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Andrew Manuel Crespo

Executive Faculty Director

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Andrew Manuel Crespo is the Morris Wasserstein Public Interest Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, a national expert on criminal law and policy, and the Executive Faculty Director of the Institute to End Mass Incarceration.  His research and scholarly expertise examine how the power structures and legal frameworks of the American penal system have combined to produce the systems of carceral harm, racial injustice, and systemic oppression that are mass incarceration.

Professor Crespo’s award-winning scholarship has been published in multiple leading academic journals. He is also the co-author of a forthcoming book, Criminal Law and the American Penal System, that transforms the required criminal law course in American law schools into a course about the role that law and lawyers have played in building and sustaining mass incarceration.

A publicly engaged academic, Professor Crespo serves on the President’s Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States, the Academic Advisory Board of the American Constitution Society, and the Advisory Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure in Massachusetts.  He is a regular voice in national conversations concerning the American legal and penal systems, offering public writing and commentary in various national outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and NPR. He is also an active advocate, litigating cases that challenge prosecutorial and police power.

Prior to beginning his academic career, Professor Crespo served as a Staff Attorney with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, where he represented over one hundred adults and juveniles charged with serious felonies, ranging from armed robberies, to burglaries, to homicides. Professor Crespo graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2008, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review, the first Latino to hold that position.  Following law school, Professor Crespo served for three years as a law clerk, initially to Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, then to Associate Justice Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court, and finally to Associate Justice Elena Kagan during her inaugural term on the Court.  Following his time as a public defender, Professor Crespo returned to Harvard where, in 2019, he became the first Latino promoted to a tenured position on the law school’s faculty.