JEFFERSON CITY (KMOX) – The death penalty in Missouri is again under scrutiny, and this time the concern is the cost.   A senate committee heard testimony from a number of people including the Deputy Director of the Missouri Public Defender System, Dan Gralike.

“I am personally familiar with one death prosecution. It had to be retried because because of various errors five times since 1992. I estimate the cost to the state to be well over three or four  million dollars simply for the cost of the public defender.” said Gralike.

A bill under consideration would have the state auditor study the cost of Missouri’s death penalty.   Republican Representative Stanley Cox testified some crimes deserve the death penalty and the option should not be eliminated.

“It’s not persuasive to me because I believe that having the death penalty is appropriate response to certain types of actions”  said Representative Cox.

Public defenders are currently involved with 34 death penalty cases.

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