digtriad.com: Why Death Penalty Trials Last So Long

“Freedman said an average homicide trial could last a week, while a death penalty trial could last up to five weeks.

Freedman said the difference in time has everything to do with the possibility of a death sentence.

Background checks, psychological testing and several experts add to the cost of a death penalty trial. Freedman said when someone’s life is on the line, everyone goes out of their way to make sure no stone is left unturned.

This will also affect jury selection. Freedman said if a potential juror would automatically give a death penalty sentence, or the person is vehemently against the death penalty, attorneys will more than likely pull them from the jury selection. That adds time and cost to the trial.

If the defendant is found guilty, there will be a second phase for sentencing. Freedman said a death penalty trial is the only time a jury determines sentencing.

Freedman also said a homicide trial is expensive, but you can multiply that by five for a capital case. One reason is because the defendant will automatically receive two attorneys for his defense team. These trials could be upwards of $200,000 when it’s all over.”

Video available here:  Why Death Penalty Trials Last So Long.


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