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Two Remain on Delaware's Death Row Despite High Court Decision

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Two men are still on death row in Delaware despite the state Supreme Court ruling the state's death penalty unconstitutional more than a year ago.

The News Journal of Wilmington reports Michael R. Manley and David D. Stevenson have been fighting their first-degree murder conviction for decades, and those appeals are keeping the two on death row.

The newspaper reports that when the state or U.S. Supreme Court declares a law unconstitutional, cases pending appeals will be modified next time in court.

Death Penalty Information Center Executive Director Robert Dunham says this also happened when Ohio's death penalty was declared unconstitutional in 1978; 54 were pending in the state's Supreme Court and all of those were resentenced to life in prison, but those in the appellant process took longer.

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.