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Attorney Thomas Neuberger floats AG run in 2018

James Dawson, Delaware Public Media
Thomas Neuberger with the Floyd family during a press conference.

Wilmington lawyer Thomas Neuberger said he’s “testing the water” on a run for attorney general next year.

The Republican plans to release position papers to gauge public interest in his candidacy.

Neuberger previously challenged Democratic Sen. Tom Carper for his U.S. House seat in the mid 80’s.

He argues for bringing back the death penalty in cases where a defendant is accused of killing a public servant in the line of duty. He said reinstating the death penalty would be a top priority if he’s elected.

“We’ve got debate this issue of the necessity for adult death penalty when public safety officials - be they law enforcement officers, first responders, firefighters, correctional officers - are murdered,” he said.

Neuberger said the possibility of a death sentence could have deterred the 16 inmates who are charged with Floyd’s murder during a riot in February. He’s currently representing the family of slain prison guard Lt. Steven Floyd in a lawsuit against two former governors and other cabinet members. Floyd was killed in a riot at Vaughn Correctional center in February.

“And four of those people are serving life sentences," he said. "So, they’re convicted for murdering Lt. Floyd, there’s no deterrence, ok? What are they going to do, deny them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches during their breaks, okay? There’s no punishment.”

The Delaware Supreme Court struck down the state’s death penalty law last year as unconstitutional because it allowed a judge to overrule a jury’s sentencing decision in death penalty cases. The House passed new death penalty legislation this year. But the measure stalled in the Senate.

Democrat Tim Mullaney announced his campaign for attorney general last week.

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