The Delaware Supreme Court unanimously reversed itself yesterday and withdrew a ruling that would have released from prison more than 200 criminals, including murderers and rapists, the Wilmington News Journal reports. The court also , declared unconstitutional a law passed by the legislature that attempted to overrule its earlier decision. The law violates the principle of dividing government powers by attempting to grant powers to the legislature that are reserved for the courts, the judges said. “I’m thrilled and so are the victims who have been affected,” said Attorney General M. Jane Brady, noting that yesterday was the start of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
The new ruling means that the only way an inmate serving a life sentence with a possibility of parole can be released from prison is if a parole board approves. In the November case, the Supreme Court said Ward T. Evans, 57, a rapist sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole, could be released in 45 years and that he was eligible for time off for good behavior.