Albert Alschuler

Albert Alschuler

Julius Kreeger Professor Emeritus of Law and Criminology

Albert Alschuler graduated magna cum laude from the Harvard Law School and was Case Editor of the Harvard Law Review. He has been a law clerk to Justice Walter V. Schaefer of the Illinois Supreme Court; a special assistant to the assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division of the US Justice Department; a professor of law at the University of Texas, the University of Colorado, and the University of Pennsylvania; a visiting professor at the University of Michigan, the University of California at Berkeley, the Brooklyn Law School, and Columbia University; and a visiting scholar at the National Institute of Justice and the American Bar Foundation.

Alschuler has written on plea bargaining, sentencing reform, privacy, search and seizure, civil procedure, jury selection, legal history, legal ethics, confessions, courtroom conduct, William Blackstone, Oliver Wendell Holmes, American legal theory, and other topics, most of them in the area of criminal justice.


Harvard Law School

LLB, magna cum laude, 1965

  • Case Editor, Harvard Law Review, 1964-1965

Harvard College

AB, cum laude in history,  1962

  • Conant Prize
  • Coolidge Prize
  • Class Orator
  • Honorary Harvard National Scholarship  


The University of Chicago Law School

Julius Kreeger Professor Emeritus of Law and Criminology, 2006-present
Julius Kreeger Professor of Law and Criminology, 2002-2006
Wilson-Dickinson Professor, 1988-2002
Professor of Law, 1985-1988
Fellow, Center for Studies in Criminal Justice, 1967-1968

Northwestern University Law School

Professor of Law, 2006-present
Jack N. Pritzker Distinguished Visiting Professor, spring 2005

New York University Law School

Visiting Professor, spring 2009

Columbia University Law School

Visiting Professor, fall 2001

Brooklyn Law School

Visiting Professor, fall, 2000

University of Pennsylvania

Professor of Law, fall 1984

Visiting Professor, fall 1983

University of California at Berkeley

Visiting Professor, fall 1981

University of Colorado

Professor of Law, 1976-1984
Visiting Professor, 1973-1974

University of Michigan

Visiting Professor, summer 1975

University of Texas

Professor of Law, 1970-1976

Associate Professor of Law, 1969-1970

Assistant Professor of Law, 1966-1967

United States Department of Justice

Special Assistant, Honorable Fred M. Vinson, Jr., Assistant Attorney General in Charge of the Criminal Division, 1968-1969

Honorable Walter V. Schaefer, Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court

Law Clerk, 1965-1966

Books (Author)

  • Law without Values: The Life, Work, and Legacy of Justice Holmes (University of Chicago Press, 2000).cu
  • The Privilege Against Self-Incrimination: Its Origins and Development (University of Chicago Press, 1997) (with R. H. Helmholz, Charles M. Gray & John H. Langbein).cu

