Much has been written about extra-legal factors producing biases in criminal sentencing, such as "are black men sentenced to longer prison terms?" Exploring this question, we must engage in formal causal reasoning, and rephrase it as "does ethnicity cause the length of the sentence?" But, we know that establishing a causal effect without randomized experiments is difficult. And, for the judicial system, all we have is observational data. In this webinar, we explain how Bayesian networks can help formalize causal assumptions, which, however, must be justified purely on theoretical grounds. Given such causal assumptions, a Bayesian network can then facilitate causal inference from observational data.
Recorded on May 4, 2018.