The Steubenville Rape Case and Sympathy for the Convicted

So CNN has lost its fucking mind:

“I’ve never experienced anything like it,” CNN correspondent Poppy Harlow said live outside the juvenile court in Steubenville. “It was incredibly emotional—incredibly difficult even for an outsider like me to watch what happened as these two young men that had such promising futures, star football players, very good students, literally watched as they believe their life fell apart.”

Cue the world’s smallest violin.  CNN is rightly getting criticized for this, but this response at Jezebel got me thinking about a common misconception:

It seems strange that liberalism attaches its hat to empathy when convenient. A group of teenagers mixed with alcohol, poor parenting, and no apparent boundaries commit horrendous crimes. This is not evil. This is a product. If you can’t see sadness in this case for all parties involved then you are just as blind as those you feverishly seek to discredit.

I’m not going to try to speak for all liberals here, but I will say that I do look at certain convictions and think- man, it sucks to be that kid, convicted of that crime, his/her life is going to be ruined.  It’s perfectly reasonable to feel that way sometimes.  BUT NOT THIS TIME.

Reasons why I feel bad for someone convicted of a crime:

  • They did it out of economic necessity, i.e., they were poor and they stole some bread.
  • It’s something I don’t think should be illegal in the first place, i.e. marijuana use, teens sexting other teens
  • They were wrongly accused and/or convicted
  • They couldn’t understand what they were doing because they were mentally ill/challenged
  • They were punished more harshly because of their race/gender, etc.
  • Whether or not the crime was intentional

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but notice what’s not on the list:

  • They really thought they could get away with it
  • They had such a great future ahead of them before they committed their crime
  • They were encouraged by their peers/society/whoever to do it

None of the above matter.  The second one makes me hate them even more.

Normally I like to think there are shades of grey in just about any act.  But sometimes there are not.  There is no compelling reason to ever rape someone.  There is no excuse for molesting children.  There isn’t.  Dan Savage every now and then will have pedophiles call in to his show and tell their stories.  It’s fucking sad to hear someone who is saddled with a lifelong sexual attraction to children.  That would be awful.  And I feel bad for that guy… until he acts on his attraction.  Then I want him to burn in hell and be stabbed by pitchfork wielding devils for all eternity.

I know that throwing out nonsense objections and lame accusations is just how internet trolls work.  But I like to pick apart their statements every now and then.  And the fact that an alleged responsible news source is thinking at the level of an anonymous internet troll is pretty sad.  But then again, they did hire this fucking moron:

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