Chloé is a Doctoral Candidate at the Centre for Criminology at the University of Oxford and a Visiting Scholar at Columbia Law School (New York City). Her research is supervised by Professor Carolyn Hoyle and is jointly funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (UK) and the Amelia Jackson Senior Studentship (Exeter College, Oxford). Chloé's dissertation explores the historical development of expert and lay notions of mental illness and criminal responsibility in American capital punishment trials in the 20th century.  

Using Texas as a case study, her thesis examines the impact of shifting psychiatric approaches on legal developments, to show how the law sought to incorporate scientific findings into its judgments. Furthermore, it examines the ways in which medical and commonsense explanations of criminal behaviour emerge in the discourses of lawyers, psychiatrists, and lay witnesses participating in capital punishment proceedings, to identify how their interaction contributes to particular interpretations of the cases under analysis.

Inspired by feminist critical theory and critical race theory, Chloé's thesis proposes the ways in which expert and lay actors discuss defendants’ characters, life-styles, and habits at trial, along with the inferences drawn from said evaluations to identify underlying pathologies and ‘dangerous’ personalities, can unveil how cultural stereotypes about race, gender, and social class frame images of insanity and criminality through time.

In addition to her research, Chloé leads tutorials on the Ethics, Law, and Politics of Capital Punishment at St. Catherine's College, Oxford.  Between 2014 and 2017, she taught a course in Criminology and Criminal Justice to undergraduate students from the University of Virginia, held at University College, Oxford. 

Prior to starting her doctorate, Chloé conducted research for The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective (2014), a leading work in the field of death penalty studies authored by Professors Roger Hood and Carolyn Hoyle. Concurrently, she worked for Reprieve, a legal action charity dedicated to protecting the human rights of death row prisoners worldwide.

Chloé holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Philosophy in Contemporary History from the University of Florence, with First Class Honours, along with a Masters of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Oxford, with Distinction.


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  • C. Deambrogio, 'The Ethical Dilemmas of Capital Punishment: A Juxtaposition of Legal Defence and Critical Theory' (2017) Web blog post, Blog, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford
  • C. Deambrogio, How Can Society Forgive Criminal Offenders?, paper presented at TEDx Lake Como November 2016
    How restorative justice can open new ways of reconciliation between victims and offenders, with very promising results for both parties and society as a whole.
  • C. Deambrogio, '‘Death Penalty Research And Funding Opportunities: The Challenge Of Balancing Conflicting Interests’' (2015) Web blog post, Blog, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford
  • C. Deambrogio, '‘Extended Asset Recovery: Justified Procedure or Human Rights Violation?’' (2014) Web blog post, Blog, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford
  • C. Deambrogio, '‘Wrongful Conviction and the Death Penalty: The Inevitability of Error?’' (2014) Web blog post, Blog, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford
  • C. Deambrogio, 'Blood Family and Mafia Family: A Socio-Criminological Analysis' (2012) 3 Archivio Penale 959
    In Italian


Research Interests

Capital Punishment, Mental Incapacity Doctrines, History of Forensic Psychiatry, Critical Theory, and Cultural Studies.

Options taught

Criminology and Criminal Justice, Death Penalty

Research projects