Preliminary Cost Figures Released as Death Penalty Hearings Approach

By aholsinger

The Kansas Judicial Council, an advisory body to the legislature, released preliminary findings on the cost of the death penalty in preparation for legislative hearings on a repeal measure. The council found that state Supreme Court Justices spend 20 times more hours on death penalty appeals than on non-capital appeals; the Department of Corrections spends than twice as much ($49,380 versus $24,690) to house a death-row inmate per year as to house a general-population inmate; and capital cases take more than twice as many days in district court as non-capital cases. A 2003 study of the cost of the death penalty in Kansas found that death penalty cases cost about 70% more than other cases. Two bills dealing with capital punishment will have hearings in the legislature on January 16 – one that would replace the death penalty with life without parole, and another that would seek to speed the appeals process in capital cases. Sen. Carolyn McGinn, (R-Sedgwick), who sponsored the repeal bill, said, “I feel it’s an important issue any time we talk about government having sole authority to take lives.”

Kansas reinstated the death penalty in 1994. Since then, 13 men have been sentenced to death and 5 death sentences have been overturned by the state Supreme Court. No one has been executed.

(T. Carpenter, “Senators to take up death penalty measures,” Topeka Capital-Journal, January 14, 2014). See Recent Legislation and Costs.

Via: Preliminary Cost Figures Released as Death Penalty Hearings Approach