The most comprehensive study in America found that the death penalty

costs North Carolina $2.16 million per execution over the costs of a non-death

penalty murder case with a sentence of imprisonment for life (Duke University,

May 1993.) On a national basis, these figures translate to an extra cost of over

$700 million dollars spent since 1976 on the death penalty.


The death penalty costs California $90 million annually beyond the ordinary

costs of the justice system - $78 million of that total is incurred at the trial level

(Sacramento Bee, March 18, 1988).


Florida spent an estimated $57 million on the death penalty from 1973 to

1988 to achieve 18 executions - that is an average of $3.2 million per execution.

(Miami Herald, July 10, 1988).


In Texas, a death penalty case costs an average of $2.3 million, about three

times the cost of imprisoning someone in a single cell at the highest security

level for 40 years. (Dallas Morning News, March 8, 1992).


Return to Pat Drummond's Homepage / Editorial Archives / Back to Death Penalty Editorial