As I write this, the jury in the case of accused sniper Lee Boyd Malvo is beginning its first day of deliberations. I am wondering if the verdict in this one will come as quickly as in the case of convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad. I am glad Malvo had a strong defense, and I must say his lawyers made a good case–for the prosecution. They spent five days trying to convince the jury that Malvo was innocent by reason of insanity. The most astounding bit of evidence his lawyers introduced was Malvo’s jailhouse drawings. The Washington Post reported that the drawings showed a sense of “personal failure, alienation.” Golly, I thought they showed a cold-blooded killer with a vicious political philosophy that is a mismash of home-grown jihadism and racism. One of the drawings was a Star of David caught in the cross hairs of a gun. The caption: “WANTED DEAD. True terrorirst fight to destroy oppression.” Does that sound like a crazy, mixed-up kid to you?

I am an ardent believer in the death penalty. I do not believe in it as a deterrent (though I think it deters) but as justice in heinous cases. Nevertheless, I’ve often wondered if I could vote for the death penalty. I don’t think you have the right to be for it if you couldn’t apply it. (No, it’s not true–I don’t have a “Fry ’Em” bumper sticker.) I think I could in the Malvo case. It should be hard to apply the death penalty–it’s an awesome thing to take somebody’s life. But I think I could in the Malvo case. I am eagerly awaiting the jury’s decision.