Villain or Victim: Regional Variation and Ethnic Disparity in Federal Drug Offense Sentencing

  • Pasko L
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Racial disparity and discrimination in drug offense sentencing continue to concern criminal justice policy makers, practitioners, and researchers. The growth of the drug offender population, coupled with the proliferation of new drug offenses such as methamphetamine, warrants a new investigation of federal drug offenses. Despite the potential of uniformity under determinate sentencing, some groups of offenders are subject to more severe penalties than others are. This research maintains that variation in sentencing can best be understood through an examination of who is perceived as a “villain” and who is a “victim” in drug trafficking. This study (a) uses a multivariate analysis of federal drug offenses to evaluate regional sentencing differences and its impact on different racial and ethnic groups and (b) explains why Hispanics, more than any other ethnic group, receive the longest drug offense sentence

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  • Lisa Pasko

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