The justice system basically attempts to mete out punishment that fits the crime. Severe crimes result in imprisonment. ”Petty larceny” is not treated with the severity that is meted to “grand theft auto,” and the latter, consequently, receives more time in prison. So if severe—but non-lethal—violence toward another is found deserving of life without parole, then why should premeditated homicide be given the very same punishment? This fact might induce a would-be criminal to go ahead and kill the victim he has already mugged and crippled. Why would it matter, after all? His sentence could not get any worse.