Kenneth Leon

Visiting Assistant Professor
409 O
Address: Phillips Hall
801 22nd. St. NW
Washington, District Of Columbia
United States

Areas of Expertise

Sociology of Law; Legal Philosophy; Crimes of the Powerful; Vice regulation; White-collar Crime; Transnational Organized Crime

Kenneth Sebastian Leon is a Visiting Assistant Professor and Interim Director of the Law & Society Minor in the GW Department of Sociology. He holds a PhD in Justice, Law, and Criminology, and specializes in legal philosophy, vice regulation, and white-collar crime.

Previously, he was a research contractor at the National Institute of Justice, contributing to the portfolios on human trafficking and transnational organized crime.

As a law & society scholar, he’d like all undergraduate students – regardless of their primary field of study – to learn more about the GW Law & Society Minor.


PhD American University, 2017

MA George Washington University, 2013

BS magna cum laude, Florida State University, 2011


Gould, Jon and Kenneth Leon. 2017. A Culture that is Hard to Defend: Extralegal Factors in the Defense of Federal Death Penalty Cases. Forthcoming in Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology.


Leon, Kenneth and Ivy Ken. 2017. Food Fraud and the Partnership for a ‘Healthier’ America: A Case Study in State-Corporate Crime. Critical Criminology. (https://doi.org/10.1007/s10612-017-9363-x)


Leon, Kenneth and Daniel Martinez. 2016. To Study, to Party, or Both? Assessing Risk Factors non Non-Prescribed Stimulant Use Among Middle and High School Students. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 49(1): 22-30. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02791072.2016.1260187)


Leon, Kenneth and Ronald Weitzer. 2015. Marijuana Legalization: Comparing Recent Ballot Initiatives. In J. Hill and N. Mario (ed.) Legalizing a crime: Marijuana policies across America. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.


Leon, Kenneth and Ronald Weitzer. 2014. “Legalizing Marijuana: Comparing Ballot Outcomes in Four States.” Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice & Criminology 2(2): 193-218.

Classes Taught

Undergraduate Courses: 

SOC 1002 - The Sociological Imagination 

SOC 1003 - Introduction to Criminal Justice 

SOC 2136 - Criminology 

SOC 2189 - Special Topics: Criminal Justice Reform