Right now there are 744 inmates on California death row, the largest in the U.S. That costs about $120,000 per year per inmate to California taxpayers or $89.3 million every year. No one has been executed since 2006 and since then, California citizens have been paying to keep these inmates alive by supplying them with defense attorneys, special housing, expensive medical costs, and heightened security.
Inmates on death row in California have been on death row for decades for malicious crimes like multiple murders.
The death penalty is extremely expensive because when inmates are put on death row, they are given priority because they are at risk of losing one of their most basics rights, the right to live. There are multiple lawyers, judges, and other personnel that are constantly reviewing and working on the cases.
Death row inmates are also put into solitary confinement housing, costing more money because of heightened security. The yearly cost of housing and medical care for the state’s death row inmates comes to $184 million.
California ultimately needs to abolish capital punishment. It shouldn’t even be an option. It is completely unacceptable that California taxpayers are paying millions of dollars, year after year, for keeping 744 criminals on death row. That money is going into defense attorneys to help get these criminals off of death row, almost like we’re paying year after year to keep them alive. The money also goes to their special housing and medical costs. Inmates have died on death row because of natural diseases such as cancers and old age.
California needs to abolish the death penalty and stop putting people on death row because it is wasting tax money that could go to much better things.
“Instead of one execution, states could pay the salaries of over 250 more police officers or teachers for a year at $75,000 each,” said Richard Dieter, the executive director for the Death Penalty Information Center.
Instead of having the death penalty, another option would be life imprisonment without parole. People could argue that that would only increase the amount California spends on medical needs, but the state already pays for prisoners’ health care. Life in prison also doesn’t mean that California has to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on lawyers to help with appeals processes and special housing of these inmates.
It’s a much better solution for not only people that don’t like to waste their tax money but for also people who think that the death penalty is inhumane.