OFFICE OF FISCAL ANALYSIS

Legislative Office Building, Room 5200

Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 240-0200

http: //www. cga. ct. gov/ofa

sSB-280

AN ACT REVISING THE PENALTY FOR CAPITAL FELONIES.

OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 13 $

FY 14 $

Pub. Defender Serv. Com.

GF - Savings

700,000

700,000

Criminal Justice, Div.

GF - Savings

150,000

150,000

Correction, Dept.

GF - Savings

See Below

See Below

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

Summary

The bill eliminates the death penalty as a sentencing option for crimes committed on or after the bill's effective date. Repeal of the death penalty will result in savings of up to $850,000 beginning in FY 13 due to reduced litigation costs.

The table below details savings in FY 13/14 as a result of repeal of the death penalty.

FY 13/14 Savings

Agency

Savings

Public Defenders Service Commission

$700,000

Division of Criminal Justice

$150,000

Total Savings

$850,000

Total future annual savings that could be achieved for the Public Defenders and Division of Criminal Justice after current death row inmates have exhausted appeals, settled cases, or are executed total approximately $5 million. The full amount of these savings would not be achieved for several years, as litigation and appeals would continue for offenders currently on death row or facing the death penalty.

In addition, the Department of Correction will realize savings of approximately $455,000 per inmate for each future murder with special circumstance case.

The following table outlines future out year savings.

Future Savings

Agency

Savings

Public Defenders Service Commission

$3,834,000/year

Division of Criminal Justice

$1,200,000/year

Department of Corrections

$455,000/inmate

FY 13/14 Savings

Public Defender Services Commission

The Public Defender Services Commission would experience savings of approximately $700,000 beginning in FY 13 due to a reduction in litigation costs. These savings would occur mainly from staffing and expert witnesses.

Public Defender Services Commission

Expert Witnesses

$400,000

Special Public Defenders

$300,000

Total Savings

$700,000

Division of Criminal Justice

The Division of Criminal Justice would experience savings of approximately $150,000 beginning in FY 13 due to reduced litigation costs.

Division of Criminal Justice

Expert Witnesses

$150,000

Total Savings

$150,000

The Out Years

Public Defender Services and Division of Criminal Justice

The annualized savings for Public Defenders and Division of Criminal Justice would continue to increase each year until all current death row inmates have exhausted their appeals, settled the case, or have been executed. This is likely to take over 18 years (based on the most recent inmate execution timeline). Full annual savings would be approximately $5 million per year and would include closure of the Public Defender Services Commission's Capital Defense Unit.

Public Defender Services Commission

Personal Services

$2,500,000

Other Expenses

$29,000

Expert Witnesses

$660,000

Special Public Defenders

$645,000

Total Savings

$3,834,000

Division of Criminal Justice

Personal Services

$1,050,000

Expert Witnesses

$150,000

Total Savings

$1,200,000

Department of Correction

The bill results in out year future savings of approximately $455,000 in costs to the Department of Correction for each murder with special circumstances case.

Department of Correction Impact (per inmate)

Cost for Death Penalty

$1,728,340

Cost to Incarcerate an Inmate for Life

$1,273,566

Difference (Savings from the bill)

$454,774

The following chart outlines the costs associated with the most recent prisoner execution.

Department of Correction Death Penalty Cost

Cost

$

Incarceration

1,412,340

Execution

316,000

Total Cost of death penalty per offender

1,728,340

The analysis assumes, based on the most recent prisoner executed in Connecticut, each death row inmate will spend approximately 18 years on death row at Northern Correctional Institute. The average cost to incarcerate an inmate at Northern CI is $78,463. Additionally, the Department of Correction incurred $316,000 in costs for the most recent execution.

The average age of the offender at the time of the offense for the population currently on death row is 26. Assuming the average life expectancy of a prisoner is 681, each future offender under this bill would serve 42 years in prison. The cost for incarcerating a prisoner in a level 4 facility is $30,323. Over 42 years, it would cost the state approximately $1. 3 million to house each offender.

Sources:

Journal of Urban Health

1 Population Impact of Mass Incarceration under New York's Rockefeller Drug Laws: An Analysis of Years of Life Lost” Journal of Urban Health: 79: 3, September 2002.