Donna of Daily Briefing , a Madison Post blog, outlines why across the political spectrum the Death Penalty referendum is bad for Wisconsin. Even if you are in favor of the death penalty the DNA clause would not apply to the most heinous crimes Wisconsinites are most concerned about. Dave Zweifel gives us some plain talk about the actual costs of instituting the death penalty in Wisconsin. The Indiana attorney general’s office is currently trying to hire a deputy AT in charge of habeas corpus and capital litigation. Yes, if we have a death penalty in Wisconsin we’d have to have a whole sub department dedicated to those kinds of cases. In short having a death penalty in Wisconsin would get very expensive and whose resources would be utilized better someplace else. Here is blurb from the job description.
“When a court imposes the death penalty, the attorney general represents the state in all future appeals. These cases are very lengthy and often last in excess of 15 years. The successful candidate will be responsible for representing the state’s interests in all aspects of appeals before the Indiana Supreme Court, post-conviction relief proceedings in state trial courts, and federal habeas corpus proceedings in the federal district and appellate courts. “Additionally, attorneys provide consultation and assistance to the prosecuting attorneys in trial proceedings. As these cases involve a mixture of trial and appellate practice, prior trial experience is an asset.”
It has been over 155 years since Wisconsin has murdered one of its citizens in our name. The conventional wisdom is that its banning was solely the result of McCaffary execution in 1851. We might be led to assume that McCaffary’s case was typical and Wisconsinites simply got fed up with this barbaric practice. The truth of the matter is McCaffary was not a typical case because many murder cases ended with no conviction. One such case was Radcliffe who the DA had an airtight case against but was not convicted because the only sentence for willful murder was the death penalty. The abolitionists of the day used both the cases of McCaffary and Radcliffe to make their case against the death penalty. The abolitionist were further assisted that in 1852 Waupun was built which made it possible to house inmates indefinitely. There are various reasons to oppose state murder then and now. It does not matter if its on moral, financial, or pragmatic grounds, on November 7th vote NO on the Death Penalty.