Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Leigh Buchanan Bienen  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;


-- Website --
-- Leigh Buchanan Bienen on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Leigh Bienen has lived and worked in Chicago for many years.

Biographical and Professional Information

Leigh B. Bienen is a senior lecturer at Northwestern University School of Law and a criminal defense attorney whose areas of expertise include capital punishment, sex crimes, and rape reform legislation. She is also a writer and author of fiction and creative nonfiction.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Crimes Of The Century: From Leopold and Loeb to O.J. Simpson
ISBN: 1555534279

Northeastern University Press. 2000

In compelling narrative, the authors probe the sensational cases of Nathan F. Leopold, Jr., and Richard A. Loeb, the Scottsboro "boys," Bruno Richard Hauptmann, Alger Hiss, and O.J. Simpson, highlighting significant lessons about criminal behavior and the administration of criminal justice. Each case study details the crime, the police investigation, and the court proceedings, profiles the major players, and examines the outcome and aftermath of the trial. The authors untangle the perplexities surrounding the cases and illuminate the many mysteries that remain unsolved today. These celebrated trials reveal issues of overzealous prosecution, sloppy police work, judicial bias, race, class, and ethnic struggles, and the role of wealth in securing a competent defense. They also show how the temper of the times and frenzied media coverage heightened the intensity of drama in the cases.

The Left-Handed Marriage: Stories
ISBN: 086538102X

Ontario Review Pr. 2001

A debut collection of short fiction includes the author's award-winning story "My Life As a West African Gray Parrot," "He Was a Big Boy, Still Is" about a white public defender counseling the mother of a mentally impaired black defendant, and "Technician," in which an ordinary, unemployed Trenton man is hired a state executioner.

Murder and Its Consequences: Essays on Capital Punishment in America
ISBN: 0810126974

Northwestern University Press. 2010

The essays in Murder and Its Consequences span several periods in the history of capital punishment in America and the professional career of Leigh Bienen, a leading researcher on the death penalty. “A Good Murder” describes the subtle relationship between high-profile murders and the death penalty, while “The Proportionality Review of Capital Cases” places the well-known study of proportionality in New Jersey within a nationwide context.

“Anomalies” suggests that the arcane protocols written for lethal injection have little to do with insuring humane executions, but rather are concerned with protecting the sensibilities of witnesses and the liability of corrections officials. Other essays address the groundbreaking developments surrounding the death penalty in Illinois, and take a retrospective look at the evolution of her own and the country’s thinking about this complex, divisive topic.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (No)