by Arlen Parsa
Ahhh, something tells me this isn’t a good idea:
For someone convicted of endangering the welfare of a child, for instance, a judge might now learn that a three-year prison sentence would run more than $37,000 while probation would cost $6,770. A second-degree robber, a judge could be told, would carry a price tag of less than $9,000 for five years of intensive probation, but more than $50,000 for a comparable prison sentence and parole afterward. download splode for iphone onlineThe bill for a murderer’s 30-year prison term: $504,690.
Legal experts say no other state systematically provides such information to judges, a practice put into effect here last month by the state’s sentencing advisory commission, an appointed board that offers guidance on criminal sentencing.
The practice has touched off a sharp debate.
It has been lauded nationally by a disparate group of defense lawyers and fiscal conservatives, who consider it an overdue tool that will force judges to ponder alternatives to prison more seriously.
The Times wonders, without any sense of irony, “Might a decision between life in prison and a death sentence be decided some day by price comparison?” I say irony because it’s been shown again an again that death penalty cases are far more expensive than non-death penalty ones.