COSTS: In Utah, Each Death Penalty Case Costs $1.6 Million Extra
According to Gary Syphus of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst's Office in Utah, seeking the death penalty costs the state an additional $1.6 million per inmate from trial to execution compared to life-without-parole cases. Syphus offered this estimate to the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee of the Utah legislature on November 14. Republican state representative Steve Handy had asked for an examination of the state and local government costs associated with implementing the death penalty in Utah. Although he has not proposed any legislation, Handy said that the comparative costs of life without parole and capital punishment should nevertheless be examined. Ralph Dellapiana, a defense attorney and the director of Utahns for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, said the cost estimate offered did not adequately capture the full expense incurred by the state, since it did not include costs such as those associated with cases in which the death penalty is sought but not ultimately imposed.