EMIce writes "The New York Times Op-Ed page has a piece entitled Worse Than Death (Obnoxious but free registration required) that calls for harsher 'hacker' penalties as a deterrent, quoting one academic as recommending even well, the death penalty - as a deterrent for the likes of Sasser author Sven Jaschan. Let's face it, businesses are becoming more dependent on their computers but they continue to be a point of failure, and subsequently, frustration through lost profits. Perpetrated breakdowns are now pushing that aggravation towards an edge. The author suggests commuting the idea of a death sentence into a lifetime of servitude doing viral cleanup. What role should enforcement play in such cases and is this too harsh, even considering the billions in damage that is sometimes caused?"