May 13th, 2008
Tennessee’s State Funding Board has heard from experts that there will be a revenue shortfall between $271 and $380 million dollars. “State officials have been told to expect to cut up to $380 million more in spending before the fiscal year ends in June.” This news prompted TCASK members Harry Simpson of Nashville and Steve Reddick of Oak Ridge to write their local papers because they both believe that the state is spending far too much money on one area of public policy.
“For years, experts have known that the death penalty’s costs are exorbitant. Maryland found that the death penalty cost taxpayers at least $186 million more in prosecuting and defending capital murder cases over two decades than would have been spent without the threat of execution and has executed a total of five people.”
“And I’m not suggesting that abolishing the death penalty would solve all (or even many) of our state’s budget woes. But abolition would certainly free up dollars to better address the root causes of crime and to help crime victims and their families. That, to me, is an investment worth making.”