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NCJ Number: 111301 Find in a Library
Title: Everlasting Controversy: Michigan and the Death Penalty
Journal: Wayne Law Review  Volume:33  Issue:5  Dated:(1987)  Pages:1765-1790
Author(s): J H Lincoln
Date Published: 1987
Page Count: 26
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article distinguishes and describes six eras of capital punishment over the three centuries of Michigan's history.
Abstract: When the French occupied Michigan in 1683-1760, the French performed the first execution by white men. The British occupied Michigan in 1760-1796. They executed the first woman and the only black person ever executed in Michigan. In 1796-1837, appointees of the U.S. President governed Michigan as a territory before it was admitted as a State in 1837. In 1846 Michigan became the first U.S. State to abolish the death penalty. A bill to bring back the death penalty was introduced in 40 sessions of the Michigan Legislature between 1846 and 1963. In 1929 a bill to bring back the death penalty passed both houses and was then vetoed. The voters defeated a 1931 referendum proposal to return capital punishment. The Michigan Constitution of 1963 banned the death penalty, so that returning the death penalty to Michigan will now require a constitutional amendment. Several attempts to obtain a sufficient number of signatures to get the issue on a ballot for a constitutional amendment permitting the death penalty were unsuccessful. Polls show that U.S. voters, including the Michigan voters, strongly favor the death penalty. If Michigan had a lower murder rate, there would undoubtedly be some shift in voter opinion. 62 footnotes.
Main Term(s): Capital punishment
Index Term(s): Abolishment of capital punishment; Michigan
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