Indiana Counties Spend 10 Times More on Death Penalty than Life Without Parole

An analysis of death penalty costs in Indiana demonstrated that the average cost to a county for a trial and direct appeal in a capital case was over ten times more than a life-without-parole (lwop) case. The average death case cost $449,887, while the average cost of a lwop case was $42,658.  The study, prepared by the Legislative Services Agency for the  Indiana General Assembly, found that even when factoring in longer periods of incarceration for inmates receiving lwop, the cost of the death penalty was still far greater than the cost of lwop.   Read more here. 

In testimony before the Tennessee Committee to Study the Administration of the Death Penalty in 2007, the Tennessee’s comptroller’s office admitted that the state had no way to track the true costs of Tennessee’s death penalty because the data is not centralized, and therefore, not readily available.  In a cash-strapped state like Tennessee, this lack of cost data in unacceptable.  Regardless of how one feels about the use of the death penalty, precious resources should not be wasted on this unfair and inaccurate system when Tennessee has life-without-parole as a sentencing option.

     Photo  courtesy of yomanimus.                                                  

Used under this creative commons license. 

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