Last updated on: 8/3/2012 | Author:

Jed S. Rakoff, JD Biography

US District Judge in the Southern District of New York
Con to the question "Should the Death Penalty Be Legal?"

“[T]o this Court, the unacceptably high rate at which innocent persons are convicted of capital crimes, when coupled with the frequently prolonged delays before such errors are detected (and then often only fortuitously or by application of newly-developed techniques), compels the conclusion that execution under the Federal Death Penalty Act, by cutting off the opportunity for exoneration, denies due process and, indeed, is tantamount to foreseeable, state-sponsored murder of innocent human beings.”

US v. Quinones, decision written by Judge Rakoff, July 1, 2002

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • US District Judge, Southern District of New York, 1996-present
  • Private practice, New York City, 1970-1972, 1980-1995
  • Chief, Business and Securities Fraud Prosecutions, 1978-1980
  • Assistant US attorney, Southern District of New York, 1973-1980
  • Law clerk, Hon. Abraham Freedman, US Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 1969-1970
  • JD, Harvard Law School, 1969
  • MPhil, Oxford University, Balliol College, 1966
  • BA, Swarthmore College, 1964
  • Nominated by President Bill Clinton on Oct. 11, 1995, to a seat vacated by David N. Edelstein; Confirmed by the Senate on Dec. 29, 1995, and received commission on Jan. 4, 1996.