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Biography: Paul G. Cassell

Judge Paul Cassell
Judge Paul Cassell
Laura Seitz, Deseret Morning News

Name: U.S. District Judge Paul G. Cassell

Confirmed to U.S. District Court: May 13, 2002

Hometown: Orange, Calif.

Age: 45

Legal education: Stanford Law School

Notable Decisions:

June 2004: Cassell declared 15-year-old federal sentencing guidelines unconstitutional in a sexual exploitation case, announcing he would no longer apply them in many cases on his docket.

May 2004: In an unprecedented move, Cassell ordered two criminal defendants to pay hefty amounts of restitution based on the future lost incomes of their victims, one of whom was a 3-month-old baby. The case is under appeal.

June 2003: Cassell determined that a Mexican national charged with illegally re-entering the United States after his May 1999 deportation was not among the class of people subject to Fourth Amendment protections. The case is under appeal.


Before taking the bench, Cassell represented numerous crime victims without charge — including victims of the Oklahoma City bombings — in their efforts to attend court hearings. He has published articles on criminal justice reform in publications such as the Wall Street Journal and National Review and has testified before Congress.

Past experience:

Law clerk to then-Judge Antonin Scalia, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, 1984 to 1985; law clerk to former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Warren E. Burger, 1985 to 1986; associate deputy, U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Deputy Attorney General, 1986 to 1988; Assistant U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Virginia, 1988 to 1991; professor, University of Utah College of Law, 1992 to present.

Past posts:

President of Stanford Law Review; steering committee member for National Victims Constitutional Amendment Network, dedicated to amending the U.S. Constitution to protect victims rights; Utah Council on Victims member; Utah Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules of Criminal Procedure member.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice