Death penalty more expensive than prison
The death penalty is up to 70% more expensive to implement than comparable non-death penalty cases a study in the US has concluded.
The conclusion which will be welcomed by Christian campaigners against the death penalty, was reached in a review of death penalty expenses by the State of Kansas.
The study counted death penalty case costs through to execution and found that the median death penalty case costs .26 million.
Non-death penalty cases were counted through to the end of incarceration and were found to have a median cost of 0,000.
For death penalty cases, the pre-trial and trial level expenses were the most expensive part, 49% of the total cost. The costs of appeals were 29% of the total expense, and the incarceration and execution costs accounted for the remaining 22%.
Other findings included:
- The investigation costs for death-sentence cases were about 3 times greater than for non-death cases.
- The trial costs for death cases were about 16 times greater than for non-death cases (8,000 for death case; ,000 for non-death case).
- The appeal costs for death cases were 21 times greater.
The costs of carrying out an execution (including death row incarceration) were about half the costs of carrying out a non-death sentence in a comparable case.
Trials involving a death sentence averaged 34 days, including jury selection; non-death trials averaged about 9 days.
The full findings can be found in "Performance Audit Report: Costs Incurred for Death Penalty Cases: A K-GOAL Audit of the Department of Corrections"