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
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 Illinois repealed their death penalty in 2011.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 email@example.com.
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.