Although 56 percent of Wisconsin voters approved an advisory referendum calling for the death penalty, there is no chance that capital punishment will become law anytime soon in the state, says the Capital Times in Madison. “I am a realist. There is no prospect,” said state Sen. Al Lasee, author of the referendum. “The Democrats took control of the Senate and Gov. Doyle got re-elected.” Gov. Jim Doyle opposes the death penalty and could veto any bill enacting the death penalty; Lasee rammed the advisory referendum through the Legislature when both houses were controlled by Republicans and he was president of the Senate.
Stacy Harbaugh of the American Civil Liberties Union said the ACLU and other members of a coalition that opposed the referendum would continue to fight a death penalty bill every step of the way. The death penalty would require a costly infrastructure for a state with no death rows, Harbaugh said, and appeals are very costly. The ballot question asked whether the death penalty should be enacted in Wisconsin for cases involving a person convicted of first-degree intentional homicide, if the conviction was supported by DNA evidence.