Money for Nothing

February 25, 2009

The death penalty costs money – more money than the alternatives – and, as Wonkette notes “basically every state in the union is broke”.  This is why (or at least one of the reasons why) more states than ever before are having serious death penalty repeal debates.  In Kansas, a Republican Senator has filed an abolition bill, telling “This will save significant money — money that could be used toward education programs and toward community corrections programs.”  In Colorado, they don’t have enough money to solve cold cases, and a bill to pass along the savings from death penalty abolition to create a cold case unit has passed its first hurdle.  New Hampshire suspended jury trials for an entire month to save money, and they haven’t executed anyone since 1939 – so why do they still have the death penalty?

Of course, the death penalty is a fundamental human rights violation, so even if it were dirt cheap, it would still be wrong and deserving of total abolition.  But it’s not cheap at all … and we can’t afford it.