Susan A. Bandes

Distinguished Research Scholar, Center for Policing Equity; and Centennial Professor of Law Emeritus, DePaul University
Areas of Expertise:
  • Social Issues
  • Criminal Justice

Connect with Susan

About Susan

Bandes' research focuses on the legal barriers to governmental accountability (in policing and other areas) and on how the legal system can better utilize insights from fields that study decision-making and institutional design. Bandes is a member of the American Law Institute, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and a founder of the Collaborative Research Network on Law and Emotion.


Why Behavioral Reforms are More Likely than Implicit Bias Training to Reduce Racial Conflicts in U.S. Policing

    Phillip Atiba Goff , Jillian K. Swencionis ,



"Emotion and the Law" (with Jeremy A. Blumenthal). Annual Review of Law and Social Science 8 (2012): 161-181.

Describes the emergence of the interdisciplinary field of Emotion and the Law, its scope, its challenges, and directions for the future.

"And All the Pieces Matter: Thoughts on The Wire and the Criminal Justice System" Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law 8, no. 2 (2011): 435-445.

Discusses the media's difficulties portraying the systemic barriers to police reform and the innovations of HBO's The Wire.

"Moral Shock and Legal Education" Journal of Legal Education 65, no. 2 (2015): 298-305.

Explores the challenges of addressing the moral and emotional dimensions of police brutality within the traditional constitutional criminal procedure framework.

"Remorse and Criminal Justice" Emotion Review 8, no. 1 (2015): 14-19.

Discusses how a defendant's failure to show visible remorse in the courtroom is one of the most powerful influences on sentencing, yet there is no evidence the jurors or other legal decision-makers can evaluate remorse. Examines the state of knowledge on evaluating remorse and recommends legal reforms.

"Emotion, Proof, and Prejudice: The Cognitive Science of Gruesome Photos and Victim Impact Statements" (with Jessica M. Salermo). Arizona State Law Journal 46, no. 4 (2014): 1003-1056.

Argues for a more nuanced view of emotion's role in evaluating proof and prejudice, using crime scene photos and victim impact statements to illustrate the argument.

The Passions of Law (New York University Press, 2000).

Addresses the role that emotions play or ought to play in the theory and practice of law.

In the News

Susan A. Bandes quoted on victim-impact statements in Jill Lepore, "The Rise of the Victims’-Rights Movement" The New Yorker, May 21, 2018.
Susan A. Bandes quoted in Virginia Hughes, "Emotion is Not the Enemy of Reason" National Geographic, September 18, 2014.
"Remorse in Courtroom is a Tricky Thing to Judge," Susan A. Bandes, The Inquirer, February 7, 2016.
"What are Victim-Impact Statements For?," Susan A. Bandes, The Atlantic, July 23, 2016.