I. Bennett Capers

Stanley A. August Professor of Law

250 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 780-0685 |  Email  | CV
Areas of Expertise

Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure
Law and Literature
Race and the Law

B.A., Princeton University
J.D., Columbia University School of Law

Professor Bennett Capers Discusses ‘Rape, Truth, and Hearsay’ on Excited Utterance Podcast


Professor Bennett Capers recently appeared on Excited Utterance, a podcast focusing on scholarship on evidence law and proof, to discuss his forthcoming article “Rape, Truth, and Hearsay,” which will appear in the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender.

New York Law Journal: Process to Choose New Eastern District Prosecutor Lacks Clarity, Observers Say


Professor Bennett Capers comments on a norm-breaking scenario in how prominent GOP politicians may be called upon to choose a replacement for Eastern District U.S. Attorney Robert Capers (no relation to Professor Capers).

Buzzfeed: Billionaire Drug Lord El Chapo Gets To Keep His Public Defenders — For Now


Professor Bennett Capers, speaking on the El Chapo case, says that the mandate to submit a sworn financial affidavit could be an advantage to prosecutors because “if he were to lie on that form, they could charge him with perjury.”

amNewYork: Fighting NYC subway crime: How NYPD officers keep the rails safe


Professor Bennett Capers describes how police can often legally pick up someone for a minor offense, and then question them for intelligence on other crimes.

New York Law Journal: New Bronx District Attorney Begins to Deliver on Promises


Professor Bennett Capers believes a DA's conviction rate should not be the "end all, be all" of assessing their performance. Other factors, such as a DA's relationship with the community and building trust, should be considered when sizing up how well she is doing her job.

Professor Bennett Capers Comments on Policing, Gun Violence in The Village Voice


Professor Bennett Capers, a leading authority on policing and criminal justice, recently spoke with The Village Voice about a 2013 case in which an unarmed man with mental illness was fired on by police, then charged with assault for injuries sustained by two innocent bystanders from stray police bullets.

Professor Bennett Capers on Diversity in American Cities, President Obama’s Focus on Issues of Concern to African Americans


Professor I. Bennett Capers was recently quoted in WalletHub, a personal finance website, discussing the pros and cons of living and working in a “diverse city” – provided the diversity is genuine and not simply diverse in terms of numbers but racially segregated. He also provided expert commentary to Long Island news outlet Newsday concerning President Obama’s final year in office, and how he is using this time to focus more on issues of concern to African Americans.

Professor Bennett Capers Discusses Police Technology on TalksOnLaw


Professor Bennett Capers was recently a guest on TalksOnLaw, where he discussed how rapid technological advancement is changing the way the law enforcement operate and interact with the public.

Professor Bennett Capers Comments on Law Enforcement Topics


Professor Bennett Capers, a former federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, was recently quoted in Salon on how prosecutions of law enforcement for perjury are rare, despite the frequency of lying under oath.

Professor I. Bennett Capers Awarded Stanley A. August Chair


Professor Bennett Capers has been awarded the Stanley A. August Chair in recognition of his excellence in teaching and scholarship. This endowed professorship was made possible by Dr. Stanley August ’83, who attended Brooklyn Law School while practicing medicine as a pediatrician.

Associated Press: Missing boy, missing files: Problem paper trail in 1979 case


Professor Bennett Capers draws upon his experience as a former prosecutor in discussing the Etan Patz case. The story was picked up by The new York Times, ABC News, and others.

Professor Bennett Capers discusses New York chief judge’s proposal for major grand jury reforms


Professor Bennett Capers was quoted by the Associated Press in an article covering potential changes to grand jury procedure. "It's hard to picture downsides. The upside is it gives the public some kind of assurance the game is not rigged," Capers said.

Politifact.com: Watch out, 70% of us have done something that could put us in jail


Professor Bennett Capers comments on how often people break laws every day – without even realizing it.

