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Federal Lawyer

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Women lag behind men in pay for equal work and in positions of prestigious employment, such as chief executive officers at Fortune 500 companies and presidents of colleges and universities. Women also suffer conscious and subconscious negative bias from both men and women in positions to evaluate an applicant's capabilities and potential, making it less likely that an employer or mentor will choose a woman instead of a man. In contrast to these and many other contexts, our federal criminal justice system regularly favors women over men. Empirical studies show that this lenient treatment begins with prosecutors and law enforcement officers, who tend to forego charges against women; continues with magistrate judges, who often release female defendants on bail 6r on their own recognizance pretrial; and culminates with lesser sentences after women are found guilty. Post-conviction leniency includes fewer death sentences, no incarceration when that option is available, substantially more, downward departures from the otherwise applicable sentencing guidelines, and few upward departures. A smaller number of studies reveal that women, nevertheless, receive harsher sentences when they engage in particularly "unladylike" crimes.



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