One of the men who killed Kriss Donald was out of prison on early release when he murdered the Glasgow teenager.
Imran Shahid had been released from prison early
Imran Shahid was sentenced to 30 months in February 2003 for assault to danger of life and dangerous driving.
Shahid, 29, who had also been in prison for assault in 1995, was released after 15 months.
The Tories raised the issue at First Minister's Questions. However, Jack McConnell said it was not the day to make political points about the murder.
The first minister paid tribute to Angela Donald, the mother of the murdered schoolboy.
He said she had showed dignity in relying on the legal system to bring her son's killers to justice, and had been an example to others by standing up to a group of men who had terrorised the Pollokshields community.
"It is quite clear from the evidence given in court that they had a history and a track record of terrifying people locally so they didn't come forward and report them," he said.
"She has been an example to all of us today to not be involved in political point scoring over this court case, but instead to stand with that community and move on."
Ms Goldie joined Mr McConnell in praising Kriss's mother. However, she insisted she was right to raise the issue of automatic early release with him.
She described the 15-year-old's killers as "sadistic thugs" and said Imran Shahid had been jailed for two and a half years in September 2002 after he "viciously attacked an innocent woman".
Kriss Donald was murdered in March 2004
"If he had served his full term he would have been released in March 2005, but he didn't," she said.
She went on to criticise Scottish Executive reforms to the justice system and said the proposed changes were not guaranteed to keep violent offenders in prison.
The Scottish National Party also said the murder case had prompted the need to review the executive's plans.
SNP Holyrood leader Nicola Sturgeon had said it was appalling that Imran Shahid committed such a crime while on early release.
"Early release is a system that has been completely discredited," Ms Sturgeon said. "The revelation that it was involved in this case adds to that."
She said there would now be a debate over whether proposals introduced in parliament to end that system go far enough.
The Liberal Democrats called for an inquiry into this specific case to find out why early release was granted.
The Scottish Executive declined to comment on the policy.
A spokesman said: "There have been various opportunities to debate the early release scheme but this is not one of them."
The executive's proposed reforms to the automatic early release of prisoners are set out in a bill, which is currently before Holyrood's justice committee.
Under the new system, prisoners would be given a minimum period in custody of half their total sentence and they would then be on licence and subject to restrictions.
Kriss's mother Angela was praised by the first minister
Kriss Donald was abducted on 15 March, 2004, from Pollokshields in Glasgow.
He was later stabbed and set on fire.
His body was found by the Clyde walkway in the east end of the city.
Imran Shahid was found guilty of his murder on Wednesday.
Faisal Mushtaq, 27, and Zeeshan Shahid, 28, were also convicted of murder and given a mandatory life sentence.
Imran Shahid must serve a minimum of 25 years, Zeeshan Shahid, 23 years minimum and Mushtaq, at least 22 years.
The judge at the High Court in Edinburgh, Lord Uist, described Imran Shahid as "a thug and bully with a sadistic nature not fit to be free in civilised society".