Prof. Stephanos Bibas

Professor of Law and Criminology, University of Pennsylvania Law School

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.

Professional Experience

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

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Publications and Multimedia
Justice Scalia and the Criminal Law - Audio/Video
2016 National Lawyers Convention
November 23, 2016
Showcase Panel I: Textualism and the Bill of Rights - Event Audio/Video
2013 National Lawyers Convention
November 20, 2013
The Machinery of Criminal Justice - Faculty Book Podcast
Faculty Division Podcast 06-08-12 featuring Stephanos Bibas and Andrew Taslitz
June 08, 2012
Bullcoming v. New Mexico - Post-Decision SCOTUScast
SCOTUScast 08-01-11 featuring Stephanos Bibas
August 01, 2011
SCOTUScast 12-17-07 featuring Stephanos Bibas
Kimbrough v. United States and Gall v. United States
December 17, 2007