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Archive for Thursday, March 12, 2009

AG says cost no reason to abolish death penalty

Attorney General Steve Six is lobbying to keep the state's death penalty legal.

March 12, 2009

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— Attorney General Steve Six says saving money should not be the justification for abolishing the Kansas death penalty law.

Six addressed the media Thursday to urge legislators to reject a bill that would end the death penalty effective July 1. The Senate will debate the bill on Monday.

Supporters of the bill say it will save the state millions at a time when Kansas is facing financial difficulties. But Six and victims’ families argue that a price shouldn’t be placed on justice.

They argue that convicted murders such as Jonathan and Reginald Carr, who committed multiple murders in 2000, have “forfeited their right” to live in society because of their actions.

Six said the Carr brothers’ death sentence appeals could be affected should legislators abolish the law.

Comments

barrypenders 5 years, 1 month ago

Like there is a shortage of people. People are a dime a dozen and the neo-marxist says that the economy is in better shape than he thought.

It cracks me up to see liberals get religion.

What would Darwin say?

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notajayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

Marion;

Not saying your figures are wrong, or that the death penalty is right. But the problem with your argument is that you simply can't make such decisions on cost. I mean, carrying that further, it would cost less to give someone a five year sentence for murder than to give them a life sentence. And we could probably save a bundle if the did away with keeping child molesters locked up after their sentences are up. So, should we save a few bucks that way?

Just as a life sentence costs the state more than a five-year term, the death penalty, being the ultimate punishment, should have a comensurate price tag - i.e., it should cost more than a life sentence.

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Marion Lynn 5 years, 1 month ago

Well, let's try the original article which appeared on CNN!

http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/03/02/economy.death.penalty/

From the citation:

"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."

You might also want to go to the chart comparison (California used as no stats are actually available for Kansas, since Kansas has executed no one since 1965.):

http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/03/02/economy.death.penalty/#cnnSTCOther1

And In Florida:

http://www.theledger.com/article/20090224/NEWS/902240308/1398?Title=Capital-Punishment-Cost-Death-Penalty-and-Taxes

And The Recent Maryland Study:

http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/411625_md_death_penalty.pdf

From the citation:

"Death notice cases are significantly more expensive than cases in which a death notice was not filed in three stages of case processing: (1) the guilt trial ($601,000), (2) the penalty trial ($71,000) and (3) the state level appellate phase ($134,000)."

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Orwell 5 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, let's spend more to kill more. Some of them might even be guilty!

Anybody seen the stats on reliability of eyewitness identification lately? They're only slightly better than picking the Powerball. Of course, what does that matter if the state killing somebody makes you feel better?

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mom_of_three 5 years, 1 month ago

"Six said the Carr brothers’ death sentence appeals could be affected should legislators abolish the law." Let's not do anything that would risk those boys being released. They deserve the needle in their arm AND the electric chair.

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dozer 5 years, 1 month ago

Atta boy Marion, you're researching. But I have that report in front of me as well. I would point you to page 32-33 which talks about the methodology of the audit.

The flaw in this audit was that they included the salaries of ALL law enforcement officers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, etc that were involved in the case.

The problem with this methodology is that all those people are salaried. A judge is paid regardless of whether he is sitting on the bench or in chambers. A prosecutor or public defender gets paid the same whether they are trying a case or not.

Furthermore, the early death penalty cases costs were extremely high b/c no prosecutor had done one, so they had to go to training. The defense bills were enormous b/c they were given private attorneys that racked up huge bills.

Suffice it to say the process has been streamlined in the State, and these numbers are simply wrong today.

So while the numbers from the 2003 study say the death penalty costs more, their flawed methodology led them to that conclusion.

But hey, if you want to use a poorly conducted 2003 Audit and put a price on the justice system, best of luck.

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Marion Lynn 5 years, 1 month ago

dozer (Anonymous) says…

Really Marion? Care to share where you got the numbers for it costing less, or is this simply your speculation?"

Marion writes:

No speculation on this one at all!

From the State's own report:

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/costs-death-penalty

From the citation:

"Kansas Study Concludes Death Penalty is Costly Policy In its review of death penalty expenses, the State of Kansas concluded that capital cases are 70% more expensive than comparable non-death penalty cases. The study counted death penalty case costs through to execution and found that the median death penalty case costs $1.26 million. Non-death penalty cases were counted through to the end of incarceration and were found to have a median cost of $740,000. For death penalty cases, the pre-trial and trial level expenses were the most expensive part, 49% of the total cost. The costs of appeals were 29% of the total expense, and the incarceration and execution costs accounted for the remaining 22%. In comparison to non-death penalty cases, the following findings were revealed:

The investigation costs for death-sentence cases were about 3 times greater than for non-death cases.

The trial costs for death cases were about 16 times greater than for non-death cases ($508,000 for death case; $32,000 for non-death case).

The appeal costs for death cases were 21 times greater.

The costs of carrying out (i.e. incarceration and/or execution) a death sentence were about half the costs of carrying out a non-death sentence in a comparable case.

Trials involving a death sentence averaged 34 days, including jury selection; non-death trials averaged about 9 days.

(Performance Audit Report: Costs Incurred for Death Penalty Cases: A K-GOAL Audit of the Department of Corrections) Read DPIC's Summary of the Kansas Cost Report."

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Prairielander 5 years, 1 month ago

What happens to Death Row Inmates (isn't that a record label?) if the death penalty is abolished. Are their sentences converted to Life in Prison w/out parole or do they have to be "retried"?

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dozer 5 years, 1 month ago

Really Marion? Care to share where you got the numbers for it costing less, or is this simply your speculation?

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Marion Lynn 5 years, 1 month ago

In this economy in which it costs far less to lock them up for life than to try to kill them cost is a darned good reason to drop the death penalty!

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gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 1 month ago

Cost is pretty low on the list of reasons to abolish the death penalty.

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Kirk Larson 5 years, 1 month ago

magnus

I'll give that a ditto.

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Boston_Corbett 5 years, 1 month ago

What was my first clue he is running for office?

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Marion Lynn 5 years, 1 month ago

AG Six doesn't mind spending tax dollars for revenge.

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Paul Geisler 5 years, 1 month ago

There are plenty of other reasons for abolishing the death penalty in KS! So while it may not be the best reason, I believe it is worth considering given the State's dire budget woes. The last time I checked it took an average of 7 years in the U.S. to carry out an execution after the sentencing had been handed down along with millions of dollars in litigation costs. Not to mention I don't think we should ever risk putting an innocent person to death!

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