Economic impact of death penalty vs. life sentence

Yesterday I wrote:

"Another reason given for the death penalty is the cost of housing a prisoner for life. Executing a criminal is more costly to society than imprisonment. Sounds crazy doesn't it. But my research shows that it is true.

To back up this claim I offer some published information:

• The California death penalty system costs taxpayers $114 million per year beyond the costs of keeping convicts locked up for life.
Taxpayers have paid more than $250 million for each of the state’s executions. (L.A. Times, March 6, 2005)
• In Kansas, the costs of capital cases are 70% more expensive than comparable non-capital cases, including the costs of incarceration.
(Kansas Performance Audit Report, December 2003).
• In Indiana, the total costs of the death penalty exceed the complete costs of life without parole sentences by about 38%, assuming
that 20% of death sentences are overturned and reduced to life. (Indiana Criminal Law Study Commission, January 10, 2002).
• The most comprehensive study in the country found that the death penalty costs North Carolina $2.16 million per execution over the
costs of sentencing murderers to life imprisonment. The majority of those costs occur at the trial level. (Duke University, May 1993).
• Enforcing the death penalty costs Florida $51 million a year above what it would cost to punish all first-degree murderers with life in
prison without parole. Based on the 44 executions Florida had carried out since 1976, that amounts to a cost of $24 million for each
execution. (Palm Beach Post, January 4, 2000).
• In Texas, a death penalty case costs an average of $2.3 million, about three times the cost of imprisoning someone in a single cell at
the highest security level for 40 years. (Dallas Morning News, March 8, 1992).


A review of the literature about the death penalty shows that no state has saved money by using it. For example, A Dallas Morning News study of costs in Texas, the state which has executed the most prisoners in the U.S., showed the cost of executing a prisoner, including all expenses from trial through appeals, and assuming the case concluded in 7.5 years, to be $2,316,655. Imprisoning someone in a single cell at the highest security for 40 years in Texas costs about $750,000.

It is estimated that it costs $383,980 for 40 years of imprisonment in Missouri.

The higher cost is due to the fact that the legal process in death penalty cases is very complicated, reflecting the stakes involved. Death penalty trials are often longer and more complicated than non-death murder trials. The jury selection process is more involved. Many more motions are often filed by both the State and the defense. There may be more intensive use of experts and investigators. If a conviction is obtained, extensive appeals in state and federal courts inevitably follow.

Anyone on trial for his or her life should be expected to mount an energetic defense. The detailed trial and appellate process in death penalty cases has grown out of concern for justice and the permanent consequences of a mistaken conviction. Such protection will never be cheap. Even life in prison, in comparison, is more economical and does not pose significantly increased danger to the public. Maximum security prisons in Missouri know how to control and maintain even the most violent and dangerous people in their charge.

Source of Texas Information: Christy Hoppe, "Executions Cost Texas Millions," The Dallas Morning News, March 8, 1992 p. 12A.


Dr. Philip Cook and Donna Swenson of Duke University released a report in April of 1993 called "The Costs of Processing Murder Cases in North Carolina." It compared the costs of prosecuting murder cases capitally and noncapitally in North Carolina. The state of North Carolina spends approximately $2.16 million per actual execution. The overall costs to the state for having the death sentence are $4 million a year higher than if it only sought life sentences in first degree murder cases.
According to the Duke study, the costs to the tax payers for first degree murder prosecution and conviction that results in execution is $165,000 higher than if the same person had been sentenced to life in prison. Speeding up the appeals process was found to have no significant effect on the number of dollars spent.

Source of Duke Report at:


In CT, in 2000, there were 98 murders, 678 forcible rapes, 3832 robberies and 6450 aggravated assaults. In CT, as of 2002, it cost the PD's office an average of $380,000 per case for the 7 men on death row, totalling $2,659,921. By comparision, those sentenced to life after being charged with the death penalty cost an average of $202,365, totalling $2,630,745. Those who weren't charged with the death penalty, but were sentenced to life after a trial cost an average of $79,777.
The 2003-2004 cost of providing capital defense in CT was $1,959,523.

Full report of the CT Commission on the Death Penalty here:


Anonymous said...

