Monday, February 03, 2003


A couple of folks are trying to change that...

The beginning from the Green Bay News Chronicle:

In 1851, Kenosha resident John McCaffary was convicted of first-degree murder for having killed his wife. After he cut her scalp and choked her, he dumped her in a backyard cistern, where she drowned in 18 inches of water.

Kenosha's newspaper at the time, The Telegraph, provides the only recorded eyewitness account of the hanging: "... the prisoner was hoisted in the air. After a moment or two, there was a slight shrug of the shoulders. He continued to struggle for the space of five minutes. After he had been suspended eight minutes, the physicians were called upon the stand to examine his pulse, at which time his pulse was slightly reduced, and continued to beat for 10 minutes longer, at which time life was extinct and the prisoner was let down into the coffin. There were 2,000-3,000 people to witness the execution."

McCaffary's execution on Aug. 21, 1851, was the last to be carried out under Wisconsin law. Two years later, the state repealed the death penalty, a status it has maintained for 151 years. But now, two Republican legislators - including Door County's state senator - are pushing to change the course of Wisconsin's history.

A good read...