Pennsylvania Cost Commission to Consider Expensive Death Penalty System

On Monday, June 7, the Pennsylvania State Government Management and Cost Study Commission will hear from experts on proposals to cut the costs of various government programs. The Commission, established in 2009, is comprised of private and public sector cost-minded leaders in Pennsylvania and has been charged with studying the management of government operations and making recommendations for cost-cutting measures. Among the experts who will testify at the hearing is Richard Dieter, Executive Director of the Death Penalty Information Center, who will provide information on the high costs of the death penalty. His testimony states: "[T]he death penalty is not an essential government function and, in fact, is probably one of the least effective and most costly programs, when measured in terms of the people it affects. What Pennsylvania calls the death penalty is in reality a very expensive form of life without parole. Despite having the fourth largest death row in the country, Pennsylvania has not had an execution in 11 years" and no "contested execution since 1962."  Read full text of Richard Dieter's testimony below.

Posted June 7, 2010.  Click here for full text of Richard Dieter's testimony.  Read DPIC's report, "Smart on Crime: Rethinking the Death Penalty in a Time of Economic Crisis."  See also Costs or read other Testimony on the death penalty.