You know, there is a precedent for Brenda's action -- that is, she'd done it before. In an earlier episode, Brenda was hot on the trail of a rapist-murderer when a lawman from Texas (I forget his rank) showed up looking for the same guy, who'd committed a whole series of rape-murders in Texas. Brenda was not about to turn over her suspect to the Texas authorities, but she was able to use the lawman's presence as leverage to get a confession. The killer could confess and be tried in California, which had had about a dozen executions in the last 35 years. Or he could not confess and be tried in Texas, which still has the highest execution rate of any state in the country. He confessed. The lawman told Brenda that since the killer wouldn't be going back to Texas, maybe she could use his evidence to help get a conviction and handed her a folder containing photographs of the Texas victims. Brenda was so horrified by what the guy had done to those women that she let the lawman take him. His exit line: "I sure played that one right!"

So she sent that guy to his death just as surely as she did T-Bone. Both of them were scum of the earth, but Brenda overstepped her bounds when she played judge-and-jury. The question then is whether that weighs more heavily than the fact that she gets the job done. How highly valued is she in that politically charged situation where she works?

Incidentally, this coming November California will be voting on the proposed abolition of the death sentence.