Book Sections

  • "Justice, Mercy, and Equality in Discretionary Criminal Justice Decision Making," in Christianity and Criminal Law, Mark Hill, Norman Doe, R. H. Helmholz & John Witte eds. (Routledge, 2020). www
  • "Oliver Wendell Holmes," in The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Utilitarianism 242.2013). cu
  • "Nicholas St. John Green," in The Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law 232., Roger Newman ed. 2009). cu
  • "Teaching Intelligent Design Is Not Teaching Religion," in Issues on Trial: Education, Robert Winters ed. (Greenhaven Press, 2008). cu
  • "A Place for Mercy.," in Doing Justice to Mercy: Religion, Law, and Criminal Justice, Matthew M. Boulton, Kevin Jung & Jonathan Rothchild eds. (University of Virginia Press, 2007). cu
  • "Jury Trial.," in The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, David F. Forte, Edwin Meese & Matthew Spalding eds. (Heritage Foundation, 2005). cu
  • "Foreword," in Double Jeopardy: A Reference Guide to the United States Constitution, David S. Rudstein ed. (Praeger, 2004). cu
  • "Jury: Legal Aspects," in 2 Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice.(2002). cu
  • "A Century of Skepticism," in Christian Perspectives on Legal Thought, Michael W. McConnell, Angella Carmella & Robert Cochrane eds. (Yale University Press, 2002) (also published in First Things, February 2002). cu
  • "Guilty Pleas: Plea Bargaining," in 2 Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice.(2002). cu
  • "Criminal Justice," in Common Law, Common Values, Common Rights: Essays on Our Common Heritage (American Bar Association; West Group, 2000). cu
  • "Racial Quotas and the Jury," in Race and the Criminal Justice System: How Race Affects Criminal Trials, Gerald A. Reynolds ed. (Center for Equal Opportunity, 1996). cu
  • "Our Faltering Jury," in Postmortem: The O. J. Simpson Case, Jeffrey Abramson ed. (Basic Books, 1996) (also published in 122 The Public interest 28 1996 and The University of Chicago Law School Record [Fall 1995]). cu
  • "The Sentencing Guidelines Evaluation on the Basis of Experience," in Proceedings of the Fifty-Third Judicial Conference of the District of Columbia Circuit (West's Federal Rules Decisions, 1993). cu
  • "Statement of Albert W. Alschuler," in Final Report, Hennepin County Attorney's Task Force on Racial Composition of the Grand Jury (, 1992). cu
  • "Bail," in The Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, Supplement I, Kenneth L. Karst, Leonard W. Levy & John G. West eds. (MacMillan, 1992). cu
  • "Third Party Consent," in The Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, Supplement I, Kenneth L. Karst, Leonard W. Levy & John G. West eds. (MacMillan, 1992). cu
  • "Fourth Amendment Remedies: The Current Understanding," in The Bill of Rights: Original Meaning and the Current Understanding, Eugene W. Hickok ed. (University of Virginia Press, 1991). cu
  • "Action, Inaction, and the Injunction Not to Kill," in Active Euthanasia, Religion, and the Public Debate, Ronald Hamel ed. (Park Ridge Center, 1991) (also published in Choosing Death, edited by Ron Hamel, Trinity Press 1991). cu
  • "Reflection," in Choosing Death, Ron Hamel ed. (Trinity Press, 1991). cu
  • "The Selling of the Sentencing Guidelines: Some Correspondence with the U.S. Sentencing Commission.," in The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines: Implications for Criminal Justice, Dean J. Champion ed. (Praeger, 1989). cu
  • "Statement of Albert W. Alschuler," in Sentencing Guidelines: Hearings before the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States House of Representatives, 100th Congress, 1st Session (U.S. GPO, 1988). cu
  • "Blighted Trees in a Benighted Forest: The Police Officer's Cases, the Prosecutor's Screening and Bargaining Practices, and the Social Scientist's Numbers," in Police Leadership in America: Crisis and Opportunity, William A. Geller ed. (Praeger, 1985). cu
  • "Guilty Pleas and Plea Bargaining," in 2 Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice., Sanford H. Kadish ed. 1983). cu