You are right diane. It took the state of Florida 11 years and and I forget how many millions to finally kill the creature. All the appeals and lawyers and judges and money, money, money when all they really would have had to do was lock him in a women's prison and let the ladies take care of him. BB

Anonymous said...

Oh, and the "creature" by the way is Ted Bundy. Having lived in Florida during this time everyone knows who the creature is so I forgot to name him in above comment. There has never been a more sadistic killer than he was. Reading about his victims is somthing I urge people never to do because you have never known nightmares like you will have after reading about him. BB

Anonymous said...

>>10-year-old North Carolina study showing the cost of a single death penalty case was $2.16 million more than a life sentence—and that included lifetime incarceration costs.<<
I assume that you are referring to the paper by Phillip Cook of Duke University, May 1993.
If so have you ever bothered to read it in full? if you did you will know that the figure of $2.16m/death penalty case was based on only 10% of those sentenced to death actually being executed-if 100% of those sentnced had been executed then it would only have cost $216,000 each, in fact if all of those condemned where actually executed it would have been an average saving to the state of $1m/year on the cost of keeping them in jail,but then facts are probably not your strong point

Diane Grey Davis said...

Dear anonymous poster,

Anyone, including you, can make many assumptions based on numerical "facts" and "what if" estimated outcomes. My statements were based on studies of actual costs.

I have the courage to put my name on my posts. Who are you?

Anonymous said...

What? the death penalty is a great use of our money

Anonymous said...

I'm only 14 year old and i know that only 23 inocent people have died from the death penalty and who cares how much it cost!

Anonymous said...

If one of those innocent persons were you?

Anonymous said...

Only 23? In my book, the loss of innocent life is not permissable.

Diane, just letting you know that your statistics are very informative and useful.


Anonymous said...

what if they are locked up for life, and they murdered children. But it turns out they will enjoy prison since they are homo. Where is the justice in that? In Construction innocent bystanders lose their lives, but the building continues on regardless.23 is definitely not enough to stop executions.

Anonymous said...

To the last post:
what kind of ignorant bigit are you?! You assume all child molesters are gay. Leave your comments to your hooded-societies, because it is people like you who thrive on misinformation that make equality impossible in our world. Let me guess, you're a young, white, suburban male. Once you join the real world, I hope you grow up or get what's coming to you. You are a horrible, propaganda spreading fool who spits up the popular opinion. Do some research. Learn your facts. EDUCATE YOURSELF, because you are just an embarrasement.
And sorry to Diane about that, but I feel that it had to be said. I found this article very helpful.

Anonymous said...

Wow take the most biased information you can find and call it a great source.

Poor poor boy. Fact is the Death Penalty is more cost effective. Despite the fact that it takes all of the stats far too long to finalize the sentence, the total accrued costs of all pre-trial, trial, and imprisonment for both life sentence and death sentence are similar, the thing that is left out of most of those studies you look at is the $69,000/inmate/yr. for geriatric care that is required in the later years of an inmates life. Thats a lot of money, you add that up to all the lifers and you get the idea of how much more costly it is to house someone who isn't making any contribution to society for 40 years, and how much can be saved by execution. Another thing most of those studies overlook is the fact that most of the appeals made by death row inmates nearly pay for themselves. (

I'm not some kill em all redneck, but I do think the death sentence is a needed thing, and if anything should be used more often. In fully proven life and multiple life sentences.

Though there should be aloud time for cases where guilt cannot be proven 100%.

California is an odd state for this, since they have a 3 strikes policy. Hell maybe that policy would be more of a deterrent with the addition of the Death Sentence for lifers and multiple lifers.

Enough rambling though.

dudleysharp said...

