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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ind. Law - More on: AG Zoeller says policymakers should take a hard look at the costs and fiscal impact of capital punishment cases in Indiana

Updating this brief ILB entry from Nov. 15th, Niki Kelly and Rebecca S. Green of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette have a long story today that begins:

Attorney General Greg Zoeller used a legal summit to kick-start a statewide discussion of the financial burdens associated with the death penalty in Indiana.

He told 75 lawyers and law students at a University of Notre Dame event Monday that state lawmakers and policymakers should take a hard look at the costs and fiscal burden of capital punishment cases in Indiana.

But he did not call for a repeal of or moratorium on the death penalty. He also had no specific proposals.

More from the long story:
And at a time of shrinking revenue and when the judicial branch has little flexibility to cut budgets, Zoeller said legislators and policymakers should look carefully at cost structures driving the expense of death penalty cases at the trial and appellate levels.

“It is time that we in the criminal justice system have a candid conversation about the economic impact of capital punishment in Indiana,” he said. “I don’t claim to know the answers, but as the state government’s lawyer sworn to uphold the laws of Indiana, I hope we can trigger a frank discussion of these questions. We serve the crime victims and our constituents – the taxpayers – best if we confront a problem directly and objectively.”

Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford, chairman of the Senate Corrections, Criminal and Civil Matters Committee, said he doesn’t think lawmakers are interested in getting rid of the death penalty.

“There are some cases that are so heinous in nature that the only penalty that is just is death,” he said.

There is much more to read in this story.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 17, 2010 11:17 AM
Posted to Indiana Law