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Santa Clara University

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Ball photo

W. David Ball

Assistant Professor of Law
At a glance:

Law Professor W. David Ball works primarily in the field of criminal justice, writing and teaching in the areas of criminal law, criminal procedure, sentencing, and corrections.

Assistant Professor David Ball keeps quite busy when not teaching his classes in criminal law, criminal procedure, Islamic law, and a seminar on the prison system. In 2012, Professor Ball appeared on the KTVU evening news to discuss United States v. Jones regarding warrantless GPS tracking. An expert on sentencing, Professor Ball appeared on a panel at UC Davis regarding "Sentencing in a post-Plata World" in October 2011. The panel was made up of policy leaders who met to dialogue about ways to reform California's complex sentencing system. The panel made recommendations to the Governor of California and State Legislature based on its findings.

In addition, Professor Ball's article, "Tough on Crime (On the State's Dime)," received a great deal of media attention. The article reviews 10 years of data from California counties and notes that different counties use prisons at different rates, and that this disparity cannot be explained by variations in violent crime. In conducting his research, Ball invented the "violent crime coverage rate" to measure the disparity with greater accuracy. The article has been mentioned by the San Jose Mercury News, the Santa Cruz Sentinel op-ed, the San Bernardino County Sun, KSBY television, and others.

Professor Ball is also co-chair of the Corrections Committee of the American Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section. His committee works on such issues as the elimination of prison rape, promotion of civilian oversight, and the regulation of solitary confinement. He is a director of the Bay Area Association of Muslim Lawyers, which works to educate and advocate Muslims and non-Muslims about their constitutional, civil, and human rights.

In 2013, he was voted 1L Professor of the Year.