Let death penalty repeal go for a vote

April 28, 2015

We know from the news that our nation’s criminal justice system is riddled with errors, from mundane mistakes to gross injustices. A few recent examples: we have evidence tampering in Delaware, evidence planting in South Carolina, and evidence falsification by the FBI.

In addition, the racism throughout our criminal justice system is so pervasive that it has rightly been called the “new Jim Crow.” Consequently, an irreversible punishment like the death penalty should never be used. In Delaware the death penalty is not reserved for the worst of the worst.

You can get death for driving a getaway car, even if you killed no one. Delaware ranks third in the number of executions per capita. And in Delaware, a unanimous jury decision is not required in capital cases.

Why would law enforcement oppose repeal? Certainly, they know better than anyone the problems with our system. Capital punishment takes precious resources away from crime fighting, and it is not a deterrent. Moreover, in death penalty states, police and correctional officers are more likely to be killed.

We must repeal the death penalty. Please ask your representative to do the right thing. My representative is Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf, one of the most powerful men in the state. If he wants the bill to come to a vote, it will.

So I am making a public plea to the speaker: Please do the right thing on this critically important life-or-death issue and get the bill to the floor for a vote!

Claire Snyder-Hall
Rehoboth Beach


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