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Delaware lawmakers eye reinstatement of death penalty

May 15, 2019

DOVER, Del. (AP) — State lawmakers are circulating bipartisan legislation to restore capital punishment in Delaware.

The legislation, expected to be introduced soon, specifies that the death penalty could not be imposed unless a jury, unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt, finds at least one aggravating circumstance that makes a crime eligible for capital punishment.

Delaware’s Supreme Court declared the state’s death penalty law unconstitutional in 2016 because it allowed judges too much discretion and did not require that a jury find unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant deserves execution. That ruling came after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Florida’s similar death sentencing law.

Democratic Gov. John Carney said Tuesday that he might sign a bill allowing capital punishment only if it was restricted to killers of law enforcement officials.