Did people stay on death row for many years 200 years ago?

Everyone talks about how expensive it is because you have to keep someone on death row for years. If not, when did it begin that people were required to stay there so long before being executed?


When did "appeals" begin?

4 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    In most states, the biggest expense in death penalty cases comes upfront, at the pre-trial and trial stages. The idea is to avoid sentencing innocent people to death. (Not always successful.) The huge expenses apply whether or not there is a conviction, let alone a death sentence.

    Examples- trial costs (death penalty and non death penalty cases, California):

    People v. Scott Peterson, Death Penalty Trial

    $3.2 Million Total

    People v. Rex Allen Krebs Death Penalty Trial

    $2.8 Million Total

    People v. Cary Stayner, Death Penalty Trial

    $2.368 Million Total

    People v. Robert Wigley, Non-Death Penalty Trial

    $454,000 Total

    This data is for cases where the best records have been kept.

    Some factors:

    • more pre-trial time will be needed to prepare: cases typically take a year to come to trial

    • more pre-trial motions filed and answered

    • more experts will be hired

    • twice as many attorneys will be appointed for the defense, and a comparable team for the prosecution

    • jurors must be individually quizzed on their views about the death penalty, and they are more likely to be sequestered

    • two trials instead of one will be conducted: one for guilt and one for punishment

    • the trial will be longer: a cost study at Duke University estimated that death penalty trials take 3 to 5 times longer than typical murder trials

    The numbers vary from state to state, but they all point in the same direction. From a fairly typical state study of the costs of the death penalty:

    “The study counted death penalty case costs through to execution and found that the median death penalty case costs $1.26 million. Non-death penalty cases were counted through to the end of incarceration and were found to have a median cost of $740,000. For death penalty cases, the pre-trial and trial level expenses were the most expensive part, 49% of the total cost. The investigation costs for death-sentence cases were about 3 times greater than for non-death cases. The trial costs for death cases were about 16 times greater than for non-death cases ($508,000 for death case; $32,000 for non-death case).” (Kansas: Performance Audit Report: Costs Incurred for Death Penalty Cases: A K-GOAL Audit of the Department of Corrections)

  • justa
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    Appeals were always around for the wealthy, the common criminal used to get hung almost as soon as convicted.

    But then they used to hang people for things they don't hang people for today, like petty theft.

    As we became less of a frontier society we began to see that some were getting killed for little reason, or the wrong reason, like the judge had a personal animosity against the defendant.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Nowadays people are entitled to several rounds of appeals. It often takes 15 years for the full cycle of appeals to run its course.

  • Oreo
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    No they were smart and didnt pay the $50,000 a year plus tax payers money for appeals. If found guilty they burned them to the stake or hung them which they should do not.

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