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Prosecutors Could Seek Death Penaly in Delaware Prison Uprising

Courtesy of Joe Simon
Steven Floyd

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Prosecutors in Delaware are holding out the possibility of seeking the death penalty against several inmates charged in connection with a fatal prison uprising, even though the state does not currently allow capital punishment.

Eighteen prisoners have been indicted for their alleged roles in the February riot. Sixteen, including some already serving time for murder, are charged with first-degree murder in the death of corrections officer Steven Floyd.

In a court filing last week, prosecutors informed the presiding judge that if lawmakers vote to reinstate the death penalty, prosecutors reserve the right to try to apply it to the defendants in the prison riot.

Delaware's Supreme Court declared the state's death penalty law unconstitutional last year because it allowed judges too much discretion.

Don Rush is the News Director 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.