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A Time for Wisconsin to Lead


Slightly more than four years ago, in November 2006, Wisconsin voters approved a non-binding referendum to restore the death penalty.  The vote was not particularly close  --  55.5% to 44.5%.  The measure called on the Legislature to enact a death penalty for first degree murder convictions supported by DNA evidence.  However, since the Legislature was controlled by Democrats, and the Governor was an abolitionist, the will of the voters was ignored.

Times have changed.  In the last election, Wisconsin voters threw out the old crowd, putting a Republican in the Governor's mansion and giving Republicans control of both houses of the Legislature.  What was impossible four years ago has become doable today.

A restoration of capital punishment in Wisconsin would shake abolitionism to its roots.  Wisconsin was among the first states to abolish the death penalty and has not had an execution for 160 years.  It's the capital of modern progessivism.  And it can scarcely be dismissed as a retrograde Confederate hold-out, which is a typical smear abolitionists use against retentionists.

Abolitionists think "reform" means a one-way street toward restricting, or ending, the death penalty.  "History is on our side" is what we constantly hear.  I don't know the exact political landscape in the Badger State, but given the 2006 referendum and the 2010 legislative and gubernatorial change, I have to believe Wisconsin has a chance to show that history is actually on the people's side.

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