Originally Posted by BobbyBangin
It's a business. The United States spends and average of $40,000.00 a year to incarcerate an inmate. I live much cheaper than that each year with much nicer amenities than a prisoner receives. The government spends an average of $8,000.00 to educate each elementary student. Citizen taxes and the federal government fund housing for state prisoners. Prisoners are a cash crop for state governments. That's why they will send a guy to prison who owes over $5,000 in child support so they can be funded the $40,000.00. There's also groups who are proactively advocating for marijuana to be illegal only on the basis of the funds they receive to treat people like criminals who aren't engaged in any criminal activity. Most people don't care until it happens to them or somebody close to them. People are reduced to a number so the government can get paid. So now you should understand why somebody will spend 10-20 years on death row before they are killed. There's and average of something like 60,000 - 80,000 people falsely incarcerated each year in the United States by overzealous prosecutors looking to build their career and case load as well as provide funding for the executive and judicial branches of the legal system at the expense of others. The legal system in the United States needs some serious reformation.
This is not exactly accurate. Most prisons are privately owned. They are not run or owned in any way by the US Government. Its the Federal prisons they run. The Government actually is the one paying out per prisoner (well the tax payers technically). The privately owned prisons then use their inmates to work at pennies to the dollar. Then in turn take those (basically slaves) workers and undercut contract bids and pocket a boat load of cash (watch The Shawshank Redemption for a small idea of what im talking about). The Government does make out of course because they can pay a ton less for those contracts.
But your overall point was dead on. Prisons are a cash crop so keeping them alive makes more money than putting them to death.
To answer the OP question, it would be cheaper for the taxpayers to have them put to death than to keep them alive in prison forever.