The expanded AP report is, "Bill to repeal Delaware’s death penalty stalls in House committee after narrow Senate passage," by Randall Chase. It's via the Washington Post.
A bill to repeal Delaware’s death penalty stalled in a House committee Wednesday after barely clearing the Senate last month.
Members of the Judiciary Committee took no action on the measure after it appeared it would fail to win passage.
After a hearing that lasted two hours, the chief House sponsor of the measure, Democratic Rep. Darryl Scott of Dover, moved to table it. The motion failed twice, and the committee adjourned without taking further action.
“We kind of knew that would happen,” said the bill’s prime Sen. Karen Peterson, who began the hearing by urging fellow lawmakers to send the measure to the House floor, rather than have it “bottled up by backroom deals.”
“The police were really putting on pressure on people,” Peterson, D-Stanton, said after the hearing, acknowledging that the bill did not have enough votes to be released.
The measure barely cleared the Senate last month on an 11-10 vote, even though Peterson removed a controversial provision that would have spared the lives of 17 inmates awaiting execution in Delaware.
"Death penalty repeal stymied," is the Wilmington News Journal coverage by Jonathan Starkey. It's via Delmarva Now.
A move to repeal Delaware’s death penalty stalled in the House on Wednesday, a setback for supporters that appears to make passage of the legislation unlikely this year.
Representatives from law enforcement agencies testified in uniform opposition to the bill during a two-hour committee hearing held in the House chamber, as did family members of Delaware murder victims.
Attorney General Beau Biden, who opposes the bill, sent members of his staff to urge lawmakers to reject the repeal, saying capital punishment is fair and appropriately applied in Delaware.
Five lawmakers on the 11-member House Judiciary Committee, Republicans and Democrats, have made public their opposition to the repeal.
Rep. Melanie George Smith, D-Bear, the panel’s vice-chair, said there were not enough votes to pass the bill Wednesday.
But supporters can forward the measure to the full House if they obtain six signatures supporting it. Another vote in a committee meeting is not necessary.
The House also can vote to suspend the rules by a simple majority to bypass the committee and bring the bill to the floor for a full vote, but that’s more difficult.
Sen. Karen Peterson, a Stanton Democrat, sponsored the bill and says lawmakers have another legislative session next year to reconsider moving it out of committee and on to a vote in the House.
“Obviously I’m disappointed, but it’s far from over,” Peterson said after the committee hearing. “The battle is young.”
Earlier coverage of the Delaware repeal legislation begins at the link.