Brogan Rafferty, the 16-year-old Ohio boy accused of helping 52-year-old Richard Beasley kill at least two men who responded to online employment advertisements, has written to a relative that he hopes a deal can be reached with prosecutors that allows him to leave prison by the time he is 42 years old.
Obviously, prosecutors and judges in the case need to take Rafferty's youth into consideration in prosecuting and sentencing him.
But if he is guilty, no deal should be approved without a stipulation Rafferty cannot be released before it is proven beyond any doubt he is no longer a threat to society.
Simply locking Rafferty up for a quarter-century and assuming he will have matured enough to leave prison a law-abiding man is not enough. If he is guilty, Rafferty has committed terrible crimes. The public deserves assurances he will not return to that way of life upon release.