Professor Bennett Capers Comments to The Guardian on Attorney General Nominee Loretta Lynch

Professor Bennett Capers, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney who is a renowned expert on criminal law, criminal procedure, and evidence law, was quoted in The Guardian giving his impressions of Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s nominee to be the next U.S. Attorney General. Lynch is currently the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, which is headquartered nearby Brooklyn Law School, and has long had close ties with the Law School. There are two longstanding clinics with the office – one related to misdemeanor prosecution and the other in the area of immigration – and many Brooklyn Law School graduates now serve and have served as AUSAs. In addition, many AUSAs have been members of BLS’s adjunct faculty.

Professor Capers spoke of Lynch’s style as “low-key, very measured,” the type of leader in the Department of Justice who is “[n]ot pushing the envelope, not trying to overreach, but taking a level-headed approach on every case I can think of that the Eastern District has brought. Not taking cases because they will make a name for her, but because they make sense.”

Professor Bennett Capers Quoted in New York Times on Protecting a Valuable Witness

Professor Bennett Capers, a criminal law and procedure expert who previously practiced as an Assistant U.S. Attorney General in the Southern District of New York, has commented to the New York Times on the pending deportation of Miguel Feliz, an officer-turned-criminal-turned-witness who faces certain death if returned to his home country. Professor Capers prosecuted multiple gang members on "rare inside information" from Feliz, without which the criminals might still be at large today.

Professor Bennett Capers Quoted on Judge Rakoff's Push for Sentencing Reform

Professor Bennett Capers, a sought-after expert on criminal law and procedure, was quoted by the New York Daily News in support of Judge Jed Rakoff's efforts to greater involve judges in the process of criminal plea bargains, which Judge Rakoff believes will reduce the ability of overzealous prosecutors to use harsh mandatory minimum sentences to take advantage of defendants.

Professors Miriam Baer and Bennett Capers Featured in Yale Law Journal Symposium on Justice Sotomayor

Professors Miriam Baer and Bennett Capers are among the select scholars featured in “The Early Jurisprudence of Justice Sotomayor,” a Yale Law Journal Forum symposium published last week. Professor Capers’s essay, titled “Reading Michigan v. Bryant, ‘Reading’ Justice Sotomayor,” addresses a central question: What are we to make of Justice Sotomayor’s criminal procedure jurisprudence? He offers three readings of her Confrontation Clause decision in Michigan v. Bryant, along with details from her memoir, as the basis for a “reading” of Justice Sotomayor.

Media Seeks Out Professor Bennett Capers on Stop-and-Frisk Controversy

Experts and political candidates are still trying to sort out the implications of a federal appellate court ruling in the landmark stop-and-frisk case, Floyd v. New York, which asserted that stop-and-frisk tactics of the New York Police Department violated the constitutional rights of minorities. In August, Professor Bennett Capers hailed Judge Scheindlin’s ruling in a New York Times op-ed. According to Professor Capers, the NYPD has stopped more than four million individuals since 2004, approximately 84 percent of whom have been black or Hispanic.

Professors Bennett Capers and William Hellerstein Appointed to ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ Advisory Council

Professors Bennett Capers and William Hellerstein have been named to a new panel that will oversee changes to the New York City Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policies. They join 11 other members of the academic advisory council appointed by U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin, who ruled last month that existing stop-and-frisk policies violated the constitutional rights of minorities. Professor Capers, whose recent New York Times op-ed shed light on the ruling, will serve as chair.

Professor Bennett Capers Comments on Stop-and-Frisk Ruling in New York Times Op-Ed

In a New York Times op-ed today, Professor Bennett Capers hailed the ruling in Floyd v. City of New York, which asserted that stop-and-frisk tactics of the New York Police Department violated the constitutional rights of minorities.

Professor Bennett Capers Discusses "Cannibal Cop" Trial on WNYC

On February 26, Professor Bennett Capers was featured on a WNYC radio broadcast discussing the trial of Gilberto Valle, the so-called “Cannibal Cop," a 28-year-old New York City police officer charged with conspiracy to kidnap, kill, and eat women.

Death Penalty Abolishment Essay by Professor Bennett Capers Praised by the Open Society Institute - Baltimore

Professor Bennett Capers' essay “Defending Life” was recently discussed by the open Society Institute - Baltimore. “Defending Life,” which appears in Life Without Parole: America's New Death Penalty? (2012), challenges death penalty opponents to rethink all extreme punishments, including life sentences.