Conservatives who oppose the death penalty do so for a multitude of reasons. Libertarians believe it is not the government’s place to kill people, social conservatives can’t square killing people on one hand and arguing against killing the unborn on the other, while uniting all of these strands is a basic distrust that the government can get it right.
Since 1973, 166 people across the country have been exonerated from death row, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, many of them decades after being sent there.
In addition to the well-documented racial inequities, the death penalty is increasingly geographically concentrated. A 2013 DPIC study found that 2% of the counties in the United States account for a majority of the country’s death sentences since 1976, due to applicable laws, prosecutorial discretion and other factors.
However, entire states are on the hook for the bill once that person moves onto death row, and that ends up more expensive than life without parole.