Yoko Otani-Spurlin was born and raised in Japan. Since she joined Death Penalty Focus, she had worked for two death penalty abolition initiatives in 2012 and 2016. Before joining DPF, she volunteered her time helping vulnerable youth in some public and private schools in the Bay Area. In her private life, she loves hiking, reading books, and listening to music. She has a BA in Psychology from San Francisco State University.