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Elizabeth E. Joh

Professor of Law


B.A., Yale University 1994

J.D., New York University School of Law 2000

Ph.D. Law and Society, New York University 2004


Professor Joh's scholarship focuses on criminal procedure and policing, with a special emphasis on the DNA collection, undercover policing, and new surveillance technologies. Before joining the Davis faculty in 2003, Professor Joh served as a law clerk to the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She received both her Ph.D. in Law and Society and J.D. from New York University, and her B.A. in literature from Yale University.

Subject Areas

Criminal Law And Procedure, Police And Policing, DNA Databases, Surveillance Technologies

Selected Career Highlights

  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Selected Publications

Surveillance Discretion: Automated Suspicion, Big Data, and Policing, Harvard L. & Pol’y Rev. (forthcoming 2016).

The Myth of Arrestee DNA Expungement, U. Penn. L. Rev. Online (forthcoming 2015).

Review Essay: Jammed Up: Bad Cops, Police Misconduct, and the New York City Police Department (2013) , 17 PUNISHMENT & SOC’Y 262 (2015).

Sting Victims: Third Party Harms in Undercover Police Operations, (with Thomas Joo), __ S. CAL. L. REV. __ (forthcoming 2015).

Bait, Mask & Ruse: Technology and Police Deception, 128 Harv. L. Rev. F. 246 (2015)

Should Arrestee DNA Databases Extend to Misdemeanors?, __J. RECENT ADVANCES DNA & GENE SEQUENCES __ (2015).

What's a "normal" amount of law enforcement?, The Life of the Law, Jan. 16, 2015.

When Police Moonlight in Their Uniforms, (op-ed), Los Angeles Times, October 13, 2014

Influential but Uniformed: What SCOTUS Knows about Policing, Oct. 1, 2014

Forget Internet Security, How Do I Protect My Genetic Privacy?, (May 5, 2014)

Surveillance & Privacy (Podcast),  Life of the Law, April 22, 2014

Policing by Numbers: Big Data and the Fourth Amendment, 89 Wash. L. Rev. 35 (2014) (symposium).

From Anti-Drone Burqas To Face Cages: What Artists Are Showing Us About Surveillance and the Law, The Life of the Law, April 2, 2014.

Will Big Data Change How Police Do Their Job?, The Life of the Law, Nov. 6, 2013.

Maryland v. King: Three concerns about policing and genetic information, Genomics Law Report, Sept. 19, 2013, at.

Maryland v. King: Policing and Genetic Privacy, 11 Ohio St. J. Crim. L. 281 (2013).

Privacy Protests: Surveillance Evasion and Fourth Amendment Suspicion, 55Ariz. L. Rev. 997 (2013).

When the Government (Accidentally)Helps Criminal Markets (reviewing David Michael Jaros, Perfecting Criminal Markets, 112 Colum. L. Rev. 19247 (2012), at (Sept. 9, 2013).

DNA Theft: Your Genetic Information at Risk , 12 Nature Reviews Genetics (October 25, 2011)

Review Essay, Can Fiscal Crises Change our Incarceration Problem?  Maybe., Reviewing Mary D. Fan, Beyond Budget-Cut Criminal Justice, 90 N.C. L. Rev. __ (2011) (October 17, 2011).

DNA Theft: Recognizing the Crime of Nonconsensual Genetic Collection and Analysis, __ BOSTON UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW ­­__  (2011)

Breaking the Law to Enforce It: Undercover Police Participation in Crime, 62 STANFORD LAW REVIEW 155 (2009)

The Grim Sleeper and DNA: There’s much to be concerned about (op-ed), L.A. Times, July 10, 2010

Review Essay, The Return of Banishment: Punishment and Policing (reviewing Katherine Beckett and Steve Herbert, Penal Boundaries: Banishment and the Expansion of Punishment, 35 Law and Social Inquiry 1 (2010) (May 24, 2010)

Imagining the Addict: Evaluating Social and Legal Responses to Addiction, 2009 UTAH LAW REVIEW ­­175 (2009)

Discretionless Policing: Technology and the Fourth Amendment, 95 CALIFORNIA LAW REVIEW 199 (2007)

The Forgotten Threat: Private Police and the State (symposium), 13 INDIANA JOURNAL OF GLOBAL LEGAL STUDIES 357 (2006)

Reclaiming “Abandoned” DNA: The Fourth Amendment and Genetic Privacy, 100 NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 2 (2006)

Conceptualizing the Private Police, 2005 UTAH LAW REVIEW 573 (2005)

The Paradox of Private Policing, 95 JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW AND CRIMINOLOGY 49 (2004)

Custom, Tribal Court Practice, and Popular Justice, 25 AMERICAN INDIAN LAW REVIEW 117 (2001)

Narrating Pain: The Problem With Victim Impact Statements, 10 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA INTERDISCIPLINARY LAW JOURNAL 17 (2000)

“If It Suffices to Accuse”: United States v. Watts and the Reassessment of Acquittals, 74 NEW YORK UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 887 (1999)

Tremors on the Racial Fault Line? The Black Church Fires of 1996, 34 CRIMINAL LAW BULLETIN 497 (1998) (with James B. Jacobs, co-author)