Researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio found that Black and Hispanic Americans charged in federal sex abuse cases are receiving disproportionately harsher sentences
In a recent study published in the journal Sexual Abuse, the researchers explored what they said was a trend in more severe punishment over the past decade since Congress has enacted several pieces of legislation aimed at increasing the punishment in federal sex offender and child pornography cases.
The researchers University of Texas at San Antonio criminology and criminal justice professors Richard Hartley and Alexander Testa, and alumnus Erika Martinez, noted that convictions in federal courts have increased over the last two decades.
Most studies of federal sentencing have focused on “understanding what influences judicial decisions and whether racial/ethnic disparities in federal sentencing practices exist, regardless of the type of crime charged,” Hartley explained in an interview with the university journal, UTSA Today.
“Little research, however, has examined the determinants of sentencing outcomes for those convicted of federal sex offenses.”