Dwight  L. Aarons

Aarons Dwight
  • Associate Professor of Law

  • B.A., 1986, and J.D., 1989, University of California, Los Angeles


  • Location: Room 363
  • Phone Number: 865-974-6835
  • Email: daarons@utk.edu
  • Courses Taught: Criminal Law, Criminal Law Seminar (Capital Punishment), Civil Procedure II, Legislation, Advanced Criminal Law, Wrongful Convictions Seminar


Publications of Dwight  L. Aarons

Professor Dwight Aarons has been a member of UT’s law faculty since 1993. He teaches courses in civil procedure, legislation, the basic criminal law course and three upper division criminal law courses. Professor Aarons' particular area of scholarly interest has been the death penalty.

At the College of Law, Professor Aarons has been honored for his teaching, service to the moot court program and service to the College. Professor Aarons has engaged in numerous service activities, at the College, the University of Tennessee, locally, statewide and nationally.
Professor Aarons is the faculty advisor to the Black Law Students Association and the coach of the Frederick Douglass Moot Court team. Before joining the faculty, he served a Staff Attorney for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and then was a law clerk to the Honorable Lawrence W. Pierce of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.


Biography of Dwight  L. Aarons

Selected Publications

Book Chapter

Preparing for the Bar Exam, in Conquering the Bar Exam: Personal Stories & Practical Advice for Overcoming the Final Hurdle to Becoming a Full-Fledged Licensed Lawyer (Evangeline M. Mitchell ed. 2007).,


Adjudicating Claims of Innocence for the Capitally Condemned in Tennessee: Embracing a Truth Forum, 76 Tenn. L. Rev. 511 (2009).

A Nuts and Bolts Approach to Teaching for Social Change: A Blueprint and a Plan of Action 76 Tenn. L. Rev. 405 (2009).

The Abolitionist's Dilemma: Establishing the Standards for the Evolving Standards of Decency, 6 Pierce L. Rev. 441 (2008).

Reflections on The Killing State: A Cultural Study of the Death Penalty in the Twentieth Century United States? 70 Tenn. L. Rev. 391 (2003).

Pioneers in the Legal Profession: Some of the First African American and Women Lawyers in Tennessee, 35 Tenn. Bar J. (Nov. 1999).

Can Inordinate Delay Between a Death Sentence and Execution Constitute Cruel and Unusual Punishment?, 29 Seton Hall L. Rev. 147 (1998) (excerpted in Capital Punishment: A Balanced Examination, 576-585 [edited by Evan J. Mandery 2005])

Getting Out of This Mess: Steps Toward Addressing and Avoiding Inordinate Delay in Capital Cases, 89 J. of Crim. Law and Criminology 1 (1998).

Bar Journal Articles

Studying the Death Penalty in Tennessee, 43 Tennessee Bar Journal 18 (June 2007).

Pioneers in the Legal Profession:  Some of the First African American and Women Lawyers in Tennessee, 35 Tennessee Bar Journal 14 (November 1999) reprinted in Contempora Magazine (Summer 2002).

Recent Professional Presentations and Service

Member, Board of Directors, Federal Defender Services of East Tennessee, 2000-present.

Works in Progress

Articles on criminal law and the death penalty.

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