This week the Senate Committee on Governmental Accountability heard a bill that would examine the cost of the death penalty in Missouri. Sponsored by Sen. Joe Keaveny (D-St. Louis), SB 786 would authorize the State Auditor’s office to conduct a study on the various aspects of the death penalty system and provide the General Assembly with a report on its findings.
While other states have conducted studies on the cost of the death penalty, Missouri has not conducted a formal cost study since the death penalty was re-enacted more than 30 years ago. In testifying in support of the bill, the MCC reminded the committee that taxpayers have a right to know how their money is being spent. The intent of the bill was not to take a stance on the death penalty but to be fiscally responsible in knowing the cost of this public policy.