Last year, we posted an analysis of capital punishment as practiced in the U.S., and concluded that it ought to be scrapped. Not for the usual “killing is wrong” or “what about the innocent” reasons, but because as practiced it fails to serve the purposes of punishment. It doesn’t deter anything, rehabilitate anyone, and even removal only occurs after insane expense and delay. The unbelievable delay and its ancillaries only undermine faith in justice, while imposing absurd societal costs, for no marginal benefit.
Now it seems that some states are thinking along the same lines. Over at he WSJ Law Blog, Ashby Jones reports that the administration of capital punishment is being seen as not worth the extra expense. 37 states now are just spending too much money to deal with years and years of appeals (25-year average in California, something like 14 years nationwide) and the associated incarceration and litigation and facilities. With budgetary concerns becoming ever more critical, the exorbitant costs are becoming a significant reason for legislatures to get rid of capital punishment.
Sounds good to us.