Missouri Senate panel mulls death penalty study

A Missouri senator wants the state auditor to analyze the cost of the death penalty.

Democratic Sen. Joe Keaveny of St. Louis, presented the measure Wednesday to a Senate panel.

The legislation would require the state auditor to compile a report comparing the costs of capital punishment with the costs of a life prison sentence. The report would also include a cost estimate of cases where the death penalty was sought, but ultimately not carried out.

Supporters said the measure could lead to a discussion on whether the death penalty is an appropriate use of state money. No one testified in opposition to Keaveny's bill at the hearing.

The auditor's analysis would cost an estimated $170,000 over two years and would be due to lawmakers in 2015.