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Hidden Costs of Death Penalty Revealed in Two New ACLU Reports
by via ACLU
Saturday Mar 29th, 2008 2:06 PM
Friday, March 28, 2008 : SAN FRANCISCO—California’s death penalty is costing us well over a $100 million each year, but no one is keeping track of just how much or why. In a new report titled “The Hidden Death Tax,” the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California reveals for the first time some of the hidden costs of California’s death penalty:
  • One California death penalty trial cost more than $10.9 million; 

  • California taxpayers pay at least $117 million each year post-trial seeking execution of the people currently on death row;

  • Executing all of the people on death row will cost California an estimated $4 billion more than if they were all sentenced to die in prison of disease, injury or old age;

  • Death penalty trials have substantial impacts on local prosecutors and law enforcement. Records reveal that in the Scott Peterson case, prosecution staff spent more than 20,000 hours on the case;

  • T rial records reveal questionable costs, like more than $900 in dry cleaning charged to the county by prosecutors in one case.

The report will be presented Friday, March 28 in Santa Clara at the third and final hearing of the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice, which is considering the problems with the state’s death penalty. The Commission hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 28 in the California Mission Room, Benson Student Center, Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053.

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