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.
Penn Law – Professor (2006-)
University of Iowa – Associate Professor (2001-06)
Visiting Associate Professor – University of Chicago (winter / spring 2006), Penn Law (fall 2005)
Yale Law School – Research Fellow (2000-01)
United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York – Assistant U. S. Attorney (1998-2000)
Law clerk to Hon. Anthony Kennedy, Supreme Court of the United States (1997-98)
- M.A. - Oxford - '98
- J.D. - Yale - '94
- B.A. - Oxford - '91
- B.A. - Columbia - '89
The Jurisprudence and Legacy of Justice ScaliaThe Mayflower Hotel
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2016 National Lawyers Convention
Justice Scalia's originalism had an important impact on our nation's criminal law. While sometimes overlooked,...
2013 National Lawyers Convention
The new textualism has had a big impact on interpretation of the Bill of...
Faculty Division Podcast 06-08-12 featuring Stephanos Bibas and Andrew Taslitz
The Machinery of Criminal Justice discusses the shift in American criminal law from being a system...
SCOTUScast 08-01-11 featuring Stephanos Bibas
On June 23, 2011, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Bullcoming v. New Mexico....
2010 Annual Student Symposium
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2010 9:00 a.m. Debate Originalism in Criminal Procedure: Ancient Checks or Newfangled...