Who’s Next To Abolish The Death Penalty – Delaware?

The state of Delaware is known as the “Small Wonder”, but it has a surprisingly large death row.  With 17 men (10 of them African American) facing execution, Delaware’s death row is more than twice as big as Virginia’s, and more than 3 times the size of Maryland’s.  And Delaware has the third highest per capita execution rate of any state in the U.S. (behind Oklahoma and Texas).

But now, a bill making its way through the state legislature may mean than no one else will be sent to Delaware’s death row.  A death penalty repeal bill has already cleared the Delaware Senate, and will be taken up by the House on April 24.

There are deep concerns about costs, about wrongful convictions, and about the racial disproportionality of Delaware’s death penalty (the subject of a Cornell University study). These concerns, amplified by powerful appeals from family members of murder victims, and by the voices of those forced to become complicit in state killing (like this juror from a recent Delaware capital case), may be enough to bring about a second successful state death penalty repeal this year.

But the vote in the Senate was incredibly close (11-10) and will be so in the House as well, so everyone who lives in Delaware, or knows someone who lives in Delaware, needs to take action to make this happen.

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3 thoughts on “Who’s Next To Abolish The Death Penalty – Delaware?

  1. Great article, Brian! It makes me sad and scared to see how bloodthirsty Delaware is when we already have non-violent ways to punish offenders. I would love to see the resources wasted on the death penalty go to crime prevention and victim services. I sincerely hope Delaware will be the next state to abolish the death penalty. Senate Bill 19 has a hearing in the House on Wednesday, April 24th.

  2. I'm waiting for the day when capital punishment will be nothing more than a faint memory…I hope that day is not very far away.

  3. wow….this comes as a surprise. I didn't know this about Delaware. But then again, it's a surprise to me that any state still has capital punishment.