Taxpayer Burdens: The costs of the death penalty

Every tax dollar wasted on the death penalty is another dollar diverted from vital services for Nebraskans

“The millions of dollars we’ve spent on the death penalty would have been much better invested in more police officers, additional resources or training for our current officers. The cheaper, more intelligent alternative for our state is life without the possibility of parole.” Captain Jim Davidsaver, Lincoln Police Department“Repealing death penalty would make us “smart on crime’ “ Lincoln Journal Star, November 23, 2014

Studies conducted across the country show striking consistencies on the price of the death penalty

“The study that was done [in Maryland] computed that the cost of a death penalty case is about $3 million from beginning to end, and the cost of a life without parole case, about $1.1 million… Over the course of Nebraska’s death penalty, they have had about 35 death sentences, so now what you are figuring the state has spent in the realm of $100 [million]…But of course, that hasn’t resulted in 35 executions. In fact, it’s resulted in three executions. And so now you start to see where some of the large numbers with respect to the cost of the punishment come in; that is, what is this state paying per execution? Because without an execution, the death penalty is somewhat meaningless.” Richard Dieter, Executive Director, Death Penalty Information CenterTestimony to the Nebraska Judiciary Committee, March 13, 2013