And I could add, in stupidity. I can't condone what they did, nor do I want to belittle the seriousness of their crime, but I couldn't judge them by the stupidity of one dreadful act. Neither of them were bad. They were young men struggling to make their way in the world; a world not of their making, where threats of violence were common, and unbridled emotions could turn the meek into homicidal villains.
They had been luckier than many in that they had had jobs. They'd worked together. I can't now remember at what. I'm not sure that I even asked. Another man at their work had been making problems for the guy on the left (actually the younger of the two; 19 years old at the time). His friend, the guy on the right, came to his defence. It erupted into a fight and a knife had been drawn. The taking of a human life is a terrible act, whatever the reason. Yet I never knew their victim nor experienced his family's grief. I did however, know these two young men and I couldn't help but feel sorry for the hardship they'd brought down on themselves. They'd both lost eight years of their lives, a long time at their ages. Yes, I know that their victim was dead, but everything is subjective. So my sympathy for them was only natural. It was their suffering that I saw daily. They were nice young men who'd stumbled badly. And they would bear the bruises of that stumble for the rest of their lives.