Supporters of Delaware’s death penalty repeal bill want a rule suspension and floor hearing

Members of the Delaware House Judicial Committee today tabled a bill that would repeal the state’s death penalty law, but bill supporters still want to see it passed this session.

Lawmakers heard testimony from both sides of the issue last week but ran out of time before they were able to decide whether to send the bill to the house floor for a vote or table it for later discussion.

The bill needed six signatures from committee members in order to be released to the floor but only received five during today’s meeting.

Rep. Darryl M. Scott, co-sponsor of the bill said there are a few options that would get the bill to the house floor.

“One is were going to continue to try and get a sixth vote to get it out of committee and at the same time were going to work to get 21 votes to support a motion to suspend rules and bring it to the floor,” explained Scott. “There are two avenues; ultimately we want to see the bill passed this session.”

He said that getting the 21 votes to suspend the rules could be the quickest route.

“We may actually find people who may not agree with the bill but feel that it’s worthy of a hearing on the floor, so we may be able to get enough votes to get it suspended and then we have to make sure we have our votes to pass the bill,” said Scott.

Scott added that although there have been some mention of amendments, supporters of the bill want to repeal the death penalty, not reform it.

Lawmakers have until June 30 to pass the bill this session. The bill narrowly passed the senate last month with an 11 to 10 vote.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal