Carolyn Hoyle has been researching and teaching on the death penalty for over 15 years. The fifth edition of her book, (jointly authored with Roger Hood), The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, was published by Oxford University Press in 2015 and has been translated into Spanish, Persian and Chinese. She has supervised six doctoral degrees on the death penalty, and many Masters’ theses. She has recently completed a pilot study of Foreign Nationals at Risk of Capital Punishment in Malaysia and plans further similar work across other South and Southeast Asian jurisdictions. She is currently working with The Death Penalty Project on public and ‘elite’ opinion research on the death penalty in Indonesia, Zimbabwe and Taiwan. 

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 Research Officer in the DPRU, where he is responsible for the administration of the Unit and is Managing Editor of the DPRU blog. He previously worked in the Strategic Litigation team at Amnesty International, supporting the organisation’s programme of international human rights litigation, and as a Programme Assistant at the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) in Geneva, with a focus on the death penalty and children’s rights. He has also worked with the Geneva-based organisation HURIDOCS, which specialises in human rights information management, and completed the graduate research attaché scheme at the British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA) in Nairobi. He holds an LLM Qualifying Law Degree (with Distinction) from Birkbeck, University of London and a BA History and Economics from SOAS, University of London.

Jocelyn Hutton is an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Research Officer in the DPRU, working on research regarding foreign nationals sentenced to death in the Middle East and Asia. Before coming to Oxford, Jocelyn worked at Middlesex University and the Université du Québec à Montréal (2011-2013, 2015-2016), with Dr Helena Wray & Professor Brad Blitz on a number of research projects regarding the human rights of migrants. She was also involved in writing Expert Witness Reports with Dr Helena Wray and Professor Werner Menski (SOAS) for clients in immigration and asylum cases. Jocelyn also worked at Matrix Chambers (2013-2015), as a legal researcher. Jocelyn is a Member of Lincoln’s Inn, having been called to the Bar in England and Wales in 2013, on a Lord Denning Scholarship. She holds an LLM (2011, with Distinction) from the School of Oriental and African Studies, where she focused on minority rights, human rights in Islam, law and society in Asia and the MENA region and immigration and asylum law. She also holds an LLB (2010, First Class) from King’s College, London, where she was awarded the Graveson Memorial Prize. 

Current Oxford Research Students

Lucy Harry is a DPhil student whose research focuses on the experiences of women sentenced to death for drug trafficking in Malaysia. Through her DPhil project, she has conducted empirical research on the death penalty in Kuala Lumpur, where she was a visiting scholar at Monash University, Malaysia. For a brief synopsis of her current research, see the following Briefing Report, co-authored with Harm Reduction International. She also has an interest in the US death penalty, having previously interned at Amicus ALJ and the Center for Death Penalty Litigation in Durham, North Carolina. 

Lucrezia Rizzelli is a DPhil candidate at the Centre for Criminology. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychological Sciences and Techniques at the University of Florence, specializing in social, organizational and work psychology. Then, she completed her MA in Forensic Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, where she joined Professor Saul Kassin's false confessions laboratory and conducted research on the linguistic style of false confessions. Lucrezia volunteered at the Innocence Project, and was an investigative intern at the New York City Department of Investigation. She is researching the death penalty in Indonesia and its deterrent effect, or lack thereof, on drug crimes. The aim of this research is to examine the motivations that lead people to engage in drug crimes, or decline to do so, and to better understand the role capital punishment plays in the decision-making process. 

Serene Singh is a Rhodes and Truman Scholar and recently completed her Master's in Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government. Originally from Colorado, USA, Singh graduated with Bachelor's degrees in Political Science and Journalism which were awarded summa cum laude honors, as well as attaining a minor in Leadership Studies. For her DPhil, Singh is researching women on death row in the United States. More specifically, she intends to identify the influence of topics like "cruel and unusual punishment" on the ways in which women undergoing the criminal justice system's capital punishment are experiencing justice. Singh plans to work directly with women on death row in her research, making this the very first research project on this specific population of individuals to be comprehensively undertaken. 

Amelia Inglis is a DPhil candidate researching victims and the death penalty at the Centre for Criminology. Her research explores the experiences of homicide victims’ families in the US, seeking to understand how the protracted capital appeals process can militate against recovery for those whose defendants are sentenced to death. Prior to undertaking the DPhil, Amelia completed the MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Oxford, after earning her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with Criminology at the University of York. Amelia has also spent six months interning with the Capital Post-Conviction Project of Louisiana. 

Previous Oxford Research Students, and research affiliates: Daniel Pascoe; Michelle Miao, Liz Vartkessian; William Berry IIIChloe Deambrogio

Research Associate: Claudia Stoicescu

Global Criminal Justice Research Fellows: Ricky Gunawan, Former Director of LBH Masyarakat

DPRU Research Interns: 

Annalena Wolcke was our first DPRU Summer Intern (2021). She conducted research on why certain countries abolished the death penalty at the time they did, focusing on a few countries from Europe and South America. While her research was limited to English-speaking sources, she was surprised by the range of influences, including EU-membership, for which abolition is obligatory, larger political and legal shifts towards democracy and both national and international pressure.

Ahsan Ahmad is a Research Associate at the Department of Medicine, Section of Infectious Diseases, AIDS Program at the Yale School of Medicine and a Research Associate at the Centre of Excellence for Research in AIDS (CERiA). His current work is on the nexus of infectious disease epidemiology, substance use and addiction, prison health, human rights, and drug policy in Southeast Asia. As a DPRU Research Intern, Ahsan is researching disproportionate sentencing in relation to drug crimes in the wider area of criminal justice policies on drugs in southeast Asia, with particular focus on drug threshold quantities, prisons, and the death penalty in Southeast Asia.

DPP-Oxford Crim Internships

Since 2018, Oxford Criminology and The Death Penalty Project have collaborated on Research Internships, with Oxford MSc or DPhil students conducting small death penalty research projects under the joint supervision of Carolyn Hoyle and the DPP’s Saul Lehrfreund and Parvais Jabbar. In 2019, Anjuli Peter’s Report on Compounded Violence: Domestic Abuse and the Mandatory Death Penalty in Ghana and Sierra Leone was published on the DPP website.

The DPP-Oxford Crim Research Interns for 2020-21 were: Brian Egan, whose research focused on the use of the death penalty for drug offences in Iran; Emma Rice, whose research focused on foreign nationals facing the death penalty in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait; and Caroline Vorce, whose research focused on procedural safeguards in law and practice in East Asia.