This figure comes from the court side and the defense side. The articles have largely left out the cost from the state's end--in law enforcement and district attorney assets that could have been spent doing something other than this case.
|District Attorney Krueger|
The story we're not being told is that that $550,000 figure is largely attributable to poor state decision-making. I mean, they didn't even get a 1st degree verdict out of this case. Is anyone surprised? People simply do not walk into a nursing home and shoot a bunch of old people when they are in their right mind...
I imagine the cost of this case could have been avoided by an early plea to the same result--a lifetime in prison--that came at the end of this trial. That decision was one that rested with the state.
This experience is repeated again and again across the state. A 2009 study by Duke Professor Phil Cook found that N.C. could save more that $11 million a year if the state stopped seeking death. And that's just in defense costs.
This doesn't include prosecution, law enforcement and court resource--all of which could be used to have more cops on the street preventing crimes and more prosecution of other crimes.