A look at the costs of the death penalty

A death sentence is usually reserved for the most vicious offenders. According to Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penaltya death sentence costs taxpayers more in the long run.

A look at the costs of the death penalty

The following article is an instance in which such a disclaimer was requested. Resources directed toward this form of selective, legitimized killing of human beings are not available for crime prevention methodologies proven for their effectiveness.

The death penalty not only fails as a solution to the problem of violence in the United States but, because of the excessive costs of implementation, capital punishment interferes with a spectrum of preventive programs that have been demonstrated to work well.

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Throughout the United States, police are being laid off, prisoners are being released early, the courts are clogged, and crime continues to rise. The economic recession has caused cutbacks in the backbone of the criminal justice system.

In Florida, the budget crisis resulted in the early release of 3, prisoners. Georgia is laying off correctional personnel and New Jersey has had to dismiss police officers. Yet these same states, and many others like them, are pouring millions of dollars into the death penalty with no resultant reduction in crime.

The exorbitant costs of capital punishment are actually making America less safe because badly needed financial and legal resources are being diverted from effective crime fighting strategies. The death penalty is escaping the decisive cost-benefit analysis to which every other program is being put in times of austerity.

Rather than being posed as a single, but costly, alternative in a spectrum of approaches to crime, the death penalty operates at the extremes of political rhetoric. Candidates use the death penalty as a facile solution to crime which allows them to distinguish themselves by the toughness of their position rather than its effectiveness.

The death penalty is much more expensive than its closest alternative -- life imprisonment with no parole.

Capital trials are longer and more expensive at every step than other murder trials. Pre-trial motions, expert witness investigations, jury selection, and the necessity for two trials -- one on guilt and one on sentencing -- make capital cases extremely costly, even before the appeals process begins.

Guilty pleas are almost unheard of when the punishment is death. In addition, many of these trials result in a life sentence rather than the death penalty, so the state pays the cost of life imprisonment on top of the expensive trial.

The high price of the death penalty is often most keenly felt in those counties responsible for both the prosecution and defense of capital defendants. A single trial can mean near bankruptcy, tax increases, and the laying off of vital personnel.

Nevertheless, politicians from prosecutors to presidents choose symbol over substance in their support of the death penalty. Campaign rhetoric becomes legislative policy with no analysis of whether the expense will produce any good for the people.

The death penalty, in short, has been given a free ride. The expansion of the death penalty in America is on a collision course with a shrinking budget for crime prevention.

It is time for politicians and the public to give this costly punishment a hard look. Introduction Over two-thirds of the states and the federal government have installed an exorbitantly expensive system of capital punishment which has been a failure by any measure of effectiveness.

Literally hundreds of millions of dollars have already been spent on a response to crime which is calculated to be carried out on a few people each year and which has done nothing to stem the rise in violent crime.

A look at the costs of the death penalty

For years, candidates have been using the death penalty to portray themselves as tough on crime. But when politicians offer voters the death penalty as a solution to violence, the people actually become worse off in their fight against crime.

The public is left with fewer resources and little discussion about proven crime prevention programs which could benefit their entire community.

In today's depressed economy, the criminal justice system is breaking down for lack of funds while states pour more money into the black hole of capital punishment expense. Local governments often bear the brunt of capital punishment costs and are particularly burdened.

A single death penalty trial can exhaust a county's resources. Politicians singing the praises of the death penalty rarely address the question of whether a government's resources might be more effectively put to use in other methods of fighting crime.the.

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Death Penalty. Why the era of capital punishment is ending. By David Von Drehle. The case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev absorbed Americans as no death-penalty drama has in years. The Cost of Death: Conservatives Take a Fresh Look at the Death Penalty WASHINGTON - Nearly 3, inmates sit on death row across the U.S.

A death sentence is usually reserved for the most vicious. The sister of one of the six family members brutally slaughtered by Michael McLean 12 years ago believes the St Thomas businessman is a candidate for the death penalty. Caylee Marie Anthony (August 9, – ) was an American girl who lived in Orlando, Florida, with her mother, Casey Marie Anthony (born March 19, ), and her maternal grandparents, George and Cindy Anthony.

On July 15, , she was reported missing in a call made by Cindy, who said she had not seen Caylee for 31 days and that Casey's car smelled like a dead body had been inside it.

Jun 20,  · Taxpayers have spent more than $4 billion on capital punishment in California since it was reinstated in , or about $ million for each of the 13 executions carried out since then, according to a comprehensive analysis of the death penalty's costs.

Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. Voices Lost in the Craig Wood Sentence: On January, 11, , Judge Thomas Mountjoy dealt violent injury to a number of people. How Judges Undermine the Missourians who Serve on Juries: Missouri judges have rejected the death penalty in every case since , but the state recently had two new death sentences within just four months of .

The High Cost of the Death Penalty