Death Eligible

I was in court recently on an 88 defendant gang case in Federal Court in Los Angeles. The judge asked the U.S. attorney how many of the defendants were “death-eligible.” The U.S. attorney responded that they were waiting from approval from Washington D.C. on 9 of the defendants. It struck me that this prosecutor who seems like a very nice guy is a murderer. He is going to ask a jury to kill 9 of the people who were sitting in that courtroom and the United States government was going to give him the authority to do that. The judge, who is also a very nice judge, seemed completely unphased by the whole procedure. How can we as a nation condone killing when we’re trying to punish people for killing? Where is the logic in that?