We get that all the time here too. I saw it so often I actually sat down with my friend and made up a list of sob story excuses.
I don't know where the list is but I'll bet we can recreate it here. I'll start:
1- He was a good kid.
2- He would never hurt anybody.
3-He loved his family.
4-He loved his kids.
5-He was good to his Mom.
6-He did not mean to hurt anybody.
7-It was the drugs.
8-He ran around with the wrong crowd.
9-They could have used mace.
10-They could have tasered him.
11-They could have shot him in the leg.
12-They could have called the police.
13-He was always happy, or smiling, or joking around.
Add your excuse here...
14-He or she was not have enough attention from mom and/or dad as a child.
15-He or she was had too much attention from mom and/or dad as a child.
16-His or her mom or dad left when they were very young.
Waiting for the day to award the "Honest Parent of the Year Award", for admitting the truth to the media;
1) "Yup, he/she F**KED UP now. Hope he/she learns from it."
2) "I guess time out doesn't really work."