Delaware Supreme Court schedules death penalty debate

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Delaware’s Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments as it weighs the constitutionality of the state’s death penalty.

 

The court has asked lawyers for the attorney general’s office and state public defender’s office to prepare for oral arguments on June 15.

The court agreed in January to answer questions from Delaware’s Superior Court to determine whether the state’s death penalty law meets constitutional muster. Meanwhile, all death penalty trials in Delaware are on hold.

Questions were raised about the constitutionality of Delaware’s law after the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year struck down Florida’s death penalty sentencing statute because juries play only an advisory role in recommending death, allowing a judge to reach a different decision.

Delaware’s law is similar to Florida’s, but prosecutors argue that it nevertheless is constitutional.

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