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mythbusters

Myth: Shattering a myth is easy

Myth: Shattering a myth is easy

For the past two years, scientists have tried to shatter 71 myths in this column. The principle was always: people once received incorrect information about the subject, so if we tell them how it really is, they will no longer believe in the myth. Unfortunately, it is not that simple, says psychologist Arie van der Lugt. “People are consta...

Myth: The severer the injury, the more pain someone has

Myth: The severer the injury, the more pain someone has

A man jumps from a height on a construction site. He lands on a nail that goes right through the thick sole of his shoe. Screaming with pain, he is carted off to hospital. Once there, it appears that the nail went straight between two toes. There is nothing wrong with his foot. A typical example of the brain making a little error, says Kai Karos...

Myth: physical proximity is crucial for a family

Myth: physical proximity is crucial for a family

Dutch migration laws in the nineteen-eighties included a rule that family members should not be separated for longer than two years. After such a period, the family connection was broken and migrants lost the right to family reunification. “This undoubtedly played a role in the reduction of the number of residence permits in those days,&rdquo...

Myth on Looted Art: what was stolen, remains stolen

Myth on Looted Art: what was stolen, remains stolen

You take something from me without my consent, so logically I want it back. Whether it is a piece of jewellery, a bicycle, a car or a pen. It is the same with art. Even if it was stolen eighty years ago or maybe even longer and I can prove that the object is mine. In reality, it appears not to be so black-and-white, says Lars van Vliet, Assistant ...

Myth: Being unhappy with your body encourages healthier behaviour

Myth: Being unhappy with your body encourages healthier behaviour

A picture of a fat baby, accompanied by the text ‘When you realize it’s almost summer, and your winter body has gotten out of control’. This is the introduction to one of the latest UM Sports newsletters, urging readers to get “beach body ready”. Nothing wrong with this message. Or is there? “I was disappointed ...

Myth: All lawyers are just profiteers

Myth: All lawyers are just profiteers

Flashy guys who work on the Zuidas, live in luxury penthouses and tear around in the latest Teslas and Jaguars – and all at the expense of ‘the ordinary man’ who they laughingly charge exorbitant hourly rates. This image of lawyers appears to be fairly persistent. But it has very little to do with reality, says Bas van Zelst, prof...

Myth: A religious marriage is merely symbolic

Myth: A religious marriage is merely symbolic

When a marriage no longer works, you break up. Divorce proceedings are started and if all goes well, both partners can go on to live their own lives. At least, that is how it works with a civil marriage. But for those who have vowed ever-lasting fidelity in a Roman Catholic church, the protestant congregation, the Jewish or Islamic congregation, en...

Myth: the innocent always have a good alibi

Myth: the innocent always have a good alibi

If you have done nothing wrong, you needn't worry when the police come knocking on your door. That is what most people think. But just imagine: you are on your summer holidays, you go from one party to the other. The days are stringing into an endless blur. At the end of the summer, the police suddenly turn up on your doorstep. A student was ra...

Myth: “Governments need to cut back in times of economic crisis and spend in good times”

Myth: “Governments need to cut back in times of economic crisis and spend in good times”

Governments need to cut back in times of economic crisis and spend in good times, so the thinking goes. On the contrary, says economics professor Tom van Veen. “When things are going well with the economy, people spend money and companies want to invest. The government doesn’t need to stimulate the economy, it just runs by itself. When ...

Myth: Profits and sustainability don’t go together

Myth: Profits and sustainability don’t go together

‘Principles cost money’, professor of Finance Rob Bauer thought in 2001 when he started his research on the performance of sustainable investment portfolios. Taking account of the environment and working conditions for employees is bad for profits and thus undesirable. “In the past, companies got away with that type of thinking&rd...

Myth: If you sit in a draught you will get sick

Myth: If you sit in a draught you will get sick

His grandparents, parents, everyone in Geert-Jan Dinant's family became ‘alarmed’ if a whiff of wind brushed passed their legs. Windows and doors that were causing the draught were immediately shut. This was not good, because you could catch a cold from it and it could give you gout. Exactly where that pig-headed story comes from...

Myth: It’s easy to change the behaviour of a group

Myth: It’s easy to change the behaviour of a group

Making sure employees switch off the lights before they leave the office, convincing all youngsters to only have safe sex, and making people choose the healthiest products. Organisations and governments regularly feel that they should change the behaviour of a group. “They often approach this rather optimistically,” says Phil Brüll, app...

