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Explaining the Delaware Supreme Court's death penalty review

Tom Byrne/Delaware Public Media

Lawmakers attempting to repeal Delaware's death penalty earlier this week put their efforts on hold in favor of waiting for a decision by the state Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the way the First State handles capital punishment cases.

A U.S. Supreme Court decision on Florida’s death penalty – specifically how the sentence is handed out - has muddied the waters.  Florida’s system is similar to First State’s and in response to the high court’s decision a Superior Court judge asked Delaware’s Supreme Court to review Delaware’s statute.  In the meantime, nearly 40 pending capital cases in Delaware are on hold.

Widener Univ. Delaware Law School professor Judy Ritter visited The Green this week to help explain what Delaware’s highest court will be examining.

Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.
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