The Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) is a nonprofit law firm that provides legal representation to people facing the death penalty, challenges human rights violations in prisons and jails, improves legal representation for poor people accused of crimes, and advocates for criminal justice reform on behalf of those affected by the system in the Deep South.
SCHR was founded in 1976 by ministers and activists in response to the United States Supreme Court's reinstatement of the death penalty and the horrendous conditions in Southern prisons and jails. Over the past thirty-five years, SCHR’s attorneys have earned a reputation for zealous advocacy and the highest quality legal work on behalf of individuals facing the death penalty, supported by investigators who have set the standard in both fact and mitigation investigation.
SCHR seeks to reduce the number of new and existing death sentences and executions, prevent the passage of any legislation that could result in an increase in death sentences, strengthen the quality of defense representation in Georgia, and challenge other ways draconian laws and inhumane treatment that those in the criminal justice system face on a daily basis. SCHR engages in innovative and bold litigation that is complemented by strategic policy reform that educates lawmakers, the courts and the public about the deep-rooted problems in the death penalty system in the South.