I wonder. Does being given the death penalty increase the chance of being found innocent later? I mean, what with all the appeals and attention being on death row brings, compared to rotting away for decades...
SecondTalon wrote:I don't understand how people who tout fiscal responsibility can also support the death penalty. It's far cheaper to just imprison someone for 60 years than it is to execute them in less than 10.
Every death row inmate costs an additional $90,000 per year, on top of the typical $30,000 per year for regular ol' inmates. Court cases that seek the death penalty cost about $500,000 extra, on top of the typical $750,000. Varies by state, obviously, but using your numbers of 60 years vs 10, a death row inmate costs $2.45m ($1.25m for court case, 10x$120k for prison) while the non death row inmate costs $2.55m ($750k for court case, 60x$30k for prison). So actually, virtually the same price.
While time value of money would cause the non death row inmate to be far superior, keep in mind that the costs of prison rise with inflation as prison guards require more pay and prisoner medical care gets more expensive. The medical care is... interesting, as older prisoners require far more of it, and as we get better care we live longer, further increasing the costs. Half the reason for letting old inmates out is because of the exorbitant cost of treating the old farts, rather than any actual "oh, it's the humane thing to do", which is kind of a parallel to the cruel practice of giving old slaves their "freedom" when they were too old to work. Yes, Medicare ends up paying the tab, but that's not the State's problem now is it?