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Lawmakers Seek Audit of Death Penalty Costs

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Las Vegas CBS KXNT – Impending executions always stir controversy on humanitarian grounds, but Nevada legislators are asking how much it costs to carry out a death sentence. And death penalty opponents are pointing to studies that show the expense makes it a fiscal issue as well as a humanitarian one.

State Assemblyman James Ohrenschall says he hopes a proposed financial audit will demonstrate that the death penalty is “a luxury we can no longer afford .”

“The taxpayers in Nevada deserve to know how expensive having the death penalty on the books is,” Ohrenschall told KXNT on Tuesday. “And that’s all we’re asking for.”

Lawmakers will consider Assembly Bill 444, which would require comparing all costs associated with carrying out an execution to the cost of life sentences without parole. Similar research in other states has shown it can cost millions more to put an inmate to death.

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