What started as death penalty case ends in 15-year sentence

HOCKESSIN, Del. (AP) — A man who pleaded guilty in a case that prompted Delaware’s Supreme Court to overturn a death penalty law in the state has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The News Journal reports 29-year-old Benjamin Rauf was sentenced Thursday in the 2015 drug-related killing of his former Temple University law school classmate, Shazim Uppal. Rauf, of Westerlo, New York, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter and a weapons charge.

His public defender, Ross Flockerzie, says Rauf accepted responsibility and wanted to spare Uppal’s family from going through a trial.

Prosecutors had planned to seek the death penalty against Rauf, but a judge sought the state Supreme Court’s opinion after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Florida’s similar law, which permitted capital punishment even when juries are less-than-unanimous in recommending death.


Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., http://www.delawareonline.com