General Assembly Vote Tracker

CJR – HB77, HB78 – Ending Duplication of Buglary, Invasion, Robbery and Carjacking Charges

Charge stacking is one of practices that the Criminal Justice Reform movement seeks to reform. Within the Delaware Criminal Code exists multiple possible crimes that prosecutors can charge offenders with, at their sole discretion. Several if not many of these possible crimes are duplication, repetitive, and lead to an offender being loaded up with decades long sentences due to consecutive sentencing for a crime that was worth only a 3 years sentence. Two bills that follow seek to end that duplication with respect of Burglary, Home Invasion, Carjacking and Robbery charges.

House Bill 77, sponsored by Rep. Stephanie Bolden, would simplify the burglary code to eliminate duplication by combining the burglary and home invasion sections and to align minimum mandatory sentences. The bill would make it the crime of burglarizing an occupied home during the day as serious as if done at night. It also would remove provisions for minimum mandatory time for prior convictions to recognize that enhanced penalties based on a person’s criminal history takes place at sentencing.

The Act removes minimum mandatory sentences for some conduct, but preserves for home invasion a 6 year minimum mandatory sentence and a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. Finally, the Act eliminates sentence enhancements based on prior convictions and the age of victim. The ability to impose lengthier sentences for subsequent conduct or for crimes against vulnerable victims rests with the discretion of sentencing judges.

WHERE IS THE BILL?  Out of Committee and ready for a vote on the House floor, 6/5/19

DEMOCRATIC SPONSORS – Bolden, Sokola, Heffernan, Lockman, Townsend, Baumbach, Bentz, Cooke, Longhurst, Minor-Brown

REPUBLICAN SPONSORS –

YES VOTES – 

NO VOTES – 


House Bill 78, sponsored by Rep. Stephanie Bolden, would simplify the robbery code to eliminate duplication. It combines the robbery and carjacking sections while preserving enhancements recognizing the seriousness of carjacking. 

Under this Act, robbery in the first degree includes the theft of a vehicle where there is physical injury or the use, a display or threat of a deadly weapon or death which is a Class B felony; this carries a 3 year minimum mandatory sentence and a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. Robbery in the Second Degree, a Class E felony, is elevated to a Class D felony if the theft involves a vehicle and elements that pose additional risk to public safety.

The Act removes minimum mandatory sentences for some conduct and eliminates sentence enhancements based on prior convictions and the age of victim. The ability to impose lengthier sentences for subsequent conduct or for crimes against vulnerable victims rests with the discretion of sentencing judges.

WHERE IS THE BILL? Out of Committee and ready for a vote on the House floor, 6/5/19

DEMOCRATIC SPONSORS – Bolden, Sokola, Heffernan, Lockman, Townsend, Baumbach, Bentz, Brady, Cooke, Longhurst, Minor Brown

REPUBLICAN SPONSORS –

YES VOTES – 

NO VOTES – 

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

1 comment on “CJR – HB77, HB78 – Ending Duplication of Buglary, Invasion, Robbery and Carjacking Charges

  1. Common sense at last, prosecutors use this game to not only jack up the sentence but to scare people into a false confession, it has happened many times.

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