Death penalty protocols in all states should be less expensive than the life without parole (LWOP) protocol, providing a responsible system as within Virginia, which executes within 7 years and which has executed 70%(or 110) of their death row murderers since 1976 (1).
All jurisdictions should be able to duplicate that protocol, having state appeals of 4-6 years and federal appeals of 4-6 years, or an average of no more than 10 years prior to execution, or an appeals period 40% more than Virginia.
Geriatric care costs in LWOP cases are astronomical. In addition, LWOP cases can appeal for life.
There is also a huge cost credit for the death penalty, the plea bargain to LWOP, only possible with the death penalty, a cost savings of both trial and appeals in LWOP cases, a cost savings which shows as a cost credit on the death penalty side of the ledger.
Most of the cost studies put forward by anti death penalty sources, or their proxies in the media, are wildly inaccurate or misleading, as reviewed, below.
1) Death Penalty: Cost Savings over LWOP