Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Indiana's Death Penalty Under the Microscope

Seeking the death penalty in Indiana has become an expensive proposition, and one that often doesn't end with execution, according to the Evansville Courier & Press.

Only 16 percent of Indiana's death penalty cases — 30 out of 188 — filed from 1990 through 2009 ended in death sentences, according to the Indiana Public Defender Council.

Such statistics have given death penalty foes a solid economic argument, and even supporters of the death penalty are calling for reforms to control skyrocketing defense costs often born by local and state governments, reported the Courier & Press.All 92 counties can be reimbursed for 50 percent of the defense costs in death penalty cases by the Indiana Public Defender Commission, which oversees the state's Public Defense Fund.

In the 2010-11 fiscal year, the state paid $370,709 to reimburse counties with death penalty cases. In total, the state has paid more than $10.5 million back to counties for death penalty cases since 1990, reported the Courier & Press.

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