WILMINGTON, Del. — A judge has set a cash bail of more than $1 million for a murder suspect whose case led to Delaware’s death penalty being overturned by the state Supreme Court.
Benjamin Rauf is charged in last year’s drug-related killing of 27-year-old Shazim Uppal of Hockessin, a fellow Temple University law school graduate.
Prosecutors had planned to seek the death penalty against Rauf, but after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding Florida’s death penalty statute, the judge sought a state Supreme Court opinion on Delaware’s law, which is similar to Florida’s.
A majority of the justices concluded that Delaware’s law was unconstitutional because it allows judges too much discretion and doesn’t require that a jury find unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant deserves execution.
After conferring with attorneys, the judge this week ordered cash bail of $500,000 each on two counts of first-degree murder, canceling a bail hearing that had been scheduled for Friday. Rauf also faces $50,000 cash bail on each of two other counts charging him with first-degree robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.