Meredith Martin Rountree

Senior Lecturer


Meredith Martin Rountree’s research and teaching focuses on criminal law and criminal justice, with particular attention to how people with mental illness interact with the law and legal institutions. Before joining Northwestern, Professor Rountree taught at the University of Texas School of Law. She helped found the University of Texas School of Law’s Capital Punishment Center and co-directed its Capital Punishment Clinic. Her work has been published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, the American Journal of Criminal Law, and the Law & Society Review, among others, and cited by Justice Breyer in his dissenting opinion in Glossip v. Gross (2015). Before turning to academic research, she represented people facing the death penalty in Arizona, Washington, and Texas. In addition, she advocated – in and out of court – on behalf of prisoners, founding, and for three years directing, the Texas ACLU’s prison and jail project. 

Areas of Expertise

  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Law and Society
  • Death Penalty

Selected Publications

  • Criminals Get All the Rights: The Sociolegal Construction of Different Rights to Die, 105 Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology 149 (2015).
  • Law and Loss: Notes on the Legal Construction of Pain, 41 American Journal of Criminal Law 133 (2014).
  • Volunteers for Execution: Directions for Further Research into Grief, Culpability, and Legal Structures, 82 Umkc Law Review 295 (2014).
  • Overlooked Guidelines: Using The Guidelines To Address The Defense Need For Time and Money, 41 Hofstra Law Review 623 (Spring 2013) (with Robert C. Owen).
  • “I’ll Make Them Shoot Me”: Accounts of Death Row Prisoners Advocating for Execution, 46 Law & Society Review 589 (2012).

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  • BA, Yale University
  • JD, Georgetown University
  • PhD, University of Texas at Austin

Prior Appointments

  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Co-Director, Capital Punishment Clinic, University of Texas Law School

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