To Execute Or Not: A Question Of Cost?

There have been decades of moral arguments for and against the death penalty, but the debate may eventually turn on something more tangible, money.

A series of recent surveys find it is cheaper, a lot cheaper, to imprison killers for life than to execute them.

The findings come at a time of a devastating recession job cuts and massive deficits.

So an increasing number of politicians are actually considering abolishing capital punishment in favor of life imprisonment, not on principle but financial necessity.

Donald McCartin, once known as "The Hanging Judge of Orange County" in California, says "it's 10 times more expensive to kill them than to keep them alive," even though most people believe the opposite.

Deep into retirement, he now says execution is waste of time and money and prolongs the agony of the victims' families.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by tommy Location: winterville on Mar 16, 2009 at 08:48 AM
    It wouldn't cost so much if they go on and carry out the sentence. What good is a jury if you are not going use their verdict, it's just puts money in the lawyers pocket off of the tax paying citizens.We forget the victims. As long as you make a excuse for someone you don't have to face the problem. The cost is all the appeals the criminal has, when the victim don't get to appeal. This State use have the death penalty for the following crimes; Murder, 1st Degree Rape, 1st Degree Arson and 1st Degree Burglary, now you made serve a few years for these crimes. Imagine what would happen if everybody on death row would be put to death overnight, it would speak very loud to criminals in this country we are no longer going to put up with crime anymore, but we won't do it so we will continue to put up with crime in this country. Bonnie and Clyde would have love to be alive in this day and time.They could have sued law-enforcement.
  • by Coach M Location: Rocky Mount on Mar 12, 2009 at 01:47 AM
    The Death Penalty doesn't work. It is NOT a deterrent to crime. The way it would be effective is if when you were found guilty of a crime punishable by death, you were given 24 hours and then excuted either by hanging or by firing squad. Inhumane? So!!! A person should have thought about that before committing the crime. No choice for some people other than a life of crime? Bull!!!
  • by Anonymous on Mar 9, 2009 at 07:15 PM
    The justice system is a mixture of religion and politics. It's like a can of worms. Life is a privilege. After so many violations (points), you should loose your privilege. The first thing that should be corrected is the "Dept. of Correction." The prison system. Do away with all un-earned privileges. If you don't work, you don't eat. No more TV, Phones, games, Free loading, churches etc. If you can't crawl out of the whole, then be buried in it. It is not by taxpayers choice that you are a criminal. Why should we have to pay for your cost?
  • by Robert Location: Greenville on Mar 9, 2009 at 11:59 AM
    Moderator, what can I change for you to post my blog. Most everyone here says the same thing, I just added to mine. I even see one saying he would do it. Even I didn't say that.
  • by S Location: Rose Hill on Mar 9, 2009 at 10:18 AM
    I agree with all of you. And what really gets under my skin is how inmates say they are so unfairly and poorly treated while incarcerated. Their victims certainly didn't have the opporunity to have a say in how they were being treated. Just makes me so angry.
  • by I Will on Mar 9, 2009 at 10:08 AM
    Cost more to kill ? Let them be unmistakably be found guilty. I will execute them for a little cash and some cigs. The only way prison is more expensive is if you furnish them with public defenders and bring back to court 100 times on appeals. Muder, rape, child abuse, elderly abuse ? Yeah I will take care of them really cheap.
  • by Bud Location: Washington on Mar 9, 2009 at 10:00 AM
    I would like to ask WITN to do a little research and update this website with supporting information to the argument posed. They say it's cheaper to let 'em live. What about the toll it takes on society when future criminals see that they can kill someone and the only price they pay is loss of freedom; you don't lose your bed, food, toilet, shower, electricity, clothing, but only the ability to come and go freely. It's not fair of the press to make an announcement without backing it up with facts. That's like Neil Armstrong saying the moon is made of cheese; how do we know otherwise, he's been there and we haven't! So please WITN, help us out, find the facts and fill us in.
  • by bigfruitbasket Location: NC on Mar 9, 2009 at 08:17 AM
    Solution to shorten the stay in prison: put in an express lane for executions. No more getting 15 years before execution because of multiple appeals.
  • by AL Location: GREENE CO on Mar 9, 2009 at 08:15 AM
    Ashes to ashes dust to dust,lets fry some more of them suckers so our jails and tax money won't go BUST!
  • by Alex Location: Vanceboro on Mar 9, 2009 at 07:31 AM
    There will be some who oppose the death penalty because of the commandment, "thou shall not kill". Problem is, in the Hebrew it means do not take the life of an innocent. Murderers, Rapists, are not at all innocent. As for the unborn, well we all know the answer to that one don't we?
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