Is Death Penalty Cost Effective?

New Study to Determine Cost-Effectiveness of Death Penalty in Nevada 

The fact that a number of states are suffering financial hardships has led them to reconsider the death penalty. Nevada is now among them, as a recent law was passed requiring the legislative auditor of this state to review the cost of capital punishment in an effort to determine whether it should be continued.

Advocates for this bill claimed that it was long overdue, as the cost of legal representation for a defendant who is facing the death penalty is an undue burden on taxpayers. Opponents of capital punishment are also praising the bill, saying that it could be a step toward eliminating what they claim is a sentence that is often unfairly handed out.

The study will take place over the next year, with results being available prior to the start of the 2015 legislative session. At that time, lawmakers will be able to determine if capital punishment is indeed cost-effective or whether it should be abolished in favor of life without parole instead.

A number of legislators opted to support the bill partly because Nevada is fairly lax when it comes to carrying out scheduled executions anyway. The last execution here took place in 2006, and none are currently scheduled for the foreseeable future. Although Nevada does currently have an execution chamber, it does not meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and state officials are hesitant to use it because of that fact. The Nevada Department of Corrections has been denied funding to build a new chamber that would be in compliance with this act.