Justice 360 is engaged in a variety of efforts to advance reform. We participate in policy research and other joint projects with educational institutions, and we advocate for specific reforms aimed at addressing systemic flaws in the capital punishment process. Recently, 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.
Examples of Recent Policy Reform work:
- In March, 2015 Justice 360 joined forces with several partner organizations to defeat South Carolina Senate Bill 553/House Bill 3853. The bill attempted to make information about the Department of Corrections’ procurement of lethal injection drugs a “state secret.” This bill would have shielded the Department of Corrections from public accountability and transparency necessary in proper democratic representation.
- On August 6, 2015 the South Carolina Supreme Court issued a ruling affirming that mercy be a consideration for jurists in capital punishment cases. Justice 360 Legal Director Emily Paavola, who represented one of the individuals whose case the court considered said, “For decades, South Carolina law has provided that jurors may give a life sentence for any reason, or no reason at all, including as an act of mercy.” As a result of the ruling, three individuals had their death sentences vacated.