Cost Comparisons: Death Penalty Cases Vs Equivalent Life Sentence Cases
Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters, contact info below

In comparing the cost of death penalty cases to other sentences, the studies are woefully incomplete.
Generally, such studies have one or more of the following problems.
1) Most studies exclude the cost of geriatric care, recently found to be $60,000-$80,000/inmate/yr. A significant omission from life sentence costs.
2) All studies exclude the cost savings of the death penalty, which is the ONLY sentence which allows for a plea bargain to a maximum life sentence. Such plea bargains accrue as a cost benefit to the death penalty, such benefit being the cost of trials and appeals for every such plea bargain. The cost savings would be for trial and appeals, estimated at $500,000 to $1 million, which would accrue as a cost benefit/credit to the death penalty.
Depending upon jurisdiction, this MIGHT result in a minimal cost differential between the two sanctions or an actual net cost benefit to the death penalty, depending upon how many LWOP cases are plea bargained and how many death penalty cases result in a death sentence.
3) FCC economist Dr. Paul Zimmerman finds that executions result in a huge cost benefit to society. "Specifically, it is estimated that each state execution deters somewhere between 3 and 25 murders per year (14 being the average). Assuming that the value of human life is approximately $5 million {i.e. the average of the range estimates provided by Viscussi (1993)}, our estimates imply that society avoids losing approximately $70 million per year on average at the current rate of execution all else equal." The study used state level data from 1978 to 1997 for all 50 states (excluding Washington D.C.). (1)
That is a cost benefit of $70 million per execution.  15 additional recent studies, inclusive of their defenses,  support the deterrent effect. 
No cost study has included such calculations.
Although we find it inappropriate to put a dollar value on life, evidently this is not uncommon for economists, insurers, etc.
We know that living murderers are infinitely more likely to harm and murder, again, than are executed murderers. There is no doubt that executions do save innocent lives. What value do you put on the lives saved? Certainly not less than $5 million.
4) a) Some studies compare the cost of a death penalty case, including pre trial, trial, appeals and incarceration, to only the cost of incarceration for 40 years, excluding all trial costs and appeals, for a life sentence. The much cited Texas "study" does this.  Hardly an apples to apples cost comparison.
       b) The pure deception in some cost "studies" is overt. It has been claimed that it costs $3.2 million/execution in Florida. That "study" decided to add the cost of the entire death penalty system in Florida ($57 million), which included all of the death penalty cases and dividing that number by only the number of executions (18). One could just have easily stated that the cost of the estimated 200 death row inmates was $285,000 per case.
5) There is no reason for death penalty appeals to take longer than 7 years. All death penalty appeals, direct and writ, should travel through the process concurrently, thereby giving every appellate issue 7 years of consideration through both state and federal courts. There is no need for endless repetition and delay. This would result in a reduction in both adjudication and incarceration costs.
Judges may be the most serious roadblock in timely resolution. They can and do hold up cases, inexcusably, for long periods of time.  Texas, which leads the nation in executions, by far, takes over 10 years, on average, to execute murderers. However, the state and federal courts, for that jurisdiction,  handle many cases. Texas has the second lowest rate of the courts overturning death penalty cases. Could every other jurisdiction process appeals in 7-10 years. Of course, if the justices would allow it.
6) The main reason sentences are given is because jurors find that it is the most just punishment available. No state, concerned with justice, will base a decision on cost alone. If they did, all cases would be plea bargained and every crime would have a probation option.
1). "State Executions, Deterrence and the Incidence of Murder", Paul R. Zimmerman (, March 3. 2003, Social Science Research Network,
copyright 2003-2008 Dudley Sharp
Permission for distribution of this document, in whole or in part,  is approved with proper attribution.
Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
e-mail,  713-622-5491,
Houston, Texas
Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS , VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O'Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.
A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.
Pro death penalty sites 


www(dot) (Sweden)

Anonymous said...

Patrick where did you get your information of 23 innocent put to death.Im assuming someone told you but i believe your referring to "miscarriages of justice in potentially capital cases". Which claimed that 23 inncont people have been put to death but after further scrutiny of their findings have admitted that none of the 23 have any proof of their innocence. In fact all have overwhelming proof of their guilt. Most of the info provided by the two men who wrote it was misleading or completely untrue. Oh and both are opponents of the death penalty if you couldn't tell already.

Anonymous said...

To Kaitlin: Wow I actually agreed with what you were saying until you threw in the part about the how the last poster was probably a " young, white, suburban male." One of the most blatantly hypocritical posts I have ever seen and it actually gave me a chuckle. Next time just don't post anything at all and we would all be better off.

dudleysharp said...

