|Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts|
“After weeks of trying to cast doubts on the first scientific study ever done on the costs of Nebraska’s death penalty by the state’s most trusted economist, Dept of Corrections Director Scott Frakes today admitted to our committee that taxpayers would save money by eliminating the death penalty,” Sen. Morfeld said.
Dr. Ernie Goss, professor of economics at Creighton University, presented a study earlier this summer that revealed Nebraska’s maintenance of the death penalty cost the state approximately $14.6 million annually above what the state’s cost for life without parole would be. This sum was calculated based on data Nebraska agencies report to the U.S. Census bureau. The extra cost of the death penalty is due to the death penalty’s additional pre-trial processes, appeals unique to capital cases, and special housing afforded death row inmates.
Following the release of Dr. Goss’ study, a bipartisan group of Nebraska State Senators, celebrated further evidence that their decision to end the death penalty was the right one for all Nebraskans.
“Dr. Goss’ findings affirm the decision the Unicameral made when we acted to remove our broken, costly death penalty and leave in place the strong alternative of life without the possibility of parole,” Speaker Galen Hadley said soon after the study was released.
Source: Retain a Just Nebraska, September 30, 2016. Retain a Just Nebraska is a public education campaign to urge the retention of LB 268, the Nebraska Legislature’s vote to end the death penalty. Supporters include fiscal conservatives, law enforcement officials, faith leaders, murder victims’ families, and Nebraskans from all walks of life. It is a statewide coalition conducting public education on the smart alternative of life in prison without parole, which protects society without the many problems of our death penalty system.
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