CDPL is a non-profit law firm that represents people on death row, coordinates capital litigation across North Carolina, and serves as a clearinghouse for accurate and timely information on the N.C. death penalty. We believe that indigent defendants facing the death penalty deserve the same kind of high-quality representation available to the highest-paying clients. We also believe that ending the unjust and error-prone death penalty is a crucial part of building a more humane criminal justice system in North Carolina.
We are happy to announce that James Williams, CDPL’s Racial Equity Coordinator, is the winner of the N.C. Advocates for Justice 2022 Annie Brown Kennedy Award. This award honors a commitment to acquiring full freedom for all citizens of North Carolina and exceptional advocacy that protects individual liberties. Its first recipient, in 2021, was former Chief Justice Cheri Beasley. James could not be a more deserving successor.
CDPL is proud to announce that we have been awarded this year’s Equity Award from the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts. The award honors individuals and organizations that work to eliminate bias and promote equal access to the courts. It was awarded to CDPL in recognition of decades of work to expose and remedy racism in the North Carolina death penalty, as well as the court system as a whole. CDPL has undertaken two major areas of litigation focused on rooting out racism.
It was wonderful to see many of our friends in person again on April 14 as we celebrated Steve Freedman and Gerda Stein at Parizade. We were reminded once again how lucky we are to have such a smart and dedicated community working to end the unjust death penalty. For those of you who weren’t able to join us in person, we recorded this year’s award presentations. Please watch to see the highlights of the evening, and to hear a little more about our two exceptional award recipients.
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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.