College of Law > Faculty & Staff > Full-time Faculty > jesse-cheng

Jesse Cheng

  • ​​​​​

  • Assistant Professor of Law
  • Full-time
  • 312-362-8498
  • ​719 O'Malley Place

Professor Cheng’s research investigates the cultivation of empathy for individuals from vulnerable populations with a focus on how criminal defense advocates can overcome barriers to empathy toward capitally charged defendants. His work, published in leading interdisciplinary journals including Law & Social Inquiry and Law, Culture and the Humanities, builds on his nearly decade-long experience as a private criminal defense attorney specializing in capital sentencing.

Professor Cheng’s newest work takes on violence against Asian Americans. He argues that the emerging use of restorative justice can be powerfully described as critical race theory in action: restorative approaches aim for deeper, broader and more self-reflective kinds of accountability while promoting cross-racial solidarity. His scholarship draws on the findings of his engaged field research with the organization Stop AAPI Hate.

Professor Cheng also is a frequent contributor to the popular press, having written op-eds for publications such as the New York Daily News and USA Today.

Professor Cheng comes to DePaul from the Department of Social and Cultural Sciences at Marquette University, where he has taught popular courses in criminal law, capital punishment, and empathy and law.


PhD (Sociocultural Anthropology), University of California, Irvine; JD, Harvard Law School

Courses Taught

  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Race & the Law

Selected Works