From the Richmond Times Dispatch:
"I think the death penalty will be around for a long time," Wilkins said. "But I think you're going to see escalating costs." Those opposing the death penalty argue the money can be better spent elsewhere, he said.
"It costs a lot of money for the federal and the state governments to prosecute somebody for the death penalty," Wilkins said. In Florida, such cases average about $22 million, he said.
Wilkins, a former prosecutor, has been involved in 96 death-penalty cases as an attorney or judge. He is chief judge of the Richmond, Va.-based federal court that hears appeals of federal cases from the Carolinas, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.
He said while polls show a majority of Americans favor the death penalty, jurors impose capital punishment in only about 10 percent of death-penalty cases.