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Steven F. Shatz

Professor Emeritus

Philip and Muriel Barnett Professor Steven F. Shatz has taught at USF for more than 40 years. During that time, he has been an expert witness and consultant in numerous capital cases and authored several amicus briefs for the U.S. Supreme Court. Shatz has also been a lecturer at UC Berkeley, and a visiting professor at the East China Institute of Politics and Law, in Shanghai, China, and at UC Hastings College of Law. Shatz created, and for twelve years directed, USF’s Keta Taylor Colby Death Penalty Project, whose goal is to involve law students in the interim reform, and ultimate abolition, of the death penalty in the United States. Each summer, the project trains law students in death penalty law and practice and sends them to the South to work as interns with capital defense attorneys. Shatz is the author of casebooks on Criminal Law and Death Penalty Law and numerous journal articles, including his most recent on the racial geography of the death penalty—“Challenging the Death Penalty with Statistics: Furman, McCleskey, and a Single County Case Study” (Cardozo Law Review, 2013) (with Terry Dalton)—and gender and the death penalty—"Chivalry is not Dead: Murder, Gender, and the Death Penalty" (Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law, and Justice, 2012) (with Naomi Shatz).

  • AB, UC Berkeley
  • JD, Harvard University
Prior Experience
  • Directing Attorney, Farm Worker Division, Evergreen Legal Services
  • Partner, Rader & Shatz
  • Fellow Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Program
  • Sarlo Prize for Excellence in Teaching, University of San Francisco, 2009
  • Leo T. McCarthy Center Public Service and the Common Good Human Rights Research Fellowship, 2004
  • Grant, Butler Family Fund, 2003 
"Convicted Killers Of Women In L.A. County More Likely To Get Death Penalty"Los Angeles Daily News06/27/15
"DA to Weigh Death Penalty in Baby Murder Case"San Jose Mercury News02/07/15
"Oakland Judge Skeptical of Expedited Death Penalty Challenges"Daily Journal10/30/13
"Riverside is Outlier in Capital Cases"Daily Journal10/28/13
"Death Penalty Study: 25% of Cases from 10 Counties"
San Francisco Chronicle
"Police: Wounded Foster City Intruder May Have Been Lost"Oakland Tribune, San Jose Mercury News, San Mateo County Times, and others03/27/12
"Shatz and Shatz on Gender and the Death Penalty"CrimProf Blog03/10/11
  • California Criminal Law: Cases and Problems (Lexis, First Edition 1999, Second Edition 2004, Third Edition 2011). Buy It
  • Cases and Materials on the Death Penalty (West, First Edition 2001, Second Edition 2005, Third Edition 2009). (Co-authored with Nina Rivkind.)
Law Review and Journal Articles
  • "Discrimination, Torture, and Execution: A Human Rights Analysis of the Death Penalty in California and Louisiana," Center for Constitutional Rights (2013).
  • "Challenging the Death Penalty with Statistics: Furman, McCleskey, and a Single County Case Study," 34 Cardozo Law Review 1227 (2013). (Co-authored with Terry Dalton.) SSRN
  • "Chivalry is not Dead: Murder, Gender, and the Death Penalty," 27 Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law, and Justice 64 (2012). (Co-authored with Naomi Shatz.) SSRN
  • "The Eighth Amendment, the Death Penalty, and Ordinary Robbery-Burglary Murderers: A California Case Study," 59 Florida Law Review 719 (2007). SSRN
  • "The California Death Penalty: Prosecutors' Use of Inconsistent Theories Plays Fast and Loose with the Courts and the Defendants," 36 University of San Francisco Law Review 853 (2002). (Co-authored with Lazuli M. Whitt.)
  • "The Death Penalty," 13 Peace Review 493-565, [special issue] (2001). (Co-edited with Professor Constance de la Vega.)
  • "The California Death Penalty Scheme: Requiem for Furman?" 72 New York University Law Review 1283 (1997). (Co-authored with Nina Rivkind.)
  • "The Strip Search of Children and the Fourth Amendment," 26 University of San Francisco Law Review 1 (1991). (Co-authored with Molly Donovan & Jeanne Hong.)
  • "The Second Death of 42 U.S.C. Section 1985(3): The Use and Misuse of History in Statutory Interpretation," 27 Boston College Law Review 911 (1986).
  • "Picketing Injunctions in California: A Study of the Role of the Courts in Farm Labor Disputes," 28 Hastings Law Journal 801 (1977).
  • "California Criminal Discovery: Eliminating Anachronistic Limitations Imposed on the Defendant," 9 University of San Francisco Law Review 259 (1974).
Book Contributions
  • "Chivalry is not Dead:  Murder, Gender and the Death Penalty," in The International Library of Essays on Capital Punishment edited by Peter Hodgkinson (Farnham, United Kingdom: Ashgate Publishing, 2013). (Co-authored with Naomi R. Shatz)
  • "Death Penalty Internships in the American South," in Capital Punishment: New Perspectives edited by Peter Hodgkinson (Farnham, United Kingdom: Ashgate Publishing, 2013).
Opinion Pieces and Blog Posts
    Other Publications
        Court Citation of Research
        • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Morales v. Woodford, 388 F.3d 1159 (9th Cir 2004) (No. 99-99020).
        • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, Ben-Sholom v. Ayers, WL 4167079 (E.D.Cal 2008) (No. 1:93-CV-05531 AWI).
        • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, Dickey v. Ayers, WL 2131564 (E.D.Cal 2008) (No. CIV. F-06-357-AWI-P).
        • Supreme Court of Illinois, People v. Ballard, 794 N.E. 2d 788 (Ill. 2008).
        • Supreme Court of Indiana, Saylor v. State, 765 N.E.2d 535 (Ind. 2002) (No. 48S00-9712-PD-647).
        • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, Sanders v. Woodford, WL 34882452 (E.D.Cal 2001).
        • U.S. District Court for the Sourthern District of California, Taylor v. Evans, 72 F.Supp.2d 298 (S.D.N.Y. 1999) (No. 94 CIV. 8425(CSH)).
        • U.S. District Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, Jenkins Hall v. Talladega City Board of Education, 115 F.3d 821 (11th Cir. 1997) (No. 95-6243).
        • U.S. District Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, Franz v. Lytle, 997 F.2d 784 (10th Cir. 1993) (No. 92-3183).
        • Panelist, "The California Death Penalty," UC Davis School of Law, (January 2010).
        • Presenter, "The State of the Death Penalty in the United States," Beth El Synagogue, Berkeley (January 2010).
        • Presenter, "Litigating Death Eligibility," California Attorneys for Criminal Justice 2009 Capital Training Program, Los Angeles, Calif. (September 2009).
        • Workshop leader, "Narrowing Death Eligibility," Capital Case Defense Seminar, Monterey, Calif. (February 2009).
        Testimony and Hearings
        • Professor Shatz has been an expert witness by oral testimony or affidavit in more than 150 California capital cases on the subject of his empirical research regarding the California death penalty (1997 to present).
        • In 2012, Professor Shatz testified by affidavit as an expert on death penalty studies in a Colorado capital case.
        • In 2008, at the invitation of the California Commission on the Fair Administration Justice, Professor Shatz testified before the Commission and submitted written materials concerning the California death penalty scheme.
        Written Testimony and Commentary
          Advisor or Consultant
              Symposia Organization
                Professional Membership
                    Other Service
                    • Consultant, Ensemble contre la peine de mort (French anti-death penalty group and publisher of The Death Penalty in the United States, A Polymorphous Torture) (2011).