John Bessler, a law professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, teaches a death penalty seminar, a course he has previously taught at the University of Minnesota Law School, The George Washington University Law School, the University of Baltimore School of Law, and Rutgers School of Law. He clerked for U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Mason of the District of Minnesota, and he practiced law full-time for many years in the area of civil litigation as a partner at the Minneapolis law firm of Kelly & Berens, P.A. Professor Bessler has written more than ten books, including several on the subject of capital punishment. Two of those books, Death in the Dark: Midnight Executions in America (Northeastern University Press,1997) and Legacy of Violence: Lynch Mobs and Executions in Minnesota (University of Minnesota Press, 2003), were Minnesota Book Award finalists. His most recent book, The Death Penalty’s Denial of Fundamental Human Rights: International Law, State Practice, and the Emerging Abolitionist Norm, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2023. Another of his books, Writing for Life: The Craft of Writing for Everyday Living, was a Midwest Book Award finalist and the winner of an Independent Publisher Book Award. Yet another, Cruel and Unusual: The American Death Penalty and the Founders’ Eighth Amendment (Northeastern University Press, 2012), received a Silver designation in the U.S. History category for the Independent Publisher Book Awards and was also a finalist in the History category for the Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Award. He has a B.A. in political science from the University of Minnesota, and he served as the Senior Managing Editor of the Indiana Law Journal at the Indiana University School of Law – Bloomington. He also has an M.F.A. degree from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, and a master’s degree in International Human Rights Law from Oxford University. Professor Bessler served as the Writing Center Director as a visiting professor at The George Washington University Law School, and he has taught courses in administrative law, antitrust, capital punishment, civil procedure, contracts, comparative criminal law, international human rights law, lawyering skills, and torts. He taught at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland in 2017 and at the University of Trento in Italy in 2023, and he was a visiting scholar/research fellow at the Human Rights Center at the University of Minnesota Law School in 2018. From 2015 to 2017, he served as the Region III Director of the National Moot Court Competition. His law review articles have appeared in the American Criminal Law Review, the Indiana Law Journal, the Arkansas Law Review, the Hastings International and Comparative Law Review and elsewhere, and he has also written various book chapters on American legal history and capital punishment. His book, The Birth of American Law: An Italian Philosopher and the American Revolution (Carolina Academic Press, 2014) won three book awards, including the prestigious Scribes Book Award an annual award given out since 1961 by The American Society of Legal Writers for “the best work of legal scholarship published during the previous year.” He is also the editor of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s Against the Death Penalty (Brookings Institution Press, 2016), which reprints, contextualizes, and annotates Justice Breyer’s dissent against capital punishment in Glossip v. Gross, 576 U.S. 863 (2015). That book was released in paperback in 2023. Professor Bessler is also the author of The Death Penalty as Torture: From the Dark Ages to Abolition (2017), The Celebrated Marquis: An Italian Noble and the Making of the Modern World (2018), The Baron and the Marquis: Liberty, Tyranny, and the Enlightenment Maxim that Can Remake American Criminal Justice (2019), and Private Prosecution in America: Its Origins, History, and Unconstitutionality in the Twenty-First Century (2022), all published by Carolina Academic Press. In 2018, he received the University System of Maryland Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship, Research or Creative Activity.