As states around the nation struggle to stretch their budgets to cover payrolls and expenses in this bad economy, opponents of the death penalty are pushing states to repeal the punishment – to save cash.
In Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico and other states, the discussion around bills seeking to end capital punishment is focusing on dollars and cents.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a longtime supporter of the death penalty, said he is considering signing a bill there seeking to end capital punishment for a number of reasons. But the economic argument is “a valid reason in this era of austerity and tight budgets,” he said, according to The New York Times.
Opponents of ending capital punishment call the economic argument short-sighted, adding that the cost of increased crime down the road could dwarf any savings.