- Professor of Law
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, life without parole, capital punishment, 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, the UCLA Law Review and the Stanford 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.
- J.D.New York University School of Law2001
- B.A.University of Wisconsin1995
Works in Progress:
"Legality & Rough Justice”
"Understanding the Police"
"Making Law by Breaking Law: Criminal Conduct as Democratic Experimentalism"
"Annoy No Cop," 166 U. Penn. L. Rev. 129 (2017).
“What’s Wrong with Sentencing Equality? Sentencing Legality: A Response to Professors Bierschbach & Bibas,” 102 Va. L. Rev. Online 120 (2016).
“Probable Cause, Constitutional Reasonableness, and the Unrecognized Point of a ‘Pointless Indignity’,” 66 Stan. L. Rev. 987 (2014).
"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).
“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).
"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).
"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 atwww.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).
"The Integrity of the Game Is Everything: Geographic Disparity in Three Strikes," 76N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1164 (2001) (note).
Presentations and Testimony:
“Legality & Rough Justice,” UW Law Colloquium, University of Washington School of Law, March 2015
“Plea Bargaining & Coercion’s Constitutional Baselines,” Plea Bargaining Regulation: The Next Criminal Procedure Frontier, William & Mary Law School, February 2015
“Legality & Rough Justice,” Summer Faculty Workshop, University of Virginia School of Law, June 2014
“Legality as a License, not a Limit,” AALS Workshop on Criminal Justice, June 2013
“Two Rights to Counsel,” Law & Society Annual Meeting, June 2013
“A Dignitary Approach to the Fourth Amendment,” The University of Chicago Criminal Justice Roundtable, April 2013
“A Dignitary Approach to the Fourth Amendment,” Faculty Workshop Series, University of Missouri Law School, April 2013
“Drug Courts & Drug Policy,” Moderator, Conference on Criminal Law & the Modern Court, New York University School of Law, Center on the Administration of the Criminal Law, April 2013
“A Dignitary Approach to the Fourth Amendment,” Criminal Theory Colloquium, New York University School of Law, March 2013
“Two Rights to Counsel,” Gideon at 50: Reassessing the Right to Counsel Symposium, Washington & Lee School of Law, November 2012
“Police, Prosecutors, and Misdemeanors,” Misdemeanor Roundtable, New York University School of Law, July 2012
“The Unrecognized Constitutional Point of a ‘Pointless Indignity,’” Summer Faculty Workshop, University of Virginia School of Law, July 2012
“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.