Tennessee Judge Makes History on Cost Ruling

A new development in the widely publicized trial of Lemaricus Davidson, found guilty this week of the brutal murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom in Knoxville: Judge Richard Baumgartner ruled today for the first time in Knox County judicial history that he will instruct Davidson’s jury that it is more expensive to execute Davidson than to give him life without parole.

Baumgartner will cite a 2004 cost study by the Tennessee Comptroller. This is the same study cited by the Comptroller’s office in testimony provided to the Death Penalty Study Committee in 2007 in which the comptroller admitted that the 2004 study did not actually account for the full cost of the death penalty system to taxpayers as there is no centralized way to track the data in Tennessee. In other words, the 2004 study does not even get at the actual costs and still shows the death penalty is more expensive.

Regardless of what the jury decides in this case, jurors and citizens alike need to understand that if Davidson receives a death sentence, far more money will be spent on him than if he does not. The question we must ask ourselves is, “With life without parole as an alternative in this case, would taxpayer money be better spent on assistance to victims’ families and on effective crime-fighting measures that might prevent such tragedies in the future or on Davidson’s execution?”

Read the story here.

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5 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Didn't change anything. If you people think that preserving the life of an animal like this (and I use that word loosely – animals are not so savage) is some sort of celebration of life, you really need some counseling. However, since you are likely motivated by self-righteousness and the need to feel that you are some how morally superior to everyone else, you are probably a lost cause.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I agree 100% percent with last comment. You people are a trip. Let it be your son or daughter, And them gang raped by 4 or 5 people, shot 3 times and burned with gasoline. Next to have you daughter gangraped in all her orfices, forced to drink bleach, choked and then stuffed in a garbage can to suffocate to death. Put yourself in the parents shoes for one instance. They you can understand the brutality of this crime. If the shoe fits you must acquit. No! If the shoe fits you must DIEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Put Cobbins and Davidson Together in jail and tie them together and let the inmates raped them, Then throw gasoline on them and light a match. That is the only punishment that is fit for this crime. Why be leninent to these people. Anyone that wants different maybe this should happen to you and see how you feel. Maybe this is what people that are so self righteous needs. This is not some fairy tale this is REAL. Get used to. The next time you start moralizing this issue think of yourself be stuffed in a garbage can. Then maybe the liberals in this country would not be saying such stupid things.

  3. Anonymous says:

    death by impalement could save money and be an appropriate choice for these non-humans!!!

  4. Stacy says:

    It is painful to see how much hatred and anger there is in these posts. Of course, any time there is a horrible murder, we are all naturally enraged and afraid. These defendants obviously made a terrible choice, and because of it, many have suffered and will forever be changed. Regardless of what I say here, I know that you all who comment are not going to hear me, but I will say it anyway. The death penalty accomplishes nothing but revenge. And, if revenge is what we want to be about as a society, then I guess it can be justified. But we also must acknowledge that it also allows the perpetrators of violence to call the shots, to dictate our response, and to make us act like them. I refuse to allow these violent perpetrators to dictate my response, regardless of how vile their actions. I don't want to be like them. I have a choice. I can choose to do to them what they did to someone else, or I can chose to act in accordance with my faith in my God who instructs me in another way or responding. This does not mean in any way, shape, or form, that these perpetrators do not need to be in prison for life. They do. But I would rather not demean myself or society by choosing to kill as they did. And, in fact, I work closely with murder victims' families who do not believe that the death penalty does antyhing to help them or to honor their loved ones. I cannot imagine how I would react to such an unimaginable horror if it happened to my mother or sister, but I can only pray, that I might react like these families that I know who never want violence to have the last word.

  5. Anonymous says:

    obviously, the people who have commented here have not had tragedy come there way, for if they had it would be real to them in a way they will never be able to say how they might react, because there is no price to pay when it happens to you. NOTHING you can do to someone else will change the way it turns out and nothing will bring it around again to do differently. We as a people only have one chance at that moment to react and no judge or lawyer can ease the pain of losing someone you love in a blink of an eye, they are gone you are left to deal with it and live your life like you know they would want you to do, for them, always carrying the memories alive with you as you go and make your choices out of the same place.

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