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In the past ten years I’ve roamed virtually every highway throughout the Death Belt, from North Carolina to Texas. === He may have been only fifteen years old, but he was a tough kid who had seen it all. Battle-hardened in the ways of gangs, drugs, and violence. He hated me and everyone else with white skin. === As a criminal defense lawyer, I was already sick of the question “ How can you represent a person you know to be guilty? ” I had always offered the standard law school response of,” Well, everyone has the right to a proper defense. The Constitution says so. ” But I no longer believed that. The truth is that there are some crimes that are so heinous and cruel that the killer should either be ( 1 ) put to death, if one believes in the death penalty, or ( 2 ) put away for life, if one does not believe in the death penalty .