The cost for the death penalty is higher than if the convicted is sentenced to life in prison. The cost is two to three times higher because of the manpower needed to try a death penalty case is more involved than a person sentenced to life in prison. Death penalty cases require more jurors, experts (arsenal/psychological/medical), legal counsel, and time than a regular case.
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Additionally, when sentenced to death, the inmate usually seeks appeals to overturn their conviction. This issue does matter to me; however, it depends on the case. Texas, on average spends $8,075 per year on students and roughly $22,000 per inmate a year. Since the top three major offenses committed in Texas are burglary of habitation, possession of a controlled substance, and aggravated robbery, we must review all the facts. According to the Texas
Department of Corrections statistics, in 2016 under 9,000 people were incarcerated for murder. This is where my opinion of the death penalty, seriousness of a crime, and my tax dollar coincide. More inmates are spending time in prison for committing non-violent crimes than violent crimes. Murders should be in prison for life or put to death, in my opinion; we should spend our tax dollars only on violent, sexual, and murderous offenders and look for alternative less expensive sanctions for other offenders. I cannot say the cost of the death penalty does not affect me, because again, it depends on the case.
The cost of lethal injection is a little under $1,500. I believe in what is just and if a 20-year-old commits a heinous crime beyond a reasonable doubt and lives to be 100 years old, taxpayers have spent 1.7 million dollars for the duration of his lifetime to house him when we could have put that money into education and rehabilitation of communities for the betterment of society. If less inmates were in prison, we would have the extra money for the violent offenders. The problem is not in the cost per day per inmate or the cost of the death penalty, it is in the lack of change in our judicial and legislative systems.
The factors that I most believe contributed to Mr. Willingham’s reception of the death penalty are:
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