Cash-strapped state governments are considering doing away with the death penalty because executions cost too much, the New York Times is reporting.
Maryland, Montana and New Mexico are said to be close to approving legislation to ban executions. And Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and New Hampshire are considering similar legislation.
An overheard conversation in a Maryland penitentiary (mostly in my head):
Convicted murderer: “So I guess this it, huh? You’re going to execute me.”
Corrections official: “Oh, no. Killing somebody costs a lot of money. Frankly, we’re amazed you could afford to do it.”
Convicted murderer: “Yeah, well I did take out a federal loan. And I saved a bit on my own.”
Corrections official: “Thought it had to be something like that. If we could get some of that bailout money, you’d be toast.”
Convicted murderer: “Whew! That’s a relief! So what you gonna do instead?”
Corrections official: “Well, basically house you, feed you, clothe you and give you free health care. That oughta teach you a lesson.”
Convicted murderer: “I feel smarter already.”