John Terzano

Associate Professor of Academic Success & Director of Academic Success and Bar Passage
Staff
School of Law

  • Location: 007 Keller Hall
  • Phone: 937-229-5343
  • Email: Contact

Profile

Professor Terzano joined the School of Law as the Interim Director of the Academic Success Program in the summer of 2013. Prior to his position here, Professor Terzano was an adjunct professor and the Director of the Academic Success Program for the Evening Division at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law where he taught Legal Reasoning I & II and Death Penalty and the Law. He also taught Civil Procedure in the summer Mason Enhancement Program for Academic Success (MEPAS) for selected incoming 1L students.

Professor Terzano was involved in social justice advocacy for more than thirty years. He was the co-founder and President of The Justice Project a non-profit, non-partisan organization working to increase fairness and accuracy of the criminal justice system. The Justice Project developed, coordinated, and implemented integrated national and state-based campaigns involving public education, litigation and legislation to reform the criminal justice system.

For example, Professor Terzano led a five-year campaign to pass the Innocence Protection Act (IPA), the first piece of federal death penalty reform legislation to pass Congress and be signed into law. The IPA allows for DNA testing of individuals who may have been wrongfully convicted and authorizes funding to states to clear their DNA backlogs and improve forensic laboratory capacity and standards across the nation as well as provide assistance to states to improve the quality of legal representation for indigent defendants in State capital cases among other reforms.

Professor Terzano was a co-founder and Vice President of Veterans for America (formerly known as Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation - VVAF), an advocacy and humanitarian organization that united a new generation of veterans with those from past wars to address the causes, conduct and consequences of war. In 1991, VVAF began an advocacy campaign to ban landmines as a weapon of war. In 1997, an international treaty banning landmines was signed by 122 nations. VVAF’s work on the International Campaign to Ban Landmines was recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997.

Professor Terzano, a veteran of the U.S. Navy (1970 – 74), served two tours in Vietnam and helped to lead the first delegation of American veterans to return to Vietnam after the war ended. Professor Terzano became a leading advocate of reconciliation with America’s former enemies, an experience that ultimately helped lift the economic embargo by the U.S. and normalize relations between the U.S. and Vietnam.

Professor Terzano has presented both written and oral testimony numerous times before both houses of the U.S. Congress as well as several state and local legislative committees.

Professor Terzano co-authored a series of policy reviews for The Justice Project, which were designed to facilitate communication among local law enforcement agencies, policymakers, practitioners and others to create a dialogue around recommendations that enhance the quality of evidence relied upon in criminal trials. He also authored numerous blogs for The Huffington Post on reforming the criminal justice system.

Degrees

LL.M., International Legal Studies from American University’s Washington College of Law.
J.D., magna cum laude, University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law
B.A., George Washington University
A.A., Grossmont Community College