David Dolinko

Professor of Law Emeritus

  • A.B. Columbia, 1969
  • J.D. UCLA, 1980
  • Ph.D. Philosophy, UCLA, 1982
  • UCLA Faculty Since 1982

In Memoriam: Professor David Dolinko ’80, Expert in Criminal Law and Philosophy (January 6, 2021)

David Dolinko taught Criminal Law and Constitutional Criminal Procedure, as well as various seminars on such topics as the status of moral rights, problems of legal ethics, the nature of punishment, and the morality of capital punishment. In 1998 he received the School of Law's Rutter Award for Excellence in Teaching.

While a graduate student in philosophy at UCLA, Professor Dolinko taught courses in logic at UCLA and California State University, Los Angeles. During law school he was editor-in-chief of the UCLA Law Review. After serving as law clerk to Judge Harry Pregerson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, he completed his doctorate in philosophy. Professor Dolinko enjoyed music of all kinds and had a large and varied CD collection. Equally large and varied was his collection of (inanimate) ducks and geese.

Professor Dolinko wrote on the death penalty, the philosophy of punishment, sentencing guidelines, and the privilege against self-incrimination.


  • Books
    • The Theoretical and Philosophical Foundations of Criminal Law (edited by David Dolinko). Ashgate Publishing (2014).
    • The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Criminal Law (edited by John Deigh and David Dolinko). Oxford University Press (2011).
  • Articles And Chapters
    • Introduction, in The Theoretical and Philosophical Foundations of Criminal Law, (edited by David Dolinko, Ashgate Publishing, 2014).
    • "Using Persons" and the Justification of Punishment, 38 Rutgers Law Record 112-18 (2011). Full Text
    • Punishment, in The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Criminal Law, (edited by John Deigh and David Dolinko, Oxford University Press, 2011).
    • Reflections on The Grammar of Criminal Law, 27 Criminal Justice Ethics 83-90 (2008).
    • Some Naïve Thoughts About Justice and Mercy, 4 Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law 349-360 (2007).
    • Book Review, 55 Journal of Legal Education 401-06 (2005). Reviewing The Case Against Punishment: Retribution, Crime Prevention, and the Law, by Deirdre Golash.
    • Restorative Justice and the Justification of Punishment, 2003 Utah Law Review 319-42 (2003).
    • State Punishment and the Death Penalty, in A Companion to Applied Ethics, 75-88 (edited by R. G. Frey and Christopher Heath Wellman, Blackwell Publishers, 2003).
    • Review Essay: The Perils of Welfare Economics, 97 Northwestern Law Review 351-93 (2002). Reviewing Fairness Versus Welfare, by Louis Kaplow and Steven Shavell.
    • Justice in the Age of Sentencing Guidelines, 110 Ethics 563-85 (2000).
    • Morris on Paternalism and Punishment, 18 Law & Philosophy 345-61 (2000).
    • The Future of Punishment, 46 UCLA Law Review 1719-26 (1999).
    • Alschuler’s “Path”, 49 Florida Law Review 421-39 (1997).
    • Retributivism, Consequentialism, and the Intrinsic Goodness of Punishment, 16 Law & Philosophy 507-28 (1997).
    • Mismeasuring “Unfair Advantage”: A Response to Michael Davis, 13 Law & Philosophy 493-524 (1994).
    • Contributor, in Encyclopedia of the American Constitution: Supplement I, (edited by Leonard W. Levy, Kenneth L. Karst et al., Macmillan, 1992).
    • Three Mistakes of Retributivism, 39 UCLA Law Review 1623-57 (1992).
    • Some Thoughts About Retributivism, 191 Ethics 537-59 (1991).
    • How to Criticize the Death Penalty, 77 Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology 546-601 (1986).
    • Is There a Rationale for the Privilege Against Self-Incrimination?, 33 UCLA Law Review 1063-148 (1986).
  • Other
    • Book Review, Crime and Culpability: A Theory of Criminal Law, 6 Criminal Law & Philosophy 93 (2012).
    • Ethical Problems of Mandatory Minimum Sentences, 13 Tikkun at page 27 (Mar.-Apr. 1998).
    • Book Review, Action Theory and Criminal Law, 15 Law & Philosophy 293 (1996). Reviewing Act and Crime: The Philosophy of Action and Its Implications for Criminal Law, by Michael S. Moore.
    • Book Review, 104 Ethics 670 (1994). Reviewing In Spite of Innocence, by Michael L. Raddet.
    • Book Review, 104 Ethics 182-83 (1993). Reviewing Punishment:  Theory and Practice, by Mark Tunick.
    • Book Review, 103 Ethics 401-03 (1993). Reviewing Liability and Responsibility:  Essays in Law and Morals, by R. G. Frey.
    • Book Review, 103 Ethics 199-200 (1992). Reviewing An Eye for an Eye?  The Morality of Punishing by Death, by Stephen Nathanson.  Reprinted in 103 Ethics 418 (1993).
    • Book Review, 8 Constitutional Commentary 560-66 (1991). Reviewing Tempered Zeal, by H. Richard Uviller.
    • Book Review, 102 Ethics 172-73 (1991). Reviewing Intention, Agency and Criminal Liability: Philosophy of Action and the Criminal Law, by Antony Duff.
    • Comment, “Intolerable Conditions as a Defense to Prison Escapes”, 26 UCLA Law Review 1126-1182 (1979).