Death Penalty Costs Cause Concern in Kansas

As Kansas lawmakers struggle to make ends meet, some are calling for an examination of the costs associated with capital punishment. Senators Steve Morris and Anthony Hensley have opposing views on the death penalty, but the men recently joined forces to propose an audit of the state's death penalty. Among other items, the audit will review $9 million in expenses filed by the Board of Indigents' Defense Services between 1995-2002. The funding was used to defend those facing capital charges. While Hensley opposes capital punishment and Morris voted to reinstate the death penalty in 1994, both believe that now is the time to examine the costs and effectiveness of capital punishment and to consider other less expensive options. Morris, a Republican, noted, "Overall, we just need to evaluate the whole death penalty issue. If it's going to take millions and millions of dollars per inmate and years before we can execute someone, that's a major policy issue we need to look at."

(Hutchinson News, June 29, 2003). See Costs.