April 16, 2014
Publication:
The Economist: United States

In Monty Python's "“Life of Brian", the Jerusalem crowd picks wrongdoers for Pontius Pilate to release according to whether their names begin with "“r", since they find it amusing that the Roman governor cannot pronounce that letter. ("Welease Woger!"). Two thousand years later, America aims to select prisoners for parole by more rational criteria, such as "“Are they likely to re-offend?" It turns out, however, that granting parole wisely is hard....

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