mark website.jpg


Mark Osler is the Robert and Marion Short Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas (MN). Osler's writing on clemency, sentencing and narcotics policy has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and in law journals at Harvard,
Stanford, the University of Chicago, Northwestern, Georgetown, Ohio State, UNC, William and Mary, and Rutgers.
A former federal prosecutor, he played a role in striking down a mandatory 100-to- 1 ratio between crack and powder cocaine in the federal sentencing guidelines by winning the case of Spears v. United States in the U.S. Supreme Court, with the Court ruling that judges could categorically reject that ratio. Osler's 2009 book Jesus on Death Row (Abingdon Press) critiqued the American death
penalty through the lens of Jesus' trial. His second book, Prosecuting Jesus (Westminster/John Knox, 2016) is a memoir of performing the Trial of Jesus in 11 states. The character of Professor Joe Fisher in the Samuel Goldwyn film American Violet was based on Osler, and he has been the subject of profiles by Rolling Stone, The American Prospect, and CBS News. He is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and Yale Law School.

Back to Staff and Leadership