The Senate Government Accountability Committee discussed an audit of the death penalty.
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The Senate Government Accountability Committee discussed an audit of the death penalty.

Date: February 29, 2012
By: Mark Hodges
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: 
An M-U law professor urged lawmakers to study Missouri's death penalty.
RunTime:  0:37
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: A proposed law would mandate a study of Missouri's death penalty.

Such a study has never been done in the state.

But Paul Litton with the University of Missouri School of Law says other states found out the death penalty is costly.

Actuality:  LITTON.WAV
Run Time:  00:10
Description: "For cases in which a death sentence was imposed, those cases cost the state three million dollars. So 1.9 million more than where the prosecutor did not seek the death penalty."

Republican Representative Stanley Cox says the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for some crimes.

He says spending money to study the policy isn't the right way to save money.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Mark Hodges.

Intro: 
The Deputy Director of the Missouri State Public Defender System urged lawmakers to reform the death penalty.
RunTime:  0:39
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Dan Gralike says the state auditor should study the cost of Missouri's death penalty.

Public defenders are currently involved with 34 death penalty cases.

Gralike says it's costing the state millions.

Actuality:  GRALIKE.WAV
Run Time:  00:14
Description: "I am personally familiar with one death prosecution that has had to be retried due to various errors and irregularities five times since 1992. I estimate the cost to the state to be well over three or four million dollars simply for the cost of the public defender."

Republican Representative Stanley Cox says spending money to save money isn't a good policy.

He also says some crimes deserve the death penalty so it shouldn't be eliminated.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Mark Hodges.

Intro: 
A Senate committee heard testimony on legislation requiring a study of the death penalty just a day before results of a similar study are released.
RunTime:  0:41
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: The state auditor would take a closer look at the cost of Missouri's death penalty under proposed law.

Similar studies led to abolition of capital punishment in other states.

But Republican Representative Stanley Cox says getting rid of the death penalty altogether is a bad idea.

Actuality:  SCOX.WAV
Run Time:  00:10
Description: "It's not persuasive to me because I believe that having the death penalty is an appropriate response to certain types of actions."

Paul Litton with the University of Missouri School of Law says the death penalty costs millions more than life without parole.

He says other states have saved money by cutting capital punishment.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Mark Hodges.


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