In 1989, the federal government funded a network of Death Penalty Resource Centers in states that use the death penalty. The Center was formed at that time, and was called the South Carolina Death Penalty Resource Center. Serving as the original Executive Director, John H. Blume held that position for seven years. Professor Blume is currently Professor of Law; Director of Clinical, Advocacy and Skills Programs; and, Director, Cornell Death Penalty Project at Cornell Law School. He remains involved with the Center’s work, and Cornell Law School clinic students regularly assist on Center cases and projects.
In 1995, the federal government required a name change, so the Center became the Post-Conviction Defender Organization.
In 1996, funding for the centers was discontinued, and the federal government required another name change. The Center’s name became The Center for Capital Litigation. Attorney Teresa L. Norris became the Executive Director, a position she held for ten years. Ms. Norris is now employed at the Charleston Public Defender’s Office.
In 2007, Susan Hackett served as Executive Director.
In 2008, Attorney Emily C. Paavola agreed to take the helm of the organization. Under her leadership, the name was changed to the Death Penalty Resource & Defense Center. Mandy Medlock was hired as Executive Director in July of 2015 when Emily Paavola, dedicated all of her time to legal work became the Legal Director for the organization. In early 2016 the Center was renamed to Justice 360.
In mid-2017, Lindsey Vann was named the Legal Director while Emily Paavola moved into the role as Attorney of Counsel for Justice 360.