COMMENTARY: The death penalty as retribution?

In reinstating Georgia’s death penalty in 1976, the Supreme Court of the United States appealed to two legitimate purposes of capital punishment: deterrence and retribution. My colleague Hsin-Wen Lee recently addressed the issue of deterrence. (“Does the punishment only deter ‘rational’ people?,” Jan. 24) Here I shall focus on retribution. Retribution is payback, and the […]

ISSUES AND ANSWERS: Capital punishment is ‘state-sponsored murder’

Do you think Delaware should reinstate the death penalty? No. Delaware should not reinstate the death penalty. In a landmark decision in 2016, Delaware’s Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional. Attorneys from the Office of Defense Services had successfully argued that giving judges final authority to impose death sentences violated the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee […]

ISSUES AND ANSWERS: Death penalty prevents killers from ‘killing again’

Do you think Delaware should reinstate the death penalty? Yes, Delaware should reinstate the death penalty. The death penalty is reserved for those who take the life of another, usually through violence or depravity. The death penalty removes the perpetrator from having the ability to kill again. As we saw with the murder of correctional […]

ISSUES AND ANSWERS: Does the death penalty only deter ‘rational’ people?

Human beings fear death. If we receive the death penalty for murdering innocent people, we won’t do it because we don’t want to die. Thus, the death penalty deters us from killing, plain and simple. This seems like common sense, doesn’t it? Then why do some abolitionists claim that the death penalty does not deter […]

ISSUES AND ANSWERS: Death penalty appropriate for ‘horrible’ crimes

It has been a hard 18 months for first responders in Delaware where five brave and selfless public safety officers have been murdered in the line of duty: three firefighters on the Wilmington Fire Department, Lt. Christopher Leach, Senior Firefighter Jerry Fickes and Senior Firefighter Ardythe Hope; one correctional officer, Lt. Stephen R. Floyd Sr.; […]

Legislators returning Tuesday after difficult 2017

DOVER — After one of the most trying final months of a legislative term in living memory, legislators return this week with hopes 2018 will be smoother. The second leg of the 149th General Assembly begins Tuesday, kicking off a six-month period that officials are sure will be eventful. Between now and the early morning […]

2017: Prison uprising dominated Delaware State News front pages

DOVER — The name and face we will remember most belong to Lt. Steven R. Floyd Sr. He was the correctional officer killed in the inmate violence and hostage situation Feb. 1-2 at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center. The prison uprising tops this editor’s list of top stories for 2017. From Feb. 2 through […]

Former death row inmate carries on his fight outside prison walls

  DOVER — According to a former death row inmate, a former prosecutor’s alleged vendetta was supposedly satisfied with his first-degree murder conviction in 2012. Until it wasn’t, according to Isaiah W. McCoy, who was later exonerated. After an overturned guilty verdict and acquittal that followed in a second trial, Mr. McCoy left prison a […]

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: No evidence that death penalty saves officers’ lives

Don’t our law enforcement officers and corrections officers deserve better than guesses about what will reduce their risk of being murdered? The outpouring of support for Cpl. Ballard and Sgt. Floyd indicates a genuine caring for these officers, their families, and colleagues. However, the support for House Bill 125, which proposes to reinstate Delaware’s death […]

Delaware House passes death penalty bill

  DOVER — The House of Representatives voted 24-16 Tuesday to reinstate the death penalty, sending the bill to the Senate. House Bill 125 would restore capital punishment after the Delaware Supreme Court struck down the state’s death penalty statute in August. Because the provision allowed a judge to make the final decision as to […]