset loss cannot be attributed to decision fatigue of judges because the impact of an upset loss lasts for one work week. They are, however, consistent with the hypothesis that emotional stress of judges of the stress induced by their environment (their spouse, their friends, peers, and so on) after the unexpected loss is responsible for this outcome."

"We find that the impact is significantly larger for judges who have received their bachelor's degrees from LSU, which is meaningful to the extent these judges have stronger emotional connections to LSU."

So how much harsher are the sentences handed out by those judges still reeling from the upset of their Tigers?

The study showed that each of those upset losses leads to excess punishments of juvenile defenders in the state by a total of more than 1,296 days (which includes time in custody and probation) and 136 days of extra jail time for those convicted of a felony.

See more from the study showing the causal relationship between mood and sentencing here.

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