Jim Marcus

Jim Marcus

  • Co-Director -- Capital Punishment Clinic
  • Clinical Professor

Faculty Profile: Jim Marcus

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Since 1993, Professor Marcus has represented death-sentenced clients at every level of state and federal habeas corpus proceedings, first with the Texas Resource Center and then with the Texas Defender Service, a non-profit capital defense project he helped found in 1995. Professor Marcus served as the Executive Director of Texas Defender Service from 1997 until stepping down in the summer of 2006 to join the Capital Punishment Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law. In addition to co-directing the Capital Punishment Clinic, Professor Marcus trains and supports capital habeas counsel in Texas cases and lectures in capital defense seminars across the nation.

Professor Marcus's representative cases, as counsel or co-counsel, include Miller-El v. Dretke, 545 U.S. 231 (2005) (granting habeas copus relief to remedy racial discrimination in the selection of a capital jury); Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322 (2003) (reversing a United States Court of Appeals' refusal to certify an appeal based on racial discrimination in the selection of a capital jury); In re Hearn, 389 F.3d 122, 123 (5th Cir. 2004) (securing the right to counsel for indigent death-sentenced prisoners in succesive federal habeas corpus proceedings to demonstrate that their intellectual disability constitutes bar to execution); and Ex parte Riles, 2021 WL 1397906 (Tex. Crim. App. April 14, 2021) (overturning the death sentence of the longest-serving death-sentenced prisoner in the United States).

Along with Professors Jordan Steiker and Thea Posel, Professor is a co-author of The Problem of “Rubber-Stamping” in State Capital Habeas Proceedings: A Harris County Case Study, 55 Hous. L. Rev. 889 (2018).

Professor Marcus is a graduate of the University of Texas Plan II Honors Program and the University of Houston Law Center. 

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