Journal Articles

  • "Twilight-Zone Originalism: The Peculiar Reasoning and Unfortunate Consequences of New York State Pistol & Rifle Association v. Bruen,," 32 William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal 1 (2023). www
  • "Be Careful What You Wish for," 35 Federal Sentencing Reporter 226 (2023). www
  • "The Corruption of the Pardon Power," 18 University of St. Thomas Law Journal 1 (2022).
  • "Amerika Birlesik Devletleri’nde Ceza Yargilamalarinda Ju¨ri Usulu¨nu¨n Kisa Bir Tarihçesi," 12 Hasan Kalyoncu Üniversitesi Hukuk Fakültesi Dergisi 79 (2022) (with Andrew G. Deiss). www
  • "Plea Bargaining and Mass Incarceration," 76 NYU Annual Survey of American Law 205 (2021).
  • "Limiting the Pardon Power," 63 Arizona Law Review 545 (2021). www
  • "Justice, Mercy, and Equality in Discretionary Criminal Justice Decision Making," 35 Journal of Law and Religion 18 (2020).
  • "Why Limits on Contributions to Super PACs Should Survive Citizens United," 86 Fordham Law Review 2299 (2018) (with Laurence H. Tribe, Norman Eisen & Richard W. Painter). cu
  • "A Nearly Perfect System for Convicting the Innocent," 79 Albany Law Review 919 (2016). cu
  • "Criminal Corruption: Why Broad Definitions of Bribery Make Things Worse," 84 Fordham Law Review 463 (2015). cu
  • "Regarding Re's Revisionism: Notes on 'The Due Process Exclusionary Rule'," 127 Harvard Law Review Forum 302 (2014). cu
  • "Lafler and Frye: Two Small Band-Aids for a Festering Wound," 51 Duquesne Law Review 673 (2013). cu
  • "Bill Clinton's Parting Pardon Party," 100 Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 1131 (2010). cu
  • "Herring v. United States: A Minnow or a Shark Term Paper," 7 Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law 463 (2009). cu
  • "From Blackstone to Holmes: The Revolt against Natural Law Historic Proponents and the Critics of Higher Law," 36 Pepperdine Law Review 491 (2009). cu
  • "Two Ways to Think about the Punishment of Corporations," 46 American Criminal Law Review 1359 (2009). cu
  • "Plea Bargaining and the Death Penalty," 58 DePaul Law Review 671 (2008). cu
  • "Studying the Exclusionary Rule: An Empirical Classic," 75 University of Chicago Law Review 1365 (2008). cu
  • "Exclusionary Rule and Causation: Hudson v. Michigan and Its Ancestors, The," 93 Iowa Law Review 1741 (2007). cu
  • "The Upside and Downside of Police Hunches and Expertise," 4 Journal of Law, Economics and Policy 115 (2007). cu
  • "Welsh S. White: Dedicated Scholar, Devoted Colleague, and Dear Friend," 68 University of Pittsburgh Law Review 1 (2006). cu
  • "The Mail Fraud and RICO Racket: Thoughts on the Trial of George Ryan," 9 Green Bag 113 (2006). cu
  • "Celebrating Great Lawyering (reviewing Welsh S. White, Litigating in the Shadow of Death: Defense Attorneys in Capital Cases, by Welsh S. White (2006))," 4 Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law 223 (2006). cu
  • "Disparity: The Normative and Empirical Failure of the Federal Guidelines," 58 Stanford Law Review 85 (2005). cu
  • "In Memoriam: Norval Morris (1923-2004)," 72 University of Chicago Law Review 455 (2005) (with Franklin E. Zimring, James R. Coldren, James B. Jacobs & Kathleen H. Sawyer). cu
  • "Narrative and Normativity: Comments on The Origins of Adversary Criminal Trial (reviewing John H. Langbein, The Origins of the Adversary Criminal Trial (2003))," 26 Journal of Legal History 91 (2005). cu
  • "The Future of American Sentencing: A National Roundtable on Blakely," 17 Federal Sentencing Reporter 115 (2004). cu
  • "To Sever or Not to Sever - Why Blakely Requires Action by Congress," 17 Federal Sentencing Reporter 11 (2004). cu
  • "Hail Yale Tribute: Yale Kamisar," 2 Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law 29 (2004). cu
  • "Lawyers and Truth-Telling," 26 Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 189 (2003). cu
  • "The Changing Purposes of Criminal Punishment: A Retrospective on the Last Century and Some Thoughts about the Next," 70 University of Chicago Law Review 1 (2003). cu
