October 17, 2019 Feature

Interview with Judge Jed Rakoff

The well known federal judge discusses eyewitness identification, science education for judges, and more.

Ashish Joshi

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Judge Jed Rakoff has been a federal judge in the Southern District of New York since 1996. Before that, he was both a federal prosecutor and a white-collar criminal defense lawyer. That past experience has informed his time on the bench, where he has presided over a number of cases involving novel issues about criminal justice, our financial system, or, as it sometimes happens, both.

Judge Rakoff also teaches law at Columbia and trains other federal judges on the latest developments in forensic science in the courtroom. And he manages to still find the time to regularly contribute to the New York Review of Books, writing on such issues as access to the courts, the death penalty, mass incarcerations, and neuroscience.

The following are excerpts from an interview of Judge Rakoff by Ashish Joshi, which took place at the judge’s chambers in downtown Manhattan.

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