Folks, here’s the fourth instalment of Amazing America.
This post will focus on how the popular death penalty is getting a reprieve in the United States.
Do you know why?
No, not because people here have stopped believing in the eye for an eye retribution but because the death penalty is becoming very expensive and unaffordable for most states.
Here’s what Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley wrote the other day:
First, the death penalty is not only a completely ineffective tool in deterring violent crime, it’s an expensive one. Earlier this year – after months of expert testimony – the Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment found that pursuing a capital case is three times more expensive to taxpayers than pursuing a non-death-penalty homicide conviction. It’s a price of $3 million versus $1.1 million – funds we could be using to help victims’ families, or to prevent more crimes from happening – and more families from suffering the same pain.
According to an AP story in Canada’s Globe and Mail:
Death penalty trials are more expensive for several reasons: They often require extra lawyers; there are strict experience requirements for attorneys, leading to lengthy appellate waits while capable counsel is sought for the accused; security costs are higher, as well as costs for processing evidence – DNA testing, for example, is far more expensive than simple blood analyses.
After sentencing, prices continue to rise. It costs more to house death row inmates, who are held in segregated sections, in individual cells, with guards delivering everything from daily meals to toilet paper.
In California, home to the country’s biggest death row population at 667, it costs an extra $90,000 (U.S.) a year per inmate to imprison someone sentenced to death – an additional expense that totals more than $63.3-million annually, according to a 2008 study by the state’s Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice.
Does India still have the death penalty?
Back when we used to live there, the method of execution was by hanging. We’re not sure if the Indian prisons changed over later to lethal injection.
By the way, we are against the death penalty.