  • "Straining at Gnats and Swallowing Camels: The Selective Morality of Professor Bibas," 88 Cornell Law Review 1412 (2003). cu
  • "A Century of Skepticism," 120 First Things 34 (2002). cu
  • "Racial Profiling and the Constitution The Scope of Equal Protection," 2002 University of Chicago Legal Forum 163 (2002). cu
  • "Explaining the Public Wariness of Juries," 48 DePaul Law Review 407 (1998). cu
  • "Antiquated Procedures or Bedrock Rights: A Response to Professors Meares and Kahan The Right to a Fair Trial," 1998 University of Chicago Legal Forum 215 (1998) (with Stephen J. Schulhofer). cu
  • "How to Win the Trial of the Century: The Ethics of Lord Brougham and the O. J. Simpson Defense Team," 29 McGeorge Law Review 291 (1998). cu
  • "Introduction: Adding a Comparative Perspective to American Criminal Procedure Classes," 100 West Virginia Law Review 765 (1998). cu
  • "The Descending Trail: Holmes' Path of the Law One Hundred Years Later," 49 Florida Law Review 353 (1997). cu
  • "Constraint and Confession," 74 Denver University Law Review 957 (1997). cu
  • "Two Guns, Four Guns, Six Guns, More Guns: Does Arming the Public Reduce Crime Juvenile Crime?," 31 Valparaiso University Law Review 365 (1997). cu
  • "The F.B.I. and the Olympic Park Bombing," 147 New Law Journal 1344 (1997). cu
  • "A Teetering Palladium (reviewing Steven Adler, The Jury: Trial and Error in the American Courtroom (1994) and Jeffrey Abramson, We the Jury: The Jury Systems and the Ideal of Democracy (1994))," 79 Judicature 200 (1996). cu
  • "Rediscovering Blackstone," 145 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1 (1996). cu
  • "Our Faltering Jury," 28 Public Interest 135 (1996). cu
  • "The All-White American Jury," 145 New Law Journal 1005 (1995). cu
  • "A Peculiar Privilege in Historical Perspective: The Right to Remain Silent," 94 Michigan Law Review 2625 (1995). cu
  • "Equal Justice - Would Color-Conscious Jury Selection Help At Issue," 81 ABA Journal 36 (1995) (with Randall L. Kennedy). cu
  • "Racial Quotas and the Jury," 44 Duke Law Journal 704 (1995). cu
  • "Norval Toward a Rational Drug Policy," 1994 University of Chicago Legal Forum 1 (1994). cu
  • "A Brief History of the Criminal Jury in the United States," 61 University of Chicago Law Review 867 (1994) (with Andrew G. Deiss). cu
  • "Sir William Blackstone and the Shaping of American Law," 144 New Law Journal 896 (1994). cu
  • "Willie and Bill Forum on Sentencing Guidelines - Suggestions for the New Administration and the 103rd Congress," 5 Federal Sentencing Reporter 214 (1993). cu
  • "Monarch, Lackey, or Judge?," 64 University of Colorado Law Review 723 (1993). cu
  • "Three Huzzas for the Jury," 143 New Law Journal 951 (1993) (with Andrew G. Deiss). cu
  • "An Exchange of Concessions," 142 New Law Journal 937 (1992). cu
  • "Book Review (reviewing Richard A. Posner, ed., The Essential Holmes: Selections from the Letters, Speeches, Judicial Opinions, and Other Writings of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1992))," 2 Law and Politics Book Review 105 (1992). cu
  • "Book Review (reviewing Richard Posner, ed., The Essential Holmes: Selections from the Letters, Speeches, and Other Writings of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1992))," 2 Law and Politics Book Review 105 (1992). cu
  • "The Politics of American Criminal Justice," 26 Criminal Lawyer 5 (1992). cu
  • "Weighing Up the Evidence," 141 New Law Journal 1711 (1991). cu
  • "Sugar Cubes, Blotting Paper and the Courts," 141 New Law Journal 785 (1991). cu
  • "Ancient Law and the Punishment of Corporations: Of Frankpledge and Deodand," 71 Boston University Law Review 307 (1991). cu
  • "The Failure of Sentencing Commissions," 141 New Law Journal 829 (1991). cu
  • "The Failure of Sentencing Guidelines: A Plea for Less Aggregation," 58 University of Chicago Law Review 901 (1991). cu
  • "Failure of Sentencing Guidelines: A Plea for Less Aggregation, The Perspectives on Disparity in Guideline Research: Call for a Different System," 4 Federal Sentencing Reporter 161 (1991). cu
