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 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.


Death Penalty repeal bill on hold while under Supreme Court review

Sen. Karen Peterson, D-Stanton, and Rep. Sean Lynn, D-Dover, are suspending further legislative action on Senate Bill 40 – the death penalty repeal bill – due to the constitutional review of Delaware’s capital punishment statute by the Delaware Supreme Court.

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

To read the full article, click here.

House votes NO on Repeal Bill SB 40.

On January 28, 2016, the Delaware House of Representatives voted against Senate Bill 40 16-23-2.

Rep. Kim Williams’ NO vote was part of a procedural strategy to allow the bill to remain alive this session for a future vote.

Thank you to all those who showed courage and leadership in supporting this smart-on-crime bill.

Do not lose heart. Every time the issue is discussed, more light is shone on the issue. Abolition is coming. Please continue to contact your legislators on this important issue!

Floor vote on SB 40 – Thursday, January 28th

Delaware Representatives will finally have a chance to vote on SB 40 this Thursday, January 28th at Legislative Hall. The session starts at 2:00pm, but please arrive early to get a seat. Help us pack the House hall in Dover as legislators debate the bill.

The Press Conference is still scheduled for Wednesday, January 27th at 12:00pm. This event will help to build momentum for the debate and vote on Thursday.

This week, please contact your Representatives and urge them to vote YES on SB 40.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 Press Conference!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 Press Conference!
Please Join the coalition supporting the Delaware Repeal Project for a press conference to address the racial inequities and other flaws in Delaware’s criminal justice system, and call for repeal of the death penalty. If you are available, please plan to stay and lobby your elected representative. Materials will be provided. Wednesday January 27, 2016 at 12:00pm. House Chamber in Legislative Hall. For more information please contact monac@ejusa.org. Please spread the word to your friends and groups. The more people who attend, the more our legislators will see that the death penalty is not the right policy for Delaware.

Senate Bill 40 Released from Committee!

Here we go, folks! House Rep. Larry Mitchell signed Senate Bill 40 out of the House Judiciary Committee today. House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf said he will place SB 40 on the agenda for the full House to debate on Thursday, January 28th. Read the full press release below.

Delaware House of Representatives
House Majority Caucus
For Immediate Release: January 21, 2016
Contact: Drew Volturo  Work: (302) 744-4001

Capital Punishment Repeal Bill Released From Committee

SB 40 will be heard on House floor on January 28

DOVER – House Judiciary Committee chair Rep. Larry Mitchell announced today that he has taken action to release legislation repealing capital punishment in Delaware from committee. House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf has committed to placing Senate Bill 40 on the House agenda for Thursday, January 28.

Senate Bill 40, sponsored by Sen. Karen Peterson and Rep. Sean Lynn, was heard in the House Judiciary Committee last spring, but failed to secure enough votes to be released to the full House. Rep. Mitchell, who voted against releasing the bill last year, said today that he signed SB 40 out of committee with an “unfavorable” endorsement, which will allow the bill to move forward.

“As a retired New Castle County Police officer, I am personally opposed to repealing capital punishment. However, it is clear to me that this issue deserves to be presented to all the members of the House for debate and an up-or-down vote,” said Rep. Mitchell, D-Elsmere. “Some of my fellow colleagues in the Democratic Caucus want to see this bill on the House floor, and I agree with them.”

SB 40 would effectively repeal Delaware’s statute allowing for capital punishment in first-degree murder cases, with an exemption for inmates currently on death row.

“I have stated from the beginning that although I oppose repealing the death penalty, I would respect the legislative process and place the bill on a House agenda if and when it was released from committee,” said Rep. Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach, a retired Delaware State Police captain. “I thank Rep. Mitchell for his leadership.”

Rep. Lynn said he appreciated Rep. Mitchell signing the bill out of committee despite his opposition to the proposal.

“I would like to thank Rep. Mitchell for recognizing the importance of bringing this bill forward and Speaker Schwartzkopf for keeping his commitment to putting SB 40 on the floor for a debate and up-or-down vote,” said Rep. Lynn, D-Dover. “I feel strongly that capital punishment has no place in our criminal justice system today. I hope that my colleagues will have a healthy and civil debate on this important issue.”

Rep. Schwartzkopf said he will place SB 40 on an agenda for a day certain on Thursday, January 28.