Kenneth Williams

Professor of Law

B.A., University of San Francisco
J.D., University of Virginia Law School

Areas of Expertise

  • Capital Punishment
  • Criminal Law
  • International Criminal Law



The Death Penalty and Race and How the Ultimate Punishment Highlights the Flaws in Our Criminal Justice System, 50 Sw. L. Rev. 407 (2022).

Why Police Have a Legal Duty to Provide Medical Aid to People They Shoot, 18 Ohio St. J. Crim. L. 391 (2020).

The Ultimate Dilemma: Conceding a Client’s Guilt to Avoid a Death Sentence, 52 Conn. L. Rev. Online 1 (2019).

The Pros and Cons of Texas’s Michael Morton Act, 60 S. Tex. L. Rev. 267 (2019).

Why the Death Penalty is Slowly Dying, 46 Sw. L. Rev. 253 (2017).

Why and How the Supreme Court Should End the Death Penalty, 51 U. S.F. L. Rev. 271 (2017).

Justice or Peace? a Proposal for Resolving the Dilemma, 26 Pace Int’l L. Rev. 132 (2014)

Does Strickland Prejudice Defendants On Death Row? 43 U. Rich. L. Rev. 1459 (2009).

Why It is So Difficult to Prove Innocence in Capital Cases, 42 Tulsa L. Rev. 241 (2006). (solicited)

Does the ICJ’s Decision in Avena Mean Anything to Mexicans On Death Row, 55 Cath. U.L. Rev. 351 (2006), reprinted in 27 Immigr. & Nat’lity L. Rev. 19 (2006).

Texas: Tough On Murderers or Fairness?, 53 Drake L. Rev. 631 (2005). (solicited)

Ensuring the Capital Defendant’s Right to Competent Counsel: It’s Time for Some Standards!, 51 Wayne L. Rev. 129 (2005) (cited in Congressional Testimony, available at https://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/pdf/Bright090922.pdf at 5 n.9 (Sept. 22, 2009).

Should Judges Who Oppose Capital Punishment Resign? a Reply to Justice Scalia, 10 Va. J. Soc Pol’y & L. 317 (2003).

The Death Penalty: Can It Be Fixed?, 51 Cath. U. L. Rev. 1177 (2002).

The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act: What’s Wrong with it and How to Fix It, 33 Conn. L. Rev. 919 (2001).

The Deregulation of the Death Penalty, 40 Santa Clara L. Rev. 677 (2000).

Do We Really Need the Federal Rules of Evidence?, 74 N. Dak. L. Rev. 1 (1998).


Book Review, 59 J. Legal Educ. 668 (2010) (reviewing John Temple, The Last Lawyer: The Fight to Save Death Row Inmates (2009)).


Criminal Law: Concepts, Crimes, and Defenses. (Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 2022). (With Geoffrey S. Corn and Chris Jenks)

Examples & Explanations for Criminal Procedure II: From Bail to Jail. 4th Ed. (New York: Wolters Kluwer, 2018). (With Richard G. Singer)

Most Deserving of Death? An Analysis of the Supreme Court’s Death Penalty Jurisprudence. (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2012). Reprinted in 2016 by Routledge.


An Examination of the District Attorney’s Alleged Unethical Conduct, in Race to Injustice: Lessons Learned from the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case (Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 2009).

Mandatory Death Sentences Unconstitutional; Proportionality Reviews; Lockett v. Ohio; Profitt v. Florida; Pulley v. Harris, in Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties (New York: Routledge 2006).


Presenter, Avoiding Land Mines: An Overview for Attorneys for Texas Death Row Prisoners in State and Federal Habeas Corpus Proceedings, at South Texas Law Review’s 17th Annual Ethics Symposium.

Panelist, The Role of the Prosecution and Defense in Causing and Correcting Wrongful Convictions, at the Wrongful Convictions and Cures Symposium Sponsored By Southwestern Law School.

Commentator, Author Meets Reader – The Theoretics of Race in the Post-Civil Rights Era: Review of Race, Sex, and Suspicion: The Myth of the Black Male at the International Conference on Law and Society in the 21st Century, at Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.

Discussant, Race & the Death Penalty, Twenty Years After McClesky, University of Miami School of Law, Mar. 19, 2007.

Presenter, “Gays in the Military” at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgendered Issues and the Civil Rights Agenda Symposium Sponsored By the Southwestern University Law Review.

Presenter, “The Death Penalty: Can It Be Fixed?” at the Urban Health & Race Law Weekend hosted by the DePaul College of Law and the Loyola Law School.

Presenter, Racial Profiling in Law Enforcement, University of Wyoming’s Symposium for the Eradication of Social Inequality, Feb. 8-10, 2000.

Presenter, The Deregulation of the Death Penalty, National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference at John Marshall Law School, Mar. 1999.

Faculty Lecture Series, The Death Penalty: A Discriminatory, Costly Process, at the University of Hawaii, William S. Richardson School of Law, Feb. 1996.


CV (PDF format)