Born and raised in Lewiston, Idaho, Jessica Sutton earned her B.A. in Economics and International Relations from Tufts University and her J.D. from Boston University School of Law, where she received the Warren S. Gilford Law and Humanity Prize and served on the Board of Directors of Equal Justice Works. After graduating from law school, Jessica began her career as a capital defense attorney and represented dozens of death-eligible and death-sentenced clients in trial, state post-conviction, and federal habeas corpus proceedings. Prior to joining the University of Idaho College of Law, she founded her own criminal defense practice and provided consultation and training to capital defense teams nationwide in collaboration with the American Civil Liberties Union, Advancing Real Change, and state and federal defender agencies. Most recently, she consulted on the Alice Project with the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide. Over the course of her career, Jessica has testified as an expert in felony criminal cases, guest lectured at Georgetown University Law Center, and co-supervised law students in the Capital and Innocence Clinics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. She also regularly teaches at criminal defense conferences presented by the Defender Services Office, the National Association for Public Defense, and other state and national agencies.
In her spare time, Jessica enjoys fly-fishing on the North Fork of the Clearwater River and traveling with her husband and Pomeranian puppy.