The death penalty is rarely sought in the city of Baltimore, but in adjoining Baltimore County almost every eligible case becomes a capital case. Presently, there are 7 active death-penalty cases in Baltimore County, more than the city of Baltimore has had overall in the past 2 decades. In addition to the different philosophies of the respective State’s Attorneys, the costs of the death penalty are a significant factor. Prosecutors estimate that a death penalty case costs taxpayers $500,000, just for the trial and penalty phases. Donald Giblin, one of Baltimore’s prosecutors, noted: “I don’t have a moral problem with the death penalty; I have a resource problem with it.”

Baltimore State’s Attorney Patricia Jessamy also noted that the years of appeals in a capital case leave the victims’ family with constant uncertainty. “Most of the time,” she said, “the death penalty doesn’t give you closure.” By taking the death penalty off the table in a prospective case, she says she can offer some degree of finality to the victims’ family by utilizing the sentence of life without parole.

(Baltimore Sun, Sept. 3, 2006).

See Costs, Arbitrariness, and Life witout parole.