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Research Programs

Criminal Justice Policy Program

  • Martha Minow, 300th Anniversary University Professor

    Forgiveness in an age of ‘justified resentments’

    November 6, 2019

    At a recent Harvard Law School Library book event, Martha Minow and panelists discussed her recent release, "When Should Law Forgive?", which explores the complicated intersection of the law, justice, and forgiveness.

  • Report cover

    New report by Harvard Law scholars presents road map for court fee and fine reform

    September 23, 2019

    A new report released earlier this month by researchers at Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Policy Program argues for eliminating court fees and making fines proportionate to offense and ability to pay.

  • Matters of life or death 1

    Matters of life or death

    September 12, 2018

    Led by Carol Steiker, the Henry J. Friendly Professor of Law and faculty co-director of the Criminal Justice Policy Program, the Capital Punishment Clinic at Harvard Law School tests the complex body of constitutional law that regulates the death penalty and its troubled history.

  • New England Patriots players seated at table

    On the way to the Super Bowl, a visit to Harvard Law

    February 1, 2018

    On Jan. 5, New England Patriots Defensive Captain Devin McCourty, teammates Johnson Bademosi, Matthew Slater and Duron Harmon, and team president Jonathan Kraft participated in a 'Listen and Learn' event at HLS, organized by the Fair Punishment Project and the Office of Public Interest Advising, featuring panel discussions on inequities in the criminal justice system.

  • On the Bookshelf: HLS Library Books 2017 12

    On the Bookshelf: HLS Authors

    December 14, 2017

    This fall, the Harvard Law School Library hosted a series of book talks by HLS authors, with topics ranging from Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts to a Citizen's Guide to Impeachment. As part of this ongoing series, faculty authors from various disciplines shared their research and discussed their recently published books.

  • Veterans of service, with a belief in the law 1

    Veterans of service, with a belief in the law

    November 8, 2017

    Each year, as we honor military veterans nationwide for their service, Harvard Law Today profiles students in the incoming class who have held positions in the Armed Forces. The Class of 2020 includes the largest number of former or current service members in Harvard Law's recent history.

  • As a JAG officer, Jenna Reed prosecuted some of the most serious cases in the U.S. Marine Corps

    As a JAG officer, Jenna Reed prosecuted some of the most serious cases in the U.S. Marine Corps

    November 8, 2017

    As a JAG officer in the U.S. Marine Corps for more than six years, Jenna E. Reed LL.M. ’18 prosecuted and defended some of the most serious cases in that branch of the military, focusing on violent and special victims crimes, including shaken-baby cases and others involving children.

  • Students help advance forensic science reform in Massachusetts

    Students help advance forensic science reform in Massachusetts

    October 17, 2017

    Over a year ago, a group of students in Harvard Law School's Criminal Justice Policy Program (CJPP) began working to propel forensic science reform in Massachusetts. On Oct. 2, the students' work culminated in a Wrongful Conviction Day event at the Massachusetts State House.

  • Deputy Attorney General says criminal justice reform likely to continue in Trump Administration

    January 11, 2017

    With just under two weeks left in the presidency of Barack Obama ’91, Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates spoke at Harvard Law School about recent strides in criminal justice reform and why she is optimistic that progress will continue in the new presidential administration.

  • Harvard Law School: 2016 in review

    December 22, 2016

    A look back at 2016, highlights of the people who visited, events that took place and everyday life at Harvard Law School.

  • Regulated to Death

    November 22, 2016

    In their latest collaboration, Professor Carol Steiker ’86 and her brother, Jordan Steiker ’88, a law professor at the University of Texas, have co-written a new book, “Courting Death: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment,” in which they argue that the Court has failed in its efforts to regulate the death penalty since Gregg v. Georgia, its 1976 decision that allowed capital punishment to resume.

  • Fair Punishment Project’s new Legal Advisory Council issues brief on sentences for juveniles

    November 21, 2016

    The HLS Fair Punishment Project’s Legal Advisory Council has issued an issue brief arguing that a sentencer may impose a life without parole sentence upon a juvenile only after concluding that the child is “the rare juvenile offender who exhibits such irretrievable depravity that rehabilitation is impossible.”

