The Death Penalty Information Center came out with a report Wednesday with some staggering figures: The cost of prosecuting death penalty cases in this country has cost some $25 billion — that’s billion, with a B — since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976.
Virginians have contributed to that total more than residents of most other states.
Why? Although the cases in Virginia were in Prince William and Fairfax counties, taxpayers across the commonwealth share in the tab of prosecuting the cases and carrying out the sentences.
Breaking down the numbers, that makes the cost of each actual execution somewhere around $20 million, the study found.
Further, the study found that the location of crimes, more than the crimes themselves, determines whether someone gets executed because local prosecutors have discretion on what charges to bring and what penalty to seek.
So, the questions: Does the disparity in sentencing mean the death penalty should be ditched? Does the cost? Tell us in comments.