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.

Addressing the Trauma of Violence in Delaware

Movement for a Culture of Peace

Seeking Community Input on a Holistic Plan for Peace

2017-04-30_Trauma_150On 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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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