PAUL G. CASSELL portrait
  • Ronald N. Boyce Presidential Professor of Criminal Law and University Distinguished Professor of Law, College Of Law
  • Distinguished Professor, College Of Law
  • Distinguished Professor, College Of Law - Dean

Research Summary

Professor Cassell is a leading researcher on criminal (and also civil) justice issues and has published many widely-cited articles on topics such as crime victims' rights, wrongful convictions, interrogation and confessions, and proactive policing. In 2020, HeinOnline ranked Professor Cassell as one of the Top 250 most cited law scholars of all time. To access any of Professor Cassell's articles, click on the "Research" tab above.


  • B.A., Economics, Stanford University
  • J.D., Stanford Law School, Stanford University


Paul G. Cassell received a B.A. (1981) and a J.D. (1984) from Stanford University, where he graduated Order of the Coif and was President of the Stanford Law Review. He clerked for then-Judge Antonin Scalia when Scalia was on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (1984-85) and for Chief Justice Warren Burger of the United States Supreme Court (1985-86). Cassell then served as an Associate Deputy Attorney General with the U.S. Justice Department (1986-88) and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia (1988 to 1991). Cassell joined the faculty at the College of Law in 1992, where he taught full time until he was sworn in as a U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Utah in July, 2002. In November 2007, he resigned his judgeship to return full time to the College of Law to teach, write, and litigate on issues relating to crime victims' rights and criminal justice reform.

Professor Cassell teaches criminal procedure, crime victims' rights, criminal law, and related classes.  He has also pubished numerous law review articles on criminal justice issues in journals such as the Stanford Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, and the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology.  He is a co-author of the nation's only law school textbook on crime victims' rights, Victims in Criminal Procedure (various editions, most recently in its fourth edition published in 2018). 

Professor Cassell has argued pro bono cases relating to crime victims' rights before the United States Supreme Court, the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 10th, 11th, and D.C. Circuits, several U.S. District Courts, the Utah Supreme Court, the Arizona Supreme Court, and various other courts around the country. In 2020, Cassell received the Ronald Wilson Reagan Public Policy Award - National Crime Victims' Service Award from the U.S. Department of Justice. 

Cassell is a member of the American Law Institute, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and an inaugural member of the Council on Criminal Justice. 

Media Highlights

Boeing Agrees to Plead Guilty to Felony in Deal WIth Justice Department, N.Y. Times (July 8, 2024).

Justice Dept. Opens Criminal Probe of Mid-Flight Blowout on 737 Max plane, Wash. Post (March 9, 2024). 

Death-Row Inmate Claims Innocence to Get Supreme Court Hearing, Wall Street Journal (Jan. 22, 2024).

Boeing Blowout Ocurred Hours Before U.S. Deal on 737 MAX Xrashes Set to Expire, Bloomberg (Jan. 9, 2023).

Florida Supreme Court rules policy using deadly force not protected by Marsy's Law, USA Today (Nov. 30, 2023).

Judge Aileen Cannon's Pivotal Role in Donald Trump's Criminal Trial, Wash. Post (June 12, 2023). 

Supreme Court Blocks Richard Glossip's Execution, Wall St. J. (May 5, 2023). 

The Supreme Court Should Move to Protect Victims of True Threats, Bloomberg Law (Apr. 17, 2023) (co-author with Allyson Ho). 

Court Reinstates Adnan Syed's Murder Conviction in "Serial" Case and Orders New Hearing, N.Y. Times (Mar. 28, 2023).

Judge Rejects Families' Push to Prosecute Boeing in 737 MAX Deaths, Wash. Post (Feb. 11, 2023).

U of U Professor Leads Families' Fight Against Boeing, ABC4 (Jan. 27, 2023). 

Utah Offers Rare Apology Over "Disturbing Evidence" of Cover-Up of Rape Claims Against Trooper, KSL (Dec. 6, 2022).

Families of Boeing Crash Victims Can Challenge U.S. Settlement, Judge Rules, N.Y. Times (Oct. 21, 2022). 

Judge Rules DOJ Violated Rights of Boeing MAX Victims in Prosecution Deal, Wash. Post (Oct. 21, 2022). 

Judge's Special-Master Order a Test of Trump's post-White House Powers, Wash. Post (Sept. 6, 2022).

In Court, a Fight Over Whether Those Killed on Boeing Jets are "Crime Victims," Wash. Post (Aug. 6, 2022).

Judge Invites Supreme Court to Further Erode Miranda Warnings, Bloomberg Law (Aug. 4, 2022). 

Bring Back Stop-and-Frisk? Whit Shootings Soaring, Some on Philly City Council say the Controversial Tactic Merits Another Look, Philadelphia Inquirer (July 8, 2021). 

Families of Boeing Crash Victims Say the U.S. Failed to Consult Them, N..Y. Times (Dec. 16, 2021).

Utah Should Close a Gap in its Sexual Assault Provisions: The Law Should for Cases Where the Victim Neither refuses Nor Consents, Salt Lake Tribune (Nov. 26, 2021). 

Progressive Denial Won't Stop Violent Crime, Atlantic (July 27, 2021).

Leader of Nxivm Sex Cult Ordered to Pay $3.4 Million to Victims, N.Y. Times (July 20, 2021).

Back the Police ... But Not on Sign-Crumpling Charges, Salt Lake Tribune (July 19, 2021).

