General Information

Death Penalty: No
Date of Abolition: 1887

Capital: Augusta
Population: 1,328,361
Governor: Paul LePage
Legislative Information: Senate
House of representatives


DPIC's State Database for information on executions, death row population and other statistics in Maine
History of the Death Penalty

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York Harbor. Photo by NSBP.

History of the Death Penalty

Notable cases

Jeremiah Baum, executed in 1780, was put to death for treason. This is the only execution in Maine for a crime other than murder.

Milestones in abolition/reinstatement

In 1876 the legislature of Maine abolished the death penalty by a vote of 75 to 68.

In 1883 the death penalty was reestablished in Maine.

Maine abolished the death penalty for a second time in 1887. The movement toward abolition was driven by a botched execution in 1885. Due to a poorly-tied hangman's noose, Daniel Wilkinson died slowly of strangulation. Wilkinson's execution was the last in Maine.

A bill was introduced in 1925 to reinstate the death penalty in Maine, but no legistlative action was taken on it.  Another attempt to reinstate the death penalty occurred in 1937, but once again no legislative action was taken on the bill.  Further attempts to reinstate the death penalty occurred in the Maine legislature in 1973, 1975, 1977 and 1979 but all of them were defeated.

Other interesting facts

The first execution in Maine took place in 1644.


Department of Corrections
Maine Civil Liberties Union
Public defender's office
Victims' services

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