Current Members

Carolyn Hoyle, Director of the DPRU and Professor of Criminology, has been researching and teaching on the death penalty for almost 20 years. She works closely with the Death Penalty Project on research that explores the rationales for retention, not least deterrence and public opinion, and uses that research to engage with governments and policymakers and to support civil society organisations in their efforts to bring about abolition or progressive restriction of capital punishment. Her work focuses primarily on Southeast Asia and on Commonwealth countries across Africa and the Caribbean. 

Parvais Jabbar is Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of the Death Penalty Project. He has for over two decades represented individuals facing the death penalty around the world at the appellate level and before international bodies. A recognised expert on the death penalty and human rights law, he has an MBE for his services to international human rights.

Saul Lehrfreund is Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of the Death Penalty Project. He has dedicated his career to representing prisoners facing the death penalty in criminal and constitutional proceedings and also before international tribunals and courts. He is a leading authority on capital punishment and international human rights law and has an MBE for services to international human rights

Daniel Cullen is Project Manager in the Death Penalty Research Unit (DPRU), where he is lead researcher on the project 'Abolitionist in practice: Challenging the death penalty in countries which do not execute' (2023-25), as well as contributing to the DPRU's wider portfolio of research projects. He also holds the role of Managing Editor of the DPRU Blog. He previously worked in the Strategic Litigation Unit at Amnesty International and the Human Rights & Refugees programme at the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) in Geneva. 

Lucrezia Rizzelli is a Research Officer in the Death Penalty Research Unit (DPRU), where she works on the project ‘Mapping the Political Economy of Drugs and the Death Penalty in Southeast Asia’ (2022-25). Her doctoral research explored decision-making amongst Indonesian drug offenders, and she collaborated with Prof. Carolyn Hoyle in analysing the data for the Death Penalty Project report ‘Living With a Death Sentence in Kenya: Prisoners’ Experiences of Crime, Punishment and Death Row’. She previously conducted research at Professor Saul Kassin’s laboratory at John Jay College, specialising on the linguistic features of confession evidence.

Research Associates

Dr Ron Dudai is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Sociology & Anthropology, Ben Gurion University. His work has been published in leading journals including British Journal of Sociology, British Journal of Criminology, Law & Social Inquiry, and Punishment & Society, and his recent monograph Penality in the Underground: The IRA’s Pursuit of Informers (2022) is published by Oxford University Press. 

Dr Lucy Harry is a Research Associate in the DPRU. Her doctoral research focused on cases of women sentenced to death for drug trafficking in Malaysia. As part of this, she conducted empirical research in Kuala Lumpur, and was a Visiting Scholar at Monash University, Malaysia. 

Jocelyn Hutton is a Research Associate in the DPRU. She previously lead the Mapping Death Row project, researching foreign nationals sentenced to death across the Middle East and Asia. Jocelyn was also called to the Bar in England and Wales in 2013. 

Sabrina Mahtani is a Zambian/British lawyer. She co-founded AdvocAid, an NGO that provides access to justice for women in detention in Sierra Leone. The organisation has freed 6 women on death row. Sabrina formerly worked for Amnesty International and The Elders and currently curates Women Beyond Walls. She is an independent expert on access to justice for women and consults for a variety of organisations. 

Professor William Schabas is a specialist on capital punishment, especially on its international legal aspects. His research has addressed the evolving case law of bodies like the European Court of Human Rights, the use of international authorities and precedents in domestic litigation, and factors such as public opinion and global trends in countries that still retain the death penalty.  

Dr Claudia Stoicescu is a Research Associate in the Centre for Criminology and an Associate Professor in Public Health at Monash University, Indonesia. She is a social epidemiologist and policy analyst with expertise in HIV, gender-based violence, drug use and drug policy.

Professor Jon Yorke is Professor of Human Rights and the Director of the BCU Centre for Human Rights at Birmingham City University. He is a member of the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s Pro-Bono Lawyers Panel, in which he advises the British Government on death penalty matters. His current major research focus is on the theory of ‘utopia’ in international law and his external work now focuses upon the UN’s Universal Periodic Review and the filing of Stakeholder Reports in the Human Rights Council in Geneva. 

See also:

DPRU Research Students and Assistants 

DPRU Research Interns

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