This is totally off the cuff, because I don't know who you're talking about, but it's likely that the man who received 40 life sentences was convicted in one of our 15 states that doesn't have the death penalty.
As for the fairness of the "light" punishment of life imprisonment, I guess I don't have much to say about that, except that as long as it keeps the criminal from committing the same crime again than it's okay with me.
I used to never believe the death penalty was justified. Ever. It is administered poorly and and mostly poor people with bad lawyers get this sentence.
Then I think of Ted Bundy who actually killed a girl on my campus at college; and then I am conflicted. I am glad he was executed and as he had escaped from prison twice and had killed again ....I just don't know.
And then there was Gary Ridgeway the Green River Killer who was not executed because he confessed to all his crimes. Was it because his victims were mostly prostitutes instead of college girls? I don't know.
And why does it seem (anecdotal as I have no facts) that those who are against abortion most vociferously are also for the death penalty for the most part. So you have unwanted children and damage them until they become killers and then kill them?
I believe that serious sexual psychopaths who can not be cured or reformed should never be paroled or released. If that cannot be guarenteed then execute them. Because they are a danger to everyone. But that is opinion, not logical or resonable. Pure emotion.
So I guess I just don't know.
I'm against death penalty, because it seems to me like an easy way out. If I knew I was guilty, and go to prison for the rest of my life, I would want to die. So to punish me, you would have to do the opposite... This is for USA. For Islamic country's I'm against it, because their punishments are just horrible and mostly for stupid religieus reasons.
I remember a few years ago a man was put to death because he was found guilty of setting his house on fire and killing his children. It was on the news after his execution that the official ruling on the fire was accidental and not arson. One member of the jury was horrified that they sent this man to die, when he was likely innocent. This poor man's children died, then he spent over a decade in prison, and he was put to death. I think of how his parents must have felt, they lost their grandchildren and then a son.
There are many other people that were put to death only to be vindicated and found innocent after death. This should not happen, not ever.