To everyone who’s all like FUCKKK YEAHHHH PUT THEM IN JAIL TO ROT I HOPE THEY GET RAPED AND MADE TO SUFFER LIKE THEY MADE THAT GIRL SUFFER YEAHHHH JUSTICE IS SERVED MOTHERFUCKER
Okay. Those feelings of anger? Those are legitimate. That is an acceptable emotional response when someone has done a really horrible thing and gotten caught. It’s okay to feel that way about these two boys.
However, our public policy should not be based on your emotions. Our criminal justice system should not be based on your emotions. Time and time again it’s been shown that harshly punishing people and getting revenge on them does not make them better people. In fact, it makes them worse.
We need a better criminal justice system. The one we have now is not working.
This is not about “feeling bad” for these boys. It’s not about letting them off easy. It’s about pragmatism. It’s about all the other people they will hurt in the future because we’ve taken absolutely no steps to improve their character; instead, we were too busy using them as punching bags for our (legitimate, understandable) emotions.
Our criminal justice system should be focused on making our society better, not on providing us a way to vent our emotions.