CALL TO ACTION: Hearing on House Bill 125 this Wed May 3rd at 2:30pm

House Bill 125 “The Extreme Crimes Protection Act” is scheduled for a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee in the House chamber next Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 2:30 p. m. in Legislative Hall in Dover.

You have a chance to testify against this bill that plans to bring back Delaware’s ineffective, unjust, and biased death penalty. To testify, prepare a 2 minute (about 250) word statement. Plan to arrive early to add your name to the sign-in list. If you want to elaborate beyond the two minutes you may submit further remarks in writing, but they are likely to limit spoken testimony to 2 minutes. For talking points, check out our links: Why Keep Delaware Death Penalty Free and Resource Links.

Please keep in mind that the Law Enforcement Memorial Service is set for noon on that same day. Since the murder last week of Cpl Stephen Ballard, emotions will be running very high, especially among the law enforcement community. Please be respectful.

We encourage everyone to attend, to testify, and to publicize this opportunity to participate in the legislative process.

Please call your State Representatives as well as members of the House Judiciary Committee. Calls on any day are important, but calls on May 2nd, 3rd, and 4th are likely to have the most impact. You can identify your State Rep. by going to the General Assembly website and using the Who is My Legislator tool. You can reach any legislator by calling the general number at (302) 744-4114. Urge them to prevent the return of Delaware’s death penalty.

Thank you for your dedication and work to Keep Delaware Death Penalty Free.

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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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Lock the Door on Delaware’s Death Penalty Action Forum – April 30th

Action Forum to Stop HB 125
Sunday, April 30 – 3:00 to 5:00 pm
Grace United Methodist Church

The event is free and open to the public

Movement for a Culture of Peace (MCP) is teaming up with Delaware Citizens Against the Death Penalty (DCODP) and other groups to take action to defeat HB 125, which seeks to restore capital punishment in the First State. Delaware’s former death penalty statute was declared unconstitutional last year by the state supreme court.  To read the full text of HB 125, click here.

We need to act now to stop HB 125, which is currently in the House Judiciary Committee. The hearing for the bill is expected to be in early May. After opening remarks from civil rights attorney Jeremy Collins and Kristin Froehlich, vice president of DCODP, we’ll get to work writing letters, making posters, and preparing to rally against capital punishment at Legislative Hall.  Persons interested in testifying against the bill may receive training and tips on how to be most effective. We are most powerful and persuasive when we work together.

>Please help us publicize by printing and distributing our poster and mentioning this meeting on social media. You will find various versions of this graphic on the Movement for a Culture of Peace Resources Page.

DCODP Monthly Meeting Monday, April 24, 2017

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.

No Death Penalty! Letter to the Editor Training Event


Hosted by Delaware United and Delaware Citizens Opposed to the Death Penalty

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!!!!

House Bill 125 will attempt to bring the death penalty back to Delaware.

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.

To send a letter to your go to sample letter.  Personalize the letter. Click here to see other reasons to keep Delaware death penalty-free.

Letters to the editor are also helpful, especially downstate where support for the death penalty is most fierce.

Legislators wanting to bring back death penalty ignore the facts

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.”