DCODP Monthly Meeting – Monday August 25, 5:30pm

Join us at our Monthly DCODP Meeting as we renew our strategy to prepare for new legislators and a new legislative session. Find out what you can do to help end Delaware’s ineffective, costly, and biased death penalty. Monday 8/25/14 at 5:30 pm. LOCATION: Wilmington Friends Meeting House, 1st floor Social Room, 401 N. West St, Wilmington, DE 19801. Park in the parking lot on the 5th Street side or on the street. Ring the doorbell at the West Street entrance. Call 302-379-0488 for info. All are welcome! Invite a friend!

You’re invited to Strategy Meetings for repealing Delaware’s death penalty

From Delaware Repeal:

The last legislative session of 2014 ended this morning. Unfortunately, SB19 to repeal the death penalty in Delaware did not pass the General Assembly to become law.

Although we are disappointed by this outcome [SB19 not passing], we are inspired by our success this year in securing our vote count and laying the groundwork for ultimate repeal victory in 2015. As a first step, we will host 2 strategy meetings this summer in Wilmington on July 8th and August 7th from 8:30am – 10:30 am on each day. As an integral part of our coalition, we welcome your input and invite you to attend at least one of these meetings.

Please click here to RSVP for our July 8th meeting and here to RSVP for our August 7th meeting!

Also, it’s festival season again! That means the Delaware Repeal Project will be setting up tables across the state to recruit even more Delawareans to join us in our efforts to repeal the death penalty.Volunteering at these festivals and events is fun and it really makes a difference. We would love to have your help. To learn more about it and discuss the possibilities, please contact me at alex@derepeal.org or at 302-729-3196.

Volunteer at Summer Festivals to help end Delaware’s death penalty

Summer Festivals

The DE Repeal Team will be tabling at festivals around Delaware this summer.
We are looking for volunteers to help us out! Email alex@derepeal.org if you are able to attend.

African American Festival

Saturday, June 28th
Dover, DE

Nanticoke River Festival

Friday and Saturday, July 11th and 12th
Seaford, DE

Delaware City Day

Saturday, July 19th
Delaware City, DE

People’s Festival 4 Peace Tribute to Bob Marley

Saturday, July 26th
Riverfront, Wilmington, DE

Wyoming Peach Festival

Saturday, August 2nd
Wyoming, DE

Eastern Shore AFRAM Fest

Friday and Saturday, August 8th and 9th,
Seaford, DE

 August Quarterly Festival

Saturday and Sunday, August 30th and 31st
Wilmington, DE

Brandywine Arts Festival

Saturday and Sunday, September 6th and 7th
Wilmington, DE

Newark Community Day

Sunday, September 21st
Newark, DE

Senate Bill 19 finished the legislative session stuck in the House Judiciary Committee

DE Repeal: “June 30th has come and gone, and it looks like SB 19 won’t be passing this session. But we are so proud of all the amazing progress we have made in the past two years!

Our work continues and we certainly are not stopping here. Thank you for sticking with us and for all of your continued support. Here’s to a new year of abolition!!”

DCODP Monthly Meeting Monday June 23, 2014 at 5:30pm

Join us at our Monthly DCODP Meeting as we strategize about next steps in the effort to end Delaware’s ineffective, costly, and biased death penalty. Help us plan for tabling during the Summer Festival season. Monday 6/23/14 at 5:30 pm. LOCATION: Wilmington Friends Meeting House, 1st floor Social Room, 401 N. West St, Wilmington, DE 19801. Park in the parking lot on the 5th Street side or on the street. Ring the doorbell at the West Street entrance. Call 302-379-0488 for info. All are welcome!

Washington Post-ABC News Poll shows support for death penalty declining.

A new Washington Post-ABC News Poll reports that support for the death penalty continues to decline. “But for the first time in Post-ABC polling, more than half of Americans say they prefer life sentences for convicted murderers, rather than the death penalty. Fifty-two percent of those polled said they would choose life in prison, while 42 percent said they favored execution.” Check out the full article here.

Delivering Justice without Death Penalty

Delivering Justice without Death Penalty

Capital punishment continues to divide public opinion; with a dedicated cadre of proponents and detractors on each side of the issue. For many, it is a matter of morality and decency, rather than a public safety issue. On the other side of the argument are those committed to the death penalty’s place within the justice system, pointing to its effectiveness as a deterrent and form of social control.

Capital punishment has a long and storied history, appearing in civilizations BC, well before making its way to America’s settlements. The 1600’s marked the first executions of criminals in the Colonies, spurring a debate about capital punishment that continues today. Revisions have continually changed the place of capital punishment on American soil, including prohibitions and endorsements from the United States Government as well as those put-forth by individual states and territories. The early 1970’s saw the structure of today’s capital punishment laws established, through a series of court actions that first prohibited the practice in 1972, and then codified its legal status in 1976.

The vigor with which executions are carried out varies across individual states, with California and Florida currently leading the way for inmates sentenced to death. Altogether, more than 3000 inmates currently sit on death row, reflecting a total that has exceeded 3000 individuals annually since 1995. On the other hand, more than 1300 prisoners have been executed by individual states and federal authorities since capital punishment was enacted in 1976.

Ironically, the Supreme Court had issued decisions prior to 1976 identifying the death penalty as a form of cruel and unusual punishment, yet 30 years later we have failed to return to the wisdom the courts clearly saw. Recent developments, however, illustrate a sea change in the way capital punishment is viewed by the current court, so the tide may again be turning toward compassion and  common sense.

Florida Case Supports Less Killing

Hall v Florida involves a man of limited mental capacity sentenced to death for his role in a decades-old crime. At issue is Florida’s standard for determining who may be executed. According to the decision handed down in 2002, states largely control how they judge who’s fit for execution. In the Florida case, the convicted death row inmate, Freddie Lee Hall, missed the cut off by as little as a single point. In other words, had Hall’s test score fallen one point lower, sufficient mental limitations would have been deemed present, barring Mr. Hall from execution in the state.

The Supreme Court ruled that the standard for determining mental competency is too rigid in Florida, a decision that will impact other states as well. According to the precedent set by the 2002 Atkins case, states were given loose guidelines to follow determining whether inmates are fit for execution. The general standards furnished by Atkins require low I.Q., significant social and practical impairment, as well as the presence of both conditions prior to reaching adulthood.

Although this session’s Hall case fell within the established guidelines extended by the Atkins court, today’s Supreme Court determined that the mechanical approach does not account for the whole picture in some cases. According to the decision, analysis of co-existing mental conditions and other extenuating factors serve justice, rather than simply assigning numbers to death row inmates’ cognitive abilities.

One would hope the trend supported by this week’s decision is one toward further limitations of arcane justice practices like capital punishment. In light of the ruling, several states will be required to adjust their approaches to the death sentence, including those with an established I.Q. threshold on the books. This overt repudiation from the courts is one step closer to justice without the death penalty.

Author: Daphne Holmes contributed this guest post. She is a writer from http://www.arrestrecords.com and you can reach her at daphneholmes9@gmail.com.