It will require all of our actions to keep the death penalty from being reinstated in the Delaware Legislature. Please attend our next meeting to find out the crucial role that you can play in keeping Delaware Death Penalty Free! We will meet at 5:30 pm in the Wilmington Friends Meeting Social Room, 401 N. West Street, Wilmington, DE 19801. All are welcome.
Sunday, April 23rd from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Newark Natural Foods, 230 E. Main St, Newark, DE 19711 (in the Newark Shopping Center). Free parking.
We are doing a group “Letter to the Editor” writing event to help educate readers on why the death penalty is wrong for Delaware.
Don’t know how to write a great letter to the editor? You can simply learn by doing! We will have a short presentation so you can learn what makes a good letter, and see some quality examples. Then, you can write your letter, get it proofread, get information to include in your letter, enjoy some pizza, and send your letter to the major Delaware publications.
Please bring a laptop if you have one!!!!
Monday April 4th, legislators introduced House Bill 125 to reinstate Delaware’s death penalty: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE EXTREME CRIMES PROTECTION ACT. Click on the link for the full details of the bill. Click here to read the full text of the bill.
We need your help to prevent HB 125 from sending Delaware back to the dark ages.
Please contact your state legislators and tell them you oppose this bill. To get the contact info of your legislators, go to State Legislators and type your address in the Who Is My Legislator? box on the top right.
Letters to the editor are also helpful, especially downstate where support for the death penalty is most fierce.
|Legislators Arguments for Bringing Back the Death Penalty||THE FACTS ABOUT DELAWARE’S DEATH PENALTY|
|“an opportunity to craft a new, stronger capital punishment statute that not only meets constitutional standards, but also potentially contains safeguards to further augment the high integrity of the process.”||Even if a new death penalty statute corrects the 6th amendment violations, requiring unanimous jury recommendations for death and disallowing judges from overriding jury recommendations, it wouldn’t fix its other problems including high cost, high error rate, racial bias, and ineffectiveness in deterring murder and healing victims and communities.|
|“The First State has a long history of applying it cautiously, judiciously, and infrequently.”||NOT CAUTIOUSLY: Forensic evidence not required. Jermaine Wright was sentenced to death without a shred of forensic evidence. He spent over 20 years on death row before pleading no contest and being released with time served; only three states have a number of aggravating factors equal to or higher than Delaware.
NOT JUDICIOUSLY: violated the 6th amendment to the U.S. Constitution; prosecutorial misconduct in several cases; unethical: defendants are threatened with death sentences in order to get them to plead guilty to lesser charges; racial bias; ineffective: over 40% of those given a death sentence are not ultimately executed.
NOT INFREQUENTLY: DE has recently been listed 5th in death sentences per capita and 3rd in executions per capita since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.
|“capital punishment can serve as a deterrent, possibly preventing the worst of crimes from ever being committed”||In spite of its frequent use of the death penalty, Delaware is in the top 10 states in terms of murder rate. States with the death penalty have consistently higher murder rates than those without the death penalty.|
|“the only appropriate punishment for some offenses of such a heinous nature that no other sanction would be adequate.”||The death penalty violates the sentencing guidelines of Delaware’s Sentencing Accountability Commission (SENTAC). Life Without Parole is an appropriate sentence as it punishes while allowing for the possibility of offenders taking responsibility for their crime.|
|“Until this week, Delaware was one of 31 states that authorized capital punishment.”||“Only 2% of the counties in the U.S. have been responsible for the majority of cases leading to executions since 1976. Likewise, only 2% of the counties are responsible for the majority of today’s death row population and recent death sentences. To put it another way, all of the state executions since the death penalty as reinstated stem from cases in just 15% of the counties in the U.S.”|
|“We realize there are lingering questions about the equity of its application, but that is a separate issue”||Equity should not be separate, but should be central, especially given the history of racial bias in Delaware’s death penalty. “Black defendants who kill white victims are more than six times as likely to receive the death penalty as are black defendants who kill black victims.”|
Join us at our Monthly DCODP Meeting as we focus on keeping Delaware free of the death penalty. Monday 3/27/17 from 5:30 to 7:00pm. LOCATION: Wilmington Friends Meeting House, 1st floor Social Room, 401 N. West St, Wilmington, DE 19801. Park in the parking lot on the 5th Street side or on the street. Ring the doorbell at the West Street entrance. Call 302-379-0488 for info. Invite a friend. All are welcome!
On December 15th, the Delaware Supreme Court vacated the death sentence of Derrick Powell. Mr. Powell will now have a sentence of life without parole. The decision will apply to the other 11 men on death row, who will also have their death sentences changed to life without parole.
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
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.