Professor of Law
Office: Room Y354
Cynthia E. Jones has taught Evidence, Criminal Law, and Criminal Procedure at the American University Washington College of Law for the past fourteen years. Professor Jones was recognized by the University with the prestigious Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching, and received the “Teaching with Technology” Award from the Center for Teaching Excellence for her animated short film, “Fighting Evidence with Evidence.” Professor Jones’ areas of scholarship include wrongful convictions, criminal discovery, bail reform, and eliminating racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Professor Jones established the Pretrial Racial Justice Initiative in 2013 to address racial and ethnic disparities in bail, and she previously directed the ABA Racial Justice Improvement Project, a program to engage criminal justice officials in racial justice policy reform. As a frequent lecturer for the Federal Judicial Center, Professor Jones has given her innovative, multi-media presentation on the Federal Rules of Evidence to federal judges and lawyers across the country. Prof. Jones is the President of The Sentencing Project Board of Directors, and also serves on the governing boards of the Pretrial Justice Institute, and the Civil Rights Corp. In addition, each year the Professor Cynthia E. Jones Scholarship is awarded in her honor to an aspiring public defender. Professor Jones was a staff attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS), served as the Executive Director of PDS, and served as the Chair of the PDS Board of Trustees. Professor Jones is the former Deputy Director of the District of Columbia Pretrial Services Agency, worked as an associate at the former law firm of Dickstein, Shapiro and Morin, and served as a law clerk to the Hon. Frank E. Schwelb on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
Areas of Specialization
- Criminal Law
- Criminal Procedure
Degrees & Universities
- J.D., American University Washington College of Law 1989 (magna cum laude)
- B.A., University of Delaware 1986
- Cynthia Jones & Nancy Gist, Disproportionate Pretrial Detention of Blacks and Latinos Drives Mass Incarceration, Huffington Post (Nov. 11, 2015).
- Peter J. Henning, Cynthia Jones, Margaret L. Paris, Ellen S. Podgor, & Andrew Taslitz, Mastering Criminal Procedure I—The Investigative Stage (2d ed., Carolina Academic Press 2014).
- Cynthia Jones, “Give Us Free”: Addressing Racial Disparities in Bail Determinations, 16 N.Y.U. J. Legis. & Pub. Policy 919 (2013).
- Cynthia Jones, Confronting Race in the Criminal Justice System: The ABA Racial Justice Improvement Project, 27 Crim. Just. (Summer 2012).
- Cynthia Jones, A Reason to Doubt: The Suppression of Evidence and the Inference of Innocence, 100 J. Crim. Law & Criminology 415 (2010).
- Cynthia Jones, The Right Remedy for the Wrongly Convicted: Judicial Sanctions for Destruction of DNA Evidence, 77 Fordham L. Rev. 2893 (2009).
- Cynthia Jones, Presentation, Preservation and Retention of Biological Evidence for Post-Conviction DNA Testing (National Commission on Forensic Science, 2015).
- Cynthia Jones, Panelist, The White House Presents: A Cycle of Incarceration: Prison, Debt, and Bail Practices (D.C., 2015).
- Cynthia Jones, Presenter, Race and Bail (Data and Civil Rights: A New Era of Policing and Justice, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, D.C., 2015).
- Cynthia Jones, Presentation, The Disparate Racial & Ethnic Implications of Money Bail, the Pretrial Process and the Need for Reform (Criminal Justice in the 21st Century: Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparity in the Criminal Justice System, NACDL, 2013).