SB 40 held up in Committee – still needs one signature

Democracy lost on Wednesday when six House Judiciary Committee members refused to sign SB 40 out of committee, thereby preventing a vote by all Representatives in the state. Thank you to Rep. Sean Lynn for his courageous sponsorship. Thank you to Reps Smith, Potter, Johnson, and Brady for their support. Please continue to write Reps Spiegelman, Paradee, Smyk, Mitchell, Wilson, and Outten urging them to sign SB40 out of committee. Thank you to all the organizers and all those who testified. Many wise and heartfelt words were shared.

According to DE Repeal representative Rachel Livingston, “One Legislative Hall veteran said it was probably the best testimony ever presented to a committee in his 35+ years. Our voices were heard!”

We will be in touch next week about what more you can do to help. It’s not over!
For now:
• Check out all the great pictures on the Delaware Repeal Facebook page.
• Continue liking and sharing DE Repeal posts and pictures on Facebook and Twitter.
• Write letters to the editor to your local newspaper to express your disappointment with the outcome of the House Judiciary Committee Hearing for SB 40.
• Encourage friends to “Like” the Delaware Citizens Opposed to the Death Penalty and DE Repeal Facebook pages.

In the meantime, never fear, Nevada has successfully passed its repeal bill in two out of three debates. The third debate is expected this coming week. Although the Governor is expected to veto, the majority so far is great enough to override a veto. Such good work from our Conservative neighbors to the West!

Thank you for your continued support!

Governor Supports Repeal of Death Penalty

On May 7, 2015, Gov. Jack Markell announced that he is in support of repeal of the death penalty!  In a statement to the press Gov. Markell said:

“It doesn’t make us safer.  Should the repeal bill come to my desk, I would sign it.”

“This is not an easy issue. My thinking has changed and I just wanted to give it very careful consideration.”

“I know this is a really difficult issue for members of the General Assembly.  I hope that after considering the arguments as I have, they will reach the same conclusion that I have.”

Lobby Day 5/6/15 and Hearing 5/13/15 in Dover

We have two major events coming up in the next couple weeks, and need your support and presence for one or both days. If you can’t there is still another way you can help. Here’s how:

  • Join our lobby day on Wednesday, May 6 at Legislative Hall, 411 Legislative Ave, Dover DE 19901. Meet in the basement cafeteria at noon. We’ll have resources you can use to speak with your legislator.
  • Come to the SB 40 Committee Hearing on Wednesday, May 13 to show your support for repeal. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. and we’re asking supporters to meet us in the basement cafeteria at 10:00 a.m. so that we can fill the seats in the hall and the balcony. There will be time for everyone who would like to testify to do so. If you would like to speak at the hearing, please email
  • We still need letters to the editor to your local newspaper to ensure your representative knows you want to repeal the death penalty.

Thank you for your continued support!


Rachel Livingston
Communications Coordinator
Delaware Repeal

DCODP Monthly Meeting – Mon, 4/27/15, 5:30-7:00

Join us at our Monthly DCODP Meeting as we plan to continue SB 40’s success in the House Judiciary Committee. Find out what you can do to help end Delaware’s ineffective, costly, and biased death penalty. Monday 4/27/15 from 5:30 to 7:00pm. 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.

SB 40 passes Senate 11-9!

So I’m sitting in my office wondering what’s happening with SB 40 to repeal Delaware’s death penalty. I can’t be in Dover because of work commitments. I have a break in my schedule about 3:30 so I quickly tune into the live audio on the general assembly website. Senator Dave McBride is testifying about why he changed from opposing to supporting repeal. Then the final vote. SB 40 passes 11-9!! I’m so excited, my hands are shaking as I’m trying to text to find out more details. Thank you to Senator Karen Peterson, who has shepherded this bill with dignity, common sense, and determination. Thank you to all those legislators who studied the issue carefully. Thank you to those members of Delaware Repeal Project and DCODP who have worked so hard and continue to support the cause. Thank you to all those citizens who contacted their legislators and continue to educate about this issue. We still have to pass the House, but this victory feels great!

Senate Bill 40 Status: Out of Senate Judiciary Committee

Senate Bill 40 is expected to be debated in the Senate this Thursday 4/2/15 at Legislative Hall in Dover. Your presence would help convey the importance of this bill to the public. However, you can follow the progress of the bill on the website of the state legislature: You can enter the Bill Number in the Bill Quick Search on the top right corner. The Session is GA 148. Bill Type is SB. Number is 40. 

As you can see below, the bill has a variety of sponsors and co-sponsors, both Republicans and Demoncrats from both the Senate and the House. Please write and thank your legislators if they are co-sponsoring the bill. If not, urge your legislators to become co-sponsors. 

The Actions History shows that the bill was reported out of committee with 5 on its merits. “On its merits” in this case means neither favorable nor unfavorable, merely released to be voted on by the entire Senate. Since Senator Blevins was not present during the hearing, I expect that “5” refers to the other five committee members: Committee Chair Henry, and Senators Lavelle, McDowell, Simpson, and Townsend.

Primary Sponsor(s): Peterson Additional Sponsor(s):    Sen. Simpson & Rep. Lynn & Rep. Keeley

Co-Sponsors: Sens. Bushweller, Cloutier, Henry, McDowell, Sokola, Townsend; Reps. Barbieri, Baumbach, Bolden, Brady, Heffernan, J. Johnson, Kowalko, Matthews, Miro, Potter, Ramone, B. Short, M. Smith, K. Williams

Introduced On: 03/18/2015


Synopsis of Bill: This Act eliminates capital punishment, except for those convicted of first-degree murder before the effective date of this Act. The procedures for determining punishment, review of punishment, and method of punishment for first-degree murder related to capital punishment would still apply to those convicted of first-degree murder before the effective date of this Act.

Current Status: Out of Committee   On  03/25/15

Actions History: Mar 25, 2015 – Reported Out of Committee (JUDICIARY) in Senate with 5 On Its Merits
Mar 18, 2015 – Assigned to Judiciary Committee in Senate