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Sat Nov 11, 2017, 03:49 AM

Prosecutors consider death penalty in prison riot

DOVER — Delaware prosecutors are holding out the possibility of seeking the death penalty against inmates charged in a deadly prison riot, even though the state does not currently allow capital punishment.

Eighteen prisoners have been indicted for their alleged roles in the February riot. Sixteen, including some already serving time for murder, are charged with first-degree murder in the death of correctional officer Steven Floyd.

In a letter last week, prosecutors informed Judge William C. Carpenter Jr., who is presiding over the case, that if lawmakers vote to reinstate the death penalty, prosecutors reserve the right to try to apply it to one or more defendants.

The state Supreme Court declared Delaware’s death penalty law unconstitutional last year because it allowed judges too much discretion and did not require that a jury find unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant deserves execution. That ruling came after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Florida’s death sentencing law, which was similar to Delaware’s.

Read more: http://delawarestatenews.net/news/prosecutors-consider-death-penalty-prison-riot/

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