To the many excellent reasons to abolish the death penalty — it’s immoral, does not deter murder and affects minorities disproportionately — we can add one more. It’s an economic drain on governments with already badly depleted budgets.
It is far from a national trend, but some legislators have begun to have second thoughts about the high cost of death row. Others would do well to consider evidence gathered by the Death Penalty Information Center, a research organization that opposes capital punishment.
States waste millions of dollars on winning death penalty verdicts, which require an expensive second trial, new witnesses and long jury selections. Death rows require extra security and maintenance costs.
There is also a 15-to-20-year appeals process, but simply getting rid of it would be undemocratic and would increase the number of innocent people put to death. Besides, the majority of costs are in the pretrial and trial.
According to the organization, keeping inmates on death row in Florida costs taxpayers $51 million a year more than holding them for life without parole. North Carolina has put 43 people to death since 1976 at $2.16 million per execution. The eventual cost to taxpayers in Maryland for pursuing capital cases between 1978 and 1999 is estimated to be $186 million for five executions.
Perhaps the most extreme example is California, whose death row costs taxpayers $114 million a year beyond the cost of imprisoning convicts for life. The state has executed 13 people since 1976 for a total of about $250 million per execution. This is a state whose prisons are filled to bursting (unconstitutionally so, the courts say) and whose government has imposed doomsday-level cuts to social services, health care, schools and parks.Continue reading the main story
The Death Penalty Research Paper
2122 WordsApr 27th, 20139 Pages
Ms. Rachel Williams
28 April 2011
Research Paper on the Death Penalty The death penalty is a capital punishment that is put into effect for major crimes. The death penalty is a very controversial topic in the United States and throughout the world. There was a time period were the death penalty was banned for about four years in 1972-1976. Many feel that the death penalty is justice because it is retribution toward criminals who have committed heinous crimes. However the death penalty is inhumane and should be abolished in the United States. The death penalty has been around since the beginning of civilization. “Capital Punishment has been practiced in most known societies over the course of humans history”…show more content…
It is irrational to think that the death penalty – a remote threat at best – will avert murders committed in drug turf wars or by street-level dealers” (Bedau). This shows that the death penalty is not stopping murders from occurring. The introduction to the death penalty conducted a survey were top criminologists stated that the death penalty does not deter homicide rates (Introduction). “For 2009, the average Murder Rate of Death Penalty States was 4.9 [Murder rates by the 100,000], while the average Murder Rate of States without the Death Penalty was 2.8” (Introduction).
Not only does the death penalty not deter crime but it is also very expensive. The death penalty costs so much because of the appeal process. The appeal process is a very long and expensive process that can go on forever and costs the government millions. Many assume that abolishing the death penalty is wrong because it becomes unfair to the taxpayers because they think the cost is less than that of life in prison without parole. However life in prison is less expensive than the death penalty (Bedau). The death penalty is actually three times more than keeping a prisoner in prison for life without parole (Messerli). Death penalty trials are costly as well. “[S]tudies estimate that death penalty trials cost $1