Let me just interject my two cents here.
First of all, I wholheartedly echo the sentiment of Ikarus here.
Second, when you say he had tears coming down his face, and showed remorse, I'd bet my left testicle that he only felt sorry for being caught and watching his life go down the drain.
Third, I will go to my grave and never, EVER believe that someone "doesn't know right from wrong", or suffers from "temporary insanity".
Those are both copouts, and are feeble excuses for feeble people.
If criminals don't know right from wrong as they contend, why do so many of them go to great lengths to avoid capture such as high speed pursuits, wearing ski masks, and so on?
They know exactly what they are doing.
Lastly, why not make an example out of this kid?
Tell me one good reason why we sholdn't.
I think that he should be incarcerated for life, and for two reasons.
First, as stated above, it will send a message to the rest of the community.
Second, if we only lock him up for 10 or 15 years, that means he won't get out until he's in his late 20's or early 30's.
What is he going to do with his life? He never finished high school, so he probably won't even have sufficent skills to succeed in any college or vocational schools. How will he support himself?
Not only that, but he will also have missed the "windows" for some important development stages in life.
he will not have graduated high school. he will not have gone to the prom. he will not experience the excitement of getting his drivers license, or turning the critical ages of 18 and 21 and the respective rights and responsibilities that come with the passing of those ages. He will have had virtually no interaction with any of his peers. So his social skills will be nil or nonexistant.
Add it all up, and you have an individual who is now all but guaranteed to be a repeat offender, who will be returning through the jail systems again and again.
Face it. As an productive individual of society, this kid has been written off. He has already sealed his own fate.
Why not do all of us a favor and just keep him locked up? That way, any of his potential future victims (assault, robbery, etc.) will be spared, and we can save the expenses occurred from repeat litgation.