For decades people have debated the death penalty. These discussions have taken place at the water cooler in the workplace as well as at family dinners. Some people see it as a barbaric form of torture, and others see it as a necessity of modern life. Most people do not understand the complex issues that heads of states need to evaluate regarding the death penalty. In conference rooms they discuss issues such as costs, wrongful convictions and what they could do with the additional revenues. Even though some people see the death penalty as a crime deterrent, in this economy individual states have to rethink the financial costs involved.
Many people do not realize the additional costs associated with a death penalty case. People who are in support of the death penalty believe that it is cheaper to execute a criminal than to leave them in a jail cell paid for with the money individual's pay to the government in taxes. California is second to Texas in regard to juries and county prosecutors condemning people with a death sentence. (Tempest, 2005) What they do not realize is that at times it can take more than two decades for a death sentence to come to the conclusion of an execution.
The trial alone in a death penalty case can cost millions more to prosecute. A study in Maryland estimates that the average cost to taxpayers for reaching a single death sentence is $3 million - $1.9 million more than the cost of a non-death penalty case. (Roman, J., Chalfin, A., Sundquist, A., Knight, C., and Darmenov, A. ,2008) These costs can come from the cost of public defenders, specialty testing, and expert witnesses.
The additional burden to individual states comes from the costs associated with incarceration until a death warrant is sent down with an execution date. Several states that believed in the death penalty paid millions of dollars for death sentences yet are still paying to incarcerate these criminals decades later. In California it costs...