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Jodi Arias and the Cost of the Death Penalty

For the last few months the Jodi Arias case has been the focus of intense national press coverage. The jury recently found Jodi guilty of murdering her boyfriend Travis Alexander and are now in deliberations as to whether she should be sentenced to life in prison or receive the death penalty. For the last week these deliberations have been on going and recently the jury announced to the judge that they are unable to reach a unanimous decision regarding Jodi’s sentence.

If the jury cannot come to a unanimous decision they will be dismissed and a new jury will have to be selected. While there is no chance of the charges being changed against Jodi the new jury would have to hear the entire case over from the beginning.

One option is for the prosecution to take the death penalty off the table leaving the judge with the choice of giving Jodi life or 25 years then an appeal for parole. Not only would this option end this trial and allow all those involved the ability to move on with their lives it would save the state of Arizona millions of dollars. Why millions you might ask?

In a study done by the Urban Institute they found that the death penalty in Maryland cost tax payers $189Million between 1978 and 1999. In that report a case resulting in a death penalty cost $3million, almost $2million more than when live in prison was sought by the prosecution.

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