Baby, it’s cold outside
One of the well-known issues faced by those who have done any degree of venturing is that it becomes harder to make good decisions when you are some combination of physically tired, hungry, cold or hot, in pain, and have been coping with a series of events that went off-plan. You reach the point where forcing yourself to think through a problem requires as much effort as doing something physically strenuous. That eventuality is a large part of what drives people planning a week in the woods or at sea to think so hard beforehand about every little matter and eventuality — they are trying to minimize what decisions they have to make when doing so is more difficult.
So I find quite plausible the theory that the poor make poor decisions partly from similar struggle.
Kudos to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, for looking at the exigencies of homelessness partly from the perspective of the homeless. I doubt it will — or should! — keep David Magadini out of jail. But the principle decided seems in the right direction.