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Supporters of death penalty repeal encouraged by renewed effort in General Assembly

Tom Byrne/Delaware Public Media

Supporters of repealing the death penalty in the First State say they are pleased to see a bill addressing the issue being reintroduced to the General Assembly, even if the chances of it passing are not good.

A similar bill was narrowly passed by the state Senate last session, but was tabled in the House Judiciary Committee.

Ti Hall, campaign manager for the Delaware Repeal Project, says the November elections did little to improve the chances of death penalty repeal passing the House.

“The committee still looks the same for us in terms of the votes to get it out,” she says. “We don’t believe we have the votes to get a bill out of that committee, but we’re working hard to change that.”

Hall adds her group is working hard to educate legislators and the public in particular about the issue in the hopes of changing the dynamic in the General Assembly.

“On the public side, they need to know why they need to speak to their legislators and voice their opinion, and that their legislators do care about what they have to say,” she says.

Supporters of repeal say the death penalty costs too much money, does not deter violent crime and disproportionately affects communities of color and those with disabilities.

State Senator Karen Peterson, who sponsored the bill that failed last year, says she will file the new bill next week.

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