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Delaware Lawmakers Push Death Penalty Reinstatement


DOVER, Del. (AP) - House lawmakers are set to vote on a bill reinstating Delaware's death penalty.

Tuesday's scheduled vote comes amid a public outcry over the killing of a correctional officer during a prison riot and hostage-taking in February, and the fatal shooting of a state trooper two weeks ago.

Under the bill, jurors would have to find unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant should be executed.

A majority of state Supreme Court justices declared Delaware's death penalty law unconstitutional in August because it allowed judges too much discretion and did not require that a jury find unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant deserves execution.

That ruling came after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Florida's death sentencing law, which was similar to the one in Delaware.

Don Rush is the News Director and Senior Producer of News and Public Affairs at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.