Jesse Cheng
Dr. Jesse ChengMarquette University

Lalumiere Hall, 412

MilwaukeeWI53201United States of America
(414) 288-0808

Assistant Professor

Social and Cultural Sciences

Dr. Cheng's teaching emphasizes a fundamental concern with lived experience, not only of those involved in crime, but also of the various networks of people (institutional and intimate) who deal with crime's consequences.


Ph.D., 2007, University of California, Irvine

Research Interests

Dr. Cheng investigates the cultivation of empathy for individuals from vulnerable populations. His recent research explores how criminal defense advocates overcome barriers to empathy toward capitally charged defendants – a group disproportionately affected by intellectual disability, mental illness, and structurally embedded forms of social, emotional, and material deprivation.


  • 2010. "Frontloading Mitigation: The 'Legal' and the 'Human' in Death Penalty Defense." Law and Social Inquiry 35(1):39-65.
  • 2009. "The Social History in Death Penalty Defense Advocacy." Critical Criminology17:125-139.
  • 2008. "Death, Unraveled." Studies in Law, Politics, and Society 42:197-220.
  • 2004. "Ethnography's Formal Seductions." Political and Legal Anthropology Review27(2):44-60.

Faculty & Staff Directory


Department of Social and Cultural Sciences
Lalumiere Hall, 340
1310 W. Clybourn St.
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 288-6838

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