The mission of Justice 360 is to promote fairness, reliability and transparency in the criminal justice system for individuals facing the death penalty and juveniles facing lengthy sentences in South Carolina. We accomplish this through:
- Resources and support for lawyers tasked with representing capital and juvenile defendants
- Representing individual clients
- Advocating for policy change to address systemic flaws in the criminal justice system
- Educating the public to raise awareness about the administration of capital and juvenile sentencing in South Carolina.
Attorneys on our staff directly represent death row inmates at all levels of the appellate process, concentrating primarily on state post-conviction and federal habeas corpus proceedings. We carefully choose each case, concentrating on those cases that have the greatest potential for legal impact and those clients who have been sentenced to death because of poor legal representation or other injustices.
The organization serves as a resource center for attorneys appointed on capital cases and to pro bono attorneys who assist them, whether at the trial level or during later stages of the case. We provide consulting services, sponsor training programs, and publish resource materials. These services are designed to give capital defense teams the tools they need to advocate effectively for their clients. Attorneys, students, and other interested persons can access a wide variety of resource materials using website downloads or by contacting us directly. Each year students from the Cornell Law School Death Penalty Project intern with the Center, and we have had a staff position for a fellowship attorney since 2013.
The Center is engaged in a variety of efforts to advocate for reform. We participate in policy research and other joint projects with educational institutions. We advocate for specific reforms aimed at addressing systemic flaws in the capital punishment process. For example, we have developed proposals for a Racial Justice Act that would address racial disparities in death penalty cases in our state, and a Mental Illness Ban to stop the execution of the severely mentally ill.
The Center provides services designed to help non-lawyers understand the issues involved in South Carolina’s death penalty. We publish brochures on particular problems, such as the role of race and mental illness in death sentencing. Some publications are downloadable and may be found in the Legal Resources section of this website. Please contact us if you need materials in printed form. We welcome opportunities to speak publicly to civic groups, congregations, classes, or other groups of people. If you are interested in having someone from the Center speak to your group, please let us know.