Last updated on: 10/7/2016 | Author:

John J. Donohue III, JD, PhD Biography

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

“The time for a dispassionate impartial comparison of the enormous costs that death penalty litigation imposes on society with the benefits that it produces has surely arrived… [T]he death penalty experiment has failed and it is time for the Court to abandon the delusion that the death penalty could be administered in a non-arbitrary fashion… Now it is up to voters to decide whether they want to replace capital punishment with an effective alternative. We have the chance to prevent innocent people from being executed, end the unfairness that pervades the current system, and save millions in tax revenues, all while improving public safety. In the words of Justice Blackmun, ‘it is time to stop tinkering with the machinery of death.'”

“Time to Kill the Death Penalty?,” California Progress Report, June 28, 2012

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Professor of Law, Stanford University, Sep. 2010-present
  • Co-Editor with Steven Showell, American Law and Economics Review, May 2006-Aug. 2012
  • Professor of Law, Yale College, July 2004-Aug. 2010
  • Professor of Law, Stanford University, Sep. 1995-June 2004
  • Lecturer, Toin University School of Law (Yokohama, Japan), May 1996-June 1996
  • Professor of Law, Northwestern University, Sep. 1986-Aug. 1995
  • Research Fellow, American Bar Foundation, Sep. 1986-Aug. 1995
  • Visiting Professor, University of Chicago Law School, Jan. 1992-June 1992
  • Visiting Professor of Law and Economics, University of Virginia Law School, Jan. 1990-May 1990
  • Lawyer, Private Practice, Sep. 1981-Aug. 1986
  • Fellow, Yale Law School Program in Civil Liability, July 1985-Aug. 1986
  • Instructor in Economics, Yale College, Sep. 1983-Aug. 1985
  • Associate Attorney, Covington and Burling (Washington, DC), Oct. 1978-July 1981
  • Law Clerk to Chief Justice T. Emmet Clarie, US District Court (Hartford), Sep. 1977-Aug. 1978
  • Summer Associate, Perkins, Coie, Stone, Olsen & Williams (Seattle, WA), Summer 1976
  • PhD, Economics, Yale University, 1986
  • MPhil, Economics, Yale University, 1984
  • MA, Economics, Yale University, 1982
  • JD, cum laude, Harvard University, 1977
  • BA, Economics and Mathematics, Hamilton College, 1974
  • Testified before the Connecticut Legislature on Mar. 7, 2011 and Mar. 14, 2012 in support of a bill to eliminate the death penalty
  • Member of the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, International Review of Law and Economics, and Law and Social Inquiry
  • Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Bureau of Economic Research, American Law Institute, American Bar Association, American Economic Association, and American Law and Economics Association
Quoted in:
  1. Does the Death Penalty Deter Crime?
  2. Does the Death Penalty Deter Crime?