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.

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January 20 Press Conference POSTPONED to January 27th

The Jan. 20 press conference at legislative hall was postponed to Jan. 27. We apologize for the inconvenience.  If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out or give me a call.

Thank you

Min. Rachel B. Livingston, BSME, MDiv

Field Organizer

The Delaware Repeal Project 505 Washington st., Wilmington, DE 19801

(302) 230-6141

January 20, 2016 Press Conference!

Please Join the coalition supporting the Delaware Repeal Project for a press conference to address the racial inequities 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 20, 2016 at 12:00pm. Room 112 in the Tatnall Building, 150 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd S, Dover DE 19901. For more information please contact monac@ejusa.org.

SB 40 held up in Committee – still needs one signature

Democracy lost on Wednesday when six House Judiciary Committee members refused to sign SB 40 out of committee, thereby preventing a vote by all Representatives in the state. Thank you to Rep. Sean Lynn for his courageous sponsorship. Thank you to Reps Smith, Potter, Johnson, and Brady for their support. Please continue to write Reps Spiegelman, Paradee, Smyk, Mitchell, Wilson, and Outten urging them to sign SB40 out of committee. Thank you to all the organizers and all those who testified. Many wise and heartfelt words were shared.

According to DE Repeal representative Rachel Livingston, “One Legislative Hall veteran said it was probably the best testimony ever presented to a committee in his 35+ years. Our voices were heard!”

We will be in touch next week about what more you can do to help. It’s not over!
For now:
• Check out all the great pictures on the Delaware Repeal Facebook page.
• Continue liking and sharing DE Repeal posts and pictures on Facebook and Twitter.
• Write letters to the editor to your local newspaper to express your disappointment with the outcome of the House Judiciary Committee Hearing for SB 40.
• Encourage friends to “Like” the Delaware Citizens Opposed to the Death Penalty and DE Repeal Facebook pages.

In the meantime, never fear, Nevada has successfully passed its repeal bill in two out of three debates. The third debate is expected this coming week. Although the Governor is expected to veto, the majority so far is great enough to override a veto. Such good work from our Conservative neighbors to the West!

Thank you for your continued support!

Governor Supports Repeal of Death Penalty

On May 7, 2015, Gov. Jack Markell announced that he is in support of repeal of the death penalty!  In a statement to the press Gov. Markell said:

“It doesn’t make us safer.  Should the repeal bill come to my desk, I would sign it.”

“This is not an easy issue. My thinking has changed and I just wanted to give it very careful consideration.”

“I know this is a really difficult issue for members of the General Assembly.  I hope that after considering the arguments as I have, they will reach the same conclusion that I have.”