Sister Tracey Horan at a protest demonstration.

Sister Tracey Horan at a protest demonstration.

Since 1973, when states began sentencing people to death under new capital punishment statutes, there have been 8,300 death sentences through the end of 2011.

The bill to U.S. taxpayers for those sentences amounts to almost $25 billion, a staggering sum for the 85 percent of the United States counties that have not had a single case resulting in an execution.

If this cost is divided by the number of executions during that time, the result is that taxpayers are doling out almost $20 million per execution.

Instead of one execution, states could pay the salaries of more than 250 more police officers or teachers for a year at $75,000 each.

— Information courtesy of The 2 percent Death Penalty