Can the State kill someone for being a bad person? Consider the following Connecticut case: In 1997, Todd Rizzo, then eighteen years old, invited thirteen-year-old Stanley Edwards into his backyard, telling him that they would be hunting snakes. Once there, Rizzo straddled Edwards, in Rizzo's words, "like a horse," and struck him thirteen times with a sledgehammer as the boy pleaded for his life. He dumped the dead body in the woods nearby. Rizzo's motive? While stationed in Hawaii less than a year before the murder, the members of Rizzo's Marine platoon had been asked to list their ten goals in life. The second goal on Rizzo's list was "to kill a man." An avid student of past serial killings, Rizzo told police after he was taken into custody that he had bludgeoned Edwards to death because he wanted to see what it felt like. He pleaded guilty to capital murder and was sentenced to death in August 1999.
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