Howard University



Criminal Procedure, Criminal Law, Evidence, and Professional Responsibility


This is Professor Andrew Taslitz’s bio as it appeared on the Howard Law School Web site prior to his leaving the law school in 2011. His contributions to legal scholarship and to the law were numerous. – Howard University School of Law, February 2014

Professor Andrew E. Taslitz, over the course of his almost twenty years in legal academia, has taught at Duke University, Villanova University, and, of course, Howard University, and he is currently the Welsh S. White Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh. His courses usually include Criminal Procedure, Criminal Law, and Evidence, though he has also taught Advanced Criminal Procedure (Bail to Jail), Professional Responsibility, Wrongful Convictions, Advanced Evidence, Proof of Facts, Terrorism and the Law, Freedom of Speech, and various seminars in these areas.

Professor Taslitz is a cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and, before entering teaching, worked both as a prosecutor in Philadelphia, PA., and as an associate at one of the largest and most public-interested-minded civil firms in Philadelphia, Schnader, Harrison, Segal, and Lewis. He writes in the areas in which he teaches. His writings have particularly centered on search and seizure issues, wrongful convictions, sexual assault, hate crimes legislation, freedom of speech, the expressive function of law, statutory interpretation methods, and scientific and character evidence, though he is increasingly writing on a wide variety of constitutional issues beyond these topics. His current emphases are on constitutional history, the implications of the teachings of cognitive science for criminal procedure and substantive criminal law, the role of race in the criminal justice system, the social role and ethical obligations of the prosecutor, the dangers of police reliance on informants, the meaning and significance of probable cause, the relationship between partial excuses and social norms, the modern significance of the Thirteenth Amendment for criminal law and procedure, and mechanisms for expanding and improving criminal justice system deliberative processes.

Professor Taslitz is the author of five books, including Reconstructing the Fourth Amendment: A History of Search and Seizure, 1789-1868 (hardcover edition, 2006; paperback edition scheduled for release 2009). His other books are Rape and the Culture of the Courtroom (1999), and three co-authored books, Constitutional Criminal Procedure (3d ed. 2007), Evidence Law and Practice (3d ed. 2007), and Criminal Law: Concepts and Practice (2005) (2nd ed. forthcoming 2009), as well as these last three books’ accompanying teachers’ manuals and supplements. He is also under contract to co-author a two volume hornbook set, Mastering Criminal Procedure: Investigation, and Mastering Criminal Procedure: Prosecution, both of which are scheduled for release in 2009. He has additionally authored several book chapters, most recently, The Jury and the Common Good: Fusing the Insights of Modernism and Postmodernism, in FOR THE COMMON GOOD: A CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF LAW AND SOCIAL NORMS (Robin Miller ed. 2004), and the forthcoming tentatively titled The Duke Lacrosse Players and the Media: Why the Fair Trial/Free Press Paradigm Doesn’t Cut it Anymore, in RACE TO INJUSTICE: LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE DUKE UNIVERSITY LACROSSE PLAYERS RAPE CASE (Carolina Academic Press; expected publication 2008); Ending Slavery Did Not Kill the Slave Power: Criminal Justice Successes and Failures of the Thirteenth Amendment, in THE PROMISES OF LIBERTY: THIRTEENTH AMENDMENT ABOLITIONISM (Alexander Tsesis ed., forthcoming Columbia University Press 2009); and Chapter 5: Criminal Justice, in The American Adversarial System: A Distance Learning Course (Lexis/Nexis forthcoming 2008), as well as six essays on topics including cognitive science and guilty pleas, the meaning of consent in rape cases, the meaning of “public injury” in the criminal law, and the significance of “delegated revenge” in the forthcoming CRIMINAL LAW CONVERSATIONS (Paul Robinson, Kimberly Ferzan, and Stephen Garvey ed.s forthcoming Oxford University Press 2009). Professor Taslitz is currently working on manuscripts for four books, one on privacy, another on wrongful convictions, a third on prosecutorial discretion, and a fourth on Fourth Amendment jurisprudence.

