Professor Randall Coyne teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, capital
punishment, constitutional law, and legal aspects of terrorism. In 2003, Coyne was
selected as the Maurice Merrill Professor of Law, a position he relinquished in 2005 when
he was chosen to be the first holder of the Elkouri Professorship.
While a student at Georgetown, Coyne worked from 1982 to 1985 as a law clerk for the
Washington, D.C., firm of Baker & McKenzie. He was a legal research and writing
fellow at Georgetown in 1985-86 and worked as a summer associate for the Washington,
D.C., firms of Steptoe & Johnson (1985) and Arnold & Porter (1986).
During the 1986-87 court term, Coyne served as law clerk to Judge Oscar H. Davis, of the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
From 1987-90, he worked as a litigation associate with the Washington, D.C., branch
office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. He joined the College of Law faculty
In 1996, he co-authored "Report Regarding the Implementation of the American Bar
Association's Recommendations and Resolutions Concerning the Death Penalty and
Calling for a Moratorium on Executions," 4 Geo. J. Fighting Poverty 1 (1996). This
comprehensive report served as the scholarly basis for the A.B.A.'s February, 1997
call for a halt to executions nationwide.
With Lyn Entzeroth, Coyne is co-author of Capital Punishment and the Judicial Process
(fourth edition 2012), the first casebook devoted exclusively to the death penalty. Coyne
is a contributing author of the American Bar Association's publication, "Death
Without Justice: A Guide for Examining the Administration of the Death Penalty in the
United States," (2001).
In 2008, Coyne was named Senior Editor for the Amicus Journal, a death penalty law review
published in London by the Amicus charity. In 2011, he joined the editorial board of the
British Journal of American Public Law.
A member of the Order of the Coif, Coyne is the author of articles in the Amicus Journal,
Georgetown Journal on Fighting Poverty, Kansas Law Review, the Northeastern University
Law Journal, St. John's Journal of Legal Commentary, Oklahoma Law Review, Oklahoma
City Law Review, William & Mary Law Review, American Indian Law Review, the
University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Journal, Tulsa Law Journal, the Thomas M.
Cooley Law Review and the Thomas M. Cooley Journal of Ethics and Responsibility.
Coyne is past Vice Chair of the American Bar Association's Committee on the Death
Penalty, and served as President of Oklahoma's affiliate of the American Civil
Liberties Union from 1998-2001 and 2011-present. From 2001-2005 and 2008-2011, he served
as a member of the National Board of the American Civil Liberties Union. He was admitted
to the Massachusetts Bar in 1987 and the United States Supreme Court Bar in 1990.
He has represented condemned prisoners in California, Oklahoma and Texas. In 1993, his
client, Federico Martinez Macias, became the 50th prisoner released from death row on
grounds of innocence since 1973. During the 1996-97 academic year, Coyne took an unpaid
leave of absence to serve as trial counsel to the defense team in United States v.
Timothy James McVeigh. In 2005, he led a team of lawyers in the representation of two
Muslim prisoners labeled an enemy combatants and subjected to indefinite confinement at
the Camp X-ray military base in Guantanamo, Cuba. Both persons were released in December
2007. In 2008, Coyne helped represent Ahmed Ghailani, a high value detainee charged with
the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Dar Es Salaam.
In 2007, the Southern Center of Human Rights presented Coyne with the Frederick Douglas
Human Rights award "for courageously safeguarding the fundamental human rights of
persons detained at Guantanamo Bay. "
In 2008, in the House of Commons, Parliament, England's Attorney General Baroness
Scotland, Q. C., recognized Coyne as a "Pro Bono Hero" for "providing
invaluable pro bono services on the front line."
Professor Coyne is a frequent consultant for local and national news media, providing
commentary and granting interviews on criminal law, capital punishment and terrorism
matters. Coyne has appeared on ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, Fox and
Friends, Dateline, Nightline, The O'Reilly Factor, Geraldo Rivera Live and National
Public Radio. He has been quoted in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston
Globe, The Dallas Morning News, The Wall Street Journal, The Oklahoman, The Christian
Science Monitor, Rolling Stone, The American Lawyer, The National Law Journal, Le Soir,
The New Jersey Star Ledger, et al.
Contributions to Books