New Details Shed Light on Gaetz's Bahamas Trip, Politico (Apr. 13, 2021).

In 2020 America Experienced a Terrible Surge in Murder. Why?, The Economist (Mar. 27, 2021).

Paul Cassell on the Rights of Corporate Crime Victims, Corporate Crime Reporter (Jan. 24, 2021).

DOJ: Prosecutor Erred by Promising to Confer with Jeffrey Epstein Victims, Politico (Dec. 3, 2020).

Key Takeaways from the Justice Department Review of Epstein Sweetheart Plea Deal, ABC News (Nov. 16, 2020).

Justice Department Honors Utah Lawyer, Deseret New (Oct. 5, 2020).

Cuts in policing have 'led to 710 murders and more than 2,800 gunshot victims' across the US in what one expert has dubbed the 'Minneapolis effect', Daily Mail (Sept. 29, 2020).

Homicide Stats Show "Minneapolis Effect," Wall St. J. (Sept. 16, 2020).

Child Sex Abuse Victims Don't Need to Testify Twice, Utah Supreme Court Rules, Salt Lake Tribune (Aug. 19, 2020).

Why Convicting Cops is So Difficult, Voice of America (June 8, 2020).

Will Coronavirus Change Criminal Justice?, We The People Podcast - National Constitution Center (Apr. 30, 2020).

Utah Should Lead and Let Law Grads Practice without Taking the Bar Exam, Deseret News (Apr. 15, 2020) (co-author with Frederick Gedicks, Catherine Bramble, and Louisa Heiny).

Jeffrey Epstein Accuser Loses BId to Unmask His Accomplices, N.Y. Post (Apr. 14, 2020).

Court Rejects Bid to Revive Suit on Epstein, Washington Post (Apr. 14, 2020).

Victims of Violent Crimes in Utah File Motion to Block Release of Prisoners Because of COVID-19, Washington Times (Apr. 9, 2020).

Bail Reform Has Benefits -- But We Must Not Ignore the Costs, Chicago Tribune (Mar. 10, 2020).

Bail Reform Analysis by Cook County Chief Judge Based on Flawed Data, Undercounts New Murder Charges, Chicago Tribune (Feb. 13, 2020).

Trump Takes on Judge Amy Berman Jackson Ahead of Roger Stone Sentencing, Washington Post (Feb. 12, 2020).

Do Trump's Attacks on the Judiciary Go Too Far?, PBS NewsHour (Feb. 9, 2020).

What Would Change if the Equal Rights Amendment is Ratified?, ABC 4 News (Dec. 6, 2019).

A Woman's Stepchildren Saw Her Topless in her Home: She May Have to Register as a Sex Offender, Washington Post (Nov. 21, 2019). 

Bloomberg Renounces Record as a Crime Fighter, City Journal (Nov. 18, 2019).

Second Look at Utah Sex Assault Cases Taking More Time and Money Than the State Expected, Salt Lake Trib. (Oct. 1, 2019).

Epstein's Accusers Plan to Pursue Legal Options, NPR Morning Edition (Aug. 12, 2019).

Epstein's Money Once Silenced Women.  This Time is Different, Bloomberg (July 17, 2019). 

Legal Costs Could Erase Entire Fortune, Washington Post (July 16, 2019).

Lawyer for Epstein Victims Claims Acosta Hid Federal Immunity Deal from His Clients, Invites Him to Visit Florida to Explain, Fox News Live (July 11, 2019). 

Jeffrey Epstein has been Charged with Sex Trafficking, a Move this University of Utah Professor Has Sought for Nearly a Dozen Years, Salt Lake Tribune (July 8, 2019).

Utah Attorney Pushes for New Look at Florida Case Involving Sex Allegations Against Jeffrey Epstein, Deseret News (July 8, 2019).

Donald Trump Twists Story on Central Park Five, Politifact (June 24, 2019).

Debunking the Court's Latest Death-Penalty Obsession, Atlantic (June 17, 2019). 

"Start By Believing", Deseret News (Apr. 4, 2019).

Marsy's Law is Working as Intended, Protecting Victims' and the Public Interest, Tampa Bay Times (Jan. 30, 2019). 

Utah Refused to Prosecute Four Sexual Assault Cases, so the Alleged Victims Set Out to Do It Themselves, Washingon Post (Oct. 22, 2018). 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Delivers Remarks to the Chicago Crime Commission, U.S. Dept. of Justice (Oct. 19, 2018).

Utah Supreme Court Hears Case Regarding Police Officers and Their Guns, KSL (Oct. 12, 2018).

Wilderness Activist Rose Chilcoat Won't be Tried in Southern Utah, Salt Lake Tribune (July 17, 2018).

The Rise of the Victims'-Rights Movement, New Yorker (May 21, 2018).

Cop Who Arrested Nurse Was Wrong, but the Law is Complicated, Salt Lake Tribune (Sept. 1, 2017). 

Do Trump's Attacks on Jujdicial Legitimacy Go Too Far?, PBS NewsHour (Feb. 9, 2017).

Was That Search Illegal? Sometimes, Neil Gorsuch Ruled It Was, N.Y. Times (Feb. 2, 2017). 

Miranda v. Arizona: The Decision, C-SPAN (Dec. 14, 2015).

Parole System Needs a Tiny Safety Valve for the Innocent, N.Y. Times (Dec. 4, 2014).