Death penalty is more expensive

18 04 2008

 

This is the ABSTRACT of the report “The Cost of the Death Penalty in Maryland“:

Maryland reinstated the death penalty in 1978 as a sentencing option for individuals convicted of felony homicide. Since then, five inmates have been executed and five others are on death row awaiting execution. Much has been written about the morality of the death penalty, and many empirical studies have investigated whether the presence of such a statute deters homicides.

However there is limited rigorous empirical research on whether the death penalty increases or decreases the cost of prosecution and incarceration. To address this issue, we initiated a study to assess the death penalty’s costs to Maryland taxpayers. We study the lifetime costs of all homicides eligible to receive the death penalty where the homicide occurred between 1978 and 1999.

We found that an average capital-eligible case in which prosecutors did not seek the death penalty will cost Maryland taxpayers more than $1.1 million, including $870,000 in prison costs and $250,000 in costs of adjudication.

A capital-eligible case in which prosecutors unsuccessfully sought the death penalty will cost $1.8 million, $700,000 more than a comparable case in which the death penalty was not sought.

Prison costs are about $950,000, and the cost of adjudication is $850,000, more than three times higher than in cases which were not capitally prosecuted.

An average capital-eligible case resulting in a death sentence will cost approximately $3 million, $1.9 million more than a case where the death penalty was not sought. In these cases, prison costs total about $1.3 million while the remaining $1.7 million are associated with adjudication.

 A great website for more information about the issue: The Death Penalty Information high school curriculum site

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5 responses

18 04 2008
Javier

Hi Juanjo,

It’s been great to hear from you. Of course I remember you from the time you were in Michel’s class. I’m so happy you like my blog, you are very kind about it. It goes without saying I’ll be delighted to help you with any trouble you might have with Hot Potatoes, or writing in English. I believe it’s a brilliant idea to teach different subjects in this international language.

Thanks for linking your blog to mine and keep in touch.

Take care,
Javier.

19 04 2008
Hannah

In my opinion, the cost of death penalty is a bad argument against it. Why? Well, if you say that a higher cost is a reason against death penalty, you must admit that if one day you make it cheaper (because of technological improvrements, for example), then it would be an argument in favour of death penalty.

Cheers.

19 04 2008
juanat

That’s just one point of view. I think that death penalty is always bad because is something against human rights: thats the principal argument against. It has no a deterrent force, neither. I posted this video because I was surprised by the way the man made the report, I mean, perhaps nobody could expected that death penalty is more expensive.
Regards.

14 10 2009
purecommonsense

The death penalty is a perfectly reasonable form of retribution. Its good for deterrence and protects the innocents. We should worry about good justice, not being humane to sick criminals.

In our current system, it may increase the cost of prosecution and litigation to use the death penalty, but if we fast-track executions so they’re on the same level as other forms of punishment – it comes down to which is more expensive for the taxpayers – a lifetime of food, clothing and shelter? Or a bullet?

18 10 2009
juanat

I don’t like this two options…shelter or bullet. I prefer “life and justice or a crime (death penalty)”.

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