Taking a life in vengeance is an evil that feeds the darker side of human nature. In practice, the death penalty is arbitrarily applied, an injustice that eludes all efforts to correct it. And DNA has laid bare how vulnerable the system is to miscarriages of justice.Yet, while other states are doing away with capital punishment to save on costs, during difficult economic times, we are expanding the list of crimes available to the death penalty:
While legislators were busily adding to the supposedly special circumstances that elevate a murder charge to capital murder, other states have been considering doing away with the death penalty altogether to save on costs.We know that it costs more money to support a death row inmate than an inmate with a life sentence, and if this is one way we could save money - and live into our better angels - then we should, again, consider a moratorium on the death penalty.
Besides the almost inevitable multiple appeals of death penalty convictions, expenses mount because prosecuting a capital case typically takes longer and costs more in the way of lawyers' and expert witnesses' fees.
Then, in many states, defendants are more likely than not to end up with life sentences anyway.