Delaware DOJ looks to streamline drug laws: eliminates some penalties, closes loopholes

Post Date: March 17, 2017

Originally seen in Deleware News Talk

According to the DOJ, a group of bipartisan legislators introduced “legislation to address some long-identified issues of complexity and conflict in Delaware’s criminal drug laws, as well as to make the laws more fair and increase penalties for repeatedly convicted drug dealers.”

“Prosecutors and law enforcement officers have been saying for some time that a more straightforward, coherent criminal drug code was needed in order to ensure fair and proportional sentences,” said Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn. “We are grateful for the advice and participation of the law enforcement community in crafting these changes.”

Justice officials hope the proposed laws would be easier to apply, and the “disparate impacts” of the current laws on the state’s “urban areas” would be eliminated.

The laws look to accomplish things like lower weigh class offense disparity–from five classes to three, eliminate several “aggravating factors” of the six available for possible application, and eliminate a number of internal inconsistencies. 

For example, the “aggravated” designation and penalties–including minimum mandatory sentences–for drug crimes can triggered by an offender’s presences within 1000 feet of a park or place of worship, buildings heavily concentrated in urban areas.

According to the DOJ, a group of bipartisan legislators introduced “legislation to address some long-identified issues of complexity and conflict in Delaware’s criminal drug laws, as well as to make the laws more fair and increase penalties for repeatedly convicted drug dealers.”

“Prosecutors and law enforcement officers have been saying for some time that a more straightforward, coherent criminal drug code was needed in order to ensure fair and proportional sentences,” said Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn. “We are grateful for the advice and participation of the law enforcement community in crafting these changes.”

Justice officials hope the proposed laws would be easier to apply, and the “disparate impacts” of the current laws on the state’s “urban areas” would be eliminated.

The laws look to accomplish things like lower weigh class offense disparity–from five classes to three, eliminate several “aggravating factors” of the six available for possible application, and eliminate a number of internal inconsistencies. 

For example, the “aggravated” designation and penalties–including minimum mandatory sentences–for drug crimes can triggered by an offender’s presences within 1000 feet of a park or place of worship, buildings heavily concentrated in urban areas.