JSP Student Profile

Tobias Smith


Year: Doctorate in JSP

Email: tobiasjsmith(at)berkeley(dot)edu

Website: https://www.tobiasjsmith.com/


Tobias Smith holds a PhD in Jurisprudence and Social Policy (2020) and a JD from Berkeley Law School (2015). His work examines how and why otherwise punitive regimes reduce penal severity. His dissertation, The Contradictions of Chinese Capital Punishment, is a case study of recent death penalty reform measures in China.


Ph.D., Jurisprudence and Social Policy, University of California, Berkeley, 2020

J.D., University of California, Berkeley Law School, 2015

B.A., Oberlin College of Arts and Sciences, 2005


Criminal Law; Punishment; China

Selected Publications:
2020 “Body Count Politics: Quantification, Secrecy and Capital Punishment in China” Law & Social Inquiry 45 (3): 706-27.

2020 "Experimental Criminology and the Free-Rider Problem" (with Johann Koehler) British Journal of Criminology https://doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azaa057

2019 “Making Sense of Life without Parole in China” (with Su Jiang) Punishment & Society, 21(1): 70-88.

2019 “Power Surge: China’s New National Supervisory Commission” China Story Yearbook 2018: Power, Golley, J. and Jaivin, L., eds. Acton: ANU Press.

2018 “Book Review: The Will to Punish, by Didier Fassin & The Death Penalty, Vol. II, by Jacques Derrida.” British Journal of Criminology. Online first https://doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azy071


2019 Law & Social Inquiry Graduate Student Paper Prize, for “Body Count Politics: Quantification, Secrecy and the Death Penalty in China”

2018 Jiang-Land-Wang Outstanding Student Paper Award, The Association of Chinese Criminology and Criminal Justice in the US, for “Partial Disclosure: Secrecy and Transparency in China’s Death Penalty Decisions”

2015 The Lloyd McCullough Robbins Award (first prize), for “The Other Death: History and Practice of Suspended Execution in China”

2015 Jurisprudence Award, Criminal Law and the Regulation of Vice

2015 Teaching Effectiveness Award, “Attending to Attendance” (invited essay), UC Berkeley Teaching & Resource Center