Las Vegas Sun

October 1, 2016

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Study lays out costs associated with death penalty in Nevada

The ACLU of Nevada recently highlighted a study conducted by a UNLV professor who found that defending the death penalty in Clark County costs at least $170,000 more than defending cases where life in prison is sought.

Terance Miethe, of UNLV's department of criminal justice, began the study in January and determined that the 80 pending capital murder cases in Clark County will cost approximately $20 million, according to the report.

Miethe's research estimates that public defense attorneys have spent double the time, about 2,300 hours, on capital murder cases as opposed to non-capital murder cases, the report says.

According to the study, 35 cases resulting in the death sentence between 2009 and 2011 took, on average, more than three years to complete. The study concluded that life with parole and life without parole cases took 2 to 2 1/2 years, respectively.

In a Friday media release, the ACLU called for further study on the issue. The group plans to advocate for a moratorium on the state's death penalty during the 2013 Legislature.

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