While prosecutors debate whether to seek the death penalty for Susan Smith, people around the country are sending money to make sure they can afford to.

Trying to send Smith to Death Row for drowning her two young sons would be expensive, and county officials already are worried that her trial will bust their $60,000 Circuit Court budget.But people repulsed by the crime are reaching for their checkbooks.

Bosworth, Mo., population 335, sent in $270 "from a little town that cares." A Columbus, Ga., woman mailed $20. In all, $495 has been donated for Smith's prosecution, Circuit Court Clerk June Miller said Wednesday.

Officials have asked the state attorney general to rule whether they can use the money.

Smith, 23, is awaiting trial for the murders of her sons, 3-year-old Michael and 14-month-old Alex.

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For nearly two weeks, she claimed a carjacker had forced her out of the vehicle and vanished with her children. But police say she eventually confessed to rolling her car into a lake on Oct. 25 while the boys were strapped into their safety seats.

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