Rauf v. DelawareAnnotate this Case
Delaware charged defendant Benjamin Rauf with one count of First Degree Intentional Murder, one count of First Degree Felony Murder, Possession of a Firearm During those Felonies, and First Degree Robbery. The State expressed its intention to seek the death penalty if Rauf was convicted on either of the First Degree Murder counts. In January 2016, the United States Supreme Court held in "Hurst v. Florida" that Florida‘s capital sentencing scheme was unconstitutional. In light of the "Hurst" decision, the trial court in this matter certified five questions of law to the Supreme Court, asking the Supreme Court to address the constitutionality of Delaware's state's death penalty statute; the Superior Court believed that Hurst "reflected an evolution of the law that raised serious questions about the continuing validity of Delaware‘s death penalty statute." After review, the Court concluded that Delaware's death penalty statute conflicted with the Sixth Amendment, and prior cases on the constitutionality of Delaware's capital sentencing scheme were overruled to the extent they were inconsistent with this opinion.