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Kevan Jacobson - Southern Utah University. Cedar City, UT, US

Kevan Jacobson

Department Chair/Associate Professor, Criminal Justice | Southern Utah University


Specializing in the principles of criminal responsibility and the constitutional system, law of armed conflict, and military justice


Colonel (Retired) Kevan Jacobson served more than 30 years as a lawyer in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He is a recognized expert in criminal law with extensive experience as a prosecuting attorney, supervisory defense counsel, and criminal justice administrator.

Jacobson served around the world at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels during his long military career; practicing across an extremely broad and diverse spectrum of federal, military, and international law. He was repeatedly assigned to lead many of the Army’s largest and most complex legal operations, often involving the supervision of hundreds of attorneys and other legal professionals.

At Southern Utah University, Jacobson teaches substantive and procedural criminal law as well as national security and American government. Previously, he taught criminal law at the Army Judge Advocate General’s School where he served as associate dean. He also administered its congressionally chartered American Bar Association accredited master of law program.

Jacobson earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Utah State University followed by a law degree from Brigham Young University. At the Army Judge Advocate General’s School, he earned a master of law degree, and at U.S. Army War College, he earned a master’s degree in strategic studies. A licensed attorney, he has been a member of the Utah State Bar since 1984.






ABA Award loading image Lecture at Army JAG School loading image Deplane Andrews AFB, Dec. 2011 loading image



Industry Expertise (6)


International Affairs


Legal Services



Areas of Expertise (14)

National Security Law

Process of Public Policymaking

Terroristic Violence as a Political Tool

Rights of the Accused

Principles of Criminal Responsibility


Criminal Law and Procedure

Homeland Security


Law of Armed Conflict

Military Justice

Remedies for Government Misconduct

Principles of the Constitutional System

Laws of Arrest, Search and Seizure

Education (4)

Brigham Young University: J.D.

Cum Laude

The Judge Advocate General’s School: LL.M.

U.S. Army War College: Master of Strategic Studies

Utah State University: B.A.

Cum Laude

Accomplishments (5)

Distinguished Service Medal

A military award of the United States Armed Forces given to a person who has distinguished himself or herself by exceptionally meritorious service to the government in a duty of great responsibility.

Bronze Star Medal

A United States decoration awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces for either heroic achievement, heroic service, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service in a combat zone.

Legion of Merit

A military award of the United States Armed Forces that is given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements.

Outstanding Military Service Career Judge Advocate Award

Recognized by the American Bar Association in 2014

Distinguished Educator

Southern Utah University Award of Distinguished Educator for the Year of 2016 – 2017.

Affiliations (2)

  • Utah State Bar Association
  • Admitted to practice in Utah state courts, the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, the Army Court of Criminal Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.

Media Appearances (4)

Retirees honored at Celebration of Service

U.S. Army  online


Col. Kevan F. Jacobson, Col. Richard J. Kramer, and Sgt. 1st Class Foster K. Folger were honored during a Celebration of Service ceremony Oct. 10 held in their honor at historic Palm Circle, Fort Shafter, Hawaii. The U.S. Army Pacific's Celebration of Service ceremony recognizes Soldiers for their distinguished service to U.S. Army Pacific and the United States as they prepare to transition into new careers.

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Hawaii Army Tax Centers Open

Hawaii Army Weekly  online


It’s that time again, when people start getting stressed over money. The time to prepare your 2013 tax returns has arrived... “Soldiers learned a valuable skill that will help other Soldiers and their families save a great deal of money. The training will also remain with them for future years,” said Col. Kevan Jacobson, staff judge advocate for U.S. Army-Pacific Command and U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii.

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United States Forces " Iraq closes courthouse named for fallen Soldier

U.S. Army  online


Legal professionals from the United States Forces gathered together to decommission the Sgt. Maj. Cornell W. Gilmore Memorial Courthouse here July 29. “Relatively few of us here were privileged to serve with SGM Gilmore; it’s been eight years since he passed,” said Col. Kevan Jacobson, staff judge advocate, USF-I. Gilmore “was a big man, who loved soldiers and loved soldiering. It was not a coincidence that he rose to the highest enlisted position in our corps. Here we honor his memory, which still looms large in the corps, and forever will.”

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Utahn upbeat in Bosnia

Deseret News  print


Maj. Kevan F. Jacobson believes the work of thousands of peacekeepers from around the world is paying off here. Progress is being made, and peace will eventually come.

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Articles (2)

Pandora, We Have Found You - And You Came From Guantanamo Bay

9 Belmont L. Rev. 1, 32 (2021)

Kevan F. Jacobson

How the legal legacy of Global War on Terror detention operations at Guantanamo Bay may impact the future detention of Prisoners of War and a proposed means to respond.

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Pressure on the Trigger Will Now Fire the Weapon:

24 Rich. Pub. Int. L. Rev. 27 (2021)

Kevan F. Jacobson

Pressure on the Trigger Will Now Fire the Weapon: An Examination of how the Supreme Court, Congress, and Presidents Have Left the Legal Foundation for Executive Detention Akin to the World War II Era Internment of Japanese Americans Largely Intact

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Courses (6)

CJ 1330 Criminal Law

An examination of substantive criminal law which includes the definition of law, the definition of crime, general principles of criminal responsibility, elements of principal crimes and defenses, and matters relevant to punishment.

CJ 2350 Laws of Evidence

A study of the origin, development, and philosophy of rules of evidence; tests of admissibility; weight, value and types of evidence; and the laws of arrest, search, seizure and other evidence gathering activities.

CJ 3320 Criminal Procedure

A study of procedure in the criminal justice system, including the rights of the accused; the rules of arrest, search and seizure, and self-incrimination; the exclusionary rule and other remedies for government misconduct; and the phases and nature of pre-trial, trial, and post-trial processes.

CJ 4740 Terrorism & Homeland Security

An examination of why terroristic violence has become a world-wide political tool. Consideration of how and why governments have responded to the challenge of terrorism. An exploration of homeland security organizations involved with responding to the threat of terrorism and how such responses impact civil liberties.

CJ 4830 Readings & Conferences

Facilitated individualized study of specialized topics.

POLS 1100 American National Government

A study of American democratic ideas, principles of the Constitutional system, and the structure and function of the Federal government. An examination of the administration and impact of public policy and the influence of cultural, group, party and governmental interests on the process of public policymaking.