Where does the money for the death penalty go to?

So i know the money come from us, the tax payers, but where does it go too? who gets payed? Seems like to many people skip this part to the point of saying the money becomes no existent during the death penalty. If it circulates through the people in the judicial system then does that mean it actually is no cost to anyone because it keeps circulating?


Well i can say my question may be difficult to understand, but i am guessing it is so because there have been no answers i have searched up. But i am guessing that, taxpayers pay money to government, government uses it during death penalty cases to pay off appeals, and all the other people. Those other people use the money they received to buy stuff for everyday life, and then the money is back as profit in the hands of the tax payers. This is what i am asking. Does the money the taxpayers pay for the death penalty just circle around back to them.

4 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Since the stakes are so high, the process is far more complex than for any other kind of criminal case.

    The largest costs come at the pre-trial and trial stages. The tremendous expenses in a death penalty case apply whether or not the defendant is convicted, let alone sentenced to death.

    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

    Examples: Trial costs, California (not appeals):

    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.

    For more specific info, take a look at


    Hope this helps you.

  • 7 years ago

    Your question makes no sense. Not even sure which money you are talking about. Death penalty costs more because in addition to housing a prisoner in high security, special death row area, there is money for appeals - paid to attorneys the state has to hire to represent the people. Court costs. Witness fees. Attorneys for the state. All kinds of costs. that don't circulate to the judicial system. And the corrections system is separate from the judicial system in any case.

  • ?
    Lv 5
    7 years ago

    Its not specific to the death penalty. We pay a % tax to the city, state and federal gov that goes to the prisons, police, courts etc.

    That is allocated however they see fit. Death penalty cases only cost so much because its mandatory to have an appeal process which means more court time, more state prosecutor time, more judge time and a more time that a person sits in jail. Which = $

    It costs a lot to keep people in jail, way more than we can afford. So its not about the circulation of money, its about the bureaucracy and logistics of our system which make it so expensive to run, and therefore expensive for tax payers.

  • 7 years ago

    Actually, all money belongs to the government - they print the stuff up.

    As for your question.... Money was supposed to hold the place for goods and services. However, in our current state of undoing, speculation and regulations give our money value, also called: fiat money system. So, I would say half of your notion is correct, because the death penalty does fall into the fiat category. As for the "cost," that's a moral question and I'm not the messiah - regards

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