Myth: The mayor is the boss of the city

Myth: The mayor is the boss of the city

Somewhere deep down most people do know: the city council is the highest administrative body of a city. The council members set out the main policy lines and supervise their implementation by the Mayor and Aldermen. But it often doesn't feel that way. The mayor you see everywhere, the person who is the face of the city, surely that person must ...

Myth: A valid patient questionnaire is always useful

Myth: A valid patient questionnaire is always useful

Anyone who has recently visited a hospital, his or her GP, or a physiotherapist will be familiar with it: the request to fill out a questionnaire. “It is a trend in health care, the patient-reported outcome measure, to the extent that it has even become a noun, the PROM,” says Sandra Beurskens, professor of Goal-Oriented Measurement in ...

Myth: Muscle tissue decreases as you get older

Myth: Muscle tissue decreases as you get older

People who enter professor Luc van Loon's room will see a large square, height-adjustable table, surrounded by four desk bicycles. The professor's desk is adjustable too, (“do you have a moment,” he grins as he tells the name of his chair) ‘Physiology of Exercise and in particular the role of nutrition’. We take the ...

Myth: Poor people have themselves to blame for their unhealthy lifestyles

Myth: Poor people have themselves to blame for their unhealthy lifestyles

The figures are as plain as day: individuals with lower incomes live seven years shorter than people with good salaries. During that shorter life, they are also laid up sick for a large portion of that time; they suffer from disorders and limitations no less than nineteen years more. How is that possible? People are quick to point to the lifesty...

Myth: Transparency is an all-embracing cure

Myth: Transparency is an all-embracing cure

“Let me emphasise,” says Vigjilenca Abazi, assistant professor of European law. “Transparency is an important precondition for a good democratic society, for being able to hold people and institutions accountable, for public debates and for the free press to do its work. But that doesn’t mean it’s the sole fixer for ev...

Myth: Office workers should exercise twice a week

Myth: Office workers should exercise twice a week

Until a few years ago, the exercise guideline was: half an hour each day or 150 minutes a week of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. At least ten successive minutes, otherwise it had hardly any to no effect on one's condition. “That last one is incorrect, says the Flemish postdoc Bernard Duvivier, who, last year wrote the thesis: Sit...

Myth: Suspects are regularly set free on a technicality

Myth: Suspects are regularly set free on a technicality

“I remember a case in which the suspect lodged a complaint because his title – Doctor – was not present on the summons,” says Joep Simmelink, professor occupying the endowed chair of Criminal Law and Criminology at the Faculty of Law.  “He argued: the summons was not sent to me, so I do not need to appear. The jud...

Myth: hardly anyone understands the general theory of relativity

Myth: hardly anyone understands the general theory of relativity

It's 1916. Albert Einstein has just published the general theory of relativity, which describes the curvature of light influenced by mass. “Which means,” says theoretic physicist Gideon Koekoek, “that the light from a star is curved by the sun, and looking from earth is in a different place than you would think.” Even...

Myth: There is only brain damage when it is visible on a scan

Myth: There is only brain damage when it is visible on a scan

It is estimated that 85 thousand people may suffer brain damage in the Netherlands every year. Of that number, approximately 30 thousand visit A & E. “Where subsequently a routine scan is made to determine whether they have suffered a concussion – a minor injury that will heal – or a brain contusion, which leaves permanent dam...

Myth: one or two glasses of wine a day is healthy

Myth: one or two glasses of wine a day is healthy

An average student puts away quite a few beers during his or her academic career. The hangover the next day is a drag, but according to many it's otherwise harmless. Worse still, “there is a large group of people who think that a glass of alcohol every day is good for you,” says researcher Latifa Abidi. It is a widespread misconcept...

Myth: HIV is a very serious and contagious disease

Myth: HIV is a very serious and contagious disease

Of course, you would prefer not to get HIV. Even though the disease is no longer fatal, given the right medication, the patient will have to take the medication for the rest of his or her life and deal with any side effects. “But is that worse than having diabetes?” social psychologist Sarah Stutterheim wonders. “That is the way i...

