THE FINANCIAL COSTS OF THE DEATH PENALTY
The most comprehensive study in America
found that the death penalty
costs North Carolina $2.16 million
per execution over the costs of a non-death
penalty murder case with a sentence
of imprisonment for life (Duke University,
May 1993.) On a national basis, these
figures translate to an extra cost of over
$700 million dollars spent since 1976
on the death penalty.
The death penalty costs California
$90 million annually beyond the ordinary
costs of the justice system - $78 million
of that total is incurred at the trial level
(Sacramento Bee, March 18, 1988).
Florida spent an estimated $57 million
on the death penalty from 1973 to
1988 to achieve 18 executions - that
is an average of $3.2 million per execution.
(Miami Herald, July 10, 1988).
In Texas, a death penalty case costs
an average of $2.3 million, about three
times the cost of imprisoning someone
in a single cell at the highest security
level for 40 years. (Dallas Morning
News, March 8, 1992).
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