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Amicus Co-Directors

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Émilie Hope 

“Hi! I am in my final year of my law degree with a passion for Criminal Law and Human Rights! The pursuit of my degree has further been enriched with the assistance of the pro bono society allowing myself to discover a world of Criminal Law and Human Rights outside of the lecture theatre.  I very much look forward to being your director of AMICUS alongside Leanne this academic year.”


“Hello! I am a third year Law with Criminology student with interests in Criminal and Tort Law, however currently still uncertain which area of law I would like to specialise in. I have learnt a lot during my time with Pro Bono Society and it has helped strength my leadership and teamwork skills. I am excited to continue to be a part of Amicus and am honoured to be the co-director alongside Émilie for the academic year of 2023/24.”

What is Amicus?

Amicus is an international charity that defends the rights of those facing capital punishment. It focuses on ensuring fair and complete representation for the defendant and ensures that the death penalty is not applied unfairly or disproportionately to a demographic or group. Through its work, the charity seeks to raise awareness of abuses of defendant’s rights and improve access to justice. 

What we do:

Our project assists these objectives in two main ways. The first is through our research teams. Initially brand new for the 2018 academic year, our teams have gown to be the largest and most successful research team in the world. They work with Amicus' affiliate firms for us to scrutinise for legal error, inconsistency, or unfair representation..

Secondly, our campaign team. This team will be working to spread awareness of Amicus across campus, targeting both law and non-law students. Additionally, they will use our social media platform to pass on important information about not only about our project but also information about law facts (myths and truths) and an individual’s rights under the laws.

For more information about the charity please visit

The Amicus Charity and the Pro Bono Society are pleased to announce the continued success of our research team. The University of Leicester Law School is now one of two universities who have the privilege of being affiliated with this status. Thank you to the University of Leicester for their support and helping us achieve a new goal!


If you have any further questions about this project, please email: or

Brief Overview of Missouri Project

In the wake of the landmark case of Furman v. Georgia in 1972, the constitutional legitimacy of capital punishment came under intense scrutiny after the Supreme Court indicated that the death penalty was unconstitutional as applied. In response to this, a myriad of states enacted statutes to ensure adherence to the US Constitution's Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. Missouri was one of these states: its new statute limited the use of the death penalty for the "worst of the worst" defendants.


With the Missouri Project, Amicus seeks to investigate whether it is in fact the "worst of the worst" cases that ultimately get sentenced to death, or whether there is, instead, a disproportionate application of the death penalty in this state, especially in regards to the race of the defendants and the victims. The project started in 2015 and is currently reviewing 30 years' worth of homicides: approx. 1500 cases. Each caseworker at Leicester University will be assigned one homicide case to review and extract data from via a spreadsheet: all extracted information will be fed into a larger empirical study by Columbia Law University and lead researcher Prof. Jeff Fagan.


Projects like this have been successfully used to challenge the constitutionality of this form of punishment in several other US states, and we believe that the impact of this study could have far-reaching impact on the country overall.

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