In this tough economic climate, cost matters. That was obviously the motivating factor this week when the Senate Governmental Accountability Committee voted to pass SCS SB 786, a bill that would examine the costs related to the death penalty. Sponsored by Sen. Joe Keaveny (D-St. Louis), the bill would require the state auditor to examine the costs incurred by counties, prosecutors, public defenders, the Department of Corrections and the Supreme Court for at least 10 death cases and non-death penalty cases. The auditor would submit a report of his findings to the governor and the general assembly.
In voting for the bill, some of the committee members who support the death penalty acknowledged that this bill was worthy of consideration by the full Senate. The bill could be debated on the Senate floor later this session.