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Repeal of death penalty passes Delaware State Senate
While Senate Bill 19 originally contained a stipulation that would have altered the death sentences for the 17 individuals already sentenced to the death penalty in the state to life in prison without the possibility of parole, an amendment to the legislation, offered by its sponsor, Sen. Karen Peterson (D), stripped the bill of that provision.
The amendment to the bill passed with 19 of the chamber's 21 senators voting in favor. The two no votes came from senators Harris McDowell III (R), who voted against the amendment, and Colin Bonini (R) who was absent.
The amended bill then passed the full Senate a little more than two hours later, passed by an 11-10 vote. The legislation gathered bipartisan support, with eight Democrats and three Republicans voting in favor, while five Democrats and five Republicans voting against.
Supporters of the bill argue that the death penalty is "morally wrong, racially discriminatory, and ineffective as a deterrent to violent crime." Opponents argued that some murders are so heinous and atrocious that capital punishment is appropriate.
The bill now moves to the state House. If the bill passes the state House without further amendments and is signed into law, those convicted of first-degree murder in the future will get life in prison, but those already on death row will stay there.
- Senate Bill 19
- News: Politico, "Delaware Senate approves repeal of death penalty"
- News: Delaware NewsZap, "Delaware Senate Votes to Appeal Death Penalty"
- News: ABC News, "Delaware Senate approves repeal of death penalty"
- News: Dover Post, "Death penalty bill squeaks through state Senate"
- Delaware State Legislature
- Delaware State Senate
- Delaware House of Representatives
- State senator Harris McDowell III
- State senator Karen Peterson
- State senator Colin Bonini
- Death penalty on the ballot
- Dover Post, "Death penalty bill squeaks through state Senate" accessed March 28, 2013
- ABC "Delaware Senate approves repeal of death penalty" accessed March 28, 2013
- Delaware NewsZap, " Delaware Senate votes to repeal death penalty" accessed March 28, 2013
- Politico, "Delaware Senate approves repeal of death penalty" accessed March 28, 2013