Duke University: Death Penalty Cost Study: Some Reality
Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters, contact info below
Anti death penalty folks often misquote studies, taking things completely out of context. This North Carolina death penalty cost study is just such an example.
Anti death penalty folks have been deceptively stating that it costs  $2.16 million for an execution in North Carolina. However, what the study really says is that $2.16 million is the average cost of execution, for all death penalty cases.  For example, if 10 people are sentenced to death and only one of  those ten is executed and you roll all of the costs for all of those 10 death penalty cases into that 1 execution, you would get an average  cost of $2.16 million per execution.
(You could dishonestly do the same thing with LWOP. As soon as one LWOP prisoner died, you could roll all of the LWOP costs, from all other living LWOP cases ,and say that it cost $20 million on average per LWOP. It is absurd and dishonest.)
In reality (read the Executive Summary) the difference in cost between a murder conviction with a "life" sentence  and a death sentence is $163,000. See also paragraph 9 Summing up, page 2.(1)
But in the study, a life sentence is only 20 years. You need to add 20-30 years -- or $500,000 - $750,000/prisoner --  to get a real life sentence. The authors also concede leaving out geriatric care, recently found to be $69,000/yr/prisoner.
In other words, what the study actually tells us is that an actual life sentence costs much more than a death sentence.

copyright 1998-2009 Dudley Sharp
Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters

dudleysharp said...

The Death Penalty Provides More Protection for Innocents
Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters, contact info below
Often, the death penalty dialogue gravitates to the subject of innocents at risk of execution. Seldom is a more common problem reviewed. That is, how innocents are more at risk without the death penalty.
Enhanced Incapacitation

To state the blatantly clear, living murderers, in prison, after release or escape,  are much more likely to harm and murder, again, than are executed murderers.
Although an obvious truism, it is surprising how often  folks overlook the enhanced incapacitation benefits of the death penalty over incarceration.
Enhanced Due Process

No knowledgeable and honest party questions that the death penalty has the most extensive due process protections in US criminal law.
Therefore, actual innocents are more likely to be sentenced to life imprisonment and more likely to die in prison serving under that sentence, that it is that an actual innocent will be executed.
That is. logically, conclusive.
Enhanced Deterrence

16 recent studies, inclusive of their defenses, find for death penalty deterrence.
A surprise? No.
Life is preferred over death. Death is feared more than life.
Some believe that all studies with contrary findings negate those 16 studies. They don't. Studies which don't find for deterrence don't say no one is deterred, but that they couldn't measure those deterred.
What prospect of a negative outcome doesn't deter some? There isn't one . . . although committed anti death penalty folk may say the death penalty is the only one.
However, the premier anti death penalty scholar accepts it as a given that the death penalty is a deterrent, but does not believe it to be a greater deterrent than a life sentence. Yet, the evidence is compelling and un refuted that death is feared more than life.
Enhanced Fear

