Death penalty vote expected in Delaware

 (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

The state Senate is set to vote on a bill to abolish Delaware’s death penalty.

The legislation, which cleared a Senate committee last week, mirrors a bill that passed the Senate in 2013 by only one vote before dying in a House committee. The bill removes execution as a possible punishment for first-degree murder, leaving life in prison without the possibility of parole as the only sentence.

The measure, which faces opposition from the law enforcement community, would not apply to inmates currently on death row. 

Chief sponsor Sen. Karen Peterson, who also led the failed repeal effort two years ago, said death penalty opponents believe capital punishment is arbitrary, discriminatory against minorities, costly to taxpayers and ineffective as a deterrent to crime.

The vote is set for Thursday.

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