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.
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.
In the fall of 2020, we released our project Racist Roots, a collection of essays, artwork, poetry and more that reveals the North Carolina death penalty’s deep entanglement with racism. This was CDPL’s most ambitious storytelling project ever, but we knew the website could not be the end. We want as many people as possible to understand the racist roots of North Carolina’s death penalty — and to join us in the movement to end it. That’s why, with the help of a talented video production team, we created the film version of Racist Roots.
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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.