A study found that death penalty prosecution in California costs up to 20 times as much as a life-without-parole case.

Federal judge Arthur L. Alarcon and Loyal law professor Paula. M. Mitchell's findings are reported in Executing the Will of the Voters: A Roadmap to Mend or End the California Legislature's Multi-Billion-Dollar Death Penalty Debacle.

A bombshell revelation in the study is that ever since California reinstated capital punishment in 1978, taxpayers shelled out over $4 billion for related costs. This comes out to some $308 million per execution for the 13 executions carried out since.

Reviews of state, federal and local expenditures for capital cases which were carried out over three years, found that capital trials, security on death row and legal representation adds $184 million to costs each year and predicts that costs will increase to $9 billion by 2030 when San Quentin's death row would have increased beyond 1,000.

More interesting findings will be published next week in Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review.