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School of Law


Seth W. Stoughton

Title: Associate Professor of Law
Associate Professor (Affiliate) of Criminology and Criminal Justice
School of Law
Phone: 803-777-3055

1525 Senate Street
Room 325
Columbia, SC 29208


CV [pdf]


Seth W. Stoughton


Seth Stoughton is an Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law and an Associate Professor (Affiliate) in the university’s Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. He is also affiliated with the Rule of Law Collaborative. His scholarship on policing and how it is regulated has appeared in the Emory Law Journal, Minnesota Law Review, the Virginia Law Review, and other top journals. He has written multiple book chapters and is the principal co-author of Evaluating Police Uses of Force (NYU Press 2020). He is a frequent lecturer on policing issues, regularly appears on national and international media, and has written about policing for The New York Times, The Atlantic, TIME, and other news publications. He teaches Police Law & Policy, Criminal Procedure, Criminal Law, and the Regulation of Vice.

Seth served as an officer with the Tallahassee Police Department for five years. In that time, he trained other officers, helped write policies to govern the use of new technologies, earned multiple instructor and operator certifications, and taught personal safety and self-defense courses in the community. In 2004, he received a Formal Achievement Award for his role as a founding member of the Special Response Team. After leaving the police department, Seth spent three years as an Investigator in the Florida Department of Education's Office of Inspector General, where he handled a variety of criminal and administrative investigations. In 2008, he received a statewide award for his work combating private school tuition voucher fraud.

Seth earned his B.A. in English from Florida State University. He attended the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was an Articles Editor on the Virginia Law Review, an Elsie Hughes Cabell Scholar, and the recipient of the Thomas Marshall Miller Prize. After law school, he clerked for the Honorable Kenneth F. Ripple of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Prior to joining the faculty at South Carolina, Seth was a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, where he taught legal writing and a Regulation of Vice seminar.

Follow him on Twitter @PoliceLawProf.


  • Criminal Law (LAWS 524)
  • Criminal Procedure (LAWS 544)
  • Police Law & Policy (LAWS 762)
  • Regulation of Vice (LAWS 756)


  • Evaluating Police Uses of Force (NYU Press, 2020) (with Jeffrey J. Noble and Geoffrey P. Alpert). [LINK]
  • How the Fourth Amendment Frustrates the Regulation of Police Violence ___ Emory L.J. ___ (forthcoming 2020). [SSRN]
  • Police Body-Worn Cameras, 96 N.C. L. Rev. 1363 (2018) [SSRN]
  • Terry v. Ohio and the (Un)Forgettable Frisk, 15 Ohio State J. Crim. L. 19 (2017) [SSRN]
  • Moonlighting: The Private Employment of Off-Duty Officers, 2017 U. Ill. L. Rev. 1848 (2017) [SSRN
  • The Blurred Blue Line: Reform in an Era of Public and Private Policing, 44 Am J. Crim. L. 117 (2017) [SSRN
  • A Tactical Fourth Amendment, 103 Va. L. Rev. 211 (2017) (with Brandon Garrett), [SSRN
  • Principled Policing: Warrior Cops & Guardian Officers, 51 Wake Forest L. Rev. 611 (2016), [SSRN
  • Policing Facts, 88 Tul. L. Rev. 847 (2014), [SSRN

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