DOVER, Del. (AP) - State lawmakers have approved a bill giving Delaware judges the discretion to impose concurrent, not consecutive, sentences on criminals convicted of multiple offenses.
The state Senate gave final approval Wednesday to the legislation, which Gov. Jack Markell proposed as a way of reducing prison overcrowding. The bill passed the state House earlier this month.
Delaware currently is the only state that forces judges to impose consecutive sentences when a defendant is found guilty of more than one crime.
While Markell's proposal was aimed at reducing prison overcrowding, an amendment to the bill requires that judges continue to impose consecutive sentences for a variety of felonies that often result in long prison sentences. Those include murder, first-degree assault, carjacking, robbery, burglary, home invasion and rape.