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. CDPL 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.
CDPL is mourning the loss of our board member and longtime friend Darryl Hunt, a tireless advocate for ending the death penalty and helping the wrongly convicted. After serving 19 years for a murder he did not commit, Darryl devoted his life to ending the death penalty and helping innocent people in prison. He traveled across North Carolina and the nation telling his story. His passionate advocacy for justice will be his lasting legacy.
CDPL and the N.C. Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty have just launched a new interactive project: On Trial for Their Lives. Much like the Innocence Registry tracks the cases of people exonerated, this website tracks the cases of people who are wrongly targeted with the death penalty in North Carolina. Learn more about the dangerous and all-too-common practice of prosecuting even the weakest cases capitally, and search for cases across North Carolina.
2015 brought many signs that North Carolina’s death penalty is dying. There were no new death sentences this year, and only four capital trials. Executions remained on hold for the ninth straight year, and the murder rate is lower than in years where executions were monthly occurrences. We have come a long way since the 1990s, when more than two dozen people were sentenced to death each year. We got here with hard work and persistence.
Learn more about the death penalty. For a fuller listing, go to our Links page:
- N.C. Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
- N.C. Advocates for Justice
- 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.