"Admittedly, my analysis of the case enables the respondent to obtain a double benefit from his youth. That he was barely 17 years old when he committed the offense is itself a mitigating circumstance; it also serves to shield any earlier misbehavior from scrutiny when his life is at stake. I believe, however, that such a double benefit is entirely appropriate when a State seeks to take the life of a young person. To deny that benefit undermines important protections that the law has traditionally provided to youthful offenders because of their lesser moral culpability and greater potential for rehabilitation. It is doubly disturbing that the Court act, summarily in this case, thus expediting the execution of a defendant who, I firmly believe, should not be eligible for the death penalty at all."
Youthful offender quotation
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