Jordan M Steiker

Jordan M Steiker

  • Judge Robert M Parker Endowed Chair in Law
  • Co-Director - Capital Punishment Center

Faculty Profile: Jordan M Steiker

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Professor Steiker joined the faculty in 1990 after serving as a law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall of the United States Supreme Court. He teaches constitutional law, criminal law, and death penalty law, and is Director of the law school's Capital Punishment Center. He has written extensively on constitutional law, federal habeas corpus, and the death penalty. Some of his recent publications include: Courting Death: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment (Belknap/Harvard University Press, 2016, with Carol Steiker), winner of the Hamilton Book Award; The American Death Penalty and the (In)Visibility of Race, 82 U. Chi L. Rev 243 (2015) (with Carol Steiker); The Death Penalty from a Consequentialist Perspective, 47 Tex. Tech. L. Rev. 211 (2014).  Along with his sister/co-author Professor Carol Steiker, he co-authored the report to the American Law Institute prompting the withdrawal of the death penalty provisions of the Model Penal Code.  He has served as a visiting professor to Harvard Law School several times, most recently as the Touroff-Glueck Visiting Professor of Law and Psychiatry, Fall, 2018.

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Courses for Spring 2024

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Professional Activities


September 23, 2019

Delivered lecture of American death penalty at University Lecture Series

Professor Steiker’s talk will focus on the past, present, and future of the American death penalty. Professor Steiker will focus on topics such as – the role of race in the American death penalty; the substantial withering of American capital practice; the changing discourse in the American death penalty debate; the prospects for abolition in the U.S.; and the American death penalty in comparative/international perspective.

March 22, 2019

Guest on SLATE's 'What Next' podcast

Jordan Stieker appeared on and episode of the 'What Next' podcast by, entitled "How long will it take the death penalty to die?". 

March 19, 2019

Guest on radio show 'On Point' - California Kills The Death Penalty — For Now. What Is Its Future?

WBUR Boston

Jordan Steiker was a guest on the radio program 'On Point' on Boston NPR station WBUR. the segmant was titled California Kills The Death Penalty — For Now. What Is Its Future?"


Other guests were Phylis Loya and Marisa Lagos

March 15, 2019

Will the U.S. Finally End the Death Penalty?

The Atlantic

Authored an article for The Atlantic entitled "Will the U.S. Finally End the Death Penalty?

In the past, abolition efforts faced a backlash—but Gavin Newsom’s moratorium may be different".


Quoted in Asahi Shimbun

Jordan Steiker was quoted in Asahi Shimbun newspaper on certain aspects of Japanese death penalty practice based on a visit to the Japanese legislature.


August 15, 2018

The Pope Changed the Catholic Church’s Position on the Death Penalty. Will the Supreme Court Follow?

Time Magazine

Article in Time Magazine reflecting on the ramifications of the Catholic Church's changed stance on the death penalty