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Associate Professor of Law


Email: meghanryan@smu.edu

Phone: 214-768-2603

Education:

A.B., magna cum laude, Harvard University

J.D., magna cum laude, University of Minnesota

Website

Twitter: @MeghanJRyan

Professor Ryan teaches and writes at the intersection of criminal law and procedure, torts, and law & science. Her current research focuses on the impact of evolving science, technology, and cultural values on criminal convictions and punishment, as well as on civil remedies.

Professor Ryan received her A.B., magna cum laude, in Chemistry from Harvard University. She earned her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif and received the American Law Institute-American Bar Association Scholarship and Leadership Award. She was also a member of both the Minnesota Law Review and the Minnesota Journal of Global Trade.

After graduation, Professor Ryan clerked for the Honorable Roger L. Wollman of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. She also worked as an associate in the trial group at the Minneapolis-based law firm of Dorsey & Whitney LLP, where she focused her practice on commercial and intellectual property litigation, as well as on white collar defense and compliance. Additionally, Professor Ryan has conducted research in the areas of bioinorganic chemistry, molecular biology, and experimental therapeutics at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining the SMU faculty, Professor Ryan was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, where she taught Criminal Law, Criminal Process, and Sales.

Primary Articles

What Is Law and Science? (work in progress).

Underneath Toxic Causation (work in progress).

Capital Competency and the Right Not to Know (work in progress).

On Neuro-Dignity and -Diversity in Offender Treatment (work in progress).
 
Taking Dignity Seriously: Excavating the Meaning of the Eighth Amendment (work in progress).

Taking Another Look at Second-Look Sentencing (work in progress).

Wrongful Conviction and the Appellate Courts, 68 SMU L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2015) (with John Adams).

Science and the New Rehabilitation, 21 Va. J. Crim. L. __ (forthcoming 2015).

Juries and the Criminal Constitution, 65 Ala. L. Rev. 849 (2014).
 
Finality and Rehabilitation, 3 Wake Forest J.L. & Pol’y 121 (2014) (invited symposium contribution). Death and Rehabilitation, 46 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 1231 (2013).

The Missing Jury: The Neglected Role of Juries in Eighth Amendment Punishments Clause Determinations, 64 Fla. L. Rev. 549 (2012).

Proximate Retribution, 48 Hous. L. Rev. 1049 (2012).

Remedying Wrongful Execution, 45 U. Mich. J.L. Reform 261 (2012). Judging Cruelty, 44 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 81 (2010).

Does the Eighth Amendment Punishments Clause Prohibit Only Punishments That Are Both Cruel and Unusual?, 87 Wash. U. L. Rev. 567 (2010).
  • Cited in several works, including Antonin Scalia & Bryan A. Garner, Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts 116 (2012).
Does Stare Decisis Apply in the Eighth Amendment Death Penalty Context?, 85 N.C. L. Rev. 847 (2007).

Can the IRS Silence Religious Organizations?, 40 Ind. L. Rev. 73 (2007).

Role of Carboxylate Bridges in Modulating Nonheme Diiron(II)O2 Reactivity, 42 Inorganic Chemistry 7519 (2003) (with Miquel Costas, et al.).

_______________________________

Other Publications

Introduction to the SMU Criminal Justice Colloquium, 67 SMU L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2014) (with Jenia Iontcheva Turner).

Actually Innocent? Exonerations on Appeal, App. Judges Educ. Inst. (2014) (with John Adams).  

American Bar Association Resolution and Report for Remedying Wrongful Execution (2014).

Intellectual Disability and Uncertainty in Hall v. Florida, Concurring Opinions, June 7, 2014.
 
Turning Back to Electrocution—Reversing the Eighth Amendment Ratchet?, Concurring Opinions, May 25, 2014.
 
Science, Technology, Judges, and Juries, Concurring Opinions, May 16, 2014.
 
Is the Death of Capital Punishment Nigh?, Concurring Opinions, May 6, 2014.
 
Some Quick Teaching Tips from SMU Award-Winning Professors, Center for Teaching Excellence, Apr. 25, 2014.
 
Book Review, Crim. L. & Crim. Just. Books (2013) (solicited book review, reviewing  Michael L. Perlin, Mental Disability and the Death Penalty: The Shame of the States (2013)).
 
