WKU Public Radio News Staff
Wed February 23, 2005
Studying The Cost Of The Death Penalty
Frankfort, KY – Since Kentucky re-instated capital punishment in 1976, two men have been executed and 36 people are now on death row.
Numerous others who were once under death sentences have had their convictions or sentences overturned in the courts.
Director Ernie Lewis of the Department of Public Advocacy is charged with providing legal defense for the condemned. He guesses it's cost taxpayers perhaps $50 million for each of those executions. He adds that death sentences have been overturned more than half the time.
Representative Jim Wayne says his goal is to confirm it's cheaper to put people in prison without parole for life than it is for the death penalty.
In the house version of the state budget that emerged Friday night, Wayne tucked in a provision that would require the general assembly to examine the cost of the death penalty since it was re-instated.