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Sentencing Reform Legislation Passes General Assembly

Former Governor Jack Markell (2009-2017) | News | Office of the Governor | Date Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2014



Wilmington, DE – The Senate today passed legislation restoring judicial discretion by permitting judges to impose concurrent sentences for multiple offenses. The 19-2 vote sends House Bill 312 to the Governor for his signature after the House approved it 34-4 earlier this month.

When signed, the bill will represent the second piece of Governor Markell’s criminal justice agenda – outlined in his State of the State – to become law. He proposed the sentencing reform measure in January as part of his efforts to reduce prison crowding, recognizing that Delaware is the only state that currently forces judges, without exception, to impose consecutive sentences. Representative Stephanie Bolden (D-Wilmington) and Senator Margaret Rose Henry (D- Wilmington East) sponsored the legislation.

“We have an incarceration rate that is higher than the national average in a country whose average is higher than the rest of the world’s, and the enormous expense of our approach hasn’t made us any safer,” said Markell. “I thank Representative Bolden and Senator Henry for their leadership on legislation that recognizes that judges should have appropriate discretion to craft a sentence that is suitable for an individual offender. This is a step toward a better, fairer justice system.”

Last month, the Governor signed another State of the State proposal, House Bill 167, which addressed employment discrimination against ex-offenders who have repaid their debt to society. That law forbids public employers from asking job candidates to check a box on their applications if they have a criminal record.

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Sentencing Reform Legislation Passes General Assembly

Former Governor Jack Markell (2009-2017) | News | Office of the Governor | Date Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2014



Wilmington, DE – The Senate today passed legislation restoring judicial discretion by permitting judges to impose concurrent sentences for multiple offenses. The 19-2 vote sends House Bill 312 to the Governor for his signature after the House approved it 34-4 earlier this month.

When signed, the bill will represent the second piece of Governor Markell’s criminal justice agenda – outlined in his State of the State – to become law. He proposed the sentencing reform measure in January as part of his efforts to reduce prison crowding, recognizing that Delaware is the only state that currently forces judges, without exception, to impose consecutive sentences. Representative Stephanie Bolden (D-Wilmington) and Senator Margaret Rose Henry (D- Wilmington East) sponsored the legislation.

“We have an incarceration rate that is higher than the national average in a country whose average is higher than the rest of the world’s, and the enormous expense of our approach hasn’t made us any safer,” said Markell. “I thank Representative Bolden and Senator Henry for their leadership on legislation that recognizes that judges should have appropriate discretion to craft a sentence that is suitable for an individual offender. This is a step toward a better, fairer justice system.”

Last month, the Governor signed another State of the State proposal, House Bill 167, which addressed employment discrimination against ex-offenders who have repaid their debt to society. That law forbids public employers from asking job candidates to check a box on their applications if they have a criminal record.

image_printPrint

Related Topics:  , ,


Graphic that represents delaware news on a mobile phone

Keep up to date by receiving a daily digest email, around noon, of current news release posts from state agencies on news.delaware.gov.

Here you can subscribe to future news updates.