Sunday, May 12, 2013

Nevada to study cost of the death penalty

Nevada lawmakers want to take a closer look at the cost of keeping the death penalty in the state’s criminal punishment arsenal. However, Assembly Bill 444 seeks an interim study on the costs of the death penalty, the Las Vegas Review Journal.

There are 83 people on death row in Nevada. The last execution was in 2006 and there are no other executions imminent.

Currently 32 states have the death penalty and 10 people have been executed so far this year— 47 people were executed in 2012, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.  Maryland recently abolished the death penalty, the sixth state in six years to abolish the death penalty.

“It’s meant to be dispassionate, rational, logical,” said Assemblyman James Ohrenschall, D-Las Vegas. “It’s not meant to cater to the anti-death penalty abolitionists, or the folks who think the death penalty is the best thing around.”

A report of the findings would be submitted to the 2015 Legislature, which could lead to more bills, Ohrenschall said.

He said he expects the results will show that the costs of death penalty cases are much higher than most people expect.

“It’s not fair to our legislators and our constituents not to know the cost,” he said. “Legislators, if you get that it’s so expensive, might not want to have it; not from a moral or religious ground, but from government efficiency and our limited resources.”

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