I've never been a supporter of capital punishment, mostly because the legal system does occasionally get it wrong (and while you can pay compensation to someone who has been incorrectly incarcerated for years, the state can't "make things right" when it turns out they executed the wrong person), but also because I can't see that the principal of national "self defence" that could be used to justify the state killing people in acts of war can really be extended to executing convicted criminals rather than just incarcerating them for life in order to protect society.
But I had thought that execution was obviously cheaper than maintaining a prisoner in jail for the rest of their natural life. Apparently that isn't the case though - according to an article in today's SMH, it costs around $3 million per execution, while life imprisonment "only" costs around $1m. It seems sad that some US states may move to eliminate the death penalty for fiscal reasons, when instances of the wrong person getting executed for a crime had failed to see the practice banned.
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