Some death penalty opponents argue against death penalty deterrence, stating that it's a harsher penalty to be locked up without any possibility of getting out.
Reality paints a very different picture.
What percentage of capital murderers seek a plea bargain to a death sentence? Zero or close to it. They prefer long term imprisonment.
What percentage of convicted capital murderers argue for execution in the penalty phase of their capital trial? Zero or close to it. They prefer long term imprisonment.
What percentage of death row inmates waive their appeals and speed up the execution process? Nearly zero. They prefer long term imprisonment.
This is not, even remotely, in dispute.
Life is preferred over death. Death is feared more than life.
Furthermore, history tells us that lifers have many ways to get out: Pardon, commutation, escape, clerical error, change in the law, etc.
In choosing to end the death penalty, or in choosing not implement it, some have chosen to spare murderers at the cost of sacrificing more innocent lives.
Furthermore, possibly we have sentenced 25 actually innocent people to death since 1973, or 0.3% of those so sentenced. Those have all been released upon post conviction review. The anti death penalty claims, that the numbers are significantly higher, are a fraud, easily discoverable by fact checking.
The innocents deception of death penalty opponents has been getting exposure for many years. Even the behemoth of anti death penalty newspapers, The New York Times,  has recognized that deception.
To be sure, 30 or 40 categorically innocent people have been released from death row . . . (1) This when death penalty opponents were claiming the release of 119 "innocents" from death row. Death penalty opponents never required actual innocence in order for cases to be added to their "exonerated" or "innocents" list. They simply invented their own definitions for exonerated and innocent and deceptively shoe horned large numbers of inmates into those definitions - something easily discovered with fact checking.
There is no proof of an innocent executed in the US, at least since 1900.
If we accept that the best predictor of future performance is past performance, we can, reasonably, conclude that the DNA cases will be excluded prior to trial, and that for the next 8000 death sentences, that we will experience a 99.8% accuracy rate in actual guilt convictions. This improved accuracy rate does not include the many additional safeguards that have been added to the system, over and above DNA testing.
Of all the government programs in the world, that put innocents at risk, is there one with a safer record and with greater protections than the US death penalty?
Full report -All Innocence Issues: The Death Penalty, upon request.
Full report - The Death Penalty as a Deterrent, upon request
(1) The Death of Innocents: A Reasonable Doubt,
New York Times Book Review, p 29, 1/23/05, Adam Liptak,
national legal correspondent for The NY Times
copyright 2007-2009, Dudley Sharp
Permission for distribution of this document, in whole or in part,  is approved with proper attribution.
Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
e-mail 713-622-5491,
Houston, Texas
Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS, VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O'Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.
A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.
Pro death penalty sites   (Sweden)

Diane Grey Davis said...

Here is my post on Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Death, Sentencing, Danger in Jail
Thank you Doug Clark for taking a stand against the death penalty. From the column in today's N&R

. . ."If we can't explain or justify these disparities, then the death penalty is arbitrary and should be abolished.
Not out of sympathy, but fairness. Because unfairness is inexcusable in matters of life and death."
An account in the N&R yesterday said that a man in Charlotte was arrested and charged with killing the child of his girlfriend. This man had recently been released after serving 25 years for killing his own 19-month-old child in another state.

This is a horrible thing and probably a child's life was lost because this man lived. One justification for the death penalty is that "this particular person will never do the crime again." This is true.

On the other hand, is the awareness that innocent people have been killed by the government for crimes they did not commit. and the reality that the death penalty is not applied fairly or swiftly. The more money or notoriety a convicted death row inmate has, the less likely he/she will be executed by the state in a timely manner.

Another reason given for the death penalty is the cost of housing a prisoner for life. Executing a criminal is more costly to society than imprisonment. Sounds crazy doesn't it. But my research shows that it is true.

Proper sentencing of dangerous people is not an exact science. Keeping dangerous people out of society is adequate to protect us from other crimes they might commit. This is a hard thing to do.

I have read, and I believe, that there are people serving long prison terms and much money spent in catching, trying and incarcerating people for long periods who should not be in prison at all. Reforming our laws, our sentencing system and our prison system should be a priority for law makers, judges and citizens. The US has a higher percentage of people in prison than it should.

Right here in Guilford County, we have much overcrowding in our jails. Around 90 percent of those in local jails are waiting trial or sentencing. Many are violent criminals and repeat criminals. Many are there for non-violent crimes and for missing arraignment or trial dates.

I'm not sure what should be done, but I do know that the current Guilford County Jail is inadequate for keeping these people. There is danger in the jails. Guilford County jails are dangerous for inmates, employees and for Guilford County Commissioners who can be sued because of the conditions in our jail.

Anonymous said...

I agree that "punishing a killer by killing" is a wrong concept in itself, also I cannot agree on paying tax to feed those criminals who are locked up for life.

What is the alternative? Any ideas?

Check the link for my alternatives.

dudleysharp said...

Killing equals Killing: The Amoral Confusion of death penalty opponents
Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters, contact info below

There is a very common anti death penalty slogan:

"Why do we kill people to show that killing people is wrong?"

We don't. Even with no sanction, most folks know that committing murder is wrong.

We execute guilty murderers who have murdered innocent people.

The difference between crime and punishment, guilty murderers and their innocent victims is very clear to most.

The moral confusion exists when people blindly accept the amoral or immoral position that all killing is equal.

