Research Professor of Law


  • Office: 120 Tremont St.,
  • Suite: 370-N
  • Phone: 617-305-1967
  • Fax: 617-305-3091
  • Email:


  • BA, Wesleyan University
  • JD, Harvard University


  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Moral and Legal Philosophy
  • Human Rights
  • Jurisprudence


Eric Blumenson came to Suffolk after working as a criminal defense attorney for the Seattle public defender and the Boston criminal law firm of Zalkind and Zalkind. While at Suffolk, he has also served as a Fellow of the Open Society Institute, a visiting attorney in the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor's office, a Fulbright scholar in Lahore, Pakistan, a fellow at the Northeastern University Ethics Institute, and a visiting professor at the University of Witswatersrand 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. His scholarly works include a two volume criminal law treatise and numerous articles on criminal law, human rights, and moral philosophy.






MASSACHUSETTS CRIMINAL PRACTICE (3d CD ed. 2003; 2d ed., 1998 & Supp.2001)




B O O K     C H A P T E R S

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)




Four Challenges Confronting a Moral Conception of Universal Human Rights, 47 GEO. WASH. J. INT'L L. REV. 327 (2015)

The Limits of Moral Argument: Reason and Conviction in Tadros Philosophy of Punishment (with Responses by Victor Tadros), Journal of Law, Ethics, and Philosophy 3:30 (2015)

Finding Common Ground: the Liberal Virtues in Ordered Liberty (Balkanization symposium review on Fleming and McClain, Ordered Liberty, (2013)

Economic Rights As Group Rights, 15 U. PA. J.L. & SOC. CHANGE 87 (2011)

Liberty Lost: The Moral Case for Marijuana Law Reform, 85 IND. L.J. 279 (2010)

No Rational Basis: The Pragmatic Case for Marijuana Law Reform, 17 VA. J. SOC. POL'Y & L. 43 (2009)

Constitutional Kabuki: Fidelity and Opportunism in the Foreign Law Debate, 43 SUFFOLK. L. REV. 136 (2009)

Killing in Good Conscience: What's Wrong with Sunstein and Vermeule's Lesser Evil Argument for Capital Punishment and Other Human Rights Violations?, 10 NEW CRIM. L. REV. 209 (2007)

The Challenge of a Global Standard of Justice: Peace, Pluralism, and Punishment at the International Criminal Court, 44 COLUM. J. TRANSNAT'L L. 797 (2006)

National Amnesties and International Justice, 2 EYES ON THE ICC 1 (2006)

Amnistias Nacionales y Justicia International, Revista Argentina De Teoria Juridica, Universidad Torcuato di Tella (2006)

Reporter's Notes to the Pre-trial Rules of the Massachusetts Rules of Criminal Procedure, West (2004)

One Strike and You’re Out? Constitutional Constraints on Zero Tolerance in Public Education, 81 WASH. U. L.Q. 65 (2003)

Justice Kennedy Should Recuse Himself, SALON (2002)

Recovering from Drugs and the Drug War: A Viable Public Health Alternative, 6 IOWA J. GENDER, RACE & SOC'Y 225 (2002)

How to Construct an Underclass, Or How the War on Drugs Became a War on Education, 6 IOWA J. GENDER, RACE & SOC'Y 61 (2002)

The Next Stage of Forfeiture Reform, 14 FEDERAL SENTENCING REPORTER 76 (2001)

Who Counts Morally?, 14 J. L. & RELIGION 1 (2000)

Contesting the Government’s Financial Interest in Drug Cases, 13 CRIM. JUST. 4 (1999)

Rights and Religion, 31 CONN. L. REV. 711 (1999)

The Drug War's Hidden Economic Agenda, 266 :9 THE NATION 11-16 (1998)

Policing for Profit: The Drug War’s Hidden Economic Agenda, 65 U. CHI. L. REV. 35 (1998)

Mapping the Limits of Skepticism in Law and Morals, 74 TEX. L. REV.. 523 (1996)

Defending the Accused in District Court: Law and Tactics, 74 MASS. L. REV. 11 (1989)

Constitutional Limitations on Prosecutorial Discovery, 18 HARV. C.R.-C.L. . REV. 123 (1983)

Pretrial Procedure Under the Massachusetts Rules of Criminal Procedure, 67 MASS. L. REV. 61 (1982)