DCODP’s website offers information, news, events, and action alerts for the purpose of abolishing Delaware’s death penalty.
Senate Majority Leader Margaret Rose Henry recently stated that the discussion of House Bill 125 to reinstate Delaware’s death penalty would be postponed until the General Assembly reconvenes in January 2018. “Of all the issues we’ve dealt with in my time in the General Assembly, there have been few as emotional for both sides as the debate surrounding the death penalty,” said Senate Majority Leader Margaret Rose Henry. D-Wilmington East. “Efforts to repeal the death penalty were ongoing for more than three years before the courts stepped in so I think it’s obvious we need to proceed deliberately and have a full vetting of this issue in the Senate before we consider reinstating capital punishment.” To see the full article, click here.
HB 125 has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee of which Senator Henry is Chair. It has already passed in the full House. Delaware’s death penalty was declared unconstitutional by the Delaware Supreme Court on August 2, 2016 for violating the sixth amendment of the United States Constitution. The new bill proposes to change the previous statute so that juries must be unanimous and judges are prohibited from overriding jury recommendations. These changes may satisfy Constitutional requirements, but don’t do anything to address the other flaws in Delaware’s death penalty. These flaws include its racist application, failure to improve public safety, high risk of executing an innocent, costing more than life without parole, and a 73% failure rate. For further information about the flaws in Delaware’s death penalty, click here.
Join us to find out the crucial role that you can play in keeping Delaware Death Penalty Free!
We will meet from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm in the Wilmington Friends Meeting Social Room, 401 N. West Street, Wilmington, DE 19801.
All are welcome.
Tuesday 5/9/17, the Delaware House passed House Bill 125, the bill aiming to reinstate the death penalty. The Bill passed 24 to 16 with 1 absence. The Bill now goes to the Senate. Please contact your Senator. Go to www.legis.delaware.gov for contact information.
Please thank the 16 Representatives who voted against the bill: Sean M. Lynn, Bryon Short, Paul Baumbach, Andria Viola Bennett, David Bentz, Stephanie T. Bolden, Gerald Brady, Deb Heffernan, J.J. Johnson, Kim Casey Williams, Helene Keeley, John Kowalko, Sean Matthews, Joe Miro, Charles Potter Jr., and John Viola. They stood strong for evidence-based policies, morality, and equal treatment under the law. Thank you all! Thank you also to all death penalty opponents at Legislative Hall!
For further information, click here to read the News Journal story.
Greetings all Death Penalty Abolitionists in the State of Delaware:
On Tuesday, May 9, 2017 you are needed at Legislative Hall, 411 Legislative Ave, Dover DE. House Bill 125 will be brought before the full House for a vote. Our purpose on Tuesday is to present a massive presence in the halls, offices of legislators and in the General Assembly chamber.
There will be no testimony from the public. Please call your Representative.
Please be in attendance in the building wearing either “red” or buttons or other ways to message that you are opposed to reinstatement of the death penalty. Make every attempt to meet with your Representative. Posters and signs are not permitted in the building. Bring photo i.d., which you will need to get in.
Most of these sessions start around 1:00 pm. but no exact time has been announced. If we hear something more specific we will post.
It was obvious that the House Judiciary Committee had no interest in the public testimony last Wednesday.
This is an opportunity for the OPPOSITION to be noticed.
With much gratitude for your ongoing efforts and support.
Delaware Citizens Opposed to the Death Penalty
The outcome of the House Judiciary Committee Hearing on HB 125 to reinstate Delaware’s death penalty was not good. The bill was released from Committee 7 votes to 4. Please call your House Representatives ASAP and urge them to vote NO on HB 125. The Bill is on the Agenda for the full House tomorrow 5/4/17.
Thank you so much to all who attended and to all who testified! Thank you to Movement for a Culture of Peace, the League of Women Voters, Delaware United, the Unitarian Universalist Church, Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation, Coalition to Dismantle the New Jim Crow, the Delaware Center for Justice, the ACLU, the Delaware Green Party, and the folks from Delaware Citizens Opposed to the Death Penalty! (Sorry if I’m forgetting some.) Our arguments against the bill were clear, coherent, diverse, and fact-based.
Special thanks to Rep. Sean Lynn who made a valiant showing of persuasive, rational argument. Thanks also to Reps. JJ Johnson, Gerald Brady, and Charles Potter for standing strong and voting to table the Bill. Sadly, the other 7 members voted the Bill out of Committee. We were operating at a distinct disadvantage as emotions were running high after the recent deaths of Cpl. Ballard and Lt. Floyd. The very moving annual Delaware Law Enforcement Officers Memorial was held at Legislative Hall earlier in the afternoon and many legislators on the committee attended.
House Bill 125 “The Extreme Crimes Protection Act” is scheduled for a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee in the House chamber next Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 2:30 p. m. in Legislative Hall in Dover.
You have a chance to testify against this bill that plans to bring back Delaware’s ineffective, unjust, and biased death penalty. To testify, prepare a 2 minute (about 250) word statement. Plan to arrive early to add your name to the sign-in list. If you want to elaborate beyond the two minutes you may submit further remarks in writing, but they are likely to limit spoken testimony to 2 minutes. For talking points, check out our links: Why Keep Delaware Death Penalty Free and Resource Links.
Please keep in mind that the Law Enforcement Memorial Service is set for noon on that same day. Since the murder last week of Cpl Stephen Ballard, emotions will be running very high, especially among the law enforcement community. Please be respectful.
We encourage everyone to attend, to testify, and to publicize this opportunity to participate in the legislative process.
Please call your State Representatives as well as members of the House Judiciary Committee. Calls on any day are important, but calls on May 2nd, 3rd, and 4th are likely to have the most impact. You can identify your State Rep. by going to the General Assembly website and using the Who is My Legislator tool. You can reach any legislator by calling the general number at (302) 744-4114. Urge them to prevent the return of Delaware’s death penalty.
Thank you for your dedication and work to Keep Delaware Death Penalty Free.
Seeking Community Input on a Holistic Plan for Peace
On Sunday, the Movement for a Culture of Peace (MCP) moves forward with its plans to convene in the midst of the extreme violence and trauma that our Delaware community has seen this week. With collective community input, we will develop a more holistic Action Plan for Peace that includes our work against the Death Penalty. Sunday’s action forum invites a present, hurting community, complete with raw wounds and complex emotional experiences in a holistic and inclusive plan. We urge you to come prepared to think radically about how we address the extraordinary amount of trauma as a result of violence and the intersectionality of our holistic movement toward a true culture of peace in Delaware.
Sunday, April 30 – 3:00 to 5:00 – Grace Church – 900 Washington St. 19801
Corner of 9th and West St. – Ample free parking
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