Save Money: End The Death Penalty

Posted by | June 23, 2011 20:10 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Fiscal conservatism makes for strange bedfellows.  Already the alliances on foreign intervention are shifting as deficit hawks and isolationists join anti-war activists in opposing our continued presence in Libya and Afghanistan.  Another possible area for this cooperation is the death penalty in the wake of a new study on California.

Taxpayers have spent more than $4 billion on capital punishment in California since it was reinstated in 1978, or about $308 million for each of the 13 executions carried out since then, according to a comprehensive analysis of the death penalty’s costs.

The examination of state, federal and local expenditures for capital cases, conducted over three years by a senior federal judge and a law professor, estimated that the additional costs of capital trials, enhanced security on death row and legal representation for the condemned adds $184 million to the budget each year.

I am opposed to the death penalty for a myriad of reasons.  I’m happy to welcome to the opponents’ camp those who want to cut state budget deficits.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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