Professor Taslitz has published over 100 works, including numerous law review articles and several book reviews and articles addressed primarily to the practicing bar. These articles cover a wide range of subjects, ranging from the First Amendment implications of hate crimes legislation and the political aspects of search and seizure law to changing criminal justice paradigms in the war on terrorism and self-deception in sexual assault, and also including sentencing policy, new approaches to the Confrontation Clause, and feminist approaches to evidence law. He has also published several encyclopedia entries, including one on mob violence and vigilantism and one on criminal practice in the prestigious Oxford Companion to American Law, as well as entries on hearsay and civil liberties, sex and criminal justice, and confrontation rights in the Encyclopedia of Civil Liberties (Routledge 2007), and a forthcoming entry on Ferguson v. City of Charleston: the Feminization of Consent, in THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES (Thomson Publishing, forthcoming 2008).

His published articles include Forgetting Freud: The Courts’ Fear of the Subconscious in Date Rape (and Other) Cases, 17 B.U. PUB. INT. L. REV. 145 (2007); Bullshitting the People: The Criminal Procedure Implications of a Scatalogical Term, 75 TEXAS TECH L. REV. 1383 (2007); Privacy as Struggle, 44 SAN DIEGO L. REV. 501 (2007); Racial Blindsight: the Absurdity of Color-Blind Criminal Justice, 5 OHIO ST. J. CRIM. L. 1 (2007); The Expressive Fourth Amendment: Rethinking the Good Faith Exception to the Exclusionary Rule, 76 MISS. L.J. 483 (2006); Temporal Adversarialism, Criminal Justice, and the Rehnquist Court: the Sluggish Life of Political Factfinding, 94 GEO. L.J. 1589 (2006); Wrongly Accused: Is Race a Risk Factor in Convicting the Innocent?, 4 OHIO ST. J. CRIM. L. 121 (2006); Eyewitness Identification, Democratic Deliberation, and the Politics of Science, 4 CARDOZO J. PUB. L., POL’Y, & ETHICS 271 (2006); Racial Profiling, Terrorism, and Time, 109 PA. ST. L.J. 1181-1204 (2005); Willfully Blinded: On Date Rape and Self-Deception, 28 HARV. J.L. & GENDER 381 (2005); and Fortune-Telling and the Fourth Amendment: Of Terrorism, Slippery Slopes, and Predicting the Future, 58 RUTGERS L. REV. 195 (2005).

His forthcoming articles include What is Probable Cause, and Why Should We Care?: The Costs, Benefits, and Meaning of Individualized Suspicion, 73 L. & CONTEMP. PROB.s __ (forthcoming 2010); The Death of Probable Cause, 73 L. & CONTEMP. PROB.s (forthcoming 2010) (with James Coleman, Jr.); Judging Jena’s D.A.: The Prosecutor and Racial Esteem, 44 Harv. CIV. RT.S-CIV. LIB.s __ (forthcoming 2009); The Fourth Amendment as Conversation: A Reply to Professor Smith, 5 OHIO St. J. CRIM. L. __ (forthcoming 2009); Sympathy for the (Socially-Normed) Devil?: When, and to What Degree, Is (Local)) Human Weakness Excusable?, __ TEX. TECH. L. REV. __ (forthcoming 2009); Wrongly Accused Redux: How Race Contributes to Convicting the Innocent: The Informants’ Example,__ S.W.L.REV. __ (forthcoming spring 2008); Confessing in the Human Voice: A Defense of the Privilege Against Self-Incrimination, 6 CARDOZO J. PUB. L., POL’Y, & ETHICS __ (forthcoming spring 2008); and Prosecutorial Preconditions to Plea Negotiations: “Voluntary” Waivers of Constitutional and Evidentiary Rights, 23 CRIM. J. __ (forthcoming 2008). In addition, Professor Taslitz is working on a variety of articles on confessions, race and criminal justice, criminal justice contributions to an informed citizenry, peoplehood and collective rights in the constitutional law of search and seizure, and criminal justice constitutional history.

