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About Randall Coyne

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 1990.
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.


2015 - Present Professor Emeritus, University of Oklahoma College of Law
1990 - 2015 Frank Elkouri and Edna Asper Elkouri Professor, University of Oklahoma College of Law

Curriculum Vitae

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Articles (28)