Speak Out: Death penalty debate

Delaware lawmakers on Wednesday filed legislation to reinstate the death penalty, which was struck down by the Delaware Supreme Court more than three years ago. The measure would replace a capital punishment proposal that has been stuck in committee since May.

The bill, which is expected to be filed over the next six weeks, would allow a judge to apply the death penalty in murder cases only when a jury unanimously agrees there is at least one eligible aggravating circumstance that outweighs any mitigating factors.

While the previous measure offered 22 potential aggravating circumstances, the newest proposal contains only four: mass murder (the killing of at least three people in a public place), a prior murder conviction involving the defendant, the killing being motivated by a hate crime and the offense being “outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhuman.”

• Americans are full of hate. Always seeking the worst retribution. — Paula Giordano

• I’m sure you’d be singing a different tune if you someone murdered a loved one of yours. Or you’d rather your money and taxpayers’ money go to them for three hots and a place to sleep. — Nick Gates

• It costs more money to execute someone than give them a life sentence. Not to mention the risk of executing an innocent person. — Benjamin Black

• How about I simplify the new bill? If you get convicted of any murder you get put to death. Simple enough right? — James Demko

•Get rid of our AG first. She seems to play catch and release. —Doug Drummond

• This will not be an effective deterrent! — Mike Nostrom

• I am totally against the death penalty just for the simple fact that not all of the accused are granted a fair and bias free trial. The murder of one innocent person by the state, in my opinion, is the reason to abolish this practice. — Marie Sakitome

•Yep. Deadly force in defense of self or others, in the midst of a violent attack, yes. The government killing someone under the shadow of the doubts you mention? Nope. — Malcolm Carlock

• Not only do we need the death penalty, not as a deterrent but as punishment. We need to do like Texas and have an express lane for certain circumstances. — Bob Hice

• Totally agree with you. If they hadn’t gone to the hug a thug program and let every criminal off with a time out instead, a harsh punishment things might be different. — Becky Wood Perrine

• I totally agree with you if harsher punishment was being handed down by the Justice System some of these people would think twice. — Ray Thompson