The Senate passed it 20-0-1. Colin Bonini was absent that time, rather than voting no as he usually does. The House vote was a little more divided on party lines, but the vote was still an overwhelming 28-12-1 in favor. Two Republicans (Michael Smith and Ramone) voted with all of the Democrats in the House in support of the bill. No Democrats opposed the bill. So now, pending Governor Carney’s signature, the Delaware drug and sentencing code is going to get a little fairer.
Senate Bill 47 would eliminate most aggravating factors in drug sentencing, some of which may cause Delaware’s controlled substance laws to be applied unfairly, while maintaining an aggravating factor for those who violate Delaware’s drug dealing laws within 300 feet of and on school property.
The bill removes a pretty blatant racist drug sentencing law by eliminating geographic-based sentencing enhancements that disproportionately impact those living in urban areas as opposed to suburban and rural areas.
The bill reduces the number of weight tiers (i.e. the weight of the drugs) from five to three with adjustments to accompanying sentences while retaining higher felony levels for weights that indicate drug dealing.
The bill will also eliminate enhancements based on the commission of prior drug offenses, and provide statutory guidance for the weighing and sampling procedures used at criminal trials for controlled substances.
WHERE IS THE BILL? Senate judicial Committee as of 5/7/19.
DEMOCRATIC SPONSORS – Lockman, Lynn, McBride, Longhurst, Dorsey Walker, Sturgeon, Heffernan, Kowalko
REPUBLICAN SPONSORS –
YES VOTES – SENATE — Brown Cloutier Delcollo Ennis Hansen Hocker Lawson Lockman Lopez McBride McDowell Paradee Pettyjohn Poore Richardson Sokola Sturgeon Townsend Walsh Wilson ||| HOUSE — Baumbach Bennett Bentz Bolden Brady Bush Carson Chukwuocha Cooke Dorsey-Walker Griffith Heffernan Jaques K. Johnson K. Williams Kowalko Longhurst Lynn Matthews Mi.Smith Minor-Brown Mitchell Osienski Q. Johnson Ramone Schwartzkopf Seigfried Viola
NO VOTES – SENATE — None ||| HOUSE — Briggs-King Collins D.Short, Dukes, Gray Hensley Morris Postles Shupe Spiegelman Vanderwende Yearick
ABSENT – Bonini Smyk