The Death Penalty in Numbers Death penalty is a very serious and debated subject. Some people believe it is a just way to prosecute someone, while others believe it is inhumane. If you are for it or against it, one thing is for sure; it is very costly to those states who allow it. In some states the costs can add up to over billions of dollars! The question is who is paying for it and is it really necessary to be this expensive? California is one of the 32 states in America that allow the death penalty. As stated in a recent study by www.deathpenaltyinfo.org, “The cost of the death penalty in California has totaled over four billion dollars since 1978…” The article also says that the costs are split up between $1.94 billion on trial costs, $925 million on automatic appeals and state Habeas Corpus petitions, $775 million on federal Habeas Corpus appeals, and $1 billion on costs of incarceration. www.deathpenaltyinfo.com also informs people that if all the inmates waiting on death row were to switch to a sentence of life without parole, the state of California would save an immediate $170 million a year. Sounds like a good idea.
Many people wonder why the death penalty is so expensive. Many things factor into that answer, one being how long it takes to find a jury. In a capital punishment case, every juror has
to be questioned on how they feel about the death penalty, so the ruling is fair. Another reason is how much all the lawyers, judges, and everyone else gets paid. Housing inmates on death row is a huge factor in the death penalty costs. www.aclunc.org writes that housing inmates for the death penalty in California costs a minimum of $90,000 per inmate per year. That is quite a large…