the end of justice

New Depression’s Latest Casualty: Our Sacred Death Penalty

Chain gangs still thrive, howeverMan, you know what costs gazillions of dollars of taxpayer money? Executin’ people! With appeals and increased housing costs, the tab to house a prisoner and eventually carry out the death penalty can run upwards of $3 million. Conversely, just keeping somebody in jail forever costs a mere $1.1 million or so.

Or course, the cheapest of all criminal punishments is for police to just shoot anybody who looks suspicious, but certain handwringing liberal nancies think that’s “unfair.”

The point is, basically every state in the union is broke and they are looking for ways to trim their budgets. They are eyeing the cost of the death penalty and saying, “Hmm, those $3 million we’re spending per capital punishment case might just as easily go into some slush fund for the governor to ‘reform healthcare’ by setting up his multiple girlfriends in penthouses in Costa Rica. Budget crisis solved.”

So: look for more states to abolish the death penalty, not out of principle but because they are cheap.

Citing Cost, States Consider End to Death Penalty [New York Times]

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Sara K. Smith was Wonkette's morning editor from 2008 to 2010, and now contributes a weekly (?!) column to Wonkette, to prove she still loves you all!

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55 comments

  1. PsycGirl

    Keep the relevant inmates alive but play that Jindal speech to them several times everyday. That’s a worse punishment than death and cheaper too.

  2. BillyClubb

    What?! Crime-obsessed Republicans actually approved a MORE EXPENSIVE way to treat those convicted of a capital crime? Absurd!

  3. Lascauxcaveman

    Always been my favorite jibe when talking the death penalty with my pro-life/pro-death-penalty Catholic friends.

    They scream “How can you be BOTH pro-choice and and ANTI death peanlty?”

    “Well, I’m a fiscal conservative.”

    “Huh?”

    “Life in prison and abortions are both a lot cheaper than the alternatives you’re suggesting.”

  4. ManchuCandidate

    [re=252336]AngryBlakGuy[/re]:
    Or turn “Free Market Forever” US America into the United Socialist States America.

  5. Bruno

    I’m guessing the cost of assassinations will go down in the Hobo economy, and be significantly less than $1.1m

  6. S.Luggo

    If the free market were actually respected in this goddam country, after each execution the prison would be allowed to sell the body parts on EBay. Win-Win.

  7. BillyClubb

    [re=252333]Terry[/re]: Nope. We have an “express lane” to the death house, as the comic Ron White has said. And we do it so often it can’t be too expensive.

  8. President Beeblebrox

    “Summary execution and abolition of habeas corpus are in full vigour, then?” said Scrooge.

    “At this destitute season of the year, Mr Scrooge,” said the gentleman, taking up a pen, “it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the governments who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands of government employees are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.”

    “Are there no prison cells?”

    “Plenty of prisons,” said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.

    “And the gas chambers,” demanded Scrooge. “Are they still in operation?”

    “Both very busy, sir.”

    “Oh. I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,” said Scrooge. “I’m very glad to hear it.”

  9. shanemacgowan

    “Mr. O’Malley, a Democrat and a Roman Catholic who has cited religious opposition to the death penalty in the past . . .”

    Marty should sit down with Piyush, Sam Brownback, and others who use their Catholocism as an excuse for their wingnuttery. “No, Piyush, we don’t believe that Halloween gobblins cause epilepsy and we dropped that young earth thing a hundred years ago.”

    [re=252336]AngryBlakGuy[/re]: agreed.

  10. Cape Clod

    I bet televising executions on pay-per-view would would bring the cost down to zilch. At least until a vast majority of the people in favor of the death penalty are exposed to it enough that they realize state sponsored execution is morally repugnant.

  11. AngryBlakGuy

    …we could always go back to Gladiatorial combat! If you win you are innocent; if you die, not so much!

  12. Chief Grinning Eagle

    If the death penalty is over and done with – you can’t say bloodletting isn’t making a comeback. Get me some leeches. An out of work former Merrill Lynch employee will do.

  13. Aloysius

    [re=252349]BillyClubb[/re]: How does Texas do it? Volume! Volume! Volume! And they pass the savings on to the oil companies! That’s why they call it the “Texas Two-Step.” Step one: Kill Mexicans. Step three: Profit!

  14. Campbell Brown

    Without the death penalty all those killers and psychos terroizing Canada because they’re too wimpy to do anything about it will migrate to our warmer climates turning our nomrally peaceful urban centers like Houston and New Orleans into violence ridden pits.

  15. PAbitter

    Coincidentally, this is why one of my old high school teachers opposed capital punishment. The one that wore flip-flops when it was warm and used to tell us about how he was sick of drinking by the time he turned 21. I’m not really sure I believed the last part, but still, not a bad guy.

