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J. Richard  Broughton

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Associate Professor of Law

J Richard Broughton
Contact Info:
Campus: Riverfront Campus
Building: Dowling Hall
Room: 219
Phone: (313) 596-9845
J Richard Broughton
Areas of Expertise:
Constitutional Law
Criminal Law and Procedure
Death Penalty Legal Issues
Insanity Defense
Police Brutality and the Law
Supreme Court Nominations
U.S. Constitution
U.S. Supreme Court


  • LL.M. Georgetown University '00
  • J.D. Widener University '99
  • B.A. Hampden-Sydney College '95


J. Richard Broughton is an Associate Professor of Law, and teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law, and Federal Criminal Law.  He was a Visiting Professor at Detroit Mercy Law in the 2009-10 academic year.  Previously, he served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at Wayne State University, where he was named both the First-Year Professor of the Year and Upperclass Professor of the Year for 2008-09.  He also has taught on the law school faculties at Stetson University and Texas Wesleyan University (where he also won two teaching awards), and as a Lecturer in Government at Johns Hopkins University.

From 2005 to 2008, Professor Broughton served in the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.  His work involved federal prosecutions of violent crime related to gang activity, drug trafficking, organized crime and racketeering.  He advised senior Justice Department leaders and federal prosecutors on issues of federal criminal and constitutional law arising in federal death penalty matters; assisted in federal capital prosecutions, appeals, and post-conviction litigation; helped to craft and review federal crime legislation; and assisted senior leaders in preparing for congressional hearings and oversight.  He received both the Meritorious Service Award and the Special Achievement Award from the Justice Department.

He also has served as Assistant Attorney General of Texas for Capital and Post-conviction Litigation, as a law clerk to the chief judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, and as a law clerk for the House Judiciary Committee during the 106th Congress.

Professor Broughton’s scholarship focuses on American politics and institutions, and the intersection of politics, constitutionalism, and criminal justice.  His writing has appeared in law reviews and journals throughout the country, and has been cited in opinions from the United States Supreme Court and state appellate courts.  He also has provided legal commentary for numerous television and radio programs and newspapers.

Recent Publications:

Conviction, Nullification, and the Limits of Impeachment as Politics, 68 Case W. Reserve L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2017)

Of Puppets and Terrorism, 62 S. D. L. Rev. ___ (forthcoming 2017)

Hate Crimes, the Death Penalty, and Criminal Justice Reform, 31 Hamline J. Pub. L. & Pol’y 185 (2017)

The Death Penalty and Justice Scalia’s Lines, 51 Akron L. Rev. 203 (2016)

Jones, Lackey, and Teague, 48 J. Marshall L. Rev. 961 (2015)

The Snowden Affair and the Limits of American Treason, 3 Lincoln Memorial Univ. L. Rev. 6 (2015)

The Criminalization of Consensual Adult Sex After Lawrence, 28 Notre Dame J.L. Ethics & Pub. Pol’y 125 (2014) 

The Ineludible (Constitutional) Politics of Guns, 46 Conn. L. Rev. 1345 (2014)


Invited panelist, Symposium on the 50th Anniversary of Terry v. Ohio, hosted by Idaho Law Review, Boise, Idaho, forthcoming April 6, 2018

Invited panelist, Symposium on Congressional Oversight, hosted by Wayne Law Review, Detroit, Michigan, forthcoming March 23, 2018

Invited panelist, Symposium on Race, Poverty, and Criminal Justice, hosted by American University Law Review, Washington, D.C., forthcoming November 10, 2017)

Participant, Scholars Roundtable on Congressional Oversight, hosted by the Levin Center at Wayne Law, Detroit, Michigan, June 9, 2017

“The Safeguards of Our Political Religion,” Keynote Address, 2017 Law Day Celebration, Jackson, Michigan, May 3, 2017

“The Supreme Court After November,” Remarks for the Hampden-Sydney College Bar Association, Hampden-Sydney, Virginia, November 11, 2016

“Good Men, Good Citizens, and the Virtue of Lines,” Founder’s Day Lecture, Hampden-Sydney College, Hampden-Sydney Virginia, November 10, 2016

“Juveniles and Terrorism,” Symposium on Juvenile Law, hosted by South Dakota Law Review, Vermillion, South Dakota, September 29, 2016

Webinar Presentation, “Supreme Court Update: 2015 Year in Review,” Association of Federal Defense Attorneys, posted online, February 19, 2016

Speaker and Panelist, Symposium on Capital Punishment Reform, hosted by Michigan Journal of Law Reform, Ann Arbor, Michigan, February 6, 2016

Presenter, “Prosecuting the Terror Group Recruits,” Central States Law School Association Annual Scholarship Conference, Toledo, Ohio, October 10, 2015

Speaker, “Search and Seizure in the Electronic Age,” Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys Summer Education Conference, St. Joseph, Michigan, June 20, 2015

Speaker and panelist, Symposium on “The Death Penalty in America,” hosted by Hamline Journal of Public Law & Policy, St. Paul, Minnesota, March 27, 2015

Speaker and panelist, Sandra Ruffin Memorial Symposium on “The Snowden Effect: The Impact of Spilling National Secrets,” hosted by Lincoln Memorial University Law Review, Knoxville, Tennessee, January 30, 2015

Presented “Congress as Prosecutor,” 5th Annual Constitutional Law Colloquium, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Chicago, Illinois, November 7, 2014

Presented “The Ineludible (Constitutional) Politics of Guns,” Michigan Academy of Science, Arts & Letters Annual Meeting, hosted by Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, February 28, 2014

Recent Media Coverage:

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev indicted in Boston Marathon Bombings

Boston Bomb Defendant Cited Muslims' Deaths, U.S. Says

Bombing suspect charged, could face execution

James Porter, NRA President, Arrives at Crucial Time for Gun Rights Battle in Courts

Inside the NRA's Plan for Guns in Schools

DOJ Unlikely To Prosecute Holder Contempt Charge

STOLEN VALOR ACT: War medal forgery law ruled unconstitutional


Criminal Law (1140)

Constitutional Law (2060)

Criminal Procedure (2100)

The Death Penalty in America (2600)

Fourteenth Amendment (3110)

Federal Criminal Law (6220)

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