Delaware Public Media

Wilmington City Council says 'no' to reinstating state's death penalty

Jun 2, 2017

Wilmington City Council weighed in on whether Delaware should reinstate the death penalty - passed a resolution against such a move 11-2 Thursday night.


 

The vote didn’t come without debate. Councilman Bob Williams recalled heinous murders he witnessed during his time with the Wilmington Police Department.

 

“People that subsequently were arrested for these murders just had no remorse whatsoever – it was just another day," Williams said.

 

Williams and Councilman Bud Freel were the two dissenters. Freel says if his children were murdered – he would support the death penalty in that case.

 

Councilwoman Loretta Walsh says she can relate to Freel’s perspective. Her aunt was murdered in Pennsylvania when she was a teenager.

 

“If somebody did really bad harm – or murdered – one of my kids, I probably would be serving time in jail for murdering them," Walsh said.

 

However - she remains morally against it.

 

“Other than that, I don’t want to play God with somebody’s life," Walsh said. "I believe the sort of Catholicism I was raised on doesn’t say that capital punishment is something that should be done.”

 

Councilwoman Yolanda McCoy – a longtime death penalty opponent - presented the resolution.  She’s also against allowing the death penalty only in cases involving the murder of a law enforcement officer - saying there shouldn’t be any special treatment when it comes to justice.

"We understand that they serve us and they're always at service pretty much every day for the community, but if that's the case - why not for soldiers, why not for...there's a lot of different people who serve the community," McCoy said. I feel like it needs to be fair and if they can't do that, they shouldn't at all."