In federal court, the judges expect for the defendants to express remorse. You don’t really see that as much in state-level courts. You’ll see an article about how a guy got sentenced for murder or rape or whatever, and sometimes he’ll express remorse, and sometimes he won’t. In federal court, it doesn’t really matter what the charges are; he’ll pretty much always address the court to say how sorry he is for what he did.
Another thing you’ll notice is that federal courts tend to sentence defendants to a lot of time. Like if there’s a case where a guy paid an underage hooker for sex, he’ll get 15 years if he’s sentenced in federal court. He probably would’ve gotten less time if he’d been sentenced in state court. Maybe he would’ve gotten a suspended sentence; that’s pretty common. A former brother-in-law of mine got sentenced to 20 years for breaking and entering with intent to rape, but 10 years of that was suspended. They don’t do that much in federal court; you’re pretty much going to have to serve your whole sentence in prison.
Not only that, the feds will usually sentence people to be on supervised release as well, after they get out of prison; and the restrictions, supervision, monitoring, treatment, etc. are pretty stringent and intensive compared to what the states impose. They will send people back to prison for long periods for petty violations, like testing positive for drugs or something. I got sentenced to 16 months on my original federal sentence, but ultimately served 46 months because of supervised release violations. One of those violations was associating with felons; viz., writing letters to friends I’d made while I was in prison; I served 10 months for that.
That’s pretty much how they strip people of their dignity — they threaten to sentence them to prison for a shitload of time, and coerce them into making a blubbering fool of themselves on the stand by apologizing abjectly for what they did; and then they sentence them to a bunch of time anyway, and after they get out, make them jump through a bunch of hoops and put up with a lot of intrusive monitoring if they want to stay out of prison.
The feds, unlike the states, can afford to build a bunch of prisons and spend a bunch of money on supervision and “treatment,” because they can borrow as much money as they want. The states have to balance their budgets and can only borrow money for, say, building roads or schools. They have to try to maintain a AAA bond rating. The feds can ultimately print as much money as they need to pay their debts, so their pockets are infinitely deep.