Putting the death penalty on ice

Is it time to put an end to the death penalty in Nevada? A bill proposed in the Assembly, AB501, proposes to study the costs of the death penalty in Nevada placing a moratorium in effect until the study’s completion by July 2013.

According to the ACLU of Nevada, which supports AB501 and AB460, which proposes to streamline the legal process regarding the death penalty, Nevada has never done a study on the costs related to the death penalty. However, a 2010 federal report (PDF) on the death penalty found that the median cost for seeking the death penalty was nearly eight times higher than cases that were eligible for capital punishment but it was not sought. And the median cost of a death penalty trial was twice as high as a similar case that ended in a plea agreement.

Personally, I am against the death penalty because time after time it has been shown to be the least just process in our “justice” system. When we talk about ending a person’s life — even a convicted killer — we should be certain that justice was served. But when even those who work in the system see it as racist, classist and unprincipled, you have to ask yourself if what is being metered out is actually justice.

AB501 passed out of Assembly committee in a hearing on April 14.

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