  • Whiting_Alex

    70 Years Later: The Nuremberg Legacy and The Crime of Aggression

    October 19, 2016

    In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials, Harvard Law School Professor Alex Whiting moderated a conversation between Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, permanent representative of Liechtenstein to the United Nations, and Harold Hongju Koh ’80, who served as legal adviser of the U.S. Department of State.

  • Harvard Law students help win presidential clemency for inmates

    October 6, 2016

    Last spring, the Criminal Justice Policy Program developed an initiative to provide representation to incarcerated people petitioning President Obama for clemency. Twenty-six Harvard Law students volunteered to work with a team of pro bono attorneys to represent clemency petitioners, in what has become the largest law student-based clemency initiative in the country.

  • Report equips advocates to work together to tackle challenges of Criminal Justice Debt

    September 8, 2016

    Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Policy Program and the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) have released Confronting Criminal Justice Debt: A Comprehensive Project for Reform, a collaborative project that focuses on the financial costs of the criminal justice system.

  • Harvard Gazette: The costs of inequality — A goal of justice, a reality of unfairness

    March 2, 2016

    Fifth in a Harvard Gazette series on what Harvard scholars are doing to identify and understand inequality, in seeking solutions to one of America’s most vexing problems.

  • During HLS visit, Attorney General Lynch makes the case for criminal justice reform

    January 19, 2016

    In a recent talk at Harvard Law School, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch ’81, J.D. ’84 discussed criminal-justice reform “a transformative issue of our generation.”

  • Victor Rosario in Tremont Temple Church

    For law students, a cautionary tale

    November 24, 2015

    Accompanied by his lawyers Lisa Kavanaugh '00 and Andrea Petersen, Victor Rosario--a man who served 32 years in prison for a crime he said he didn’t commit--discussed his case, the state of criminal forensics, and innocence litigation at Harvard Law School.

  • Reforming criminal justice: New HLS program aims to influence national policies

    November 19, 2015

    Larry Schwartztol, executive director of Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Program of Study, Research and Advocacy, recently spoke with the Harvard Gazette about the HLS program, his role in it, and a conference sponsored by the new initiative on how the media helps shape the criminal justice narrative.

  • Global Prosecutor

    October 5, 2015

    In January 2010, Martha Minow, then the new dean of Harvard Law School, taught a seminar examining the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Bolstering that effort was her co-teacher, Alex Whiting, who later that year would begin a three-year tenure at the ICC, managing first investigations and then prosecutions for the office. The other co-teacher was the ICC’s first chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo.

  • Carol Steiker faculty portrait

    Steiker study influential in Connecticut’s decision to abolish death penalty

    September 15, 2015

    A study on capital punishment co-authored by Harvard Law School Professor Carol Steiker ’86 and her brother Jordan Steiker ’88 a professor at the University of Texas School of Law, was influential in Connecticut’s recent decision to abolish the death penalty in that state.

  • Dying While Black and Brown: Hamilton Houston Institute hosts dance performance on incarceration and capital punishment (video)

    March 20, 2015

    On March 6, Harvard Law School’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice hosted Dying While Black and Brown, a dance performance focused on capital punishment and the disproportionate numbers of incarcerated people of color. The performance was first commissioned by the San Francisco Equal Justice Society as part of the society’s campaign to restore 14th Amendment protections for victims of discrimination, including those on death row.

  • Carol Steiker: 'Choosing wisely is more important -- and less important -- than you might think it is'

    Death penalty, in retreat: Interview with Professor Carol Steiker

    February 3, 2015

    HLS Professor Carol Steiker is using her year as the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study’s Rita E. Hauser Fellow to work with her brother and frequent collaborator, Jordan M. Steiker, on a book about the past half-century’s experiment with the constitutional regulation of capital punishment in America. She recently spoke with the Harvard Gazette about the history and future of the death penalty in the United States.

  • Steiker, Whiting launch new Criminal Justice Program of Study, Research and Advocacy at HLS

    December 8, 2014

    At a time when policing, prosecutorial discretion, the death penalty, and criminal justice as a whole are under tremendous scrutiny in the United States, a new initiative at Harvard Law School seeks to analyze problems within the U.S. criminal justice system and look for solutions.