  16. Rush

    Actually, we should be talking about the First Lady’s decision to wear short sleeves in February – how “nubian”

  17. Hooray For Anything

    [re=252364]Hamster[/re]: Or the stocks of the companies that make the chemical they use in lethal injection. The stock market is in free fall, this is no time to go messing with pharmaceutical companies.

  18. shortsshortsshorts

    FANTASTIC IDEA:

    Drop the convicts in Alaska, get in a helicopter, make it a sport, and pay $150 for each leg.

    Market. Saved.

  19. Hamster

    [re=252379]Hooray For Anything[/re]: AHHH! Does that mean the price of boner pills and mild laxatives will go up! THE END IS NEAR!

  20. Cicada

    You just know the mouth-breathers are going to push for denying any appeals as a way of decreasing the costs of executions.

    Maybe states like Texas can make their death-row prisoners dig and re-dig their own graves, like in “Cool Hand Luke”.

  21. BigDupa

    Two words- Mexican prisons! They would cost pesos on the dollars, keep Mexicans in Mexico– instead of hanging out at Home Depot looking for work that doesn’t exist, they could be guarding our prisoners and doing whatever they want to keep the prisoners from escaping. Saves money for our state budgets and keeps people on their respective side of the Rio Grande.

  22. Hooray For Anything

    [re=252390]Hamster[/re]: There’s always Canada.

    I’m sure if we think long and hard enough, we could either outsource all the criminals– globalization and all that– or just privatize executions. I’m sure Halliburton would have no problem executing people for money.

  23. Juice Newton's Bastard Child

    Y’know,Rupert Murdoch’s favorite Commie pal,Red China,makes money off executions.They sentence everybody to death,spend forty-seven cents on a bullet,then sell the organs to Indian hospitals that specialize in trans[plants to sick,fat-ass westerners.

    Mebbe the forward looking Governor rick Perry needs to take a fact finding tour….

  24. ph7

    I think we should offer anyone seriously considering a capital crime $100,000 cash to not commit the crime.

    One less dead body, no jail expense, no execution expense. No appeals.

  25. S.Luggo

    [re=252363]Aloysius[/re]: You’re not too far off:
    Mar 3: Willie Pondexter, TX –
    Mar 4: Kenneth Morris, TX –
    Mar 10: James Martinez, TX –
    Mar 11: Luis Salazar, TX –
    Mar 19: Phillip Haliford, AL –
    Apr 7: Brett Hartman , OH –
    Apr 7: Jose Briseno, TX -

  26. DustBowlBlues

    The Christian Republicans who run the legislature in OK aren’t buying this librul, socialist horse shit. They’ll close the schools and let every fucking bridge in the state fall in before they give up the killin’, because that’s what Jesus wants them to do.

  27. IceCreamEmpress

    Clearly the answer is to create an equivalent of the Civilian Conservation Corps for the New New Deal. Perhaps we’ll call it the “Civilian Concentration Camp” and let the hobos and poors torture the malefactors with whatever sticks or car antennas they can salvage from the wreckage of the inner cities.

  28. Hooray For Anything

    [re=252416]DustBowlBlues[/re]: Ahhhh, yes, there’s always public stoning– rocks are free and there’s plenty of em.

  29. chascates

    Texas can’t quit the death penalty. We might start saving money by allowing citizens to form a firing squad (many of our residents would pay highly for this) and just about all religious schools would pay to view this educational event on TV.
    To be fair you could hold these turkey shoots in different parts of our great state, allowing smaller towns a boost in tourism.

  30. WadISay

    Well this would be a great Republican talking point: we will know the economy is getting better when we start executing more people. Bobby Jindal, call me!

  31. NoWireHangers

    [re=252403]Hooray For Anything[/re]: Florida already has privatized prisons so, maybe that’s already a reality?

  32. sux2bu

    Here are my suggestions for bringing down the high cost of executions:
    1. Use the condemned as human pylons at monster truck shows.
    2. Set ‘em loose in Appalachia and let them be hunted for sport by toothless hillbillies.
    3. Force them to have sex with Kathryn Jean Lopez.

    No wait…No. 3 would be too cruel!

  33. Peter of Lone Tree

    “Rex 84: FEMA’s Blueprint for Martial Law in America”
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=ROL20060820&articleId=3010

    (Short quote from article):
    “There over 800 prison camps in the United States, all fully operational and ready to receive prisoners. They are all staffed and even surrounded by full-time guards, but they are all empty. These camps are to be operated by FEMA should martial law need to be implemented in the United States and all it would take is a presidential signature on a proclamation and the attorney general’s signature on a warrant to which a list of names is attached…”

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