When To KillFor most of my life I've supported the death penalty. I have no sympathy for killers and I see no moral contradiction in executing the most violent criminals. However, I have recently adopted the view that the death penalty just doesn't work. It's hard to justify the exorbitant cost and time expenditure of prosecuting a death penalty case and all the appeals that inevitably follow. Furthermore, the proportion of minorities on death row relative to their proportion among violent criminals suggest the death penalty is not applied fairly. If you have money, you can either get off or get a seriously reduced sentence—otherwise, you're scered. And finally, the very real possibility of executing an innocent person, especially in the face of the back log of unprocessed DNA evidence is just too big a risk. Life in prison is surely punishment enough for most violent criminals.

But then every once in a while, you come across people like this—teenagers who broke into the home of a 90 year old woman and beat her to death. All for a few bucks. Prison is too good a life for these monsters. When I hear news like this, I can't help but wish we weren't so civilized—because these two should be subjected to a very long, painful and public torturing before their executions.