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article imageKansas considers ending capital punishment

By KJ Mullins     Jan 18, 2010 in Politics
Kansas is considering taking capital punishment off of the books. With high costs to house a death row inmate the decision may be more to do with the wallet than ethics.
The Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC)recently completed a report about the state of capital punishment. According to their report 11 states are weighing the cost of death row inmates to see if those costs outweigh putting a criminal to death.
On average it costs $1.26 million per death row inmate in Kansas compared to $740,000 per inmate in comparable non-death penalty cases.
Not everyone though is behind saving the taxpayers money when it comes to capital punishment.
Kansas Attorney General Steve Six opposes ending the death penalty, telling the Wichita Eagle that the death penalty is "a just punishment." Six says the extra costs shouldn't determine whether or not the state should abolish its 16-year-old death penalty. "You're talking about three or four cases a year, so cost should not be a deciding factor," Six told the Eagle.
Still Kansas is facing budget woes. At this time Butler County is impacted by the budget so much so that scheduling capital murder trials is a problem.
The legislature will be debating the issue for four days starting on Tuesday.
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