Missouri judges get cost details before sentencing

Tuesday, September 14, 2010 | 11:23 a.m. CDT

ST. LOUIS — Judges in Missouri are the first in the country to start seeing the price tag for the sentences they hand out.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Tuesday that Missouri judges are being given data about how much sentences for specific defendants will cost the state. The data also includes the likelihood the person will commit another crime.

Experts say they are not aware of other places where judges receive cost estimates calculated for specific cases before sentencing.

A prosecutor in St. Charles County says the cost data is irrelevant to deciding what sentence is just. But defense attorneys say it can bolster their argument for sentences other than prison time that can be more effective and less costly.


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