CDPL board member Darryl Hunt is this year’s winner of the ACLU’s Paul Green Award for people who have made important efforts to abolish or reform the death penalty.
We cannot imagine a more deserving recipient. Darryl spent 19 years in prison and was nearly sentenced to death for a murder he didn’t commit. He received a sentence of life in prison because a single juror refused to vote for the death penalty.
“If I had gotten a death sentence, there’s no doubt in my mind, I would have been executed,” Darryl says.
Although DNA results proved his innocence in 1994, it took another 10 years of legal appeals to exonerate him. The state fought his release until another man finally came forward and confessed to the crime.
Since his release in 2004, Darryl has devoted his life to advocating nationwide for ending the death penalty. In 2005, he founded the Darryl Hunt Project for Freedom and Justice, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about criminal justice reform opportunities, advocating for the wrongfully convicted, and supporting people who are recently released from prison. He was a key advocate for the passage in 2009 of the groundbreaking N.C. Racial Justice Act, which allowed death row inmates to challenge their sentences based on evidence of systemic racial bias.
In 2012, Darryl received an honorary doctorate from Duke University for his work. He also joined the CDPL board of directors that year.
Buy tickets here for the April 2 Liberty Awards Dinner honoring Darryl and other civil liberties heroes.