To Execute or Not: A Question of Cost?

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

UNDATED -- After decades of moral arguments and long, twisted journeys to the nation's highest court and back, the death penalty may be abandoned by several states.

The reason has nothing to do with right or wrong, but rather cost. A series of recent surveys show it's cheaper to imprison killers for life than to execute them.

In fact, politicians are finding that it's tens of millions of dollars cheaper. That's big in a time of recession when nearly every state faces job cuts and massive deficits.

So an increasing number of them are considering abolishing capital punishment in favor of life imprisonment, not on principle but out of financial necessity.

Out of 36 remaining states with the death penalty, there are at least eight with pending legislation that could end it. They're Maryland, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, New Hampshire, Washington and Kansas.

So far in 2009, Texas has executed 10 death row inmates in Huntsville, including two already this month. Two more are scheduled for March. For more information on Texas's death row, click on the link below this story.

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