Bill axes mandatory sentences

By 8:41pm, April 3, 2007
Members of the House of Representatives say judges, not state law, should determine prison sentences for drug offenders.

WDEL's Legislative Correspondent Carl Kanefsky has the story.

Sponsored by House Speaker Terry Spence, the legislation eliminates mandatory minimum prison sentences for people convicted of certain drug offenses.

Mike Szczerba, Chief of the Wilmington Police spoke against the bill, saying drug crimes are violent crimes and people are fed up.

Proponents of the bill say without their hands tied, judges can impose more appropriate sentences.The Honorable Joseph Walsh, a retired Supreme Court Justice says Delaware needs to be consistent, saying the judge gets the final word even if a capital murder jury recommends the death penalty. The bill now moves to the State Senate.

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