Myth: “All things are poison, only the dose determines the hazard”

Myth: “All things are poison, only the dose determines the hazard”

It all started in the sixteenth century, when the Swiss natural scientist and doctor Paracelcus wrote in one of his many works: ‘All things are poison, nothing is without poison, only the dose determines whether something is poisonous.’ This quote has been used since the twentieth century by toxicologists and industrialists in debates a...

Myth: Investing in shares is a matter of buying cheaply and selling expensively

Myth: Investing in shares is a matter of buying cheaply and selling expensively

At parties, people often ask professor Jean-Jacques Herings for investment advice. One tip that Herings will not give them is: you have to buy cheaply and sell expensively. In theory, this is the best strategy, but in practice it is impossible to execute, he says. “It is an illusion to think that you can predict share prices. It is worthless ...

Myth: Fascism ended in 1945 with the defeat of the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis in World War II

Myth: Fascism ended in 1945 with the defeat of the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis in World War II

This weekend, thousands of neo-fascists demonstrated in Rome to “take back the streets from the intruders”. Right hands were raised and slogans like “Italy for Italians; stop immigration, stop illegals, throw out all intruders” were shouted. Still, many people think that the fascist ideology ceased to exist after World War I...

Myth: Evidence-based healthcare treatments are automatically transferable to specific situations

Myth: Evidence-based healthcare treatments are automatically transferable to specific situations

How to decide which treatment, prevention programme or health policy to choose? For many doctors and policymakers the answer seems simple. You look at high-quality scientific studies and take the intervention that has proven to be the most effective. “This has its origins in medicine”, says Tamara Schloemer, researcher at the Department...

Myth: a psychologist tells you what you should do to get better

Myth: a psychologist tells you what you should do to get better

It is a misconception, in particular among people who have never had anything to do with a psychologist, says Lotte Lemmens, UM researcher and therapist at Virenze Riagg. “Anyone who asks for help, has often already looked into what the treatment entails. Nonetheless, you discuss the expectations and confer with the patient on the treatments ...

Myth: Companies are only after maximizing their profits

Myth: Companies are only after maximizing their profits

Over a thousand deaths to regret and more than two thousand people injured. These were the sad consequences of the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh on 24 April 2013. The day before, cracks were discovered in the walls of the eight-story building. Although the shops and bank at the lower floors were immediately closed, the garment workers in the va...

Double myth: The contraceptive pill is harmless / The contraceptive pill causes thrombosis

Double myth: The contraceptive pill is harmless / The contraceptive pill causes thrombosis

“I don't want to scare you,” says Hugo ten Cate, professor of Clinical Thrombosis and Haemostasis, every time he gives a lecture on the relation between the contraceptive pill and thrombosis to third-year medical students. “About 70 per cent of our students are female, the majority of whom are on the pill. It is not just ...

Myth: low interest rates can't last

Myth: low interest rates can't last

“When interest rates have been low for some time, people are likely to think that they can rise at any moment,” says Dennis Bams, professor of Risk Management at the School of Business and Economics. “That is of course not so strange; over the past hundred years, this has happened all the time. It is what all scientists have alway...

Myth: Technology is neutral

Myth: Technology is neutral

“This notebook is biased,” says philosopher Darryl Cressman, as he takes it out of his bag and puts it on the table. It may lie there looking quite innocent, but as it turns out, it completely overlooks about 10 per cent of the world’s population. “It’s made for right-handed people. I’m left-handed, so in order f...

Myth: Lawyers make the difference during police interrogations

Myth: Lawyers make the difference during police interrogations

Crime suspects can bank on being invited by letter to come in for a chat at the local police station. In serious cases, suspects can even be picked up at any hour of the day or night. Fortunately, suspects are not on their own. Since 1 March 2016, lawyers are allowed to be present in the interrogation room. Or does their presence make no difference...

Myth: you have the power over your own happiness

Myth: you have the power over your own happiness

Anyone who thinks negatively, attracts negative situations and circumstances, says the Law of Attraction, the force of nature as explained in the bestseller The Secret (2006). So, what should we be doing? Think positively, and you will see that happiness, health and wealth will be within reach. “As far as I am concerned, this is a myth,&rd...

Myth: Illegal downloading is here to stay

Myth: Illegal downloading is here to stay

In 2012, the Dutch providers Ziggo and XS4All blocked The Pirate Bay, the website that epitomizes the download culture. The block lasted two years, but had very little effect: 70 per cent of the downloaders appeared to have found alternative routes to illegally obtain The Lego Movie or Taylor Swift's latest album. The Netherlands is in the t...

