Russell D. CoveyProfessor of Law Center for Access to Justice
J.D., Yale Law School
M.A., Princeton University
A.B., Amherst College
Criminal Law & Procedure
Professor Covey teaches criminal law and procedure and is the author of numerous articles and book chapters in the field. In particular, his work focuses on the intersection of wrongful convictions, innocence and the guilty plea process, exploring and applying insights from a variety of disciplines, including economics, cognitive psychology, and behavioral economics to shed light on the dynamics of criminal justice. His recent work includes studies on police misconduct as a cause of wrongful convictions, use by police and prosecutors of the threat of perjury sanctions to deter witnesses from recanting false incriminating testimony, and the especially pernicious effects of jailhouse informants in convicting the innocent.
Professor Covey is co-editor The Wrongful Convictions Reader (Carolina Academic Press 2018), a cutting-edge collection of research and scholarship on the evidentiary, procedural, and forensic contributors to the problem of wrongful convictions.
Professor Covey also currently co-chairs the ABA Plea Bargaining Task Force, which is studying state and national plea bargaining practices in recognition of a growing consensus of problems in its operation. The Task Force is made up of state and federal judges, prosecutors, criminal defenders, leaders of national organizations advocating for criminal law reform and legal scholars, and seeks to explore and formulate specific recommendations for changes in the way plea bargaining operates within the larger criminal justice environment.
Covey has filed amicus briefs on behalf of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and represented pro bono clients in criminal appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Prior to joining the College of Law, he clerked for Judge Allyne R. Ross of the U.S. District Court, E.D.N.Y., practiced law specializing in criminal and civil litigation at Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C., and taught law at Whittier Law School in Southern California.