The first execution in Maine occurred in 1644, two centuries before it became a state. All executions in the territory/state (21 in total) were for murder, except one, in 1780, for treason, following the Revolutionary War. Maine repealed its death penalty in 1876, reestablished it briefly from 1883-1887, and then abolished it again after a botched hanging in 1885, which was the state’s last execution. A bill was introduced in 1925 to reinstate the death penalty, 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. Further attempts to reinstate the death penalty occurred in the Maine legislature in 1973, 1975, 1977 and 1979 but all of them were defeated.
Click here to listen to the Death Penalty Information Center’s podcast on the history of the death penalty in Maine.