Death Penalty Repeal Petition

Filed in National by on December 28, 2012

The Death Penalty Information Center recently released its year-end report. It revealed that Delaware was one of only 9 states that carried out an execution in 2012. In fact, in the last 35 years, Delaware is garnering a reputation of being the Texas of the East Coast. We rank third nationwide over those 35 years in executions per capita.

It’s time Delaware had this discussion, and I highly endorse the efforts of the Delaware Repeal Project, an organization seeking to end the death penalty in Delaware. Below please find their press release regarding the Death Penalty Information Center’s report, and if you think it is time for Delaware to end the death penalty, sign the their petition.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kathleen MacRae 302-654-5326 x102
kmacrae@aclu-de.org

Delaware one of only nine states to execute in 2012

(Wilmington, DE) While much of the country moves away from the use of capital punishment, Delaware was one of only nine states to carry out an execution in 2012.

According to a report released by the Death Penalty Information Center, 29 states have not carried out an execution in five years or do not have the death penalty in state statute. Since peaking in 1999 with 98 executions nationwide, the death penalty has seen a consistent decline with only 43 executions carried out in 2012.

Furthermore, the number of new death sentences imposed in 2012 was at its second lowest point since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. Seventy-eight people were sentenced to death in 2012—a 75 percent decline since 1996 when there were 315 sentences. For its part, Delaware sentenced two individuals to death in 2012.

While trends show a decline in use of the death penalty nationwide, Delaware seems to be moving in the other direction. After not carrying out an execution since 2005, Delaware executed one person in each of the past two years. Since 1976, Delaware has executed 16 individuals. Only Texas and Oklahoma have executed more frequently on a per capita basis.

“Use of the death penalty has increased in Delaware as it has decreased nationwide. It is time for Delaware to take up the question of whether we really need capital punishment, and to consider repealing this expensive and error-prone system,” said Brian Boyle, campaign manager for the Delaware Repeal Project.

The number of states without the death penalty increased again this year as Connecticut joined 16 other abolitionist states. Illinois repealed their death penalty in 2011. New York, New Jersey, and New Mexico also recently abandoned the use of capital punishment resulting in a total of five states in five years that have decided that the death penalty is not effective, cost efficient or fairly applied public policy.

To speak with Richard Dieter, Executive Director of the Death Penalty Information Center, please contact Elaine de Leon, Communications Coordinator, at 202-289-2275 or edeleon@deathpenaltyinfo.org.

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The Delaware Repeal Project is a coalition of organizations working to end the use of the death penalty in Delaware. It includes the Delaware Center for Justice, League of Women Voters, NAACP, American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware, Pacem in Terris, Delaware Citizens Opposed to the Death Penalty and others.

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Comments (13)

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  1. Republican David says:

    We need more executions, not fewer. The death penalty is 100% effective in preventing repeat crime.

  2. Idealist says:

    So is life in prison without parole, but without the risk of executing an innocent person, and it costs less.

    If the death penalty is so effective, why do states that don’t use it have lower murder rates than states that do use it? http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/murder-rates-nationally-and-state

    Finally, how do state sanctioned executions jive with small government Republican ideology?

  3. heragain says:

    Republican David, it doesn’t prevent repeat crime when it gets the wrong guy.

  4. Steve Newton says:

    The State should not be in the business of executing people.

    I don’t really care if we could somehow get 100% accuracy in convictions, if the death penalty proved to be an excellent deterrent, or even if the infamous are involved.

    The State should not be in the business of executing people.

  5. Delaware Dem says:

    Thank you RD, who is a devout Christian, for calling for more death. It makes a true mockery of your alleged pro-life position. And a true mockery of your alleged Christianity.

  6. pandora says:

    Republican David is soooooo Christ-like.

  7. puck says:

    The death penalty itself is a repeat crime.

