New Delaware Death Penalty Legislation

Two new bills have been introduced and assigned to the Delaware House Judiciary Committee.

House Bill 305 proposes an amendment to the Delaware Constitution that would prohibit imposition of the death penalty under any circumstances. Sponsors include Reps. Lynn, Longhurst, Baumbach, Dorsey Walker, Bentz, Chukwuocha, K. Johnson, Kowalko, Matthews, Minor-Brown, and Seigfried, and Sens. Townsend, McBride, Lockman, McDowell, Sokola, and Sturgeon, House For details click on HB 305. An amendment to the Delaware Constitution requires a greater than majority vote for passage. It requires approval by two-thirds of both Houses in two subsequent General Assemblies.

House Bill 299, the Egregious Crimes Accountability Act, proposes to bring back Delaware’s death penalty. Sponsors include Reps. Short, Smyk, Dukes, Gray, Morris, Vanderwende, Spiegelman, Yearick, and Sens. Wilson, Ennis, and Pettyjohn. For details click on HB 299

Please contact your legislators regarding these bills. 
  • For HB 305 (prohibiting the death penalty), thank legislators who co-sponsored and urge others to co-sponsor. 
  • For HB 299 (reinstating the death penalty), tell your legislators that Delaware can live without the death penalty and urge them to oppose this bill.

To find out your legislator and their contact information, click here, then type in your address in the Who Is My Legislator? box toward the top right of the screen.

 

Fill Out To Send A Postcard: No “Streamlined” Death Penalty In DE

No_Death_Penalty_Delaware-01We cannot afford to delay action any longer. The Death Penalty legislation to be introduced this month will very likely pass the legislature and bring back this heinous punishment to Delaware. We CANNOT let this happen.

Fill out the form on this link and a volunteer will fill out a postcard on your behalf to send to your legislator. To know who your legislator is, we need your full address where you are registered to vote.

If you can join us for one of our postcard parties to hear about this issue and fill out your own postcard, you do not need to fill out this form. This is for only if you are unable to make it out for a postcard party.

Upcoming chances to fill out postcards in person:

ACLU-DE Guest Bartender Event: March 11th
Network Delaware/Urban League Building People Power Campaign Launch March 14th
Postcard Party: Newark March 16th 6:00 pm
Delaware United Trivia Night March 24th
Death Penalty In Delaware: An Educational and Action Based Forum April 1st
More dates to be added soon!

Death Penalty In Delaware: A Free Educational And Action-Based Forum

No_Death_Penalty_Delaware-01Join us for a free educational and action oriented forum and discussion about the extreme risks associated with Delaware’s Death Penalty Efforts

Wednesday, April 1, 2020 | 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Widener University Delaware Law School, Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom, 4601 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE 19803

To register, click Eventbrite Registration

Panelists will explore capital punishment in general and in particular the legislative initiatives being considered in the Delaware General Assembly this year.

The purpose of this discussion is to inform the community of the serious consequences of moving Delaware back to the status of a “death penalty state”. There will be multiple opportunities for you to take direct action to help stop the death penalty. There will be an opportunity for questions.

Please bring a Pen, Paper, Envelope and Stamp if you have them available.

Panelists Include:

  • Brendan O’Neill – Public Defenders Office
  • Barbara Lewis – Restorative Justice Advocate – Personal experience with DP
  • Kristin Froehlich – Victim’s family member
  • Karen Lantz – Civil Rights Lawyer
  • More to come

Opening Statement by Kathy Jennings – Attorney General for Delaware

Sponsors include:

  • Delaware United
  • Unitarian Universalist of Delaware Advocacy Network
  • Delaware Law School American Constitution Society
  • Delaware Citizens Opposed To The Death Penalty
  • ACLU-DE
  • Delaware Center for Justice

To register, click Eventbrite Registration

While New Hampshire repeals, Delaware seeks to reinstate death penalty

After taking a moment to bask in the good news of New Hampshire’s repeal of the death penalty last week, in Delaware we must face the possibility of legislators reinstating the death penalty. Misnamed the Extreme Crimes Protection Act, House Bill 165 purports to correct the parts of the statute that caused the Delaware Supreme Court to declare the death penalty statute unconstitutional in August, 2016. While the new bill requires juries to make unanimous recommendations and restricts judges from overriding jury recommendations, it does nothing to reduce the other flaws in the application of Delaware’s death penalty. The new bill does nothing to address the racial bias, the harm to victims’ family members, the waste of taxpayer dollars, and the risk of executing an innocent person. The new bill does nothing to address the secondary trauma to jurors, attorneys, corrections officers, and others involved in trials, sentencing, and executions. The new bill fails to address the fact that the administration of Delaware’s death penalty was ineffective and had high rates of error. It fails to acknowledge that the death penalty remains ineffective in improving safety for the public, law enforcement, and public safety officials. The only accurate thing about the name is that if the bill succeeds, it will protect the extreme crime of the state executing its own citizens. Delawareans, please contact your legislators and urge them to oppose House Bill 165.

To see the text of the bill, click on House Bill 165.

To see more about why the death penalty is wrong for Delaware, click here.

To find your legislators’ contact information, go to Who is My Legislator? and enter your address.

To write a letter to the editor, click here.

ACTION ALERT: Planning Meeting

Join members of Delaware Citizens Opposed to the Death Penalty at a planning meeting on Monday, May 27, at 5:30 pm at Wilmington Friends Meeting House, Fourth and West Streets, Wilmington, DE 19801. We realize that it is Memorial Day evening, but trying to keep the Delaware General Assembly from reinstating the death penalty never takes a holiday. We will be discussing House Bill 165, recently introduced and assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. Please come if you can and bring a friend. To see the text and sponsors of House Bill 165, click here.

ACTION ALERT: Urge legislators to oppose HB 165, death penalty reinstatement bill.

Delaware legislators have introduced House Bill 165 to try to reinstate the death penalty. Please call your legislators as well as members of the House Judiciary Committee and urge them to vote “NO” on this bill. Thank you!

House Judiciary Committee:
Sean M. Lynn, Chair 302-744-4114
Krista Griffith, Vice-Chair 302-744-4351
Franklin D. Cooke 302-744-4351
William Bush 302-744-4351
Gerald L. Brady 302-744-4114
Sherry Dorsey Walker 302-744-4351
John L. Mitchell 302-744-4114
Ronald E. Gray 302-744-4171
Stephen Smyk 302-744-4114
Jeffrey N. Spiegelman 302-744-4114
Jesse R. Vanderwende 302-744-4267