Prison costs and the death penalty

On Friday, Oct. 31 Justin Bourque was sentenced to 75 years without parole for murdering three RCMP officers.

On Friday, Oct. 31 Justin Bourque was sentenced to 75 years without parole for murdering three RCMP officers, the most severe punishment since the last execution of murderers in 1962.

The death penalty was abolished in Canada in 1976. Currently there are about 33,440 incarcerated adult prisoners, of which 12-13 per cent are for violent crimes. For comparison purposes, the current cost for a decent senior care home is about $7,000 per month. At that comparison rate, it will cost Canadian taxpayers approximately $6.3 million dollars to keep Bourque in prison for 75 years.

There are other incarcerated murderers as well. Total cost statistics for these current individuals is not readily available. However, it is important to remember that it is far too easy to simply ignore the consequences inherent in the abolition of the death penalty 48 years ago.

Jack BiickertParksville

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