Friday, December 14, 2007


Fiscal discipline comes to NJ

Financial concerns are apparently moving New Jersey to the verge of repealing the death penalty: N.J. Approves Abolition of Death Penalty; Corzine to Sign

Post writer Keith Richburg unquestioningly repeats this supposedly persuasive argument for repeal. I’m ambivalent on the death penalty and pro cuts-in-government-spending but still find this an irksome bit of reasoning:

“In the end, the most compelling case for New Jersey lawmakers was the economic one. Keeping inmates on death row costs the state $72,602 per year for each prisoner, according to the commission. Inmates kept in the general population cost $40,121 per year each to house. The corrections department estimates that repeal could save the state as much as $1.3 million per inmate over his lifetime -- and that figure does not include the millions spent by public defenders on inmates' appeals.”

Of course, if they just axed the guy like they’re supposed to, they could save even the $40,121 a year…

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