DELAWARE (USA): SENATE PASSES BILL TO REPEAL THE DEATH PENALTY
March 26, 2013: The Senate passed (11-10) a bill to repeal the death penalty for future offenses. The bill was amended to exclude those currently on death row.
The bill will go before the House in April. Debate began with an amendment to preserve the sentences of 17 men currently on death row in the state.
The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Karen Peterson, eliminates the death penalty from Delaware's criminal code, making life in prison without the possibility of parole the maximum penalty for the crime of 1st-degree murder.
In its original form, the bill would have commuted the sentences of the state's death-row inmates to life in prison, but Peterson attached an amendment to the bill shortly after bringing it to the Senate floor that removed all mention of current capital offenders. The bill cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee 4-2 on March 20.
The death row is located at Smyrna (Women: Claymont). As for the clemency process, the Governor has authority to grant clemency with nonbinding advice of Board of Pardons and Paroles. (Source: The News Journal, Associated Press, 26/03/2013)