New Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Opposes Death Penalty

Jan 14, 2014

Credit Amnesty International Website

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The judge tapped by Gov. Jack Markell to become Delaware's new chief justice says he is personally opposed to the death penalty.

But Chancellor Leo Strine Jr. said Monday that judges and other public officials must follow the law in performing their duties and not impose their personal political preferences.

In a speech to law school students, Strine recounted his experience with the death penalty in three separate roles: as the governor's chief counsel, a member of Delaware's pardons board, and a judge sitting by special designation on the state Supreme Court.

Strine noted that as a member of Board of Pardons, he voted to recommend commutation of a killer's death sentence, but that he agreed with Supreme Court justices in 2012 to uphold a police officer killer's death sentence.