DOVER — The House of Representatives voted 24-16 Tuesday to reinstate the death penalty, sending the bill to the Senate.
House Bill 125 would restore capital punishment after the Delaware Supreme Court struck down the state’s death penalty statute in August. Because the provision allowed a judge to make the final decision as to whether the convicted individual would be sentenced to death or not, the court concluded it violated the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees a trial by jury.
The new bill uses many of the same procedures as the old statute but requires unanimous jury agreement for a sentence of death.
Supporters of the death penalty say it helps prevent crime and point to the recent killings of correctional officer Lt. Steven Floyd and police officer Col. Stephen Ballard as examples of heinous crimes that need to be prevented and punished.