The cost to taxpayers of a long-running racial-bias lawsuit by death-row inmates has topped $3.5 million, with more possible before an expected judge's ruling within a few months — and then a possible appeal by whoever loses, according to the Hartford Courant.
News coverage of the habeas corpus lawsuit in state Superior Court has centered on the trial late last year of claims by five convicted killers that Connecticut's death penalty is biased racially, ethnically and geographically.
The Courant made a Freedom of Information Act request for records of how much the litigation has cost taxpayers since the lawsuit was filed eight years ago. Those records, obtained from the Office of the Chief Public Defender and the State comptroller, show:
— Payments by the Chief Public Defender's office to private law firms, appointed to represent the inmates, have totaled nearly $1.8 million. More than $657,000 of that was during the current fiscal year — in which the trial was held for more than 10 days in a makeshift courtroom inside Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, which houses the state's 11 death-row inmates.
To read more: http://www.courant.com/news/politics/hc-lender-column-inmates-costs-0707-20130705,0,856407.column