Last updated on: 9/14/2011 | Author:

Paula M. Mitchell, JD Biography

Adjunct Professor of Law at Loyola Law School
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should the Death Penalty Be Legal?"

“Our research has revealed that $4 billion of state and federal taxpayer money has been expended administering the death penalty in California since 1978, with a cost in 2009 of approximately $184 million above what taxpayers would have spent without the death penalty… These totals do not include the additional funds the state is poised to spend to maintain the current broken system…

In cases in which a defendant faces a maximum penalty of life without the possibility of parole, rather than the death penalty, there is no penalty phase trial at all. Thus, the government would not incur these costly expenditures if the death penalty were abolished…

The costs associated with death penalty trials that took place between 1983 and 2006 averaged about $1 million more per trial than the costs of average non–death penalty homicide trials. This conclusion is also supported by the fact that there are several significant, easily identifiable costs incurred in every death penalty trial that are not incurred in non–death penalty homicide.”

Cowritten with Arthur L. Alarcon, JD, “Executing the Will of the Voters?: A Roadmap to Mend or End the California Legislature’s Multi-Billion-Dollar Death Penalty Debacle,” Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, June 2011

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Adjunct Professor, Law, Loyola Law School
  • Member, American Society of International Law
  • Former Associate, McDermott Will & Emery LLP
  • Law Clerk, Honorable Arthur L. Alarcón, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Sep. 2005-Sep. 2006
  • Law Clerk, Honorable Erithe A. Smith, United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth Circuit, Mar. 2004-Sep. 2005
  • JD, Loyola Law School, 2002
  • MA, International History, London School of Economics, 1988
  • BA, French, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 1987
  • None found