  8. kavips says:

    Surprisingly I too used to be in favor of the Death Penalty. And I had switched to that principal from my child-like view growing up, because our legal system during that time frame was in fact too preoccupied with the rights of criminals, under the misguided premise that protecting their rights to the fullest, meant rights were protected for all the others too. I saw that victims were simply dismissed as soon as their testimony was done. I bought into the myths that RD still subscribes to today…

    Then I saw a survey, I think it was buried in all the hoopla of the movie The Green Mile when it came out, it was small, buried on the back page of some rural area newspaper, and it said, 100% of all America’s prison wardens quietly responded they were against the Death Penalty. I read further.. These hardened people on the front line, who had the responsibility for executing criminals, who had the inside view, unanimously were against it. And it wasn’t out of moral reasons, as our opposition likes to call those emotions coming from weak liberal crybaby hearts, that they were opposed. It was just practical. It did nothing to deter. It was expensive. And on the inside, seeing someone locked up for 50+ years sent a far greater message of deterrence than forgetting about that person you used to know, who one day was never heard about again.

    Anyways one will never know what each individual prison warden was thinking, but the 100% figure of these really tough men all opting against the death penalty, was enough to sway me back towards its elimination….

    No big deal really. Just like shopping for a car really.. You hear the commercials, the salesman pumps you up, and then you start asking owners and they tell you… “no, ain’t getten’ no Honda, ever again. Always in the shop for a recall.” “Nope, no Honda for me, can’t wait to trade it in.” “I hate Honda, trust me, they suck out all your money. Wish I’d gotten a Ford.”

    Keep in mind, that percentage was before ALEC and the commercial business of running prisons. Today, you might find one or two who would respond with a politically correct version, instead of one that was reality based.

    Republican David, just hasn’t made that jump yet, the jump we all make from myth to reality. Bottom line, when one goes against the opinions of those on the front lines of anything, they are usually wrong.

  9. bamboozer says:

    The primary purpose of the death penalty is societal revenge, nothing more. Despite endless claims the death penalty functions as a deterrent It has been proven that it does not, Republican David’s blather or not.

  10. Dave says:

    Capital punishment is intended to be what it says – punishment. That the punishment does not deter crime is well known. In fact, I would suggest (but have no data) that most forms of punishment have no deterrent value.

    To me a more fundamental question would be that given there is little to no deterrent value, what does society hope to achieve in assessing a punishment (capital or otherwise)? Further, if we answer in the affirmative that there is purpose or value in punishment, generally (other than deterrence), does that value or purpose served by capital punishment?

    Without answering those questions, my view of capital punishment, is that unless someone can tell me that absolutely that the party was guilty of the crime, our society cannot risk exacting that punishment on anyone because the standard – beyond a reasonable doubt, is too low of a standard to exact the penalty of capital punishment. There are too many cases in this country of wrongful conviction and imprisonment. Capital punishment is the ultimate punishmentf for which there is no reclama.

  11. puck says:

    Unfortunately we no longer need courts to impose the death penalty (caution: graphic violence).

  12. Kristin Froehlich says:

    I’m glad that the death penalty abolition movement is gaining momentum in Delaware. As the sister of a murder victim, I’ve learned that the death penalty harms more than it heals. It wastes precious resources that could be better used to prevent crime, support crime victims, and solve cold cases. In my case, family members were not asked whether or not we wanted the death penalty. The case took three years to go to trial because of the extra investigation that capital cases require. All that time, information about the killer was constantly in our faces. In the end, they dropped the death penalty, but by then the damage to us was done. Grieving and healing are postponed. In Delaware, many death sentences have been commuted or overturned for various reasons. Only a tiny fraction of cases in Delaware will end up as death penalty eligible. A Cornell Law School study of Delaware’s death penalty history has revealed racial and geographic bias. I don’t want an innocent person to be executed. I don’t want any more violence from state-sponsored killing. 5 states in 5 years have abolished the death penalty. Let Delaware be the sixth.

  13. DEvoter302 says:

    I’m seriously contemplating switching parties and helping the Dems in Delaware. How can one who claims to be conservative agree with the death penalty? Above all you should value the principles of life and of property rights. If you believe in the death penalty because it prevents crime, statistics and common sense don’t support that. If anything I’d rather see forced labor for all victim based crimes in order to compensate the victim or family of the victim. Why don’t victims or families have a right to compensation in the same way that injured do in civil court?

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