They are dumb, they likely didn't even consider many options.
So giving them a free college education would bring them up to the level of amicusNYCL who could point out that beating someone wasn't likely to be the best course of action no matter what the circumstances were. Problem solved.
When someone says that beating someone in the act of robbing them isn't necessary, it's pretty silly to try to claim that the robbers just didn't know any better and that having more education would have enlightened them to the other options. Like "not beating someone" is such a difficult thing to think of without a PhD.
Its also a question of: Why are people so dumb and reckless?
Did you never consider that maybe these guys weren't dumb, that they maybe enjoy beating people up as a way of proving their control over others? That maybe they don't want to spend the money on ropes or bullets? That maybe they're doing this on a semi-regular basis, and if they beat up a few drivers then others will be less willing to resist when their trucks get stolen?
Do you think mob-style executions are done because the mobsters who do it are just dumb? Don't you think maybe they are doing more than just killing the guy they're killing, maybe it's a message to everyone else they deal with that resisting is futile and dangerous? Is the beating a loan shark applies to a debtor because the loan shark is dumb, or is it because he sending a message to ALL of his customers that being behind on your payments means more than a harshly worded letter from a lawyer?
They were unlucky to steal a cargo that might kill them through ignorance, but dumb isn't necessarily the thing they are. Unethical and amoral, yes. Antisocial, yes. Dumb? Well, they know an easy way to get money and how to keep people from stopping them.
Is it not worth trying to understand where the problem comes from?
And thus endeth all need for individual responsibility. They did what they did because society forced them to. Jake on his knees in the sewer ... "It wasn't my fault.". That was funny because it was so overplayed and outrageous. Trying to make the same arguments for thugs in real life is not so funny.