Amazing America – 4; Death Sentence gets Too Costly

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.

3 Responses to "Amazing America – 4; Death Sentence gets Too Costly"

  1. Amy آصف Dala   March 7, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    “installment” 🙂

    good point against DP.. if it is true. I am for DP, if it is cheap. Responds:

    1. Regarding instalment/installment, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary,11th Edition P.646 says both versions (with a single ‘L’ and a double ‘L’) are correct.

    2. Try harder, next time. 🙂

  2. Amy آصف Dala   March 7, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    should have checked the dicktionary first.. never knew that it could be spelled that way.

  3. joeantony   March 9, 2009 at 12:23 am

    India, land of ahimsa and forgivness.. we DO have death sentence (the latest is for the noida child killers). BUT, there is a big BUT always, the government decideds (!!??) the ‘when’. Afsal Guru a terrorist in connection with the parliment attack was given death sentence years back and they STILL finding a suitable date to hang him. They took years before hanging the sensational killier ‘Auto Shankar’ in TN. So I think its true that death sentence would cost more.

    ‘installment’ …. this is one of the many words contributed by americans (?) with alternate spelling and then it became legal… ‘installment’ was original just like ‘colour’ … I still remember getting a cross for spelling it as ‘color’ in my 5th grade after seeing this word having such spelling in a TV ad. Now I think colour would look like illegal 🙂 Responds:

    Are Perarivalan, Murugan and Santhan still state guests? Wonder how much it’s cost Tamil Nadu.

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