Myth: Brussels imposes nothing but annoying measures

Myth: Brussels imposes nothing but annoying measures

During the Brexit campaign, a popular and frequently repeated example of everything that was bad about the European Union, concerned the regulations concerning lawnmowers. The EU doesn’t allow them to be too noisy. Opponents shout that it is fussing on a postage stamp. As if member states cannot decide that for themselves. Could the EU not ad...

Myth: If children listen to Mozart, they become smarter

Myth: If children listen to Mozart, they become smarter

Available online at amazon.com: A Baby Einstein playpen with music by Mozart and Bach, a ‘self-discovery mobile’ to hang above the crib, with classical melodies and Baby 2 Be, a CD especially for unborn children, to listen to from the womb. The idea behind this merchandise is that children become smarter if they listen to classical musi...

Myth: A passport is the crowning glory of a successful integration

Myth: A passport is the crowning glory of a successful integration

To the right of the political spectrum, the popular idea is that a Dutch passport is not an automatic right. The liberals in the VVD view it as a ‘first prize’. One that you don’t get just like that. You have to show that you have something to offer, fight your way into the society, and show good will. In the Netherlands, immig...

Myth: Dyslexics have an imbalance between the left and right hemisphere

Myth: Dyslexics have an imbalance between the left and right hemisphere

Rope-skipping, practising motor skills, ‘reading’ plastic letters with your fingers, or ‘flashing’ letters and words in the left or right visual field. These are all methods of treatment that are regularly offered to children suffering from dyslexia. But they don't help. “The idea behind them is that the left and r...

Myth: Bioplastics will solve the plastic waste problem

Myth: Bioplastics will solve the plastic waste problem

You don't have to search for very long online to find the effects of ocean garbage patches. The Internet is full of images of turtles with six-pack rings around their shells, seals covered in ribbons of discarded plastic bags, and beaches littered with plastic bottles. Bioplastics – currently only 2 per cent of all plastics – seem l...

Myth: The higher educated push the lower educated from the labour market

Myth: The higher educated push the lower educated from the labour market

The number of people with a higher professional or university education has increased enormously in the last decade. Whereas in the nineteen-fifties, a mere 5 per cent went to university or a school of higher education, now that is 50 per cent, says Wim Groot, professor of Health Economics and professor of Evidence Based Education. “In the pa...

Myth: Lyme's disease can hardly be treated

Myth: Lyme's disease can hardly be treated

It is the horror of every hiker: meeting the wrong tick. Something that may happen not only in the woods, but also in your own back garden. In fact, one third of all tick bites originates from there,  a recent investigation has shown. That is bad news, says Desirée Beaujean, department head of the National Institute of Public Health (Rijksi...

Myth: As robots and computers become smarter, we will be released from our responsibility

Myth: As robots and computers become smarter, we will be released from our responsibility

Self-driving cars, drones used in war zones, robots used to carry out surgical operations. Examples of computers playing a major role, but what happens if something goes wrong? What if a self-driving car doesn't stop at a zebra crossing? Who is responsible? According to Merel Noorman, technology philosopher and postdoc at the Faculty of Arts a...

Myth: doctors can do a lot these days

Myth: doctors can do a lot these days

When prof. Harald Schmidt was a student, many lecturers and students raved about the holistic approach in medicine. Schmidt did not want to have anything to do with that “woolly babble”. He felt that if someone had a heart problem, you should look at his or her heart, and not at the person as a whole. In the meantime, he has change...

Myth: International organisations have too much power

Myth: International organisations have too much power

International organisations such as NATO and the United Nations were founded after the Second World War, just like the predecessor to the European Union, the European Coal and Steel Community. Some people feel that they are too powerful and that too much money is spent on them. But is that in fact the case? Yes, international organisations have be...

Myth: Age is a heavy burden

Myth: Age is a heavy burden

Movement scientist Lex Verdijk would first like to clarify what he means by heavy burden. “That you can no longer carry out certain functional tasks or that it requires great effort. Shopping, climbing stairs, getting up from a chair.” Because, he says, it is undeniably true that ageing is accompanied by physical deterioration. “S...

