Lack of Records, Cost Analysis Hinders Death Penalty Study

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- State officials studying capital punishment in Tennessee say they can't figure out the overall cost of the death penalty because there's no comprehensive system for tracking costs.

Furthermore, a study of capital punishment cases in Tennessee since 1977 shows that nearly a quarter have files missing.

These files are used by higher courts to judge the fairness and proportionality of how the death penalty is applied in first-degree murder cases.

The administrative director for the state Administrative Office of the Courts will appear before lawmakers and others studying the death penalty this week to address criticism regarding the lack of records and missing files.

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