Jordan M. Steiker

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


  • JD Harvard
  • BA Wesleyan University

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 Co-Director of the law school's Capital Punishment Center. He was a visiting professor at the Harvard Law School and has written extensively on constitutional law, federal habeas corpus, and the death penalty. Some of his recent publications include: A Tale of Two Nations: Implementation of the Death Penalty in "Executing" Versus "Symbolic" States in the United States, (Texas Law Review 2006) (with Carol Steiker); The Seduction of Innocence: The Attraction and Limitations of the Focus on Innocence in Capital Punishment Law and Advocacy (Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology 2005) (with Carol Steiker); Habeas Exceptionalism, (Texas Law Review, 2000); Restructuring Post-Conviction Review of Federal Claims Raised by State Prisoners: Confronting the New Face of Excessive Proceduralism, (Chicago Legal Forum, 1998); The Limits of Legal Language: Decisionmaking in Capital Cases (Michigan Law Review, 1996); and Sober Second Thoughts: Reflections on Two Decades of Constitutional Regulation of Capital Punishment, (Harvard Law Review, 1995) (with Carol Steiker).

Recent Publications

  • Extraordinary Injustice in Texas Death Penalty Case Needs SCOTUS Fix, The National Law Journal (September 19, 2016),
  • The American Death Penalty and the (In)visibility of Race [Symposium: Criminal Procedure in the Spotlight], 82 University of Chicago Law Review 243 (2015) (with Carol S. Steiker).
  • The American Death Penalty from a Consequentialist Perspective [Symposium: Homicide], 47 Texas Tech Law Review 211 (2014).

Full list of publications…

Recent Activities

  • Quote

    July 8, 2007

    New York Times

    On July 8th, was quoted in the New York Times about President Bush's clemency policy during his governorship in Texas.

  • Lecture

    April 26, 2007

    Oxford University

    On April 26th, delivered a lecture at Oxford University, "The American Death Penalty: Federal Constitutional Regulation and the Prospects for Judicial Abolition."

  • Quote

    April 26, 2007

    Various Newspapers

    On April 26th, was quoted in the Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, Austin-American Statesman, and San Antonio Express News about the Capital Punishment Clinic's victories in three cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, Smith v. Texas, Abdul-Kabir v. Quarterman, and Brewer v. Quarterman.

Full activities list…