How they stack up

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Cost comparisons for murder cases involving the death penalty. (All figures adjusted for inflation to reflect 2009 costs).

(1) "Status Report on the Death Penalty in Washington state" by Chief Justice Richard P. Guy, March 2000.

  • Non-capital case -- $163,063
  • Capital case -- $497,398


(2) "Washington's Death Penalty System" by Mark Larranaga and Donna Mustard, Washington Death Penalty Assistance Center, 2004.

  • Non-capital case -- $172,681
  • Capital case -- $487,572

(3) "Final Report on the Death Penalty Subcommittee of the Committee on Public Defense" by the Washington state Bar Association, 2006.

  • Non-capital case -- (no estimate given)
  • Capital case -- $497,043 more than a non-capital case plus $49,704 to $74,000 in additional court costs.


(Taking the average for a non-capital case from the previous two reports, $167,872, adding $497,043 plus the average of additional court costs, $61,852, gives a total of $726,767.)

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