Professor of Law
Co-Director, Program in Law and Public Service
J.D., New York University School of Law, 2001
B.A., University of Wisconsin, 1995
Josh Bowers joined the law faculty in 2008 as an associate professor of law. His primary teaching and research interests are in the areas of criminal law, criminal procedure, criminal justice theory, and constitutional law. Bowers has written numerous articles, essays, and book chapters on police and prosecutorial discretion, plea bargaining, misdemeanor enforcement and adjudication, drug courts, grand juries, and the right to counsel. His work has been published in several books and journals, including the Columbia Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review and the UCLA Law Review.
Bowers attended New York University School of Law, where he was a notes editor of the New York University Law Review and graduated Order of the Coif. After law school, he clerked for Judge Dennis Jacobs of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He practiced law as an associate for Morvillo, Abramowitz, Grand, Iason & Silberberg P.C., a boutique white-collar criminal defense firm, and also as a staff attorney for the Bronx Defenders, a community-based public defender organization. From 2006-2008, he was a Bigelow Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School.
Works in Progress:
“Legality as a License, not a Limit.”
“Probable Cause, Constitutional Reasonableness, and the Unrecognized Point of a ‘Pointless Indignity’,” 66 Stan. L. Rev. __ (forthcoming).
"Perceptions of Fairness and Justice: The Shared Aims and Occasional Conflicts of Legitimacy and Moral Credibility" (with Paul H. Robinson), 47 Wake Forest L. Rev. 211 (2012).
“Two Rights to Counsel,” 70 W&L L. Rev. 1133 (2013).
“Lafler, Frye, and the Subtle Art of Winning by Losing,” 25 Fed. Sent’g Rep. 126 (2012).
“Mandatory Life and the Death of Equitable Discretion,” in Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. & Austin Sarat, eds., Life Without Parole: America’s New Death Penalty? 25 (NYU Press, 2012).
"Blame by Proxy: Political Retributivism & Its Problems, A Response to Dan Markel," 1 Va. J. Crim. L. (2012).
"The Normative Case for Normative Grand Juries," 47 Wake Forest L. Rev. 319 (2012).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)
"Perceptions of Fairness and Justice: The Shared Aims & Occasional Conflicts of Legitimacy and Moral Credibility," (with Paul Robinson) 47 Wake Forest L. Rev. 211 (2012).
"Physician, Heal Thyself: Discretion and the Problem of Excessive Prosecutorial Caseloads, a Response to Adam Gershowitz and Laura Killinger," 106 N.W. L. Rev. Colloquy 143 (2011).
"Fundamental Fairness and the Path from Santobello to Padilla: A Response to Professor Bibas," Cal. L. Rev. Circuit (2011).
"Legal Guilt, Normative Innocence, and the Equitable Decision Not to Prosecute," 110 Colum. L. Rev. 1655 (2010).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)
"The Unusual Man in the Usual Place: A Reply to Professors Stephanos Bibas, George Thomas, and Ronald Wright," 157 U. Pa. L. Rev. Pennumbra 260 (2009), available at www.pennumbra.com.
"Accuracy and Legitimacy," in Paul Robinson, Kim Ferzan & Stephen Garvey, eds., Criminal Law Conversations (Oxford Press, 2009).
"Grand Jury Nullification: Black Power in the Charging Decision," in Paul Robinson, Kim Ferzan & Stephen Garvey, eds., Criminal Law Conversations (Oxford Press, 2009).
"Grassroots Plea Bargaining," 91 Marq. L. Rev. 85 (2007) (symposium).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)
"The Integrity of the Game Is Everything: Geographic Disparity in Three Strikes," 76 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1164 (2001) (note).
Presentations and Testimony:
“Equitable Discretion as a Rule of Law,” Public Law & Legal Theory Workshop, University of Chicago Law School, April 2012.
“Equitable Discretion as a Rule of Law,” Faculty Enrichment Workshop, Florida State University College of Law, March 2012.
"The Normative Case for Normative Grand Juries," Community Prosecution & Community Defense," Wake Forest University School of Law, November 2011.
"Beyond Immigration: Litigating Expansions of Padilla," Padilla and the Future of the Defense Function, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, June 2011.
"Is Political Retributivism a Retributive Theory?," Retributive Justice and the Demands of Democratic Citizenship, University of Virginia School of Law, April 2011.
"Life Without Parole and the Death of Equitable Discretion," Life Without Parole as the New Death Penalty, Amherst College, December 2010.
"Legal Guilt, Normative Innocence, and the Equitable Decision Not to Prosecute," Student Scholarly Lunch, University of Virginia School of Law, March 2010.
"Legal Guilt, Normative Innocence, and the Equitable Decision Not to Prosecute," Faculty Workshop Series, Michigan State University College of Law, March 2010.
"Legal Guilt, Normative Innocence, and the Equitable Decision Not to Prosecute," Faculty Workshop Series, Stanford University School of Law, April 2010.
Testimony before NACDL Task Force on Drug Courts, Washington D.C., January 2009.
"Contraindicated Drug Courts," Crime & Punishment Workshop, University of Chicago Law School, April 2008.
"Contraindicated Drug Courts," Works in Progress Seminar, University of Chicago Law School, September 2007.
"Contraindicated Drug Courts," NEPOC Annual Conference, Southern New England School of Law, September 2007.
"Grassroots Plea Bargaining," Conference on Plea Bargaining, Marquette University Law School, April 2007.
In the Media
- "Sentenced to life without parole" (MPR News, 04/15/2014)
- "'Secrets of the River' - Be Careful What You Plead For" (CBS News, 06/08/2013)
- "Barack Obama Says Sequester Could Force Prosecutors to 'Let Criminals Go'" (PolitiFact, 02/22/2013)
- "Can Juries Tame Prosecutors Gone Wild?" (Boston Globe, 02/03/2013)
- "A Real-Life Grisham Story" (ABA Journal, 06/01/2011)
- "Juries Can't Escape Life-Without-Parole Sentencing" (Charlottesville Daily Progress, 05/28/2011)
- "New Charges in Yeardley Love Case Could Give Prosecutors More Flexibility" (Baltimore Sun, 01/10/2011)
- "Huguely Waives Right to Court Appearance" (NBC29, 01/10/2011)
- "Slumlord Lawrence Might Serve Sentence in One of His Blighted Properties" (Richmond Times-Dispatch, 11/06/2009)
- "Jury Trial Rate at All-Time Low in Va." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, 10/18/2009)
- "Competency Hearing Set for Whitlock" (NBC29, 06/12/2009)