“’I was angry’ is not a reason to kill someone,” Emery muttered as he set aside the wand to begin writing his report. “It’s an emotion that some people feel as they kill someone. People get angry all the time and no one is killed.”

“Crimes of passion are very common,” Hassett said softly. “There’s never a real reason to kill someone. Even those who kill in self defense might have gotten by with non-lethal force, though self-defense is a reason that the court accepts as removing guilt.”

“So you’re saying that all killings are motivated by emotions, not reason?” Emery asked.

“Em, the folks who are cool and clinical when they kill someone are deranged. No sane person could do that. Even at war, the soldiers feel something when they take a life,” Hassett explained.

“Have you been to war?” Emery asked softly.

“No, but I’ve been under fire as a warden and they say the conditions are similar,” Hassett shrugged and left the boy alone to think.