Mona Lynch

Professor of Criminology, Law & Society and Law
Ph.D., UC Santa Cruz
(949) 824-0047
2311 SE II



law and society; psychology and law; criminal procedure in practice; punishment and society; race, institutional bias, and criminal justice

Curriculum Vitae: 

Mona Lynch's research and writing focuses on the social, psychological, and cultural dynamics of contemporary criminal adjudication and punishment processes.  She uses multiple methodological approaches, including experimental design, ethnographic field methods, and archival and other social artifactual analysis to explore research questions of interest. You can access several of her papers on SSRN at:

She co-directs, with Catherine Fisk (UCI-Law), the Center in Law, Society and Culture, and serves as vice-chair of the Department of Criminology, Law and Society.

For the 2014-15 academic year, she will be a visiting scholar in residence at Russell Sage Foundation.  

Recent publications:

Lynch, M. and Omori, M. (2014). Legal change and sentencing norms in the wake of Booker: The impact of time and place on drug trafficking cases in federal court. Law & Society Review, 48, 411-445. 

Lynch, M. (2013). Institutionalizing bias: The death penalty, federal drug prosecutions, and mechanisms of disparate punishment. American Journal of Criminal Law, 41, 91-131. 

Lynch, M., Omori, M., Roussell, A. and Valasik, M. (2013). Policing the “progressive” city: The racialized geography of drug law enforcement. Theoretical Criminology17, 335-357.

Lynch, M. ( 2013). Realigning research: A proposed (partial) agenda for socio-legal scholars. Federal Sentencing Reporter, 25(5), 254-259. 

Petersen, N. and Lynch, M. (2012). Prosecutorial discretion, hidden costs, and the death penalty: the case of Los Angeles County. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 102, 1233-1274.

Lynch, M. (2012). The social psychology of mass imprisonment. In J. Simon and R. Sparks (Eds.), Handbook of Punishment and Society. Sage Publications; 242-259.

Lynch, M. (2012). Theorizing the “war on drugs” in contemporary American punishment. Theoretical Criminology, 16, 175-199.

Hannah-Moffat, K. and Lynch, M. (2012) Theorizing punishment’s boundaries: An introduction. Theoretical Criminology, 16, 119-121.

Lynch, M. and C. Haney (2011). Looking across the empathic divide: Racialized decision-making on the capital jury. Michigan State Law Review, 2011, 573-607.

Lynch, M. (2011). Expanding the empirical picture of federal sentencing: An invitation. Federal Sentencing Reporter, 23, 313-317.

Lynch, M. (2011). Mass incarceration, legal change and locale: Understanding and remediating American penal overindulgence. Criminology & Public Policy, 10, 671-698.

Lynch, M. and C. Haney (2011). Mapping the racial bias of the white male capital juror: Jury composition and the “empathic divide”. Law and Society Review, 45, 69-102.

Lynch, M. (2011). Crack pipes and policing: A case study of institutional racism and remedial action in Cleveland. Law & Policy, 33, 179-214. 

Lynch, M. (2011). Theorizing punishment: Reflections on Wacquant's Punishing the Poor. Critical Sociology, 37, 237–244.

Lynch, M. (2009). Sunbelt Justice: Arizona and the Transformation of American Punishment. Stanford University Press.

Lynch, M. ( 2009). Punishment, purpose and place: A case study of Arizona’s prison siting decisions. Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, 50, 105-137.

Lynch, M. and Haney, C. ( 2009). Capital jury deliberation: Effects on death sentencing, comprehension, and discrimination. Law and Human Behavior, 33, 481-496. 

Lynch, M. (2009). The social psychology of capital cases. In Jury Psychology: Social Aspects of Trial Processes, Joel D. Lieberman and Daniel A. Krauss (Eds.), pp. 157-182. London: Ashgate.

Lynch, M. (2008). The contemporary penal subject(s). In After the War on Crime: Race, Democracy, and a New Reconstruction, Jonathan Simon, Ian Haney López and Mary Louise Frampton (eds.), pp. 89-105. New York: NYU Press.

Lynch, M. (2006). Stereotypes, prejudice, and life and death decision-making: Lessons from laypersons in an experimental setting. In From Lynch Mobs to the Killing State: Race and the Death Penalty, Austin Sarat and Charles Ogletree (eds.), pp. 182-209. New York: NYU Press.

Lynch, M. (2005). Supermax meets death row: Legal struggles around the new punitiveness in the USA. In The New Punitiveness: Current Trends, Theories, Perspectives. John Pratt, David Brown, Simon Hallsworth, Mark Brown and Wayne Morrison (eds.), pp. 66-84. Devon, UK: Willan Publishing.

Lynch, M. (2004). Punishing images: Jail Cam and the changing penal enterprise. Punishment and Society, 6, 255-270.

Lynch, M. (2003). The truth of verdicts? A social psychological examination of "A Theory of the Trial." Law and Social Inquiry, 28, 539-546.

Lynch, M. (2002) Sarat’s When the State Kills and the changing nature of death penalty scholarship. Law and Social Inquiry, 27, 903-921.

Lynch, M. (2002). Pedophiles and cyber-predators as contaminating forces: The language of disgust, pollution, and boundary invasions in federal debates on sex offender legislation. Law and Social Inquiry, 27, 529-566.

Lynch, M. (2002). Selling ‘securityware’: Transformations in prison commodities advertising, 1949-1999. Punishment and Society, 4, 305-320.

Lynch, M. (2002). Capital punishment as moral imperative: Pro-death penalty discourse and activism on the internet. Punishment and Society, 4, 213-236.

Lynch, M. (2002). Capital punishment as a cultural phenomenon. Pro-death penalty sentiments in the U.S. In Christian Boulanger, Vera Heyes, and Philip Hanfling (eds.) Zur Aktualität der Todesstrafe: Interdisziplinäre und globale Perspektiven. Berlin: Berlin Verlag Arno Spitz.

Lynch, M. (2001). From the punitive city to the gated community: Security and segregation across the social and penal landscape. Miami Law Review, 56, 89-112.

Lynch, M. & Haney, C. (2000). Discrimination and instructional comprehension: Guided discretion, racial bias, and the death penalty. Law and Human Behavior, 24, 337-358.

Lynch, M. (2000). On-line executions: The symbolic use of the electric chair in cyberspace. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review, 23, 1-20.

Lynch, M. (2000). Rehabilitation as rhetoric: The reformable individual in contemporary parole discourse and practices. Punishment and Society, 2, 40-65.

Lynch, M. (2000). The disposal of inmate #85271: Notes on a routine execution. Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, 20, 3-34.

Lynch, M. (1998). Waste Managers? The New Penology, crime fighting, and parole agent identity. Law and Society Review, 32, 839-869.

Haney, C. & Lynch, M. (1997). Clarifying life and death: An analysis of instructional comprehension and penalty phase arguments. Law and Human Behavior, 21, 575-596.

Haney, C. & Lynch, M. (1997). Regulating prisons of the future: A psychological analysis of supermax and solitary confinement. New York University Review of Law and Social Change, 23, 477-570.

Haney, C. & Lynch, M. (1994). Comprehending life and death matters: A preliminary study of California's capital penalty instructions. Law and Human Behavior, 18, 411-436.