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Well, there's some truth in what you say.

It is very expensive, but some examples you give aren't really big-buck items. The prosecutors are already on salary, so whether they're trying a purse snatching or a capital murder trial, they cost the same. If you've ever been on jury duty, you know what that costs us, and a few fines will cover that. You are hitting the nail on the head when you bring up defense counsel and expert witnesses, and didn't even mention the endless appeals process that will cost far more than the original trial itself. The death penalty appeals process is indeed the single most abused facet of our criminal justice system not only from the point of denying or delaying justice, but from the simple point of frustrating victim's family members and taxpayers who must pay for the nonsensical games. So the cost of execution is basically an excuse used by death penalty foes, while they are causing it themselves with their endless string of appeals on dubious grounds. It's the same logic used by your high school buddies, who set you up with a loosened salt-shaker top and then tell you, "Oh, you can't eat that burger - it's too salty!" Sure....who made it too salty? (Capital punishment....who made it too expensive?) Limit the appeals process to one shot up the state ladder, one shot up the federal ladder, and our system of capital punishment would become surprisingly affordable. In anticipation of the contention that we might put a few more innocent people to death if we limit the number of appeals, I offer this: It is a very, VERY rare case that the accused is free of any criminal history or even has a small or long-ago history. Most times the accused has a history of serious misconduct, such as we see here in this case. To put it bluntly, their loss is still society's gain, and none of us should weep for them.... ...but of course, they deserve to be treated fairly too in our legal system. Accordingly, I'd be 100% in favor of initiating a requirement for DNA, video/photographic evidence, or a positive identification provided in a dying declaration in any case before capital punishment could be ordered. I'd even be in favor of applying that standard to those on death row right now, and commuting the death sentences to life for those who didn't face such compelling eveidence. If, however, you have any one of those three elements, fire up Ol' Sparky and let justice prevail.....quickly.


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