Some states, such as my home state of Virginia, require “special circumstances” for those who commit premediated murder to be eligible for the death penalty. Those circumstances often include requirements that the person commit multiple murders, or that the murder occur during a robbery, or that the victim be a police officer, or that the victim be a child under the age of 14. But I think anyone convicted of the premeditated murder of an innocent person should be eligible for the death penalty. The principle of equal protection under law demands we ignore at least those latter two circumstances. By making exceptions for children and police officers, the law is designating everyone else as expendable, in a de facto manner. Why designate anyone as expendable? Like everyone else, I am angered by the senseless murders of children or police officers, and I don't want those who commit such crimes to get anything less than paying the eliminate price. But I also don't want someone to feel free to murder me because my life is more expendable than that of a child or a police officer.