Ma’lik Richmond, one of two teenage boys convicted in the Steubenville rape case earlier this year, has been released from prison after 9 months – three months shy of his 1 year sentence, according to reports. At the time of his conviction, he was 16 years old.

According to the teen’s lawyer, Richmond had “reflected, learned, matured and grown” throughout his time in the slammer.

His release from a juvenile detention center is almost as controversial as the rape case itself, which divided the Ohio town. Richmond was convicted of raping a 16 year old girl during a night of drinking with his friends from the Steubenville football team.

While many in the town were on the side of the victim, still others were infuriated by the arrest of the two young football players, prompting a nationwide discussion about athlete privilege and the culture of victim-blaming that surrounds rape. It was also alleged that other football players, teachers and coaches attempted to cover up details of the crime in order to protect the boys.

Richmond has to register as a sex offender as part of his sentence; however, many feel that his time served is nowhere near severe enough for his crimes. Defenders of Richmond and his co-perpetrator, Trent Mays, think that a light sentence is warranted due to their young age.

In a case as polarizing as this, what are your opinions on Richmond’s time behind bars?

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