"Some of us also feel that killing people is itself a crime."
GA: Kagel: Living without death penalty
Wed Dec 29, 2010 05:36
Kagel: Living without death penalty
Published Wednesday, December 29, 2010
It's been a rough year for government budgets, and serious cuts in Georgia's educational programs are being discussed. Wouldn't state legislators be happy to find a way to cut millions of dollars without jeopardizing public services?
We can live without one totally unnecessary and extremely costly program: capital punishment. Although Georgia has not undertaken a systematic study of the cost of its death penalty system, we can learn some lessons from other states.
Tennessee's comptroller found death penalty trials cost, on average, 48 percent more than trials where life imprisonment is sought. A Duke University economist has estimated North Carolina could save $11 million annually by repealing the death penalty. Florida could save $51 million per year by punishing all first-degree murderers with life imprisonment without parole, according to a Palm Beach Post study.
A wide majority of the country's top criminologists don't believe the death penalty deters crime. Check the website of the Death Penalty Information Center for more information.
Some of us also feel that killing people is itself a crime, and that the risk of killing an innocent person has a moral cost too high for Georgia to pay. We can live without the death penalty.
Laura Tate Kagel
• Laura Tate Kagel is affiliated with the Athens chapter of Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.
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