It is sometimes suggested that abolishing capital punishment is unfair to the taxpayer, on the assumption that life imprisonment is more expensive than execution. If one takes into account all the relevant costs, however, just the reverse is true. "The death penalty is not now, nor has it ever been, a more economical alternative to life imprisonment."56 A murder trial normally takes much longer when the death penalty is at issue than when it is not. Litigation costs -- including the time of judges, prosecutors, public defenders, and court reporters, and the high costs of briefs -- are mostly borne by the taxpayer. A 1982 study showed that were the death penalty to be reintroduced in New York, the cost of the capital trial alone would be more than double the cost of a life term in prison.57
In Maryland, a comparison of capital trial costs with and without the death penalty for the years 1979-1984 concluded that a death penalty case costs "approximately 42 percent more than a case resulting in a non-death sentence."58 In 1988 and 1989 the Kansas legislature voted against reinstating the death penalty after it was informed that reintroduction would involve a first-year cost of "more than $11 million."59 Florida, with one of the nation's most populous death rows, has estimated that the true cost of each execution is approximately $3.2 million, or approximately six times the cost of a life-imprisonment sentence."60
A 1993 study of the costs of North Carolina's capital punishment system revealed that litigating a murder case from start to finish adds an extra $163,000 to what it would cost the state to keep the convicted offender in prison for 20 years. The extra cost goes up to $216,000 per case when a...
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...eight years old when my father was murdered. It is almost impossible to describe the pain of losing a parent to a senseless murder.…But even as a child one thing was clear to me: I didn't want the killer, in turn, to be killed. I remember lying in bed and praying, 'Please, God. Please don't take his life too.' I saw nothing that could be accomplished in the loss of one life being answered with the loss of another. And I knew, far too vividly, the anguish that would spread through another family -- another set of parents, children, brothers, and sisters thrown into grief."55
Across the nation, many who have survived the murder of a loved one have joined Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation (headquartered in Virginia), in the effort to replace anger and hate toward the criminal with a restorative approach to both the offender and the bereaved survivors.
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- The Foundation of Islam It is sometimes suggested that abolishing capital punishment is unfair to the taxpayer, on the assumption that life imprisonment is more expensive than execution. If one takes into account all the relevant costs, however, just the reverse is true. "The death penalty is not now, nor has it ever been, a more economical alternative to life imprisonment."56 A murder trial normally takes much longer when the death penalty is at issue than when it is not. Litigation costs -- including the time of judges, prosecutors, public defenders, and court reporters, and the high costs of briefs -- are mostly borne by the taxpayer.... [tags: Papers]
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2203 words (6.3 pages)
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1234 words (3.5 pages)