Biery and Tate: Why we should repeal death penalty in Delaware


We fully endorse the passage of House bills 70 and 301, two pieces of legislation currently under consideration in Delaware. HB 70 seeks to repeal the death penalty in Delaware, while HB 301 is an amendment to the state constitution, prohibiting execution as a form of punishment.

The death penalty is an inefficient use of resources. Numerous studies on the subject have consistently shown that the costs of litigating the death penalty far exceed those of life sentences. We also know that the death penalty is not applied equitably and is marked by biases and discrimination, often used against minorities and marginalized communities. Also, the data shows that there is a disparity in its application, with a much larger number of cases involving White victims than Black ones, despite the fact that half of murder victims in the U.S. are Black.

Further, the death penalty doesn’t deter crime. Crime rates decline, not rise, when places abolish it.

The death penalty doesn’t achieve justice for victims’ families. Instead, it perpetuates the same cycle of violence it purports to end. Many victims’ families have spoken out on this issue and support abolition. Life sentences in lieu of capital punishment also allow innocent people to be exonerated when wrongfully convicted.

The passing of HB 70 and HB 301 is both a legislative issue and a moral one. The majority of Delawareans support abolishing the death penalty. Please call your legislators and urge them to support these bills!

Megan Biery

Jonathan Tate

Co-chairs, Delaware Democratic Socialists of America

Reader reactions, pro or con, are welcomed at civiltalk@iniusa.org.

Members and subscribers make this story possible.
You can help support non-partisan, community journalism.