Myth: Educational experiments disadvantage children who are not allowed to participate

Myth: Educational experiments disadvantage children who are not allowed to participate

“It doesn't matter whether it is about pre-school, primary, or higher education. People feel it is ethically irresponsible if educational innovations are not offered to all pre-school children, pupils or students. We, the researchers, should not be allowed to experiment because in doing so we disadvantage the control group (those who do n...

Myth: ME is a mental illness

Myth: ME is a mental illness

Patients are not just a little bit tired, but are permanently exhausted. Sleeping doesn't help much - if they can sleep properly at all - and they usually pay a high price for any physical exertion: remaining even more tired than they were, for days on end. According to the present medical state of affairs, patients suffering from the chroni...

Myth: investments require knowledge

Myth: investments require knowledge

If you search Google for ‘myths and investments,’ you are spoilt for choice. Professor Peter Schotman turns his monitor 90 degrees and makes a selection from the first hits: five myths about sustainable investments; the myth about small shares; the myth of perfect timing of investments; the myth about active management; four myths about...

Myth: Make sure youngsters don't start smoking, that is the best tactic

Myth: Make sure youngsters don't start smoking, that is the best tactic

This myth is especially popular among politicians, says postdoc Gera Nagelhout, specialised in giving up smoking. Why? Because it makes for an easy score. Making schoolyards smoke-free zones? Of course, who doesn't want that? Raising the age limit from 16 to 18? Sure, do it today rather than tomorrow. “Even the tobacco industry felt it...

Myth: Real poetry is deep and complex

Myth: Real poetry is deep and complex

Legal language is not easily associated with poetry. In days gone by, however, this was the way in which laws were announced, often presented rhythmically or by singing. “Knowledge had to be spread orally,” says Literature Researcher Annette de Bruijn. “There were specific formulaic rules that had to be met. These made it easier t...

Myth: older people work less hard

Myth: older people work less hard

You can't expect too much from older employees. Young ones are faster, more creative, and more intelligent. At least, that is the widespread idea. And with an ageing population and a retirement age that is constantly being pushed back, employers are the ones who will be left with the mess. “It is ridiculous to think that older people are...

Myth: COPD is an incurable disease

Myth: COPD is an incurable disease

“An incurable disease? We are inclined to think that it leads to death.” Nothing could be farther from the truth in the case of the lung disease COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), says Annemie Schols, professor of Nutrition and Metabolism in Chronic Diseases and director of research school Nutrim. Many COPD patients - whose l...

Myth: Sex is a natural urge

Myth: Sex is a natural urge

“Many people think that sex has to be spontaneous, that it is artificial if you agree on a time in your schedule. Nonsense,” says Marieke Dewitte, psychologist and sexologist at Maastricht University. In her own practice, she sees couples who have been having problems for years and who have doubts about their relationship and sex life. ...

Myth: The people rule

Myth: The people rule

Who is really the boss in a democracy? Ask ten random passers-by on the Maastricht Wednesday market, and most likely a popular answer will be “The voter.” Indeed, this idea is reflected in the origin of the word. Demos means people in ancient Greek, and kratein is the verb ‘to rule’. According to senior lecturer of Social Ph...

Myth: Sugar is addictive

Myth: Sugar is addictive

“Sugar addiction is just as serious as other forms of addiction, such as alcohol, cigarettes and even certain drugs,” writes Jasper Alblas, the Dutch author of books such as Het 7 x 7 Afslank Receptenboek (The 7 x 7 Slimming Recipe Book), on his website. Let’s admit it, eating sugar is delicious and who doesn’t succumb to a...

Myth: the punishment that Germany received after WW I, inevitably led to WW II

Myth: the punishment that Germany received after WW I, inevitably led to WW II

History is full of myths, says Georgi Verbeeck, assistant professor of Modern History and Political Culture in Maastricht and professor of German History in Leuven. “One of the most persistent and popular ones is that history repeats itself. You often hear it in debates and discussions - we are supposedly back in the nineteen-thirties, Trump&...

Myth: Only a professional can help in the case of psychological problems

Myth: Only a professional can help in the case of psychological problems

Let’s take a man who suffers from agoraphobia, says Philippe Delespaul, professor in Innovations in Mental Health Care. “He is afraid to go outside, but he himself has most likely tried everything possible. On the days that he felt up to it, he tried to do some shopping. But soon he felt his heart beating in his mouth forcing him to ret...

