A kid will spend his life in prison at high public expense for a shooting he DIDN'T do, where the victim who didn't die or even need surgery doesn't want to press charges.
END OF STORY
All of the winking implications that he "deserves" it because he "didn't focus on 10th grade" or used words like "dog" or talked tough to his cellmate in prison... DISGUSTING.
The article admits he's in one of the roughest prisons in the US, where talking tough to other inmates to establish your capacity for violence is prison survival 101.
Prosecutor's wildly abused their power to score points with ignorant voters seething with rage for racial caricatures.
The rest of us tend to stand by and let this happen, dehumanizing people with labels like "thug." Judge people by what they do.
Being an annoying kid who does dumb things like hang out with guys who have done worse stuff than you is a stage tons of young people go through and grow out of.
Talk about "the law requires us to punish him like this" is both false and deeply immoral.
I've known scores of white suburban "wannabe gangsters," there is no way any of them would have faced more than a slap on the wrist for being tangentially involved in a birdshot attack like this.
And the purpose of law is to serve justice, whether by aiding/protecting society in general or bringing closure to the victim. It should be obvious his conviction fails on all these counts.