Mark Osler, a former federal prosecutor and criminal-law scholar known nationally for his work in the field of sentencing, will join the faculty at the University of
St. Thomas School of Law this fall.
Osler has been a professor at Baylor University School of Law in Texas for the past 10 years.
Often called to serve as counsel in major cases, he was lead counsel last year before the U.S. Supreme Court where he won in Spears v. United States, a landmark case involving cocaine-related sentencing guidelines. Osler has argued in several federal courts of appeals in the area of criminal sentencing.
He has testified as a sentencing expert before the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security and before the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
He was portrayed as Professor Joe Fisher in “American Violet,” a 2008 film about a single mother trying to clear her name after wrongly being arrested for dealing drugs.
As an assistant U.S. attorney in Detroit from 1995 to 2000, he prosecuted major felonies, including those involving bank robberies, counterfeiting and terrorism.
“Mark’s work on criminal sentencing is fundamentally concerned with the
relationship of justice and mercy in the criminal justice system,” Dean Thomas Mengler said. “He is a great addition to the mission focus of UST Law.”
In coming to the University of St. Thomas Osler said, “One obvious draw is the quality of the faculty.” He has followed the scholarship of some faculty at the School of Law for years and has gotten to know several others throughout the process.
“My sense is that there is a very high level of engagement between the legal community and the St. Thomas faculty already. And I really look forward to being a part of that,” Osler commented. Currently he is working on several national projects, including a new book on the social and legal history of crack cocaine.
Osler is executive director of the Association of Religiously Affiliated Law Schools. A prolific writer and blogger, he is the author of the 2009 book Jesus on Death Row, a critique of the death penalty that looks at the experience of Christ as a criminal defendant.
Osler is interviewed frequently by journalists; he has been quoted in
hundreds of articles and has appeared on radio and television programs like National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Osler earned his bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary and his law degree from Yale University, where he was senior editor of the Yale Law Journal.
Osler has taught courses dealing with evidence, appeals and habeas, criminal practice, juvenile justice, oral advocacy, professional responsibility, sentencing and white-collar crime.
Read more from St. Thomas Lawyer.