Criminology, Law and Society
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Linda Merola

Linda Merola

Linda Merola

Associate Professor

Civil liberties, terrorism, evidence-based courts, public opinion and survey/experimental methods

Dr. Linda Merola is an Associate Professor of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University and the Co-Director of the Research Program on Criminal Justice Policy in the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy at GMU.  She received her Ph.D. in government from Georgetown University, where she was awarded the Harold N. Glassman Award for Excellence in Research, given to the most accomplished dissertation across the social science disciplines each year.  Professor Merola also holds a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School, where she served on The George Washington Law Review and was admitted to the Virginia State Bar Association upon graduation.   Professor Merola's academic interests relate to civil liberties and terrorism, with particular emphasis on public and expert opinion about these topics.  Recently, she has published articles concerning the coverage of terrorism and civil liberties in the media, and she is currently working on research related to airport security and passenger screening.  She has also published research related to the use of license plate recognition technology by law enforcement, including its impacts on privacy and police legitimacy.  Another portion of Dr. Merola’s work relates to the courts, with a specific focus on supporting the courts in using research evidence.  She has also completed several projects related to judicial selection mechanisms and judicial diversity.  Professor Merola has received advanced training in research methodology, statistics and survey/experimental methods through the National Science Foundation and Duke University, as well as at the University of Michigan as a recipient of the ICPSR’s Miller Scholarship.  At George Mason, Dr. Merola teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses related to constitutional law, terrorism and security, and the courts.  In 2011, she was a finalist for the university-wide George Mason University Teaching Excellence Award. 

Selected Publications

Merola, L.M. & Lum. C.  (Forthcoming). Predicting public support for the use of license plate recognition (LPR) technology by police. Police Practice & Research:  An International Journal.

Merola, L.M. & Lum, C.  (2012). Privacy and the impact of emerging surveillance technologies:  The case of license plate recognition (LPR) technology. Judicature 96(3), 119-26.

Merola, L.M., Lum, C., Cave, B. & Hibdon, J.  (2013, in press). Community support for the use of license plate recognition by police.  Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management 36(3).

Merola, L.M. & Vovak, H. (2012).  The challenges of terrorist and extremist prisoners: A survey of U.S. prisons. Criminal Justice Policy Review. Advance online publication. DOI:10.1177/0887403412463048.

Merola, L.M.  (2012). Strangers in your town:  How considerations of potential power influence judgments about civil liberties for disliked groups. New England Journal of Political Science 6(1),56-98.

Merola, L.M.  (2012). Speaking truth to power?  Civil liberties debates and the language of law review articles during the post-9/11 period. Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression. Advance online publication. DOI:10.1080/19434472.2012.714397

Gould, J.B., Hartley, R., Raftery, W., Merola, L. & Oleson, J.C.  (2011). Overwhelming evidence: The challenges and opportunities of evidence-based management in the courts.  Judicature 95(2), 61-69.

Lum, C., Hibdon, J., Cave, B., Koper, C. and Merola, L. (2011).  License plate reader (LPR) police patrols in crime hot spots: An experimental evaluation in two adjacent jurisdictions.  Journal of Experimental Criminology 7, 321-45.

Merola, L.M. (2011, Taylor and Francis Online First).  Transmitting the threat: Media content and the discussion of critical civil liberties issues since 9/11. Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression.  DOI:10.1080/19434472.2011.571531

Merola, L.M. (2011). Evaluating the legal challenges and effects of counterterrorism policy.  In C. Lum & L. Kennedy (Eds.), Evidence-Based Counterterrorism Policy (pp. 281-300). New York: Springer Publishing.

Merola, L.M. & Gould, J.B.  (2010).  Navigating judicial selection: New judges speak about the process and its impact on judicial diversity.  Judicature 93(5), 184-93.

Merola, L.M. & Gould, J.B. (2009).  Improving diversity on the state courts: A report from the bench.  Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law: Washington, DC.

Merola, L.M. (2008).  Emotion and deliberation in the post-9/11 media coverage of civil liberties.  Democracy and Society 5: 5-17.

Wilcox, C., Merola, L.M., & Beer, D. (2007). Saving marriage by banning marriage: The Christian right and the state marriage amendments in 2004, in Green, John C., Mark J. Rozell and Cylde Wilcox, eds., The Values Campaign: The Christian Right in the 2004 Elections (Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press).

Courses Taught

CRIM 100 Introduction to Criminal Justice

CRIM 303 Experiencing the Criminal Justice System

CRIM 423 Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties

CRIM 424 Constitutional Law: Criminal Process and Rights

CRIM 491/492 Administration of Justice Honors Seminar

CRIM 721 The Constitution, Criminal Procedure and Security