Ekow Yankah is the Thomas M. Cooley Professor of Law at the University of Michigan. His work focuses on questions of political and criminal theory and, particularly, questions of political obligation and justifications of punishment.
Yankah’s work has appeared in law review articles, peer reviewed legal theory journals, books, and medical journals, including NOMOS, Ratio Juris, Law and Philosophy, Criminal Law and Philosophy, the Harvard Law and Policy Review, and the Fordham Law Review, among others.
He has been a distinguished visiting faculty member at the University of Toronto School of Law and a visiting fellow at the Israeli Institute of Advanced Studies, among others. His work has been translated into Italian and Spanish.
Yankah's interests have also led him to develop expertise in voting rights and election law. He served for years as the co-chair of the New York Democratic Lawyers Council (NYDLC), the voting rights arm of the New York Democratic party and the coordinating arm of the DNC. In 2020, the NYDLC honored him with the Guardian of Democracy Award. That year, he was appointed to New York’s Public Campaign Finance Board, which he now serves as chairman.
He also sits on multiple nonprofit and start-up boards, including the Innocence Project, where he was recognized as an Advocate for Justice in 2017. He maintains a public presence writing for publications spanning The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and Salon, among others, and has been a regular commentator on criminal law issues on television and radio, including NBC, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, BBC International, NPR, and PBS.
His students have recognized Yankah numerous times for his dedication to teaching, including an Inspiration Award from the Cardozo student body. He also received the Cardozo Alumni of the Year Award from Cardozo BALLSA, becoming the first non-Cardozo graduate or faculty member to be recognized.
"Police Killings as Felony Murder"
"Ahmaud Arbery, Reckless Racism and Hate Crimes: Recklessness as Hate Crime Enhancement"
- Civil Rights
"Reckless Racism and Mens Rea in Criminal Punishment"
- Criminal Law