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Saturday, March 07, 2009

We Knew That Already

by Jay Allbritton
The AP is reporting that several states might drop the death penalty because it costs too much. Hmm. I don't know. I think that the anti-death penalty movement has been making that point for many years. The loud squeal of the knee-jerk pro-death penalty crowd will make any governor thinking about a ban, no matter how cost effective, think twice.

Also, I love the journalist's commitment to the nonsense that this is some kind of a new revelation. She writes, "Turns out, it is cheaper to imprison killers for life than to execute them, according to a series of recent surveys." Turns out? Recent surveys?

Here are citations of three articles from over ten years ago questioning the cost-effectiveness of execution:
Bright, Stephen B.: "The death penalty as the answer to crime: costly, counterproductive and corrupting"; 35 Santa Clara Law Review 1211 (1995)

Dieter, Richard C.: "What politicians don't say about the high costs of the death penalty"; 1 Studies in Prolife Feminism 11 (1995)

Spangenberg, Robert L. and Walsh, Elizabeth: "Capital punishment or life imprisonment? Some cost considerations"; 23 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 45 (1989)
That took all of two minutes to find. Just saying.

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