Meeting in case that led to overturning of Delaware death penalty

Benjamin Rauf was charged with first-degree murder in last year's drug-related killing of 27-year-old Shazim Uppal of Hockessin

Benjamin Rauf was charged with first-degree murder in last year's drug-related killing of 27-year-old Shazim Uppal of Hockessin

A judge is holding a status conference with attorneys regarding a murder suspect whose case led to Delaware’s death penalty being overturned by the state Supreme Court.

Tuesday’s court conference involves Benjamin Rauf, charged with first-degree murder in last year’s drug-related killing of 27-year-old Shazim Uppal of Hockessin, a fellow Temple University law school graduate. Prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty.

But after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding Florida’s death penalty statute, the judge in Rauf’s case sought a state Supreme Court opinion on the constitutionality of Delaware’s law, which is similar to Florida’s.

The justices said Delaware’s law was unconstitutional because it allows judges too much discretion and does not require that a jury find unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant deserves execution.

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