A surprising result of the economic downturn: the death penalty in the USA

CNN reported earlier this month:

Budget concerns force states to reconsider the death penalty
… Amid a time of economic turmoil some legislators in Kansas and elsewhere say the price of justice is too high. They have introduced legislation to take the death penalty off the books over financial concerns…

“Because of the downturn in the national economy, we are facing one of the largest budget deficits in our history,” state Sen. Carolyn McGinn, a Republican, said in an opinion piece posted on TheKansan.com Friday. “What is certain is we are all going to have to look at new and creative ways to fund state and community programs and services.”

The state would save more than $500,000 per case by not seeking the death penalty, McGinn wrote, money that could be used for “prevention programs, community corrections and other programs to decrease future crimes against society.”

Fiscal concerns are just a part of McGinn’s argument. She has also cited the disproportionate rate of minorities that are sentenced to death.

The full article goes on to talk about budget concerns driving possible death penalty repeal in several other states, including New Mexico and Colorado.

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