Cabrera v. DelawareAnnotate this Case
In 2001, Luis Cabrera was convicted by jury on two counts of first degree murder and other offenses for the execution-style killing of Vaughn Rowe and Brandon Sanders. His co-defendant, Luis Reyes, was tried separately and also found guilty of first degree murder. Both defendants were sentenced to death. After Cabrera’s conviction and sentence were affirmed on direct appeal, Cabrera moved for postconviction relief claiming in part his trial counsel was ineffective in his defense. The motion took years to resolve due to events outside of counsel’s and the Superior Court’s control. The Superior Court in 2015 granted the motion in part, ruling that Cabrera’s trial counsel was ineffective during the penalty phase of the trial, and vacated Cabrera’s death sentence. The Superior Court denied the remainder of Cabrera’s postconviction claims. Cabrera appealed the Superior Court’s denial of his motion for postconviction relief. The State voluntarily dismissed its cross-appeal of the Superior Court’s vacatur of Cabrera’s death sentence in light of the Delaware Supreme Court’s decisions in Rauf v. Delaware and Powell v. Delaware finding Delaware’s death penalty statute unconstitutional and applying our ruling retroactively. The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the Superior Court’s ruling.