Board of Governors Professor of Law and Judge Waugh Distinguished Scholar
George Thomas
Rutgers Law School
S.I. Newhouse Center for Law and Justice
123 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102
(908) 644-2423

George C. Thomas III has published four scholarly books and more than 60 articles on various aspects of criminal law and criminal procedure and has been quoted as an expert on criminal law in many media outlets. He teaches criminal law, constitutional criminal procedure, law and literature, and seminars on various criminal law topics.

  • Biography
  • Publications
  • Courses Taught
  • Expertise

Professor Thomas has a B.S. from the University of Tennessee, an M.F.A. (creative writing) and J.D. from the University of Iowa, and an LL.M. and J.S.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to joining the Rutgers faculty in 1986, he practiced law in Tennessee and was a member of the University of Tennessee faculty.

Thomas enjoys gardening, jogging, reading fiction, and working on novels that he never finishes.


Professor Thomas has published to date four scholarly books and more than 60 articles on various aspects of criminal law and criminal procedure. Double Jeopardy: The History, the Law was published by NYU Press and The Miranda Debate, co-authored with Richard A. Leo, was published by Northeastern University Press. Some placements for his articles include the law reviews of Michigan, Virginia, Texas, UCLA, NYU, California, Illinois, Ohio State, USC, and Northwestern.

His casebook, Criminal Procedure: Cases, Principles and Policies, published by West Group and co-authored by Joshua Dressler, is now in its Fifth Edition and is widely used.

His third scholarly book, The Supreme Court on Trial: How the American Justice System Sacrifices Innocent Defendants, University of Michigan Press, presents a history of Western cultures sorting the guilty from the innocent, as well as an examination of the criminal procedure of France and a series of recommendations for decreasing the likelihood of wrongful convictions in the American justice systems.

His latest book, Confessions of Guilt, on the history and future of the law of confessions, co-authored with Richard A. Leo, was published by Oxford University Press in 2012. It is a history of the law of interrogation that also attempts to forecast where the law goes from here. Noted historian Lawrence Friedman said of the book: “This is a comprehensive and deeply researched book, which examines with insight and passion a particularly dark and murky corner of the world of legal doctrine.”

Courses Taught
  • Criminal Procedure: Investigations 1
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure