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Archive for Friday, January 29, 2010

Kansas Legislature poised to take up death penalty repeal

January 29, 2010

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— Legislation to repeal the Kansas death penalty law was awaiting possible action by a Senate committee Friday.

One measure before the Judiciary Committee would repeal the 1994 law and replace it with a new crime of aggravated murder, punishable by life in prison without parole.

Legislators heard testimony last week from death penalty supporters, including families of victims of some of the 10 men currently under death sentences in Kansas.

The legislation wouldn't vacate the men's sentences, but would not allow any more defendants to be charged with capital murder after July 1.

Opponents of capital punishment testified the Kansas law is flawed and expensive to administer.

Comments

commonsense 4 years, 10 months ago

Expensive to administer? Please show us the facts. I would love to know how much it costs to administer! Expensive is housing one prioner for an entire year, let alone a life sentence! Expensive is the cost to tax payers who fit the bill for a legal system that allows these individuals to continue to live for nearly 10 years after being sentenced to death. Expensive is the toll it takes on the people who lost a loved one due to a brutal criminal attack. Funny how people are against the Death Penalty until something happens to a member of their family. It's a sad fact that there are people in this country who hide behind the law in order to prevent justice.

It costs $55.09 on average per day or $20,108 per year to keep an inmate in prison (FY0708) Most of the daily cost to incarcerate an inmate in a major prison is spent on security and medical services. The remaining 20% or so is spent on feeding, clothing and educating inmates, and some administrative issues.

A total of 8.5% of the state general revenue budget goes to corrections in Florida, which has a budget of more than two billion dollars. $1.47 billion of that goes directly toward security and institutional operations, and another $424 million toward health services for inmates, including mental health and dental care.

The cost of each prison varies, depending on the types of inmates who are housed there. For example, it costs $99.12 a day to house an inmate at a reception center, because the inmates residing there are being evaluated and tested medically, psychologically, academically, vocationally, etc. In contrast, a typical adult male facility costs just $44.96 per day to house an inmate (excluding private prisons). When you average all types of state prison facilities together like those listed in the chart below, the daily cost to house an inmate is $55.09.

infidel 4 years, 10 months ago

The daily charge seems low to me, however I recall that in a criminal justice class I took, the average prisoner cost something around $30k per year, while the average death sentenced inmate cost around $1 million per year to the state. It doesn't make financial sense to me to house a million $$$ a year person in excess of 10 years.

When was the last time Kansas carried out the death penalty?

infidel 4 years, 10 months ago

CNN claims that the last time Kansas carried out the death penalty was 1965 and that the state would save $500,000.00 on each trail alone, not to mention the costs associated with keeping them in prison.

bliddel 4 years, 10 months ago

Flip-flop, flip-flop. Ban it. Reinstate it. Ban it again. Either way, crime goes on, and government proves it cannot prevent even the sickest and most repugnant of crimes.

I guess banning the death penalty could save money because rightly convicted convicts would appeal less vigorously if their lives didn't depend on it, and so state legal costs could be less.

Illinois proved (with DNA testing, among other things) that their legal system put a whole flock of innocent people on death row. I have no evidence suggesting Kansas is any more accurate than Illinois.

I think it is better to let a criminal go free than to kill an innocent person. With the death penalty, there are no second chances to right a wrong.

Who is in such a big hurry to commit state-sanctioned murder anyway? It isn't as though killing convicts will bring the real victims back to life.

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