Study says death penalty costs $14.6 million annually

Posted By: Channel 8 Eyewitness News

A newly released study on the cost of the death penalty is stirring debate.

The results of the study says the death penalty is costing taxpayers millions each year, but not everyone agrees with the information.

"The cost to the Nebraska taxpayer, and this is for 2015 dollars, the additional cost for a death penalty case is about $14.6 million and that’s opposed to life without parole," says Dr. Ernie Goss.

Goss, a professor of economics at Creighton University, conducted the first-of-its-kind study. The results go against what the Legislature’s Fiscal Office found after their own study in April. This involved many agencies including the Department of Corrections and the Attorney General’s Office.

"Based on the reports, back that they received from those agencies within the state of Nebraska, they concluded that repealing the death penalty wouldn’t save any money. Well, that’s data from agencies that deal with the death penalty in Nebraska, as opposed to the Goss study, which just extrapolates data from all over the country else where," says Bob Evnen, co-founder of Nebraskans for the Death Penalty.

In November, voters will decide whether or not to reinstate the death penalty.