The Cost of the Death Penalty in Maryland

Research Report

The Cost of the Death Penalty in Maryland

Abstract

This study assesses the death penalty's costs to Maryland taxpayers by examining a sample of the 1,136 death-eligible murder cases occurring between 1978 and 1999. We find that an average capital-eligible case in which prosecutors did not seek the death penalty will cost approximately $1.1 million over the lifetime of the case. A capital-eligible case in which prosecutors unsuccessfully sought the death penalty will cost $1.8 million and a capital-eligible case resulting in a death sentence will cost approximately $3 million. In total, we forecast that the lifetime costs to Maryland taxpayers of these capitally-prosecuted cases will be $186 million.
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