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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Does trying an aged serial killer make good fiscal sense?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26798points) April 25th, 2011

When you catch a serial killer when he/she is 60+ is it good fiscal sense to go after the death penalty or does the body count comes into effect? With a death penalty case the cost of appeals could reach the millions because you have to exhaust all avenues to obtain a reversal before the condemned is killed. If the person is at such an advanced age that if he lived long enough for the appeals to run its course he would likely die before his/her time in line actually came up; thus nullifying all that money spent on appeal. Wouldn’t it just make more sense to sentence the person to multiple life sentences?

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9 Answers

Hibernate's avatar

Won’t help since he won’t live long enough for all th sentences.

I’m not a big fan of death penalty because everyone deserves a second chance.

Though for saving money he can be sentenced to fulfill his sentence at home [ eating his own money ]

gmander's avatar

How about we put them all in a big (very secure!) house and make a reality TV channel from it?

rooeytoo's avatar

@Hibernate – if he fulfilled his sentence at home, what is to keep him from committing more murders? At 60 he could still have 30 years left or more. Society must be protected from him and he should be punished for his crime.

But as HC says is it worth the money to try to put him to death. Which makes me wonder since DNA makes it much easier and more sure to determine guilt, if someone is convicted of a heinous crime, why should they have the right/privilege to innumerable tax payer funded appeals? Why isn’t the penalty implemented immediately after the first trial or first appeal?

meiosis's avatar

Leaving aside the merits of the death penalty, I don’t think financial matters should rank high when deciding matters of justice. People who commit heinous crimes should be pursued to the full extent of the law, no matter what the cost.

blueiiznh's avatar

Financial matters have no direct connection to the letter of the laws. This should have no bearing.
There is a local case where a person just came forward 50 years after taking part in a murder. This should not matter based on age. Does the family of the victim feel any different because the offender was 20 or 80?

With that thought process we will next apply it in the Healthcare system. Give costly treatments to younger people because they will live longer????

Really, come on!

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@blueiiznh I didn’t say an aging serial killer should not be held accountable just that the cost of capital punishment vs him/her actually living long enough to have it carried out it might make better fiscal sense to just go for multiple life sentances since the appeals process is quicker and he/she will do it. To do it the other way would make as much sense as repairing all the leaky pipes on a house slated for demolition soon anyhow.

john65pennington's avatar

In logic, you may be correct. But, lets not forget about the victims family that is waiting for closure and revenge for the loss of their loved one.

blueiiznh's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central the crime is still tied more to the crime than the age of the offender. I am sure when it comes down to sentencing after conviction that certain decisions may affect how one serve the crime.
Appeals and potential for parole are based on the crime. Why should there be a difference of punishment for a serial killer who is 20 versus 80?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@blueiiznh Put it this way, you have a serial killer that got started at 18, 19yr and then get caught just shy of 30yr with a body count on him/her of 7–16 victims, if given the death penalty and found guilty there would still be time for all the appeals to exhaust and have the perp enough life left to actually have their date with the grim reaper. Giving the death penalty to a serial killer that didn’t get caught until he/she was 69yr by the time all the appeals spun out he/she could be older than 75yr and if he/she didn’t managed to get shanked in prison by the time they their turn actually came up they could have died of natural causes are be so chronically ill that strapping them to the gurney would not make any sense or just seam as cruel as needling a mentally challanged person. If they were given multiple life sentances the appeal would go quicker and they would not escape it because they would die behind bars even if that time was only 8yrs total for example. It saves money, if the person is near to death anyhow you could spend all that money on appeals and have the person die naturally escaping the needle anyway.

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