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The death penalty and our tax dollars

Posted: 5:11 PM, Sep 09, 2015
Updated: 2015-09-09 18:11:28-04

Tax dollars add up quickly in death penalty cases and typically state and local governments bear the burden of costs.

The Now KC talked with a local criminal defense lawyer, Paul Cramm to learn more about what factors into the cost behind death row.

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        Death Row   Life Sentence
Trial Defense $395,762 $98,963
Court Costs $72,530 $21,554
Guilty Plea $130,595 $64,711
Incarceration $130,595 $64,711

Appeals: 20x more hours  are spent on death row than non-death row appeals. 

*Figures from the Kansas Judicial Council Death Penalty Advisory Committee (Feb. 2014). 

In Kansas, housing prisoners on death row costs more than twice as much per year ($49,380) as it does for prisoners in general population ($24,690). 

The death penalty is more expensive than life without parole because the Constitution requires a complex judicial process for capital cases.

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Alyson Bruner can be reached at alyson.bruner@kshb.com .

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