Maricopa Among Counties Responsible For Most Of Country’s Death Penalty Sentences

October 09, 2013

A new report shows most of the country’s death penalty sentences come from just 2-percent of the nation’s counties, including Maricopa County.

The Death Penalty Information Center report says Maricopa County is the fourth highest in the country in death row inmates and 10th highest in executions over the last 45 years. It says the enormous costs of death penalty cases don’t stop when the jury reaches a verdict—they may just be getting started, with state and federal appeals and lengthy prison sentences, according to Donna Hamm of the prison reform group Middle Ground.

“I think they like to forget about them, but the fact is that those expenses go on and on because of mandatory and justifiable appeals that are in place for the protection of justice,” Hamm said.

According to the report, taxpayers end up paying $20 million for every death penalty case that ends with an execution. And, if a conviction is overturned on appeal, the costs go even higher.