January 8, 2014 By Wallin & Klarich

If you are convicted of murder in Riverside County, there’s a chance that you will be sentenced to death. Despite only having the fourth-largest population in California, Riverside County ranked second in the nation for the number of death sentences handed down in 2012, according to a recently-released report by the Death Penalty Information Center.

If you are facing charges of murder in Riverside, it is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you avoid the ultimate penalty.

Is Riverside County Misusing the Death Penalty?


In 2012, only Los Angeles County sentenced more convicts to the death penalty than Riverside County. However, Riverside County has a population of 2 million residents whereas L.A. County has a population of over 10 million and a high murder rate.

Riverside County ranked fifth in the nation for the number of inmates that are sitting on death row as of January 2013, according to the report. L.A. County topped the list with 228 inmates on death row while Riverside had 76.

The math doesn’t add up when a county that is significantly smaller than L.A. finishes right behind it in the amount of death sentences handed down. The higher number of death sentences can only be attributed to an overzealous district attorney pursuing the most severe punishment in homicide cases.

Costs of the Death Penalty

Much of the cost that stems from imposing the death penalty is absorbed at the state and federal level. In California, the death penalty costs an estimated $184 million each year, according to a report by 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Arthur L. Alarcon and Loyola Law School professor Paula M. Mitchell.

California voters rejected legislation that would have put an end to capital punishment in 2012. According to the report by Alarcon and Mitchell, about $71 million goes to incarcerating death row inmates in California each year. Many inmates sit on death row for decades. Additionally, death penalty trials tie up the county’s courtrooms and are expensive to defend.

Does it make sense for the entire state of California to pay for the sentences handed down in Riverside County? While citizens voted to keep implementing the death penalty, it should be reserved for the most heinous crimes. Considering no execution has taken place since 2006, it seems as if the death penalty is failing to serve its purpose.

Wallin & Klarich Can Help You if You are Charged with Murder in Riverside County

If you are being charged with murder in Riverside, you need to contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich immediately. Our skilled Riverside criminal defense attorneys have been successfully defending persons accused of murder and other crimes for over 30 years. We can make the difference in your case.

With offices located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, Victorville, Torrance and Sherman Oaks, there is a skilled and knowledgeable Wallin & Klarich attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.

Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free telephone consultation. We will be there when you call.

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