Paul J. Litton

Paul Litton
  • Criminal and Moral Responsibility Theory
  • Death Penalty Law
  • Jurisprudence
  • Bioethics
R. B. Price Professor of Law

PhD (2003), University of Pennsylvania
JD (1999), University of Pennsylvania Law School
BA cum laude (1994), University of Pennsylvania

Paul Litton joined the faculty in 2006. He received a J.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied through the University's Joint Program in Law and Philosophy and was awarded the Lynn Lukens Moore Prize in Jurisprudence by the Law School. He was law clerk to Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz of the New Jersey Supreme Court, serving a second term as the Court's death penalty law clerk. From 2004 to 2006 he was a fellow in the Department of Clinical Bioethics within the National Institutes of Health.

Professor Litton's research primarily focuses on moral philosophy and criminal law theory (especially free will and responsibility theory), and bioethics. In 2009 he received the Shook Hardy & Bacon Excellence in Research Award at the Law School. Currently, Professor Litton is co-chairing the Missouri Death Penalty Assessment Team, assembled by the American Bar Association to study and make recommendations regarding the laws and practices of Missouri's capital system.

Professor Litton teaches Criminal Law, Death Penalty Law, Jurisprudence, and Bioethics.

Recent Publications

Book Chapters/Collected Works

Criminal Law and Psychopathy: Do Psychopaths Have a Right to Excuse?, in HANDBOOK ON PSYCHOPATHY AND LAW (eds. Kent Kiehl & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Oxford University Press, 2013).
| SSRN | Oxford University Press website |

Academic Journals

On the Argument that Execution Protocol Reform is Biomedical Research, 90 WASHINGTON LAW REVIEW ONLINE 76 (2015).
| Journal website |

Is Psychological Research on Self-Control Relevant to Criminal Law?, 11 OHIO STATE JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW 725 (2014).
| SSRN | Westlaw | HeinOnline | Journal website |

Symposium Foreword: Bombshell or Baby Step? The Ramifications of Miller v. Alabama for Sentencing Law and Juvenile Crime Policy, 78 MISSOURI LAW REVIEW 1003 (Fall 2013).
| SSRN | Westlaw | LexisNexis | HeinOnline |

Physician Participation in Executions, the Morality of Capital Punishment, and the Practical Implications of Their Relationship, 41 JOURNAL OF LAW, MEDICINE AND ETHICS 333 (2013).
| SSRN | Westlaw | LexisNexis |

A More Persuasive Justification for Pediatric Research, 12 AMERICAN JOURNAL OF BIOETHICS 44 (2012).

Additional Publications

Why the Lethal Injection Drug Debated by the Supreme Court Today is Unconstitutional, with David B. Waisel, THE NEW REPUBLIC, April 29, 2015.
| The New Republic |

Op-Ed., When the Punishment Doesn't Fit the Crime, with Douglas A. Copeland and Harold L. Lowenstein, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, March 15, 2012 (also printed in THE KANSAS CITY STAR, March 14, 2012).
| online |

Complete Listing of Publications