Time Spent on Death-Row Doubled During Last 20 Years

The amount of time inmates spend on death row in the United States almost doubled during the past two decades, according to the Department of Justice.
(9/22/2008)
WASHINGTON — The amount of time inmates spend on death row in the United States almost doubled during the past two decades, according to the Department of Justice.

The average time delay from sentencing to execution increased from about six years (74 months) to about 12 years (145 months) between 1984 and 2006, according to the latest statistical data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Between 1977 and 1983, the average lapse time between sentence and execution was 51 months, or about four years.

The increasing delay between capital crime sentencing and execution can represent a significant financial burden — beyond the court costs associated ith capital cases and the appeals process — to corrections departments and taxpayers, experts say.

The cost of housing inmates on death row is approximately 30 percent to 50 percent more than the cost of housing general population inmates, according to reports.

At year-end 2006, more than 3,200 inmates were held on death row under federal (942 inmates) and state (3,228 inmates) jurisdiction.

As of 2006, California had the largest number of inmates on death row (656), followed by Texas (391), Florida (374), Pennsylvania (219) and Alabama (193).

The lengthy appeals processes and procedures in place in some jurisdictions can extend the time between sentencing and execution beyond the 12-year average.

In California, it can take more than 25 years to exhaust the capital case appeals process, the longest delay between sentence and execution of any death-penalty state.

Inmates spend an average of more than 17 years on death row in California, according to the report by the Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice. Thirty inmates have been on California’s death row for more than 25 years and 119 inmates have been on death row for more than 20 years, according to the CCFAJ report.

In contrast, Virginia is the most expeditious in handling death penalty appeals, with the process taking an average of less than one year, according to the CCFAJ report. No inmate has spent more than 10 years on death row in Virginia.

In Texas, the average delay in exhausting death penalty appeals is three years, while the average time spent on death row before execution is 123 months, or about 10 years, according to the CCFAJ report.

source

http://www.correctionalnews.com/ME2/Audiences/dirmod.asp?sid=&nm=&type=news&mod=News&mid=9A02E3B96F2A415ABC72CB5F516B4C10&tier=3&nid=8FB902F9F0EB45D99A02D9E13E505C64

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