First - thanks to Reliapundit for letting me join in! I'll start with a little commentary about the death penalty - it will lead into some posts I intend to transmit in the near future regarding the larger issues such as WWIV - aka the GWOT.
Maybe you've heard of Angilo Freedland? He's a - a criminal who supposedly killed a sheriffs deputy and a K9. When the law caught up to him they filled him with 68 rounds out of 110 fired - thats all they had according to one officer: "I suspect the only reason 110 rounds was all that was fired was that's all the ammunition they had," Judd said. "We were not going to take any chance of him shooting back."
Well - in principle I don't think the state should have the power to irrevocably take someone's life...but the state may need to take life to save lives: preventing terrorism is one example. If the authorities are corrupt then citizens are in danger no matter how well the laws are written. On the otherhand - as long as the officers are just in their actions, then perhaps we should not bemoan the fact that they may have circumvented the judicial process.