  • "The Right to Die," 141 New Law Journal 1637 (1991). cu
  • "Foreword - Vanishing Civil Jury, The The Role of the Jury in Civil Dispute Resolution - Introduction," 1990 University of Chicago Legal Forum 1 (1990). cu
  • "The Supreme Court and the Jury: Voir Dire, Peremptory Challenges, and the Review of Jury Verdicts," 56 University of Chicago Law Review 153 (1989). cu
  • "Judicial Impressions of the Sentencing Guidelines," 2 Federal Sentencing Reporter 94 (1989) (with Stephen J. Schulhofer). cu
  • "The Overweight Schoolteacher from New Jersey and Other Tales: The Peremptory Challenge after Batson," 25 Criminal Law Bulletin 57 (1989). cu
  • "Departures and Plea Agreements under the Sentencing Guidelines," 117 West's Federal Rules Decisions 459 (1988). cu
  • "Preventive Pretrial Detention and the Failure of Interest-Balancing Approaches to Due Process," 85 Michigan Law Review 510 (1987). cu
  • "Failed Pragmatism: Reflections on the Burger Court Commentaries," 100 Harvard Law Review 1436 (1986). cu
  • "Getting Shortchanged in the Bargain," 3 Compleat Lawyer 27 (1986). cu
  • "Personal Failure, Institutional Failure, and the Sixth Amendment," 14 New York University Review of Law and Social Change 149 (1986). cu
  • "Mediation with a Mugger: The Shortage of Adjudicative Services and the Need for a Two-Tier Trial System in Civil Cases," 99 Harvard Law Review 1808 (1985). cu
  • "Close Enough for Government Work: The Exclusionary Rule after Leon," 1984 Supreme Court Review 309 (1984). cu
  • "Bright Line Fever and the Fourth Amendment," 45 University of Pittsburgh Law Review 227 (1984). cu
  • "Implementing the Criminal Defendant's Right to Trial: Alternatives to the Plea Bargaining System," 50 University of Chicago Law Review 931 (1983). cu
  • "Interpersonal Privacy and the Fourth Amendment," 4 Northern Illinois University Law Review 1 (1983). cu
  • "The Search for Truth Continued, the Privilege Retained: A Response to Judge Frankel," 54 University of Colorado Law Review 67 (1982). cu
  • "The Changing Plea Bargaining Debate," 69 California Law Review 652 (1981). cu
  • "The Preservation of a Client's Confidences: One Value among Many or a Categorical Imperative?," 52 University of Colorado Law Review 349 (1981). cu
  • "Sentencing Reform and Parole Release Guidelines," 51 University of Colorado Law Review 237 (1980). cu
  • "Plea Bargaining and Its History," 79 Columbia Law Review 1 (1979). cu
  • "Book Review (reviewing Charles L. Silberman, Criminal Violence, Criminal Justice (1978))," 46 University of Chicago Law Review 1007 (1979). cu
  • "Sentencing Reform and Prosecutorial Power: A Critique of Recent Proposals for 'Fixed' and 'Presumptive' Sentencing," 126 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 550 (1978). cu
  • "Plea Bargaining and Its History Historical Perspectives," 13 Law and Society Review 211 (1978). cu
  • "Book Review (reviewing James Mills, One Just Man: a Novel (1974))," 12 Criminal Law Bulletin 629 (1976). cu
  • "The Trial Judge's Role in Plea Bargaining, Part I," 76 Columbia Law Review 1059 (1976). cu
  • "The Supreme Court, the Defense Attorney, and the Guilty Plea," 47 University of Colorado Law Review 1 (1975). cu
  • "The Defense Attorney's Role in Plea Bargaining," 84 Yale Law Journal 1179 (1974). cu
  • "Book Review (reviewing Stephen Bing & Stephen B. Rosenfield, The Quality of Justice in the Lower Criminal Courts of Metropolitan Boston: A Report the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under Law (1970))," 66 Law Library Journal 122 (1973). cu
  • "Courtroom Misconduct by Prosecutors and Trial Judges," 50 Texas Law Review 629 (1972). cu
  • "A Different View of Privacy," 49 Texas Law Review 872 (1971). cu
  • "Book Review (reviewing Gerald Gunther, ed., John Marshall's Defense of McCulloch v. Maryland (1969))," 64 Law Library Journal 98 (1971). cu
  • "The Prosecutor's Role in the Plea Bargaining," 36 University of Chicago Law Review 50 (1968). cu

