Delaware Citizens Opposed to the Death Penalty

DCODP’s website offers information, news, events, and action alerts for the purpose of abolishing Delaware’s death penalty.

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DPIC Study Finds No Evidence that Death Penalty Deters Murder or Protects Police

DPIC_Study_Does_the_Death_Penalty_Deter_MurderA Death Penalty Information Center analysis of U.S. murder data from 1987 through 2015 has found no evidence that the death penalty deters murder or protects police. Instead, the evidence shows that murder rates, including murders of police officers, are consistently higher in death-penalty states than in states that have abolished the death penalty. And far from experiencing increases in murder rates or open season on law enforcement, the data show that states that have abolished the death penalty since 2000 have the lowest rates of police officers murdered in the line of duty and that killings of police account for a much smaller percentage of murders in those states.

For further information, click here.

Volunteer Opportunity at Newark Community Day – 9/17/17

Part of the mission of Delaware Citizens Opposed to the Death Penalty is education. We need your help at Newark Community Day to spread the message that Delaware needs to remain free of the death penalty. Join us for an hour or two to hand out materials or help visitors take a poll. It’s easy and fun.

Sunday, 9/17/17, 11am – 4pm, University of Delaware Green, Newark, Delaware.

For further information about Newark Community Day, click here.

To notify us that you can volunteer or if you have questions, click here.

Review of Death Penalty Reinstatement Bill HB 125 Postponed

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.

Delaware House passes Bill to reinstate the death penalty. Bill goes to Senate next.

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.

CALL TO ACTION: Join the Resistance to HB 125 in Dover on Tuesday, May 9th.

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.

Molly Keogh
Delaware Citizens Opposed to the Death Penalty

House Bill 125 voted out of committee. Scheduled to be heard by full House Thursday, May 4th

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.