Delaware House rejects legislation to abolish death penalty

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The Delaware House has rejected a bill to abolish the state's death penalty.

The legislation, which does not apply to inmates currently on death row, was defeated 23 to 16 Thursday in the House after barely clearing the Senate last year.

The legislation had languished in the House Judiciary Committee until last week, when the chairman, a retired police officer and opponent of the measure, agreed to release it for a vote by the full House.

Democratic Gov. Jack Markell has said he would sign the measure if it reached his desk.

Meanwhile Thursday, Delaware's Supreme Court agreed to accept and answer questions submitted by a Superior Court judge on the constitutionality of Delaware's death penalty statute in light of two U.S. Supreme Court rulings earlier this month.
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