Lewis v. DelawareAnnotate this Case
On June 24, 2013, a Grand Jury indicted appellant Kahlil Lewis on charges of second degree murder, two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, first degree reckless endangering, and possession of a firearm by a person prohibited. In December, the State filed an information charging Lewis with an additional crime, possession of a firearm by a person prohibited - negligently causing death. A few days later, the Grand Jury re-indicted Lewis. The re-indictment repeated the charges in the original indictment, and added the new charge under 11 Del. C. 1448(e)(2). In this appeal, the issue presented for the Supreme Court's review concerned whether the Grand Jury properly indicted appellee for a crime under a criminal statute mistakenly repealed by the General Assembly. Appellant argued the Grand Jury improperly indicted him for an additional crime as part of a renewed indictment incorporating earlier charges because the General Assembly repealed the statute covering the added crime before he was re-indicted. The General Assembly discovered the mistake but did not re-enact the repealed subsection until after the re-indictment. The Delaware Supreme Court held, after review and consistent with decisions interpreting a similar federal saving statute, that Delaware’s criminal saving statute permitted the State to prosecute crimes under a repealed criminal statute when the crimes were committed before the statute’s repeal. Because Lewis committed the crime before the statute was repealed, he was still subject to prosecution under the later repealed statute. Lewis also raised other arguments on appeal, but the Court found no merit to those arguments and affirmed Lewis' convictions.