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Bias in the US juridical system

Sijtsma, M.C (2016) Bias in the US juridical system. Master's Thesis / Essay, Mathematics.

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On television you hear a lot about discrimination in the United States. This also holds for the justice system. An example is the violence during the arrest of black offenders. There is a lot of discussion about police officers who shoot at black offenders. The discussion is about, the police shoot because the offender is black or just because he is armed. Therefore we were wondering if offenders receive a harder punishment for there offense because of there race, gender or nationality. Our research question is: Which demographics are of influence on the sentence offenders receive? There has already been a lot of studies on this reference. They found for example that hispanic offender receive more often a prison sentence. Because discrimination does not belong in the justice system we want to know if there is evidence for bias in the system. For our analysis we used lasso. We first searched for the crime related variables that in- fluence the sentence. Then we correct for these and search for the demographics which still influence the sentence. For the analysis of the continuous sentence variables we used a log transformation. But unfortunately also after this transformation the residuals did not fit the normal distribution. Also they are probably not linear. For the binary sentence variable we used logistic regression, but the findings are completely similar. Despite that the models do not fit the data we present our result in this thesis. We found that age, gender, race, U.S. citizenship and education are of influence on the sentence. Therefore based on our findings we conclude that the U.S. juridical system is currently biased.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Mathematics
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:24
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:24

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