My point: In order to minimize wrongful executions the cost of capital murder cases leading to the death penalty are much more costly to taxpayers then cases leading to life in prison. By minimizing these expenses more resources can be spent on solving and curtailing other crimes.
My data/evidence: According to a California Assessment of Costs by Judge Arthur Alarcon and Prof. Paula Mitchell, the cost of the death penalty has cost the taxpayers of California over $4 billion since 1978. They also calculated a savings of $170 million per year if the Governor was to commute the sentences of those remaining on death row to life without parole. That would be a savings of over $5 billion over the next 20 years for California alone.
My warrant: Considering that those figures were only for one state, it would be safe to assume similar figures for all 32 states in which capital cases continue. In addition to the state costs, there are federal costs that would be saved as well. That influx of time and cash flow would ease the budget burdens on both the state and federal judicial systems simultaneously.
Counterclaim: “Proponents of the death penalty say it is an important tool for preserving law and order, deters crime, and costs less than life imprisonment.”
Rebuttal: While on the surface you would think that the death penalty would serve all these purposes, it would seem that just the influx to the various state and federal judicial budgets would be better used if not spent on capital cases. Time and monies saved from extensive appeals and ultimate executions could be better used to find and prosecute other perpetrators, create more programs to support victims as well as create more violence prevention programs.
Alarcon, Arthur, and Paula Mitchell. “California Cost Study 2011.” DPIC. 44 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review S41, Special Issue (2011), n.d. Web.
“Death Penalty ProCon.org.” ProConorg Headlines. N.p., n.d. Web.