Littlerock Death row costs more than life in prison

LaceyFebruary 27, 2014 

Kudos to our governor for helping to bring Washington into the 21st century by imposing a moratorium on death sentences.

Science has progressed and many convicted persons nationwide, including some on death row, have been found through DNA testing to be unquestionably innocent. They can be released from incarceration but it’s a little tougher if they have been executed.

Some believe that execution is a deterrent to crime. Research has shown conclusively that it is not. Some consider it to be appropriate retribution for a heinous crime, but is it worse than spending life without parole knowing that one will never breathe free air again? Lots of inmates would agree that it isn’t.

Probably the most naive justification is the cost issue. Too many believe that the condemned is chained up, hauled to Walla Walla and strapped to the table thereby saving us the cost of housing and feeding them for years. Nothing could be further from the truth. The most senior occupant of Washington’s death row committed his crime 26 years ago. The next most senior offended 19 years ago, and there they sit.

Consider the case of the couple that killed a family in Carnation a few years ago. They haven’t been to trial and have already set us back over $7 million.

I vote to take the convicts off death row and let them spend the rest of their lives locked down with reduced privileges. The taxpayers can use the relief.

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