Other Publications

  • "Why No “Plain Statement Rule” Bars a President’s Prosecution for Murder," Just Security, April 30, 2024. www
  • "Seditious Conspiracy vs. Insurrection: Assessing the Evidence Against Trump," Just Security, August 19, 2022. www
  • "Trump and the Insurrection Act: The Legal Framework," Just Security, August 16, 2022. www
  • "Some Questions for the Alito Five," Verdict: Legal Analysis and Commentary from Justia, June 9, 2022 (with Laurence H. Tribe). www
  • "The House Should Fine Bannon, Meadows, Navarro and Scavino Now If It Wants Their Testimony," Lawfare, May 4, 2022. www
  • "Why Hasn’t the Justice Department Charged Mark Meadows With Contempt?," Lawfare, April 13, 2022. www
  • "The Truth About Trials," Tennessee Tribune, November 18, 2021, at p. A10.
  • "The Easiest Case for the Prosecution: Trump’s Aiding and Abetting Unlawful Occupation of the Capitol," Just Security, October 25, 2021. www
  • "Opinion Spark of Life’ Evidence Could Backfire in Floyd Case," Star Tribune, March 18, 2021. www
  • "Part-time Aldermen Are No Bargain for Chicago Taxpayers," Chicago Tribune, January 9, 2019. www
  • "Brett Kavanaugh, the Man who Created the Super PAC," Washington Post, August 20, 2018. www
  • "On George Anastaplo," The Greek Star, February 5, 2004, at p. 1.
  • "Was Dewey Religious? Alschuler Replies," Christian Century, February 2003.
  • "Making Ideology an Issue," Chicago Tribune, September 18, 2002, at p. 23.
  • "Unequal Justice for Girtha Gulley," Chicago Tribune, January 13, 1993.
  • Statement of Albert W. Alschuler, Final Report, Hennepin County Attorney's Task Force on Racial Composition of the Grand Jury, (1992).
  • "The Future of Criminal Justice," University of Chicago Law School Record, Spring 1992.
  • "Introduction: Equal Access to Justice," World and I, 1991.
  • "Walter V. Schaefer: An Appreciation," University of Chicago Law School Record, 1986.
  • "Will There Be Plea Bargaining in the Year 2000?," University of Chicago Law School Record, 1985.
  • "Burger's Failure: Trying Too Much to Lead.," National Law Journal, February 18, 1980.

Memberships and Professional Affiliations

  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation (1988-present)
  • Law and Society Association
    Board of Trustees (1982-1984)

Awards and Honors

  • Visiting Scholar, American Bar Foundation(spring 1984)
  • Visiting Fellow, National Institute of Justice (1975-1976)
  • Sutherland Prize, American Society of Legal Historians (1997)
  • Guggenheim Fellowship (1997-1998)

Other Activities

  • Murray Lecturer, University of Iowa (1997)
  • Dunwody Lecturer, University of Florida (1997)
  • Mellon Lecturer, University of Pittsburgh (1983 and 1991)
  • Thompson Lecturer, Northern Illinois University (1983)