Examining Cumulative Disadvantage against American Indian Defendants in Federal Courts

Erica Redner-Vera, Xia Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sentencing scholars have recently analyzed cumulative disadvantage that minority defendants are confronted with in the criminal justice system. This research has particularly focused on black, Latino, and to a lesser extent, Asian defendants. Little attention, however, has been paid to how American Indian defendants are treated across multiple decision points and cumulative disadvantage they endure. To address this gap, we use the Federal Justice Statistics Program data and assess whether American Indians, in comparison to other racial and ethnic groups, were more likely to face disadvantage at different stages in criminal case-processing. Findings indicate that American Indians are, in fact, more likely to experience cumulative disadvantage at different stages in federal courts. Implications for theory, policy, and future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-290
Number of pages28
JournalJustice Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023


  • American Indian
  • Cumulative disadvantage
  • disparity
  • race
  • sentencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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