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Zachary Kaufman - University of Florida. Gainesville, FL, US

Zachary Kaufman

Professor | University of Florida

Gainesville, FL, UNITED STATES

Zachary D. Kaufman is a scholar and practitioner of criminal law, international law, national security law, and transitional justice.


Zachary D. Kaufman is an award-winning scholar and practitioner of criminal law, international law, national security law, and transitional justice. He is currently a professor of law at the Levin College of Law. Zachary has held many leadership positions in legal education and is involved in various academic organizations and think tanks. He frequently consults for a wide array of individuals and organizations in the public and private sectors. He has advised, among others, two successful U.S. presidential campaigns, and he has also served in all three branches of the U.S. government.

Areas of Expertise (4)

Transnational Justice

International Law

Criminal Law

National Security Law

Media Appearances (3)

Should there be a legal obligation to act as a good Samaritan?

The Week  online


Racial tensions ignited in New York City recently after a 30-year-old homeless Black man named Jordan Neely was choked to death in a subway car while allegedly suffering a mental health crisis. The man who restrained Neely, Daniel Penny, was charged with second-degree manslaughter, and is facing up to 15 years in prison.

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They Watched Jordan Neely Die. Did They Have a Duty to Intervene?

New York Times  online


As Jordan Neely struggled to free himself from a chokehold in the New York City subway earlier this month, there were the passengers who pinned him down and the passengers who watched. Two men helped restrain Mr. Neely while Daniel Penny, an ex-Marine, held him on the floor of an F train that had stopped in a Manhattan station, a four-minute video of the May 1 episode shows.

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The Case for Punishing ‘Police Bystanders’

The Crime Report  online


For the sake of civilian safety, police must intervene if they see misconduct by colleagues,, according to a forthcoming paper in the George Washington Law Review. Describing three Minneapolis officers who watched their colleague Derek Chauvin murder George Floyd as a deadly case of “police bystanderism,” University of Houston Law Prof. Zachary D. Kaufman writes that Congress and state legislatures should enact criminal laws mandating a “duty to intervene” in their colleagues’ misuse of force.

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Articles (3)

Police Policing Police

George Washington Law Review

Zachary D. Kaufman


Police killings of George Floyd and at least 2,218 other Black Americans since 2015 amplified a racial reckoning and intensified demands for meaningful, overdue police reform. This Article is the first legal scholarship to argue that Congress and state legislatures across the United States should enact criminal laws creating a law enforcement officer duty to intervene in their colleagues’ misuse of force.

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Digital Age Samaritans

Boston College Law Review

Zachary D. Kaufman


Modern technology enables people to view, document, and share evidence of crimes contemporaneously or soon after commission. Electronic transmission of this material—including through social media and mobile devices—raises legal, moral, and practical questions about spectators’ responsibilities. In the digital age, will these actors be bystanders or upstanders? What role can and should the law play in shaping their behavior?

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Protectors of Predators or Prey: Bystanders and Upstanders Amid Sexual Crimes

Southern California Law Review

Zachary D. Kaufman


In the wake of widespread revelations about sexual abuse by Harvey Weinstein, Larry Nassar, and others, the United States is reckoning with the past and present and searching for the means to prevent and punish such offenses in the future. The scourge of sexual crimes goes far beyond instances perpetrated by powerful men; this misconduct is rampant throughout the country. In some of these cases, third parties knew about the abuse and did not try to intervene.

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