Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Will Wisconsin End Unprecedented 153-Year Ban on Death Penalty?

Bookmark and Share

Wisconsin is one of 13 states plus the District of Columbia that does not currently offer the death penalty as a sentencing option in its criminal courts. The death penalty was abolished in the Badger State in 1853—nearly 120 years before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled state death penalty statutes to be in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments due to the arbitrary and capricious administration of state law (Furman v. Georgia, 1972).

Wisconsin's 153-year ban is the longest of all states without the death penalty, and the last (and only) execution in Wisconsin was in 1851.

But in May 2006 the republican-controlled Wisconsin State Senate and State Assembly each approved a death penalty referendum (18-15 and 47-45 respectively) that will appear on November's ballot. The referendum is worded narrowly as follows:

"Should the death penalty be enacted in the state of Wisconsin for cases involving a person who is convicted of first-degree intentional homicide, if the conviction is supported by DNA evidence?"

Democratic Governor Jim Doyle does not support the death penalty. But, despite the state's long history without capital punishment, recent polling shows support for the referendum among likely voters at 55% with opposition just shy of 40% (WISC-TV poll, August 2006).

A clear reversal of the nation's longest death penalty ban by voters in November would serve as further evidence that left-leaning states frequently back many right-leaning public policies (e.g. definition of marriage, immigration).

Previous post: Where Have All the 3rd Party Minnesota Candidates Gone?
Next post: State Legislative Incumbents: Coasting in MN, Challenged in WI

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting