Today's Cape Gazette reports, "Death penalty repeal stalled by committee." It's by Kara Nuzback.
A bill to abolish the death penalty in Delaware is up in the air after the measure failed to garner enough votes to get out of committee.
Senate Bill 19, which would end capital punishment and make life in prison without parole the ultimate punishment for convicted felons, passed the Senate in a tight 11-10 vote March 26. The bill has been sitting in the House Judiciary Committee since March 28.
Sen. Karen Peterson, the bill’s lead sponsor who attended the hearing, said Scott knew the bill did not have enough votes to be released to the House floor.
Reps. Steve Smyk, R-Milton; Dave Wilson, R-Bridgeville; Jeffrey Spiegelman, R-Clayton; W. Charles Paradee, D-Dover; Rebecca Walker, D-Townsend; and John Mitchell, D-Wilmington, were opposed to allowing the full House to hear the bill, Peterson said.
But Scott’s motion failed in a 5-5 vote, and no action was taken on the bill. “A committee can’t defeat a bill,” Peterson said. “It just remains alive in committee.”
“We never thought leaving it hang there was an option, but it’s definitely the better option for us,” she said. “We plan to keep working the bill.”
Peterson said when she and Scott are confident they can convince a sixth person to agree the bill should be released from committee, they plan to put the bill back on the agenda.
Currently, Scott and Reps. Charles Potter, D-Wilmington North; Melanie George Smith, D-Bear/Newark; Gerald Brady, D-Wilmington West; and James Johnson, D-New Castle East, would vote to release the bill, Peterson said.
Earlier coverage of the Delaware repeal legislation begins at the link.