Finding Ways for Students to Discover Their Passion, Center for Teaching Excellence, Nov. 8, 2013.
 
Teaching and Tenure, Center for Teaching Excellence, May 6, 2013.
 
Is the Tide Turning on MOOCs (and Other Online Courses)?, Center for Teaching Excellence, Apr. 30, 2013.
 
Higher Ed Faculty: Teachers, Mentors, Advisors, Parents, or Friends?, Center for Teaching Excellence, Feb. 13, 2013.
 
Reflections of a First-Time Classroom Blogger, Center for Teaching Excellence, Nov. 18, 2012.
 
Training Independent, and Diverse, Thinkers, Center for Teaching Excellence, Nov. 12, 2012.
 
The Resilience of Fingerprint Evidence, Law & Science Blog, Aug. 28, 2012.


Speeches/Presentations

Panelist, Actually Innocent? Exonerations on Appeal, Appellate Judges Education Institute 2014 Summit, Dallas, TX (Nov. 14, 2014).

Taking Another Look at Second-Look Sentencing, American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Seventh Annual Fall Institute, Washington, D.C. (Oct. 23, 2014).
 
Moderator, Issues With Judges, Juries, and Social Media, SMU Science and Technology Law Review Social Media Law Symposium, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (Oct. 17, 2014).

Taking Dignity Seriously: Excavating the Backdrop of the Eighth Amendment, Ethics Colloquy, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX (Sept. 30, 2014).
 
Interview with Nomaan Merchant, Reporter, Associated Press, Sept. 5, 2014 (regarding the use of amicus briefs in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals).
 
An Introduction to Torts, Law Preview, Dallas, TX (Aug. 6, 2014).
 
On Mercy, Rehabilitation, and Offender Dignity, Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, Amelia Island, FL (Aug. 4, 2014).

An Introduction to Torts, Law Preview, Austin, TX (July 22, 2014).
 
Taking Dignity Seriously: Excavating the Backdrop of the Eighth Amendment, Annual Law & Religion Roundtable, Washington University School of Law, St. Louis, MO (June 26, 2014).
 
Interview, Drug Challenges Are Failing to Halt Executions, Time, June 18, 2014.

Radio Interview, “States Puzzle Over Best Form of Execution,” The Daily Circuit, Minnesota Public Radio, May 30, 2014.
 
Eighth Amendment Dignity and Constitutional Punishment, 2014 Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN (May 29, 2014).
 
Neuroscience and Neuroimaging Evidence in Court, Forensic Group Meeting, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (May 14, 2014).
 
Video, SMU Faculty Newsmakers, May 13, 2014.

Radio Interview, “Capital Punishment in the United States, in Light of the Oklahoma Botched Execution,” Central Time, Wisconsin Public Radio, May 1, 2014.
 
Radio Interview, Why Are Execution Drugs So Controversial? SMU Law Professor Explains, KERA Radio, May 1, 2014.
 
Breakfast with Alan M. Dershowitz and Meghan J. Ryan, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX (Apr. 29, 2014) (discussing capital punishment).
 
Interview with Steve Thompson, Reporter, Dallas Morning News, Apr. 17, 2014 (regarding Texas legal ethics).
 
Eighth Amendment Dignity and Constitutional Punishment, Faculty Colloquium, Lewis & Clark Law School, Portland, OR (Apr. 1, 2014).
 
Dignity and Rehabilitation, Love and Law: What Would Law Be Like If We Organized It Around the Value of Christian, Agape Love?, Pepperdine University School of Law, Malibu, CA (Feb. 8, 2014).
 
Video Interview, HuffPost Live (Jan. 24, 2014) (regarding whether denial of an inmate’s sexual reassignment surgery or new lethal injection cocktails constitute cruel and unusual punishment).
 
Moderator, The Guilty Mind and Wrongful Conduct: Areas of Uncertainty, SMU Criminal Justice Colloquium, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (Jan. 24, 2014).
 
Eighth Amendment Dignity and Constitutional Punishment, SMU Criminal Justice Colloquium, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (Jan. 23, 2014).
 
Radio Interview, “Cruel and Unusual?,” Sound of Ideas, National Public Radio (Cleveland, WCPN/WCLV), Jan. 22, 2014.

