By a 47-45 vote, the Wisconsin Assembly voted late yesterday to put a question on the fall ballot asking voters if the death penalty should be reinstated in certain cases, says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The death penalty was abolished in Wisconsin in 1853. Some in the state Legislature who favor capital punishment want to know what voters think about making it an option in cases where the conviction is supported by DNA evidence. The Senate passed a slightly different version of the death penalty resolution, but was expected to agree to the Assembly's changes. The referendum would be advisory only.
Supporters also said it was important to give voters an opportunity to weigh in on the issue and give the Legislature some direction. Opponents argued the death penalty wouldn't do much to reduce crime.