Every day there is more and more capital punishment in this country. Many people do not realize that if there was less capital punishment, a lot of money could be saved that could be used in many other ways. Many people are not aware how much it actually costs to put somebody to death. Maybe if they knew that it cost more money to kill somebody than they had the chance to spend in their entire life, they would have a different opinion about the death penalty. It is much less expensive to imprison someone for life then to execute theme. The cost of representation in each death penalty case depends upon several elements: the number of hours each attorney is compensated and the nature, type, and cost of investigative and expert services reasonably required. To understand why the death penalty cases cost so much, and how these cost may be controlled consistent with constitutional and statutory mandates requires first and foremost (Federal Death Penalty Case 2). The reason why the Death Penalty costs so much is because it takes so much time to find out if the person is actually guilty or innocent; that does not take two or three days to find out. It depends on the case, and some of the cases could take a long time before they find out the truth. No exact count of the federal death penalty cases filed nationwide by United States Attorney's offices since 1988 is available; a reasonable estimate, however, is 560 cases over the period 1991 to 1997, increasing from 12 cases in 1991, to 118 in 1995, 159 in 1996, and 153 in 1997 (Death penalty 2). The total cost of some cases comes up to $218,112, as compared to $55,772 for some cases in which the death penalty was never authorized.
The death penalty costs California 90 million annually beyond the ordinary costs of the justice system - 78 million on the death penalty from 1973 to 1988 to achieve eighteen executions that is an average of 2.