Eighth Amendment Dignity and Constitutional Punishment, Junior Faculty Forum, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (Nov. 15, 2013).

Eighth Amendment Dignity and Constitutional Punishment, American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Sixth Annual Fall Institute, Washington, D.C. (Oct. 31, 2013).

Tortious Intentions, Pre-Law Scholars Program, SMU Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dallas, TX (Oct. 2, 2013).
 
On Neuro-Dignity and -Diversity in Offender Rehabilitation, Treating the Criminal Offender Brain: Can We? Should We?, University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN (Sept. 27, 2013).
 
Punishment, Dignity, and the Constitution, 5th Annual Southwest Criminal Law Workshop, University of California–Davis (Sept. 6, 2013).
 
Commentator, Shima Baradaran, Blaming Drugs, 5th Annual Southwest Criminal Law Workshop, University of California–Davis (Sept. 6, 2013).
 
Using Social Media in Teaching: Classroom Blogging, 2013 Teaching Effectiveness Symposium, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX (Aug. 22, 2013).
 
Dignity, Rehabilitation, and the Constitution, Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, Palm, Beach, FL (Aug. 8, 2013).
 
Interview with Dianne Solis, Reporter, Dallas Morning News, July 17, 2013 (regarding the death of of Santos Rodriguez).
 
Interview, The Trayvon Martin Verdict: Are the Stand Your Ground Laws and Easy Gun Access a Lethal Combination for Kids?, Dallas Morning News, July 14, 2013.

Television Interview, “Then and Now: What Would've Oswald's Trial Looked Like?,” ABC-DFW, June 20, 2013.
 
Juries and the Criminal Constitution, 2013 Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, Boston, MA (May 31, 2013).
 
Television Interview, “The Law and Plans for 3-D Guns on the Internet,” CBS 11, May 10, 2013.
 
Science and the New Rehabilitation, Faculty Forum, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX (Apr. 22, 2013).
 
Interview, Local Trials Possible Despite Fear, Prolonged News Blitz in Kaufman, Dallas Morning News, Apr. 21, 2013.
 
Fighting Finalities in Sentencing, Junior Faculty Forum, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX (Apr. 19, 2013).
 
Capital Punishment in the United States and Texas, Death by Numbers Symposium: The Legal Path to Execution, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX (Apr. 15, 2013).
 
Science, Sentencing, and Certitude, Wake Forest Journal of Law & Policy’s Symposium on “Finality in Sentencing,” Wake Forest University School of Law, Winston Salem, NC, (Apr. 5, 2013).
 
Death and Rehabilitation, Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Tempe, AZ (Mar. 15, 2013).
 
Interview, Dallas County Career Criminal Could Go Free After Appeals Court Agrees His Right to a Speedy Trial Was Violated, Dallas Morning News, Jan. 4, 2013.
 
Interview with Susy Solis, Reporter, CBS-Dallas (regarding bail amount set for Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent), Dec. 12, 2012.
 
Moderator, New Issues in Torts, Appellate Judges Education Institute 2012 Summit, New Orleans, LA (Nov. 17, 2012).
 
Interview, Texas Court Case Raises Question of Whether Child-Porn Viewers Should Pay Restitution to Rape Victim, Dallas Morning News, Nov. 14, 2012.
 
Death and Rehabilitation, Ethics Colloquy, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX (Nov. 8, 2012).

Juries and the Criminal Constitution, American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Fifth Annual Fall Institute, Washington, D.C. (Oct. 25, 2012).

Interview with Scott Filipski, Senior Producer, Fuji Television-Japan, Oct. 17, 2012 (regarding prosecutorial conduct in the sentencing of Elizabeth Escalona).

Interview, Seeking Supreme Court's Help, Dallas Morning News, Sept. 25, 2012.

Tortious Intentions, Pre-Law Scholars Program, SMU Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dallas, TX (Sept. 12, 2012).

Science and the New Rehabilitation, Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, Amelia Island, FL (July 31, 2012).

Television Interview, “Lawsuit Filed Against Apple's Siri Technology,” CBS-DFW, June 12, 2012, quoted in Erik Kain, Why the Class Action Siri Lawsuit Against Apple Is Patently Absurd, FORBES, June 14, 2012.

Death and Rehabilitation, 2012 International Conference on Law and Society, Honolulu, HI (June 8, 2012).

