For teens guilty of murder, penalties can vary widely

Review finds no pattern in young killers’ terms since Mass. law change

One 16-year-old went looking for marijuana at a Brookline High School graduation party and shot the guest of honor in the chest when he got a racial slur instead. The other 16-year-old stabbed a man 23 times inside his Springfield apartment, returning the next day to steal things from the victim’s home as his body lay nearby.

Both crimes were horrific, but the punishments were strikingly different. The teen convicted in Springfield, Edgardo Rodriguez, accepted a plea deal for the 2004 killing of Joel Rivera Delgado that allows him to potentially walk free within the next decade.

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