Temperature and Court Outcomes: Evidence from India

Temperature is one of the major environmental factors that people are exposed to on a daily basis. This study explores the extent to which hotter temperatures affect judicial decision-making in the Indian context. We find that in general daily maximum temperatures raise the likelihood of negative outcomes for defendants, in general and for convictions specifically (p <$0.05). On the other hand, the likelihood of bail refusals declines as daily maximum temperatures rise (p < 0.05). The study also uncovers that temperature-driven negative outcomes are largely for property crimes and that higher temperatures induce male judges to inflict harsher judgments on female defendants.