One who might consider taking out insurance, but who has not so far, is New York City Criminal Court Judge Alan Friess. Last year Friess was censured for inviting a woman murder suspect, whom he had released without bail, to stay overnight in his home with him and his girlfriend. Now Friess has touched off another minor furor. Faced with a repeat offender in a pickpocket case, Friess proposed a novel way to set the sentence. He offered the defendant the chance to toss a coin: heads for 30 days, tails for 20. The coin came up tails. Friess's flip approach...

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