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Stephanos Bibas

Senior Fellow

Stephanos Bibas

Stephanos Bibas is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Judge Bibas was previously a professor of law and criminology at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Continue reading…


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Articles and Book Chapters

Rationing Criminal Justice, 116 MICH. L. REV. 187 (2017) (with Richard A. Bierschbach).

Justice Scalia's Originalism and Formalism: The Rule of Criminal Law as a Law of Rules, in THE LEGACY OF JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA: REMEMBERING A CONSERVATIVE LEGAL TITAN’S IMPACT ON THE LAW, HERITAGE FOUNDATION, SPECIAL REPORT NO. 186 (Elizabeth Slattery ed., 2016).

What's Wrong With Sentencing Equality?, 102 VA. L. REV. 1447 (2016) (with Richard A. Bierschbach).

Designing Plea Bargaining from the Ground Up: Accuracy and Fairness Without Trials as Backstops, 57 WM. & MARY L. REV. 1055 (2016).

Observers as Participants: Letting the Public Monitor the Criminal Justice Bureaucracy, 127 HARV. L. REV. F. 342 (2014).

The Limits of Textualism in Interpreting the Confrontation Clause, 37 HARV. J. L. & PUB. POL'Y 737 (2014).

Plea Bargaining's Role in Wrongful Convictions, in EXAMINING WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS: STEPPING BACK, MOVING FORWARD (Allison D. Redlich et al. eds., Carolina Academic Press, 2014).

Constitutionally Tailoring Punishment, 112 MICH. L. REV 397 (2013) (with Richard A. Bierschbach).

The Duties of Non-Judicial Actors in Ensuring Competent Negotiation, 51 DUQ. L. REV. 625 (2013)

Bulk Misdemeanor Justice, 85 S. CAL. L. REV. POSTSCRIPT 101 (2013).

Shrinking Gideon and Expanding Alternatives to Lawyers, 70 WASH. & LEE L. REV. 1287 (2013).

Justice Kennedy's Sixth Amendment Pragmatism, 44 MCGEORGE L. REV. 211 (2013)

Criminal (In)Justice and Democracy in America, 122 HARV. L. REV. F. 134 (2013).

Triaging Appointed-Counsel Funding and Pro Se Access to Justice, 160 U. PA. L. REV. 967 (2012) (with Benjamin H. Barton).

Notice-and-Comment Sentencing, 96 MINN L. REV. 1 (2012) (with Richard A. Bierschbach).

Incompetent Plea Bargaining and Extrajudicial Reforms, 126 HARV L. REV. 150 (2012).

Taming Negotiated Justice, 122 YALE L. J. ONLINE 35 (2012).

Regulating the Plea-Bargaining Market: From Caveat Emptor to Consumer Protection, 99 CALIF. L. REV. 1117 (2011).

The Pitfalls of Professionalized Prosecution: A Response to Josh Bowers's "Legal Guilt, Normative Innocence, and the Equitable Decision Not to Prosecute," 111 COLUM. L. REV. SIDEBAR 14 (2011)

Two Cheers, Not Three, For Sixth Amendment Originalism, 34 HARV. J.L. & PUB. POL'Y 45 (2011).

International Idealism Meets Domestic-Criminal-Procedure Realism, 59 DUKE L.J. 637 (2010) (with William W. Burke-White).

Prosecutorial Regulation Versus Prosecutorial Accountability, 157 U. PA. L. REV. 959 (2009).

Policing Politics at Sentencing, 103 NW. U. L. REV. 1371 (2009) (coauthored with Max M. Schanzenbach and Emerson H. Tiller).

Restoration, But Also More Justice, in CRIMINAL LAW CONVERSATIONS 595 (Paul H. Robinson, Kimberly Ferzan, & Stephen P. Garvey eds. 2009).

More publications can be found here.

Research Areas

  • Criminal Procedure
  • Sentencing
  • Criminal Law
  • Dispute Resolution


Penn Law – Professor of Law (2006- ) and Criminology (2009- ); Director, Supreme Court Clinic (2009- )

Visiting Associate Professor – University of Chicago (winter/spring 2006), Penn Law (fall 2005)

University of Iowa – Associate Professor (2001-06)

United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York – Assistant U.S. Attorney (1998-2000)

Law Clerk to Justice Anthony Kennedy, Supreme Court of the United States (1997-98)

Law Clerk to Judge Patrick Higginbotham, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (1994-95)

Professional Activities

Merits Brief for Petitioner and Reply Brief and Oral Argument, Vartelas v. Holder, No. 10-1211 (U.S. 2012) (11/16/2004)

Merits Brief Amicus Curiae Invited by the Court and Oral Argument, Tapia v. United States, No. 10-5400 (U.S. 2011)

2011 Jack Wasserman Memorial Award by the American Immigration Lawyers' Association for our successful work on Padilla v. Kentucky (07/03/1905)

Brief in Opposition to Certiorari and Merits Brief for Respondent, Turner v. Rogers, No. 10-10 (U.S. 2011)

Member, Philadelphia Mayor’s Advisory Task Force on Ethics and Campaign Finance Reform, 2008-09


  • Criminal Procedure: Investigation
  • Criminal Procedure: Prosecution and Adjudication
  • Legal Imagination: Criminals and Justice Across Literature
  • Supreme Court Clinic

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