The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel publishes the OpEd, "The death penalty in Wisconsin: Gone now 160 years," by Alexander “Sandie” Pendleton, a Wisconsin attorney. Here's the beginning:
July 10 is the 160th anniversary of the abolition of the death penalty in Wisconsin. This sets Wisconsin apart from other jurisdictions. Nationally, Wisconsin law has been completely without the death penalty longer than the laws of any other state. Wisconsin also has been without the death penalty longer than any European country (even longer than the Vatican).
It may be that Wisconsin has been without the death penalty longer than any jurisdiction that has the ability to impose the death penalty (or if there is such a jurisdiction, no one has yet identified that jurisdiction to me, since I first mentioned that possibility about 20 years ago).
The 160th anniversary is a remarkable achievement for Wisconsin and its residents, one worth at least commemorating, if not celebrating. Other jurisdictions that have had the death penalty, and have frequently used the death penalty, have gone through remarkably violent upheavals over the past 160 years (think Germany, Russia, China, or Mississippi, for example). In such jurisdictions, the rule of law has been ignored or broken down for extended periods of time, and violence has swept through those societies.
Earlier coverage from Wisconsin is at the link.