A study released by the Urban Institute on March 6, 2008 forecast that the lifetime cost to taxpayers for the capitally-prosecuted cases in Maryland since 1978 will be $186 million. That translates to $ million for each of the state’s five executions since the state reenacted the death penalty. The study estimates that the average cost to Maryland taxpayers for reaching a single death sentence is $3 million - $ million more than the cost of a non-death penalty case. (This includes investigation, trial, appeals, and incarceration costs.) The study examined 162 capital cases that were prosecuted between 1978 and 1999 and found that those cases will cost $186 million more than what those cases would have cost had the death penalty not existed as a punishment. At every phase of a case, according to the study, capital murder cases cost more than non-capital murder cases.
Of the 162 capital cases, there were 106 cases in which a death sentence was sought but not handed down in Maryland. Those cases cost the state an additional $71 million compared to the cost non-death penalty cases. Those costs were incurred simply to seek the death penalty where the ultimate outcome was a life or long-term prison sentence.
(J. McMenamin, “Death penalty costs Md. more than life term,” Baltimore Sun, March 6, 2008). Read the entire study here .