2016 DCODP Annual Meeting – Monday, Nov 14th, 2016

Delaware Citizens Opposed to the Death Penalty

2016 Annual Meeting

Join us for a short business meeting followed by a presentation:

Capital Punishment in Delaware: Reviewing Past Legislation and Creating a Path Forward

 DCODP will present awards to former Senator Karen Peterson, Senator Gary Simpson, and Representative Sean Lynn

karen-peterson-photo
Karen Peterson retired from the Senate on October 31st, 2016, after fourteen years of service. She has received numerous awards during her forty-two years of government service for her work on open government, criminal justice, child protection, and animal welfare. She was the primary sponsor of legislation to repeal Delaware’s death penalty. She ably shepherded death penalty repeal bills Senate Bill 19 in 2013 and Senate Bill 40 in 2015 to success in the state Senate.

 

Monday, November 14th, 2016

7:00 Business Meeting

7:30 Speaker

Kirkwood Library, 6000 Kirkwood Hwy, Wilmington, DE 19808

The annual meeting is free and open to the public.

Refreshments will be provided.

Delaware Citizens Opposed to the Death Penalty is a restorative justice project of Pacem in Terris. For more information, call 302-379-0488 or visit www.enddeathpenaltyde.org.

Video: Anthony Ray Hinton spent 30 years on death row as an innocent man.

Meet Anthony ‘Ray’ Hinton, a man who spent 30 years on Alabama’s death row. He was released in 2015 after 16 yrs of appeals by the Equal Justice Initiative. Watch him talk about what he lost and why it is crucial to repeal the death penalty.Ray was innocent.  #DeathPenaltyFail explores a very human story of loss, and unpicks the devastating impact that the death penalty can have.

But Ray’s story is not entirely unique, we learn that there are many others who have suffered the consequences of this flawed system.  A total of 156 people have been exonerated from death row in the U.S.  The question is:  How many innocent people have been executed?

Watch Ray’s story on the 5-minute video at this link.

Here at #DeathPenaltyFail, we think that even one mistake is inexcusable. #OneisTooMany.

Director: Bruce Goodison
Executive Producers: Johnny Webb, Dov Freedman & Chandra Jessee

Keep Delaware DP-Free Strategy Meeting

On 8/2/16, the Delaware Supreme Court ruled that Delaware’s death penalty statute was unconstitutional. Shortly afterward 15 legislators promised to introduce legislation to bring back the death penalty. Join us for a Strategy Meeting to keep Delaware free of the death penalty. Park in the parking lot on the 5th Street side or on the street. Ring the doorbell at the West Street entrance. All are welcome!

Monday, September 26 at 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Wilmington Friends Meeting House, 1st floor Social Room, 401 N. West St, Wilmington, DE 19801

Delaware Supreme Court Rules Death Penalty Unconstitutional!

On Tuesday, 8/2/16, the Delaware Supreme Court issued their decision that Delaware’s death penalty statute is unconstitutional. Chief Justice Leo Strine, writing the majority opinion stated, “I join with a majority of my colleagues in concluding that Delaware‘s current death penalty statute conflicts with the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution.” The 6th amendment to the US Constitution says you are entitled to a fair jury. The interpretation by the US Supreme Court last Spring in Florida’s Hurst decision, and now by the Delaware Supreme Court, is that a jury, not a judge, must make the final determination in deciding who receives a death sentence.

To read the full decision, click: Rauf v State of DE Decision 080216 

To read the News Journal article, click: Delaware’s Death Penalty Law Unconstitutional

Thanks belong to so many people who worked so hard toward this victory. Thanks to Chief Justice Leo Strine and the other Justices who so carefully considered the difficult questions related to the jury’s role in sentencing capital cases. Thank you to the sponsors of recent bills to repeal Delaware’s death penalty, Rep. Sean Lynn, Sen. Karen Peterson, and Rep. Darryl Scott. Thank you to Kathleen MacRae at the ACLU for transforming the landscape of death penalty repeal work. Thank you to the Delaware Repeal Project leadership, Jeremy Collins, Mona Cadena, Rev. Donald Morton, Rachel Livingston, and Sherry Dorsey-Walker. Thank to all the Delaware Repeal Project partners. Thank you to the DCODP leadership whose members have been working to end the death penalty since 1992 when Delaware’s death penalty was reinstated. Sally Milbury-Steen, Connie Kreshtool, John Beer, Kevin O’Connell, Barbara Lewis, and Anne Coleman were some of the original members who have been constant in their efforts. Thank you to Molly Keogh, the current Board President who has helmed the current Committee with wisdom and dedication. Thank you to Horace Knight with Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation. Thank you to Sandra Joy with the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, who always recognizes the humanity in each person on death row and those who have been exonerated. Thank you to the many religious leaders who lead their flocks in the right direction. Thank you to all the legislators who took the time to examine the issue of the death penalty in all of its complexity. Thank you to Abraham Bonowitz who was instrumental in pulling important people and events together. Thank you to all the volunteers and those who used their time and energy to pave the way for this decision.

We remain mindful and respectful of the many families of murder victims who continue to grieve, the many individuals who remain wrongfully accused and convicted, and those still on death row and their families.

While we celebrate the decision, concerns remain. The Delaware Department of Justice may decide to challenge the decision. The Delaware General Assembly may choose to attempt to create a new death penalty statute. The Delaware death penalty has gone and then returned in the past. We will remain vigilant!

SILENT VIGIL at DE SUPREME COURT 6/15 at 9:30 am

This Wednesday, June 15th at 9:30 am, the Delaware Supreme Court will hear final oral arguments in preparation for deciding whether Delaware’s death penalty violates federal Constitutional standards.

Join us as we gather at 9:30 am in silence on the Green across from the Delaware Supreme Court, 55 The Green, Dover, DE 19901.

If you want to sit inside to hear the arguments, plan to be there by 8:30am as there is limited seating inside. Anyone entering the courthouse is asked to refrain from wearing pins, t-shirts, or other insignia related to their position on the death penalty.

If you cannot attend, you can follow the events on DE Supreme Court livestream video.

For further information on the arguments, go to DE Supreme Court Oral Arguments Rauf v State.

Moral Witness Wednesdays begin this Wed 3/9 at 4:30pm

Today we announce the end of legislative action on SB40 but it is far from the end of this work to repeal the death penalty in Delaware! Sen. Karen Peterson and Rep. Sean Lynn, the prime sponsors of the bill, have decided to suspend further legislative action on the bill due to the robust constitutional review of Delaware’s capital punishment statute by the Delaware Supreme Court.  Sen. Peterson and Rep. Lynn said the following:

 “The U.S. Supreme Court has put the legitimacy of Delaware’s death penalty statute into question with its decision in Hurst v. Florida. Superior Court President Judge Jan Jurden has issued a temporary stay of all capital murder trials and executions. It only makes sense for the General Assembly to wait for the Delaware high court to rule before we decide on further action.” – Sen. Karen Peterson

“The prudent course of action at this point is to wait and see what the court decides.” – Rep. Sean Lynn

We are thrilled that the DE Supreme Court will be weighing the constitutionality of our death penalty and will continue to watch the court proceedings but as organizers we know, that working for justice is a year round endeavor not limited to the court room and the legislative process.

We will continue to educate the public put pressure on our legislators. Please continue to join us for “Moral Witness Wednesday” this Wednesday at 4:30pm.  We will meet at a nearby church and walk over to Legislative Hall:  Wesley United Methodist Church (Parking Lot, E. North st. Entrance), 209 S. State St., Dover, DE