The anti death penalty folks are looking at an act -- "killing" -- and saying all killings are the same. Only an amoral person would equate acts, without considering the purpose behind them.

For those, like some anti death penalty folks, who believe all killing is morally equivalent, they would equate the slaughter of 6 million innocent Jews and 6-7 million additional innocents with the execution of those guilty murderers committing that slaughter. They would also equate the rape and murder of children with the execution of the rapist/murderer.

This is what the anti death penalty folks do, morally equate killing (murder) with the punishment for that murder, another killing (execution).

For such anti death penalty folks to be consistent, they must also equate holding people against their will (illegal kidnapping) with the sanction for it, the holding people against their will (legal incarceration) or the taking money away from people (illegal robbery) with a sanction for that, taking money away from people (legal restitution).

Most folks understand the moral differences.

Some anti death penalty folks are either incapable of knowing the moral differences between crime and punishment, guilty criminals and their innocent victims, or they are knowingly using a dishonest slogan by equating killing (murder) with killing (execution).

Either way, it's time to stop it. It is just too grotesque a tool.

copyright 2000-2009 Dudley Sharp: Permission for distribution of this document, in whole or in part, is approved with proper attribution.

Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
e-mail, 713-622-5491,
Houston, Texas

Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS , VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O'Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.

A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.

Pro death penalty sites see Death Penalty (Sweden)

Anonymous said...

i am just a 16 year old kid researching this topic for a history class but i ended up reading most of the comments and they intrigued me. ive been looking up info on how which is more cost effective, the death penalty or housing a prisoner for life. to be honest it sounds ridiculous to me anyway when people say it costs more to use the death penalty, it just doesnt sound rite but i am researching to find out more about it. but i wanna forget about the costs and taxes for a second... why is it ok to take someones life because they took someone elses?!?!?! isnt that more of a "do as i say not as i do" way of looking at things? y is it ok to execute someone because they killed someone else? dont get me wrong i think killing is wrong and disgusting, but isnt that hypocritical? that we kill someone for killing someone else? also, if revenge and or justice is wat u are looking for, wouldnt it make more sense to put them in prison for life? people can change it is possible not saying we should let everyone go, but im saying we shud give them a chance to change. everyone in this chat has gotten second chances, and if u were in this situation, wouldnt u want a second chance at life? and now im gonna bring taxes and money back into it. most people that are for the death penalty say that the taxes are too much to pay for and it costs to much? from wat i jave researched i have found its the opposite. it costs more to execute someone then house them for life. but im gonna leave you with one last question... isnt life more valuable than money? thats for you to decide...

Anonymous said...

I think I agree with dudleysharp,to compare execution to murder is actually ridiculous, althoughthe facts should be absolute and the method humane!It is a ONE way street, murdering someone is the ultimate taking of their rights,not like they had a choice, as did the murderer. give your bleeding heart to the victims families.I also believe it is ridiculous to imprison someone for life without parole In essence we are taking there life anyway.,what real sense does that make???sure it's punishment, but seems far less humane than death to me.I also believe we should allow inmates sentenced to life to opt for assisted,dignified suicide ,wonder how many would ask?? I know I would, are there any studies about this??

Anonymous said...

I as a criminal justice major; believe, when you have a sysytem that was set up by our rebellious leaders. The ones we call our country's fore fathers it will favor the guilty party. Nothing about our sysytem is true except we fear death. We don't want to kill people, we don't want to be killed, and we try and prolong
it at all cost. We often drag our feet on issues; because, we don't want the blood stains on our hands. Truth of the matter is we fight more for the one on death row, to preserve their life, rather than care about how they had gotten there in the first place. People you can argue cost until you are blue in the face, but for one I know bullets are cheap, as is rope, gycol/needles, and electricity has come way down. Sure I am for the death penalty, and what it stands for and that is justice for the victim's family. Which many of you had forgotten about. Rattle off all the fricken numbers you want, but don't waste my tax dollars housing fricken murderers for life....plain and simple I can sum up the cost to a trip to the hardware store. I know this will trip some or who knows all of your triggers.......Victims people the ones who died by the hands of these eveil doers. You have to remember even the holiest beings such as God have wiped out whole cities at a cost of human life so bite your tongues.