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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

Paul Geisler 5 years, 9 months 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!

Boston_Corbett 5 years, 9 months ago

What was my first clue he is running for office?

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 9 months ago

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

dozer 5 years, 9 months ago

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

Prairielander 5 years, 9 months 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"?

dozer 5 years, 9 months 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.

mom_of_three 5 years, 9 months 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.

Orwell 5 years, 9 months 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?

notajayhawk 5 years, 9 months 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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