Last updated on: 3/13/2013 | Author:

Jeffrey A. Fagan, PhD Biography

Professor of Law and Epidemiology at Columbia University
Con to the question "Should the Death Penalty Be Legal?"

“When only a tiny proportion of the individuals who commit murder are sentenced to death, capital punishment is unconstitutionally irrational because it serves no identifiable penal function. A death penalty that is almost never used serves no deterrent function, because no would-be murderer can expect to be executed. Nor can a rarely used death penalty serve a declarative or symbolic function to express the punishment society deems appropriate for murder, because that crime will almost never lead to that penalty.”

“Public Policy Choices on Deterrence and the Death Penalty: A Critical Review of New Evidence,”, July 14, 2005

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Fellow, American Society of Criminology, 2002-present
  • Professor of Law and Epidemiology, Columbia University, 2001-present
  • Director, Center for Crime, Community and Law, Columbia University Law School, 2001-present
  • Faculty Fellow, Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, Columbia University, 1999-present
  • Fellow, Earl Warren Legal Institute, School of Law, University of California-Berkeley, 1999-present
  • Senior Justice Fellow, Open Society Institute, 2005-2006
  • Professor of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University, 1989-1996
  • Senior Research Fellow, New York City Criminal Justice Agency, 1986-1988
  • Director, Center for Law and Social Policy, URSA Institute, 1977-1986
  • Research Director, Northern California Service League, 1975-1976
  • Associate Research Analyst, Office of Criminal Justice Planning, 1974-1975
  • Director, College of Urban Studies, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1970-1974
  • PhD, Policy Science, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1975
  • MS, Human Factors Engineering, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1971
  • BE, Industrial Engineering, New York University, 1968
  • Recipient, Health Policy Scholar Award, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2002-2004
  • Recipient, Public Interest Achievement Award, Public Interest Law Foundation of Columbia University, Spring 2001
  • Recipient, Bruce Smith Senior Award, Academy for Criminal Justice Sciences, Mar. 2000
  • Recipient, University Faculty Merit Award, Rutgers University, 1990-1994
Quoted in:
  1. Does the Death Penalty Deter Crime?