Professor Taslitz was appointed as the Reporter for the Committee on Drafting a Uniform Statute on Videotaping of Custodial Interrogations of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws of the Uniform Law Commission. He has also co-authored a variety of high-profile reports, including Mandatory Justice: the Death Penalty Revisited for the Constitution Project (2006); the Legal Appendix to Containing the Threat from Illegal Bombings: An Integrated National Strategy for Marking, Tagging, Rendering Inert, and Licensing Explosives and Their Precursors (1998), for the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences in the wake of the Oklahoma City Bombing; and the Eyewitness Identification portion of Achieving Justice: Freeing the Innocent, Convicting the Guilty: The Report of the ABA Criminal Justice Section’s Ad Hoc Innocence Committee to Ensure the Integrity of the Criminal Justice System (2006).

Professor Taslitz has given numerous talks on evidentiary and criminal justice topics at such venues as Harvard, Oxford, George Washington, and Duke universities, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of North Carolina, Washington and Lee College of Law, and William and Mary College of Law. He has spoken on black protectionism and judicial confusion about the nature of the subconscious mind at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association, on race and wrongful convictions at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Law Schools, and on terrorism and time at the Criminal Procedure Forum, as well as having co-chaired a session on the teaching of privacy in law schools at the First Annual Meeting of the Berekely/George Washington University Privacy Forum. Professor Taslitz is an active member of the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section, currently serving as Chair of its Book Board Committee, and having served as Co-Director of the Division of Communications, Chair of the Criminal Justice periodical Editorial Board (and a current member), a member of the Section Council, Co-Chair of the Committee on Race and Racism, and Chair of the Eyewitness Identification Subcommittee of the Committee on Innocence and Ensuring the Integrity of the Criminal Justice System. Professor Taslitz has also been a member of the Committee on Corrections and Sentencing, the Section Officers’ Conference/Center for Professional Responsibility Joint Committee on Ethics and Professionalism, the Advisory Committee on the State of Criminal Justice, the ABA Journal Advisory Committee, and the Committee on Rules of Criminal Procedure and Evidence and has served as Section liaison to an American Judicature Society planning committee for an action conference on wrongful convictions, the Innocence Committee Liaison to the Committee on ABA Standards for the Prosecution Function: Investigative Standards for the Prosecutor, a CLE planning committee on wrongful convictions, and a temporary subcommittee on the impact of courtroom technology on criminal justice, as well as having Chaired the Publication Subcommittee and Co-Chaired the Color/Racial Profiling Subcommittee of the 1999 National Conference on the Impact of Race and Ethnicity on the Criminal Justice System sponsored by the ABA’s Council on Racial and Ethnic Justice. Professor Taslitz has and does serve as well on committees serving the entire ABA, most recently as a member for three years of the Criminal Justice Standards Committee and currently as a member of the Committee on Transactional Surveillance Standards.

Professor Taslitz has also served as the Co-Reporter for the Death Penalty Initiative of the Constitution Project and is a member of the American Law Institute, the Criminal Justice Issues Working Group of the American Constitution Society, the Civility Implementation Committee of the D.C. Bar, Fearless Eagle (devoted to helping high school students succeed), the Congress of Fellows of the Center for International Legal Studies, and a provisional member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Professor Taslitz is a past Chair, Chair-Elect, and Secretary of both the Criminal Justice and Evidence Sections of the American Association of Law Schools, as well as being the former author of a regular internet column on evidence issues for the AALS and having served as a guardian ad litem for abused children via the Support Center for Child Advocates.

Professor Taslitz has served on numerous law school and University committees, including Chair of the Faculty Subcommittee of the Self-Study Committee; Co-Chair of the Law Journal Committee and Co-Faculty Advisor to the Law Journal; Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Curriculum Review; a member of the Judicial Clerkship Committee; a member of the Working Group on Promotions and Tenure of the Committee on Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure; and a member of the University Think Tank Committee. He is also the Faculty Advisor to the student branches of the American Constitution Society and the ACLU.

Professor Taslitz loves to teach, appreciates fine food, is a true science fiction and comic book fanatic, thrills to great movies, and owes much of the joy in his life to his heart-melting wife, Patty Sun, whose last name aptly captures her role in his life, and to his two beloved Norwegian Elkhounds, B’lanna (named after the half-Klingon engineer on Star Trek Voyager) and Odo (named after the shape-changer on Star Trek, Deep Space Nine).


New Book
Reconstructing the Fourth Amendment:
A History of Search and Seizure


Professional Contributions