Letters (Mar. 9, 2011)

Ending death penalty saves money, lives


Sen. Jeff Longbine and Rep. Bob Brookens were in Hillsboro Saturday, Feb. 26, to discuss how to fund various services of state government in this time of economic recession. Of course, one easy answer is to raise taxes; the other is to reduce spending.

One way to reduce spending not often mentioned is to abolish the death penalty. The estimated cost of a case ending in death penalty is $1.2 million. A case not ending in death penalty is estimated to be $740,000 (including the cost of long-term incarceration).

Death penalty cases cost more because more trial time is needed to prepare the case, more experts and attorneys are hired, resulting in longer trials and more appeals.

Capital punishment also risks executing innocent persons. But the most compelling reason to abolish the death penalty is the sacredness of human life.

If you share this view, contact Sen. Longbine and Rep. Brookens. Refer to House Bill 2323. Their addresses are found in this issue of The Free Press.

Paul Jantzen


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