The Center for Death Penalty Litigation is a non-profit law firm that provides direct representation to inmates on North Carolina’s death row, as well as consulting with and training attorneys who practice capital litigation across the state. CDPL’s commitment to representing indigent and disadvantaged defendants just as vigorously as corporate lawyers defend their highest-paying clients has saved the lives of many who faced execution. In addition to representing individual clients, CDPL spearheads litigation that addresses systemic injustices and educates the public about the death penalty. The Center for Death Penalty Litigation has been a leading force in dramatically reducing the number of executions in North Carolina, and has cast light on the arbitrariness and unfairness of our state’s capital punishment system.
On Sept. 26, we celebrated the achievements of Etta Blankenship and Bob Trenkle, two stars of the North Carolina capital defense community. Thanks to photographer Emily Baxter for capturing a beautiful evening that reminded us why we do this work. Click to see a few of the highlights from the evening.
CDPL founder and former director Henderson Hill is joining the defense team of Curtis Flowers, a death-sentenced man in Mississippi whose extraordinary case rose to national prominence after a gripping podcast revealed that he is innocent. Flowers is facing a seventh trial for the same crime. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned his case earlier this year after finding that the prosecutor had systematically excluded African American jurors at all six of Flowers’ previous trials. The evidence of racist jury selection in Flowers’ case is strikingly similar to evidence that CDPL helped uncover in North Carolina under the Racial Justice Act.
On August 26 and 27, CDPL attorneys were part of an amazing team that argued six Racial Justice Act cases before the North Carolina Supreme Court. These cases go to the heart of our work to bring to light the injustice of the death penalty. We presented clear evidence that these death sentences were poisoned by racial discrimination and cannot stand. Here are a few memories from those momentous days.
Learn more about the death penalty. For a fuller listing, go to our Links page:
- N.C. Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
- Carolina Justice Policy Center
- Death Penalty Information Center
See Our Impact
CDPL’s staff has halted wrongful executions, helped free innocent people from death row, and exposed systemic injustices. Learn more about the work that has made CDPL a leader in addressing unfairness in capital punishment.