Taxpayer cost for mass murderer Scott Dekraai’s case tops $2.5 million

If all goes as expected, the worst mass killer in Orange County history, Scott Dekraai, will be sentenced Friday, Sept. 22, to eight terms of life without parole, one term each for the people he fatally shot in Seal Beach six years ago.

But the sentence comes with a relatively high price tag after a judge rejected the death penalty and concluded local prosecutors and sheriff’s deputies had engaged in misconduct, according to records and interviews.

As of Sept. 6, the Dekraai case has cost taxpayers at least $2.5 million, according to an analysis by the Southern California News Group. That estimate would make the case more than twice as expensive as an average death penalty case – $1.08 million – from the date of arrest to sentencing, according to a 2011 study by a Loyola Law School professor and a senior federal appellate court judge.

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