The Union Leader article citing the amount spent to date on Addison’s death penalty case. Note that the amount was under $1 million, but could double or triple by the end of the case. The appeals process will certainly cost more over many years. By hearsay, this cost to persue the death penalty will be far greater than the cost of life in prison without parole.
Read it here. Full text below as nothing lives forever on the Union Leader site:
By KATHRYN MARCHOCKI
New Hampshire Union Leader Staff
Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2008
MANCHESTER – Nearly $978,000 has been allocated to date for the capital murder case against Michael K. “Stix” Addison and requests for more money likely will be made before Addison stands trial in September for allegedly killing a Manchester police officer, attorneys involved in the case said.
Addison, 27, pleaded innocent to shooting bicycle patrol officer Michael L. Briggs, 35, once in the head Oct. 16, 2006. Briggs died the next day. If convicted, Addison could face the death penalty.
The New Hampshire Public Defender Office, which represents Addison, will have spent about $530,000 in attorney salaries, investigators and office costs alone by the end of the fiscal year on June 30, the office’s executive director Christopher Keating said.
In addition, the court so far has approved another $27,935 for experts, forensic analysis and other special services for Addison’s defense, New Hampshire Judicial Council executive director Nina Gardner said.
Keating estimates this figure “could double or even triple” by the time Addison’s trial ends.
Meanwhile, the Attorney General’s Office has hired two attorneys, a paralegal and a part-time secretary and purchased computer software with the $420,000 a legislative fiscal committee gave it in October 2006 to cover the extra cost of prosecuting a capital murder case, Attorney General Kelly A. Ayotte said.
Her office so far has spent $270,714 from this fund and expects to ask the committee for more money before the case goes to trial, she said.
This does not include the cost of the multiple, salaried state prosecutors who have been preparing the case for trial and litigating numerous pre-trial issues, many related to defense challenges to the constitutionality of the state’s death penalty statute, Ayotte said. Many of these attorneys work on other cases and it’s difficult to track time spent exclusively on the capital murder case, she said.
“Certainly, this is an intense case,” Ayotte said. She estimated about eight lawyers work on the case at any one time.
“We pool our collective knowledge and experience on it,’” she explained.
The newly-hired attorneys are doing work that frees up more experienced homicide prosecutors to work full-time or devote most of their time to the Briggs’ case, she said.
In addition to state prosecutors, Hillsborough County attorneys have won two convictions against Addison in a shooting and armed robbery that occurred within days of Briggs’ murder. Addison will face trial in another armed hold up Feb. 19.
The county cases are directly related to the capital murder case because the state alleges they are aggravating factors that support its decision to seek the death penalty, Ayotte said.
Addison’s defense costs are being paid through the New Hampshire Judicial Fund, a state agency that handles all indigent defense costs and gets it funding from the state’s general fund, Gardner said. The agency funds the public defender office. It also funds all court-approved requests for other services, she said.