When I examined the cost of Florida’s death penalty many years ago, I concluded that seeing a death sentence through to execution costs at least six times as much as a life sentence. A more recent study by a federal commission pegged the difference in the costs of the trials at eight times as much. Duke University professor Philip J. Cook studied North Carolina’s system and concluded that the Tar Heel State could save $11 million per year by abolishing the death penalty. California’s system incurs excess costs estimated at some $200 million per year . From Kansas to Maryland , Tennessee to Pennsylvania , studies have all reached similar conclusions.
The October 2017 term has begun. On Monday, the Supreme Court released additional orders from the September 25 conference. The court called for the views of the solicitor general in three cases: Sudan v. Harrison , Virginia Uranium v. Warren and Washington Department of Licensing v. Cougar Den, Inc . Also on Monday, the court heard oral argument in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis and Sessions v. Dimaya . The court will hear oral argument again on Tuesday and Wednesday, beginning at 10 . both days. The calendar for the October sitting is available on the court's website . On Friday the justices will meet for their October 6 conference; our list of "petitions to watch" for that conference will be available soon.