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Death penalty ruled unconstitutional in Delaware

Posted: 2:40 PM, Aug 02, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-02 16:30:36-04
Death penalty ruled unconstitutional in Delaware

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Delaware's Supreme Court says the state's death penalty law is unconstitutional in light of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this year.

In a 148-page opinion Tuesday, a majority of the justices said Delaware's law violates the U.S. Constitution because it allows a judge to sentence a person to death independently of a jury's recommendation.

The court also said the law is unconstitutional because it does not require jurors to be unanimous in finding that aggravating circumstances that weigh in favor of the death penalty.

Questions were raised about Delaware's law after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a similar death penalty statute in Florida.