Samuel H. Pillsbury, Professor of Law, Frederick J. Lower Fellow

Professor of Law
Frederick J. Lower Fellow

Courses Taught

  • Criminal Law
  • American Legal History Survey
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Criminal Practice
  • Public Speaking for Lawyers


  • AB, with honors, Harvard College
  • JD, University of Southern California, Order of the Coif, Graduated first in class
  • Certificate in Diaconal Studies, Episcopal Theological School at Claremont


A newspaper reporter before attending law school, after graduation Pillsbury served as law clerk to U.S. District Judge William Matthew Byrne Jr. He then worked as an Assistant United States Attorney, Criminal Division in Los Angeles.  He joined the Loyola faculty in 1986. 

Public Service

  • Volunteer Chaplain, Men's Central Jail and Twin Towers Correctional Facility; in state prisons with Jesuit Restorative Justice Initiative.
  • Deacon, Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles
  • Steering Committee member for Healing Dialogue and Action ( 

Selected Scholarship

  • Black Lives Matter:  Reviewing Jill Leavy, Ghettoside:  A True Story of Murder in America, 13 Ohio St. J. Crim. L. 567 (2016).
  • How Criminal Law Works: A Conceptual and Practical Guide (Carolina Academic Press 2009)
  • Judging Evil: Rethinking the Laws of Murder and Manslaughter (NYU 1998)(paper ed. 2000).
  • Questioning Retribution, Valuing Humility, 11 Oh. St. J. Crim. L. 263 (2013).
  • Talking About Cruelty: The Eighth Amendment and Juvenile Offenders After Miller v. Alabama, 46 Loy. L.A. L.Rev. 885 (2013).
  • Why Psychopaths Are Responsible in Oxford Handbook on Psychopathy (K. Kiehl & W. Sinnott-Armstrong eds. 2013).
  • Misunderstanding Provocation, 43 U.Mich. J. L. Ref. 143 (2009).
  • Review/Essay, Learning From Forgiveness, 28 Criminal Justice Ethics 135 (2009).
  • Valuing the Spoken Word: Public Speaking for Lawyers, 34CapitalUniv. L. Rev. 517    (2006)
  • Speaking the Language of Evil in Minding Evil: Explorations of Human Iniquity (M. Breen ed. Rodopi 2005). 
  • A Problem in Emotive Due Process: California's Three Strikes Law, 6 Buffalo Crim. L.  Rev. 483 (2002).
  • Crimes Against the Heart: Recognizing the Wrongs of Forced Sex, 35 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 845 (2002).
  • Review Essay, A Rough Country Guide: Double Jeopardy, Doctrine and Realism, Review of George C. Thomas, Double Jeopardy: The History, The Law, 20 Criminal Justice Ethics 52 (2001).
  • Intoxication, Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice (2d ed. 2001)
  • Harlan, Holmes, and the Passions of Justice, in The Passions of Law  (S. Bandes ed. NYU 2000)(paper ed. 2001).
  • Time, TV, and Criminal Justice: Second Thoughts on the Simpson Trial, 33 Criminal Law Bulletin 3 (1997).
  • Crimes of Indifference, 49 Rutgers L. Rev. 105 (1996).
  • Why Are We Ignored? The Peculiar Place of Experts in the Current Debate about Crime and Justice, 31 Crim. L. Bull. 305 (1995).
  • The Meaning of Deserved Punishment, 67 Indiana L. J. 719 (1992).
  • Evil and the Law of Murder, 24 U.C. Davis L.Rev. 437 (1990).
  • Emotional Justice: Moralizing the Passions of Criminal Punishment, 74 Cornell L. Rev. 655 (1989), reprinted in Criminal Law (T. Morawetz ed. 1991).
  • Understanding Penal Reform: The Dynamic of Change, 80 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 726 (1989). 


  • Mission to California (Perspective Publishing, 2003)
  • The Invasion of Planet Wampetter (Perspective Publishing, 1995)
  • Conviction, a novel (Walker, 1992)