Professor of Law and Criminology; Director, Supreme Court Clinic
Stephanos Bibas studies the powers and incentives that shape how prosecutors, defense counsel, defendants, and judges behave in the real world of guilty pleas. His 2004 paper, “Plea Bargaining Outside the Shadow of Trial” (Harvard Law Review), explored the agency costs, structural forces, and psychological biases that cause plea bargaining to deviate from expected trial outcomes.
Stephanos Bibas studies the powers and incentives that shape how prosecutors, defense counsel, defendants, and judges behave in the real world of guilty pleas. His 2004 paper, “Plea Bargaining Outside the Shadow of Trial” (Harvard Law Review), explored the agency costs, structural forces, and psychological biases that cause plea bargaining to deviate from expected trial outcomes. He also studies the divorce between criminal procedure’s focus on efficiency and criminal law’s interest in healing victims, defendants, and communities. His new book (The Machinery of Criminal Justice, Oxford 2012) explains how criminal justice should do more to encourage acceptance of responsibility, remorse, apology, and forgiveness.
As director of Penn’s Supreme Court Clinic, Bibas litigates a wide range of Supreme Court cases. He and his co-counsel won a landmark victory in Padilla v. Kentucky in 2010, persuading the Court to recognize the right of noncitizen defendants to accurate information about deportation before they plead guilty. His academic work played a central role in the Supreme Court’s landmark case of Blakely v. Washington.
- Criminal Law
- Criminal Law Theory
- Criminal Sentencing
- Law and Criminal Justice
- Social Science and the Law
- Legal Process and Dispute Resolution
Articles and Book Chapters
Neuroprediction, Violence, and the Law: Setting the Stage, 5 NEUROETHICS 67 (2012) (with Thomas Nadelhoffer, Scott Grafton, Kent A. Kiehl, Andrew Mansfield, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Michael Gazzaniga).
The Need for Prosecutorial Discretion, 19 TEMP. POL. & CIV. RTS. L REV. 369 (2010).
More publications can be found here.
- Criminal Procedure
- 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)
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