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Idaho Death Penalty May be More Expensive than Life in Prison

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A new report from Idaho’s state auditors shows that sentencing a defendant to life in prison without parole is less expensive than imposing the death penalty. But the Office of Performance Evaluations also found that the state’s criminal justice agencies don’t collect enough data to determine the total cost of the death penalty. Hannah Crumrine and Tony Grange presented the report to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee Wednesday morning. Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter wrote a letter responding to the report, stating he believes state agencies have been diligent in accounting for and containing their costs. Otter wrote that though the report raises the question of whether tax dollars are spent wisely on capital punishment, he continues to support the death penalty laws. Idaho has executed three people since 1977.

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