Myth: It’s fine to buy soft contact lenses on the Internet

Myth: It’s fine to buy soft contact lenses on the Internet

“Special offer!” Or: “Guaranteed the lowest price, buy now and receive a gift.” Online contact lens shops like to advertise with special offer packs. Customers get a year’s supply of soft lenses for peanuts. “Don’t do it,” says Henny Beckers, ophthalmologist at MUMC+ and associate professor: “Ey...

Myth: nursing home care is wretched

Myth: nursing home care is wretched

The media have been full of negative messages about nursing homes for a while, sighs Jos Schols, professor of Nursing Home Medicine. He refers to the recent pamphlet in the AD newspaper by football journalist Hugo Borst, who appeals for less bureaucracy and more care for his mother who is suffering from dementia. Or the commotion surrounding the nu...

Myth: Human beings have reached the top of the evolutionary ladder

Myth: Human beings have reached the top of the evolutionary ladder

It was one of the few pictures in Darwin’s first version of Origin of Species: a branched-out evolutionary tree. Darwin’s contemporaries happily adopted this metaphor and what did some put right at the top: man. Not a new idea, Aristotle had already classified life on earth from low to high. “But evolution is not linear,” sa...

Myth: An eyewitness statement can be trusted blindly

Myth: An eyewitness statement can be trusted blindly

It is a familiar pattern in crime series: the police investigation into a murder, disappearance or whatever, leads nowhere and detectives are at a loss. And just when they are about to give up, a witness turns up, the case gains momentum and is rapidly solved. Reality is often less compliant, argues forensic psychologist Melanie Sauerland. &ldqu...

Myth: We only use 10 per cent of our brain

Myth: We only use 10 per cent of our brain

Those among us who have a crappy ad blocker or has none at all on their computer sees them popping up now and again: ads for homeopathic substances that claim to help you use your brain capacity to the full. After all, we now only use 10 per cent of our brain. If you were to expand that, you would not only become smarter but you would also develop ...

Myth: Dieting makes you fat

Myth: Dieting makes you fat

Who believes in the myth that dieting makes you fat? Nobody, isn't it?  “There are frequent statements in international media that dieting encourages overeating and therefore makes you fatter. But that is an error of reasoning,” says Anita Jansen, professor of Experimental Clinical Psychology and dean of the Faculty of Psycholo...

Myth: Development puts a stop to migration

Myth: Development puts a stop to migration

“Migration is one of those things people think they know something about”, says Melissa Siegel, professor of Migration Studies at UNU Merit and herself a migrant. Born and raised in the United States, she came to the Netherlands 13 years ago for a master’s programme at Utrecht University. “Ask the average person on the stree...

Myth: bad posture gives you back problems

Myth: bad posture gives you back problems

Slumped on the couch? Wrong! Sit up straight. Working at an ergonomically-unfriendly desk? Don’t! Lifting a heavy crate without bending your knees? Watch out! We’ve all heard the story: activities like these will put you on a one-way track to a bad back. Nonsense, responds professor of rehabilitation medicine Rob Smeets. “There...

Myth: The value of real estate property only goes up

Myth: The value of real estate property only goes up

“I could give you a whole list of completely nonsensical views,” says Piet Eichholtz, professor of Real Estate and Finance. About pension funds, who think that they will earn more by hiring professional investors, about sustainable building solving nothing and only costing money, according to investors. Anyway, if he has to choose one, ...

Myth: A GP mainly treats common colds and has to refer more complex cases to the hospital

Myth: A GP mainly treats common colds and has to refer more complex cases to the hospital

It is not just the medical students who often see GPs as “middlemen”, says GP and researcher Jochen Cals. Many patients think the same.  Daily practice is completely different. “Research shows that we deal with almost 95 per cent of the complaints ourselves, even the complex cases. It is only the tip of the iceberg that en...

Myth: Dutch judges should punish more severely because that would make society safer

Myth: Dutch judges should punish more severely because that would make society safer

The following criminal case dates from a few years ago. While a woman from Venray (Limburg) is sitting on a bench in the park, she is hit hard on the head twice with a stick. The assailant then steals her mobile phone. In the appeal court, the judge sentenced the accused to nine years imprisonment – instead of half of that, as the initial cou...