Nationally known criminal-law professor Mark Osler to join St. Thomas law faculty

Mark Osler

Mark Osler

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.  As an assistant U.S. attorney in Detroit from 1995 to 2000, he prosecuted major felonies, including those involving bank robberies, counterfeiting and terrorism.

Often called on 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.

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.

Osler is executive director of the Association of Religiously Affiliated Law Schools.  A prolific writer and blogger, he is the author of the 2009 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 such as National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Olser 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.

During his years at Baylor he has taught courses dealing with evidence, appeals and habeas, criminal practice, juvenile justice, oral advocacy, professional responsibility, sentencing and white-collar crime.