For instance, when I was in sixth grade, I really wanted to start a fight with a kid named Adam Johnson. A few other kids, hoping to see the same thing, threw my books on the ground when I wasn't looking, and then claimed it was him. I suspected what they had done, but I didn't care. I walked right up to him and said; "Why you wanna throw my books on the ground?" He responded curtly; "I didn't do it." So I responded again; "Why you wanna throw my books on the ground?" This verbal repetition continued until the fighting eventually commenced. Do you see how it works? By the way, I lost that one… handily. I think at one point during the bout, I actually slipped on my own books during the fight, and he started kicking me while I was on the ground. How's that for karma?
After all, these bullies don't want someone who really might "deserve it", they want the innocent and the vulnerable. For whatever reason, the true bully always prefers slapping the taste out of the mouth of someone who is least likely to deserve it. The bully reviles innocence, and loves it when this type of man is squirming like some sort of lab experiment under the knife. Hence the religious leaders, along with the rest of the crowd, ultimately prefer Barabbas to the innocent man. In fact, they practically embrace the murderer, if only to guarantee the conviction of Jesus.
In any case, there is always some morsel- some kernel of truth in what is said in these situations. Yet the truth is only inserted into the narrative in order to create the impression that what the accusers are doing is justified. Truth under these circumstances is purely a means to an end; a useful masquerade employed for the purposes of inciting a spectacle of violence. And so because most people generally prefer the powerful rush of a spectacle to the restraint and sobriety involved in virtue, they often join in and shout; "Fight, fight, fight!", rather than oppose a mob and face potential reprisal.
Hence, the reaction of those bullies and their mindless cohorts is as predictable then as it is now; "Crucify him Crucify him!". But what has he done?! "Crucify him! Crucify him!" Behold, the man! "Crucify him Crucify him!" How about Barabbas, isn't he the murderer?" But they only cried the louder: "Crucify him, Crucify him!!!"