Cost of the death penalty: $4 billion

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We've got a great budget cut for you, Guv

Since 1978, California has spent more than $4 billion to execute a grand total of 13 people. The cost per killing: $308 million.

That's the results of a new study reported in the L.A. Times. Among the findings:

The state's 714 death row prisoners cost $184 million more per year than those sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

A death penalty prosecution costs up to 20 times as much as a life-without-parole case.

The least expensive death penalty trial costs $1.1 million more than the most expensive life-without-parole case.

Jury selection in a capital case runs three to four weeks longer and costs $200,000 more than in life-without-parole cases.

The state pays up to $300,000 for attorneys to represent each capital inmate on appeal.

The heightened security practices mandated for death row inmates added $100,663 to the cost of incarcerating each capital prisoner last year, for a total of $72 million.

Wow, is this ever a great way to spend public money.

I wonder when the state's official cheapskate, Gov. Jerry Brown, will come to his senses and announce a moratorium on executions and commute all the existing sentences to life without parole.