In 1838, Vermont’s legislature defeated a death penalty abolition bill by only three votes. If the bill had passed, it would have made Vermont the first state to abolish the death penalty. Instead, that honor fell to Wisconsin. Vermont went on to execute a total of 26 persons, 21 by hanging, and 5 by electrocution.
The death penalty was finally abolished in 1965, 11 years after the state’s final execution. However, Vermont statutes still state that the punishment for treason is death.