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Jesse Lowey

Jesse Lowey

Jesse Lowey is a Public Policy major and Psychology minor at Duke. Born and raised in New York City, he is one of three children with a twin brother and older sister. On campus, he has been involved in both the Duke Community Consulting Club, as well as TAMID. He also enjoys staying active with friends, cooking, learning to play the guitar, and spending time with his two black labs in his free time. He has yet to decide what he wants to do after graduation in May 2021, but he’d like to make a meaningful impact in whatever field he chooses to join.

Honors Thesis:

Predicting the Chances of Clearance and Conviction for Shootings

Faculty Advisor: Philip J. Cook

Abstract: Urban police departments typically solve only a fraction of assaults in which the victim is shot and survives (Cook, Braga, Turchan et al., 2019). These cases are almost completely similar in all observable aspects to gun homicide cases except for the outcome (Cook, Braga, Turchan et al., 2019). Clearance and conviction of the shooters in such cases is a high priority as it deters subsequent shootings, yet a variety of factors, such as a lack of victim cooperation, often negatively impacts the chances of an arrest in the first place (Braga, Turchan, & Barao, 2019; Roberts, 2015). Through multilinear regression analysis, this study determines which demographic and circumstantial factors affect clearance and conviction rates for both fatal and non-fatal shootings. Data on every shooting case in Durham in 2018 was collected with the help of the Durham Police Department. The data includes demographics of the victims (age, race and ethnicity, sex), circumstantial information (time of the shooting, victim’s relation to the offender, and gang involvement), and whether the shooting was fatal or not. Conviction data was also collected using terminals at the Durham County Courthouse. By discovering which factors affect clearance and conviction rates, the results will ultimately allow police agencies to predict the likelihood of a shooting case being cleared and the offender being convicted based on the factors involved in the case. Thus, this study will influence resource allocation and investigative practices to improve clearance rates and conviction rates.