Capital punishment is expensive and now, the death penalty becomes a part of state budgetary concerns

Last week, the Associated Press reported that Nevada lawmakers were proposing a moratorium on capital punishment in that state (to last until 2011) so they could have time to figure out how costly it was on the state to kill people for crimes they had done.

In Kansas, state senators are pushing a bill through their state legislature, hoping to abolish the death penalty because they say it's too expensive when the economy is so bad.

In Maryland, where they've got a budget deep in the red, Governor Martin O'Malley is promoting the repeal of the Maryland death penalty statute because of the potential savings to the state coffers.

Florida is in a similar situation - more on that next time.

The Death Penalty is Expensive - and by Expensive, I mean Seven-Figures

You'd think that it would cost more to house someone for life, rather than just execute them and be done with it. But you'd be wrong.

Over at the Death Penalty Information Center (link below), they collect lots of financial data for the various state's capital punishment costs (federal as well).

Money talks: as you peruse these studies, you'll find that each death row inmate will cost a state at least a million dollars ($1,000,000) more than if that same inmate were given a life sentence without parole and imprisoned with other lifers. For some states, it's more like $2 million, or even $3 million.

That's a lot of moola for EACH person setting on death row.

Sources:

Associated Press

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/03/04/state/n101927S35.DTL&type=politics

Joplin Globe

http://www.joplinglobe.com/statenews/local_story_064225711.html

Baltimore City Paper

http://www.citypaper.com/story.asp?id=17549

Death Penalty Information Center

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/costs-death-penalty

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Comments (2) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Rebecca - March 11, 2009 2:08 PM

How many states have the death penalty? Can you give us a list? And is there a federal death penalty? Is all capital punishment now by lethal injection?

admin - March 13, 2009 9:51 AM

In response to Rebecca:

Great questions. A comprehensive list of states and their policies can be found at:

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/death-penalty-policy-state

And, yes, there is a federal death penalty. I will post about that in the future.

- Terry

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