Elie Wiesel (Nobel Peace Prize winner, Jewish) explored this topic emotionally and philosophically in a short work entitled Dawn, the second in a trilogy. This piece is a work of fiction.
He asks “how can we break the cycle of violence…does murder call for murder…?”
The book is told in the first person and his character ends up executing a captive, in retribution for a string of murders. But, before that happens, one of the climactic quandries he confronts is what he will become if he executes the hostage. He spends an almost sleepless night before it happens. Part of what pushes him over the line to do the execution was that he (fictionally) was chosen for just this purpose.
It sort of kicks the can down the road and leads implicitly to the question of conscientious objection.