The observance of 150 years without the death penalty comes as some legislators' make their perennial push to restore it. Sen. Alan Lasee is hoping his bill will do better this time around.
Lasee says states that have the death penalty have used it sparingly and that it's an appropriate sentence for some crimes.
Wisconsin banned capital punishment in 1853 and has the longest-running prohibition of any state in the union. The Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau says the last known hanging for murder was in 1851.
The Wisconsin Coalition Against the Death Penalty doesn't want the issue to be put to a referendum. President Arthur Thexton says public policy should be formed on reflection and study and not the passion of the moment.
(Thanks Shamane Mills, Wisconsin Public Radio)