With Florida’s case against Casey Anthony for allegedly killing her daugher, Caylee, set to become a death penalty trial, the costs could soar, says the Orlando Sentinel. Because the stakes are so high, attorneys file more motions, conduct more research, and interview more witnesses. The trials also take more time. The possibility of execution promises to prolong and complicate the trial, scheduled tentatively for October. “It can make the case 10 times more expensive. It’s a very complex issue that has to be litigated by both sides,” said Kevin McNally of the Kentucky-based Federal Death Penalty Project.
In 2006, defending three killers who beat six people to death in another Florida case cost more than $1.37 million. Two defendants got the death penalty; the third got life in prison without parole. At least $52,000 was spent on mental-health evaluations. The time prosecutors put in on death penalty cases is “three to 10 times as much,” said Richard Dieter of the Death Penalty Information Center, which opposes executions. “Time is worth something.  That means they won’t be spending it doing something else.”