Ohio poll numbers on the death penalty:
68 percent favor the death penalty
26 percent oppose it
If life in prison is an option:
47 percent favor the death penalty;
36 percent favor life in prison with no chance of parole;
12 percent favor life in prison with a chance of parole.
Source: Quinnipiac University poll, February 2014
A study in Kansas this year found that state’s Supreme Court Justices spend 20 times more hours on death penalty appeals than on non-capital appeals; the Department of Corrections spends than twice as much ($49,380 versus $24,690) to house a death-row inmate per year as to house a general-population inmate; and capital cases take more than twice as many days in district court as non-capital cases.
A 2013 study in Colorado found that capital proceedings require six times more days in court and take much longer to resolve than life without parole cases.
A 2013 study in Oregon found “the average cost of defending a death penalty case at the trial level over the last ten years was $438,651, while the average cost of defending a non-death aggravated murder case at the trial level was $216,693.
A 2012 study in California found the cost of the death penalty in that state has totaled more than $4 billion since 1978.
A 2012 study in Nevada found the 80 pending capital murder cases in Clark County, home to Las Vegas, will cost approximately $15 million more than if they were prosecuted without seeking the death penalty.
A 2010 study found the federal government spends on average $620,932 defending a federal death penalty case, about 8 times that of a federal murder case in which the death penalty is not sought.
A 2010 study in Indiana found the average cost to a county for a trial and direct appeal in a capital case was over ten times more than a life-without-parole case. The average capital case resulting in a death sentence cost $449,887, while the average cost of case in which a life-without-parole sentence was sought and achieved was only $42,658.
A 2009 study in North Carolina found the state could save $11 million annually if it dropped the death penalty.
A 2008 study in Maryland found that the lifetime cost to taxpayers for the capitally-prosecuted cases in Maryland since 1978 will be $37.2 million for each of the state’s five executions since the state reenacted the death penalty. The study estimates that the average cost to Maryland taxpayers for reaching a single death sentence is $3 million — $1.9 million more than the cost of a non-death penalty case.
Source: Death Penalty Information Center
By the numbers:
Ohio has 165 active dealth penalty cases. Here are some of the annual costs associated with executions:
$842,000 a year for seven attorneys and two paralegals in the Ohio Attorney General’s capital crimes unit;
$1.35 million a year for 14 attorneys and four other staff in the Ohio Public Defender’s death penalty division;
$2.5 million a year paid to appointed defense attorneys to represent indigent Ohioans in capital cases;
$3.88 million budget for public defender attorneys on capital cases in federal court;
$8.3 million in prison costs for 138 Death Row inmates, though that figure is likely higher since they are held in single cells and under tight security protocol.
Explore the death penalty issue with a history of executions, cost information and opinions from all sides on our interactive page at MyDaytonDailyNews.com.