Science and the New Rehabilitation, 2012 International Conference on Law and Society, Honolulu, HI (June 5, 2012).

The Landscape of the New Rehabilitation, SMU Dedman School of Law Executive Board Meeting, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (May 14, 2012).

Law After CSI, Inside SMU, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX (Apr. 20, 2012).

Breakthrough Science and the New Rehabilitation, Interdisciplinary Law Workshop, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indianapolis, IN (Mar. 23, 2012).

Breakthrough Science and the New Rehabilitation, Fifteenth Annual Conference for the Association of the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, Fort Worth, TX (Mar. 16, 2012).

Science and the New Criminal Rehabilitation, Law Faculty Research and Development Exchange, University of Arkansas School of Law, Fayetteville, AR (Feb. 3, 2012).

The New Utility and Morality of Stem Cell Research, What Every Student Should Know About Cloning & Human Stem-Cell Research, SMU Federalist Society, Dallas, TX (Jan. 18, 2012).

Interview, Halloween 2011: Staying Safe, DALLAS MORNING NEWS: NEIGHBORSGO.COM, Oct. 28, 2011.

Interview, Execution Watch, KPFT 90.1 FM, Sept. 15, 2011.

Interview, Recording of Execution in Georgia Likely to Lead to Similar Requests in Texas, Dallas Morning News, July 27, 2011.

A Jury’s Interpretation of Cruelty, Southeastern Association of Law Schools 2011 Annual Conference, Hilton Head, SC (July 26, 2011).

Television Interview, “Casey Anthony Acquitted of Murder,” Fox 4 News, KDFW-TV, July 5, 2011.

Law and Science, 2011 Appellate Judges Certificate Program, Santa Fe, NM (June 27, 2011 – July 1, 2011).

  • The Future of Law and Science (July 1, 2011).
  • “Junk Science” (June 30, 2011).
  • The Interplay Among Law, Science, and Politics (June 29, 2011).
  • Science and Causation (June 28, 2011).
  • Science and Culpability (June 27, 2011).

Television Interview, “Could YouTube Lead Cops to Bikers Who Halted Traffic?,” WFAA-TV, June 6, 2011

Total Retribution, 2011 Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (June 2, 2011).

Science and Rehabilitation, Sixth Annual Conference on Catholic Legal Thought, University of Oklahoma College of Law, Norman, OK (May 18, 2011).

Accounting for Wrongful Execution, International Innocence Network Conference, Cincinnati, OH (Apr. 9, 2011).

Palsgrafian Torts, Pre-Law Scholars Program, SMU Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dallas, TX (Mar. 23, 2011).

Total Retribution, Southwest Junior Law Professors Workshop, Arizona State University College of Law, Tempe, AZ (Mar. 14, 2011).

Total Retribution, Fourteenth Annual Conference for the Association of the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities, University of Nevada–Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV (Mar. 12, 2011). 

Moderator, “Dallas County Exonerees Share Their Stories,” SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (Mar. 3, 2011).

Remedying Wrongful Execution, Criminal Justice Forum, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (Dec. 13, 2010).

Total Retribution, Junior Faculty Forum, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (Nov. 5, 2010).

Proximate Retribution, Central States Law Schools Association, University of North Dakota School of Law, Grand Forks, ND (Sept. 25, 2010).

Interview, Court Ruling Could Be Far-Reaching, Amarillo Globe News, July 18, 2010.
 
American Criminal Law and Procedure, U.S. Department of State’s Rule of Law and Judicial Reform of Iraq Program, SMU Dedman School of Law (May 5, 2010).



Judging Cruelty, Thirteenth Annual Conference for the Association of the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities, Brown University (Mar. 27, 2010).


Panelist, “The Impact of the Lisbon Treaty,” Supreme Court Summit, Court of Justice of the European Union, Luxembourg (Feb. 2010).

Death, Drugs, and Desert, Rule of Law Forum, SMU Dedman School of Law (Oct. 3, 2009).

Interview, Dominic Jones’ Defense Makes Case for Re-Trial, Minn. Daily, Apr. 16, 2009.

Does the Eighth Amendment Punishments Clause Prohibit Only Punishments That Are Both Cruel and Unusual?, Faculty Works in Progress, University of Minnesota Law School (Sept. 4, 2008).