Luckily, I have never had to impose the death penalty. But, I review death penalty habeas cases and, not infrequently, find no room to spare the defendant. It is not enjoyable work.
Now, imagine you are an elected state prosecutor in a small town, say in Texas (or Nebraska). You have to decide whether to seek the death penalty. What type of a person, what kind of lawyer, do you want to make that decision? Before you answer, read this absolutely superb piece of writing by Maurice Chammah, To Kill? Or Not to Kill?As executions decline in Texas, a small-town prosecutor decides whether to seek the death penalty, Texas Observer (April 23, 2014).
PS. Great thanks to Southern Law Student (SLS) for the tip. By the way, I predict that SLS will become a really great lawyer, and a highly introspective one at that.