Skip to main content

About Stephen Harper

Stephen K. Harper teaches a course on the death penalty and is the supervising attorney in the death penalty clinic.
For 29 years he worked at the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office, the last 17 as Co-coordinator of the Capital Litigation Unit. He was primarily responsible for the gathering and presentation of mitigation evidence in capital cases. From 1989 –1995, he served as the Chief of the Juvenile Division. In 2002, he took a two year leave of absence to coordinate the Juvenile Death Penalty Initiative, a project ending with his oversight of the drafting and filing of amicus briefs in Roper v Simmons.


2013 - Present Visiting Clinical Professor of Law, Florida International University College of Law
1996 - 2012 Adjunct Professor, University of Miami School of Law

Curriculum Vitae


Enter a valid date range.

Enter a valid date range.

Honors and Awards

  • C. Clyde Atkins Civil Liberties Award, 2013
  • James “Jim” Evans Slater Award, 2011
  • Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award, 2005
  • Rodney Thaxton “Against All Odds” Award, 2005
  • Inducted into the Miami-Dade Juvenile Justice Center’s Wall of Honor, 2002
  • 2000 Juvenile Defender Leadership Award, 2000
  • Livingston Hall Juvenile Justice Award, 1998
  • Child Advocacy National Certificate of Recognition, 1998
  • Named Best Lawyer in Miami by Miami New Times, 1995
  • Pro Bono Services Award for Exceptional Participation, 1995
  • Certificate of Appreciation. Presented by the Mayor of the City of Miami Beach, 1992


  • Death Penalty Clinic
  • Death Penalty Law


1984 J.D., Northeastern University School of Law
1976 B.A., Haverford College ‐ Sociology and Anthropology

Contact Information

Florida International University College of Law
11200 SW 8th St., RDB 2029
Miami, FL 33199

(305) 348-7215