Eric Blumenson 

Research Professor of Law; Professor Emeritus

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Eric Blumenson is a Research Professor of Law at Suffolk University, specializing in human rights and criminal justice. After graduating from Harvard Law School, he worked in indigent criminal defense before joining the Suffolk faculty to direct its criminal clinic. More recently his teaching and writing have also focused on human rights. His scholarly work has tackled a variety of human rights issues -- economic rights, capital punishment, cultural relativism, personhood, education rights, the International Criminal Court, and mass incarceration. Other writings include a two-volume criminal law treatise and articles in such journals as the Texas Law Review, University of Chicago Law Review, Harvard Civil Rights/Civil Liberties Law Review, Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, and Journal of Law, Ethics and Philosophy. While at Suffolk, Blumenson has also served as a Fellow of the Open Society Institute, researching police abuse; a Fellow at Harvard's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy; a visiting attorney in the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor's office; a board member of the ACLU of Massachusetts; a Fulbright scholar in Lahore, Pakistan; a Fellow at the Northeastern University Ethics Institute, and a visiting professor at the University of Witswatersrand's legal clinic in South Africa. As Reporter to the Supreme Judicial Court's criminal rules advisory committee, he was responsible for drafting the first major revision of the Massachusetts criminal rules. 


  • BA, Wesleyan University
  • JD, Harvard University




  • MASSACHUSETTS CRIMINAL PRACTICE (3d CD ed. 2003; 2d ed., 1998 & Supp.2001)
  • MASSACHUSETTS CRIMINAL DEFENSE (1990 & Supp. 1997-2001)

Book Chapters

  • Two Moral Mistakes in the American Criminal Justice System, in FREEDOM AND ITS ENEMIES: THE TRAGEDY OF LIBERTY (Renata Uitz and Andrea Sajo, eds. Eleven International Publishing, The Hague, 2015)
  • Retributivism, in A SOCIAL HISTORY OF CRIME AND PUNISHMENT IN AMERICA: AN ENCYCLOPEDIA (Sage Reference, Wilbur Miller ed., 2012)
  • Cultural Relativism, in ENCYCLOPEDIA OF GLOBAL JUSTICE (Springer, 2011)
  • Civil Asset Forfeiture, in ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES (Routledge, 2007)
Portrait of Eric Blumenson.

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Courses Taught

  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Trial & Appellate Advocacy
  • Clinical Teaching
  • Moral and Legal Philosophy
  • Human Rights
  • Jurisprudence