Death Penalty Repeal Campaign Ready for 2014 Win

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Over the past year, the campaign to repeal the death penalty in Delaware has made significant progress. The Delaware Repeal Project has grown to include 26 partner organizations representing over 55,000 Delawareans. Over 100 religious leaders have signed on, and nearly 3,000 supporters have signed the petition, written to their legislators, and attended events in support of death penalty repeal.

In March, Senator Karen Peterson introduced Senate Bill 19, the bill to repeal the death penalty, at a press conference with over 100 supporters. The bill quickly moved through the Senate, and on March 26th it passed with a vote of 11-10.


After the success in the Senate, SB 19 moved to the House for a hearing in the Judiciary Committee on April 24th. Legislative Hall was filled with supporters of the bill, while hundreds more across the state followed on Twitter for minute-by-minute updates. After hours of passionate testimony from religious leaders, community organizations and constituents, the House committee voted to table the bill. This action prevented the bill from moving to the floor of the House of Representatives for a full vote before the June 30th adjournment.

What does this mean for death penalty repeal in Delaware? Senate Bill 19 is only one vote short of getting out of committee and moving to the House floor for a full vote. Since it is still in the legislature, it can be brought back up for a committee vote when session starts again this January. With such widespread support from across Delaware, SB 19 deserves the chance to be heard and voted on by the full House of Representatives. The Delaware Repeal Project, along with all of our partners, will continue the campaign for death penalty repeal and push for the passage of Senate Bill 19 in 2014.

We are using the upcoming months to expand our base of support and ensure that elected officials hear from their constituents about the widespread support for repeal. Throughout the summer and fall, we will be tabling at various festivals across the state to continue educating the public on the expensive, ineffective, and unjust practice of the death penalty.


Throughout this campaign, we have seen the power of constituent contact. Thousands of Delawareans have written to their legislators in support of SB 19, working to ensure that the death penalty finally comes to an end. Add your voice to those thousands.

You can support repeal in these easy ways:

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