They might have been young, Trent Mays, 17, and Ma'lik Richmond, 16, but they weren't stupid, they certainly knew what they were doing. And in my opinion, if you do the crime, you do the time. I hope the other people involved also learn a thing or two from the case. Via Yahoo News;
The boys drank. They drove around. They went to each other's houses until 2, 3, 4 in the morning. They exploited permissive parents who let the party continue. They, according to so many locals, knew there were bars that would serve them, liquor stores that would supply them and adults who would look the other way. They were football players being football players.
They slept wherever and whenever they crashed, preferably with some girl. Any girl.
They were allowed the freedoms of young adults, yet lacked the maturity to handle that freedom.
It's a pity their parents and the culture they grew up in did not teach them enough to know how to behave, but at the end of the day, we each have to answer personally to our actions. One of them actually apologized to the parents of the girl they raped, and hopefully by the time they complete their sentence [one year], they would have become more mature.