Jamie Bulger's killers are being released

Got this in my e-mail today…

Do you remember February 1993 when a young 3 yr old was taken from
Liverpool, United Kingdom, by two 10-year-old boys.
Jamie Bulger walked away from his mother for only a second and Jon
Venables took his hand and led him out of the mall with his friend
Robert Thompson.

They took Jamie on a walk for over 2 and a half miles, along the way
stopping every now and again to torture the poor little boy Who was
crying constantly for his mummy?

Finally they stopped at a railway track where they brutally Kicked him,
threw stones at him, rubbed paint in his eyes and pushed batteries up
his anus. It was actually worse than this … What these two boys did
Was so horrendous that Jamie’s mother was forbidden to identify his
body. They then left his beaten small body on the tracks so a train
could run him over to hide the mess they had created. These two boys,
even being boys, understood what they did was wrong, hence trying to
make it look like an accident.

This week Lady Justice Butler-Slosshas awarded the two boys anonymity
for the rest of their lives when they leave custody with new identities.

They will also leave early this year only serving just over half of
their sentence. They are being relocated to Australia to live out the
rest of their lives.

They disgustingly and violently took Jamie’s life away in Return they
each get a new life.

Please … if you feel, as we do, that this is a grave miscarriage of
justice … copy the entire email … Then add your name at the end, and
send it to everyone you can.

They were 10 years old. Shouldn’t they lock up their parents instead of them, and send the kids for some serious counseling? I would guess the killers’ parents bear most of the guilt.

I just searched for this and it turns out to be a virus. COol…! Soo if you guys get this in your e-mail…don’t forward it:)

Yeah. They were released on lifetime probation back in 2001.

I think they should have spent their whole lives in jail. I mean, being in jail is a life too. I teach 3 yr olds, and 10 year olds…and before I did, I wouldn’t have thought that kids could be so evil. But the looks, gossiping, teaming up against each other, physical and emotional abuse these kids can come up with at the age of 3? No way, these kids knew what they were doing…

Scratch deeper battery9, there are reasons kiddies aren’t thrown away for life, concepts like the finality of death for example.

I heard these chaps were given a new life in Oz eons ago.

HG

Huh?

One thing I do remember was that the legal system was completely unable to cope with this case. What on earth do you two with two ten-year olds that do something like this?

I thought letting them go was the result of a distorted values system which placed too much emphasis on “forgiveness”, and not enough on “justice”, but I now believe it is the result of a society that just doesn’t care. Out of sight, out of mind. The horrible torture and murder is forgotten, and so are the two defective products of a fucked-up society who did it all.

There was a lot of talk at the time of the system I believe used in some Middle Eastern places of allowing the victim’s family to decide what was to be done with them, and whether that would have been better.

It also caused a great debate about “evil” at the time. Well, it did in my circle anyway as I was doing my law degree at the time. Never really got to hear the psychiatrists’ side of the story, only the legal theorising.

Hey, that’s a great idea.
I wonder who else we could blame?

Hey, that’s a great idea.
I wonder who else we could blame?[/quote]

It’s hardly a novel idea. In most countries parents are legally liable for acts committed by their minor children because society, and the law, presumes that minor children aren’t old enough to be legally accountable for their actions.

By law in most countries, children can’t enter into legally binding contracts. Their parents must do so for them. And, if a minor child burns the neighbor’s house down or steals their car and wrecks it the kid’s parents can be liable, which seems like a sound principle to me. If your house was burned down by the 12 year-old next door, would you want your only legal recourse to be a lawsuit against the child, or do you think it would be more just if you could sue the parents who were responsible for raising and supervising the child?

Aside from that legal perspective, is it so crazy to suggest that there’s something different about a 10 year-old child who gleefully tortures another child to death? While my girl’s only 2 years old, I can’t imagine that when she reaches 10 years old she would be capable of such an act: that she would take pleasure in causing so much pain to another child and would be oblivious to its cries of pain and pleas for mercy. I believe a child who would do such things is seriously fucked up and different from most kids. How did the kid get like that? Harmful chemicals in the public drinking water? Probably not. Fell and hit his head and was never the same? Unlikely. Victim of abuse and/or neglect? Quite likely.

I wasn’t being serious about locking up the parents in jail, but I do feel it’s wise to look at the parents of kids such as this and ask whether they are somehow at fault. If the kids ended up so screwed up because they were beaten and molested, or other abuse, then (a) maybe the parents’ other kids should be protected and (b) maybe we have a clue how to better deal with the child killers. After all, no matter what horrible deeds he commits, a 10 year-old is just a young child, not an adult.

Hey, that’s a great idea.
I wonder who else we could blame?[/quote]

Ok, the kids committed murder. What do you feel is the appropriate response? Give them the death penalty?

[quote=“Mother Theresa”]Victim of abuse and/or neglect? Quite likely.

I wasn’t being serious about locking up the parents in jail, but I do feel it’s wise to look at the parents of kids such as this and ask whether they are somehow at fault. If the kids ended up so screwed up because they were beaten and molested, or other abuse, then (a) maybe the parents’ other kids should be protected and (b) maybe we have a clue how to better deal with the child killers. After all, no matter what horrible deeds he commits, a 10 year-old is just a young child, not an adult.[/quote]
I’d have to agree. I too suspect there are a few more variables at hand then “these were some evil children.” I can’t imagine that some kids who grew up on a soccer team, played video games on the weekend and whatever (I have no idea what these kids actually did in their free time) could one day decide to shove batteries up some kids anus for fun.

I would not only blame the parents, but society as a whole as well. My old streets are littered with kids whose parents neglect them and don’t have shit to do (no soccer and video games for them.) Blaming the parents is easy, but it does dick all for solving these kinds of problems.

Many people have terrible childhoods, but not all people end up torturing toddlers because of it. It was still their choice to do it.

[quote=“Wikipedia”]In court, details of Thompson’s and Venables’ backgrounds were not admitted. Thompson was one of the youngest of seven boys. His mother, a lone parent, was an alcoholic. His father, who left home when Thompson was five, was also a heavy drinker who beat and sexually abused his wife and children. Despite his quiet and friendly manner, Thompson came from a home in which it was normal practice for the older children to violently attack the younger ones, and Thompson was invariably on the receiving end.

Venables’ parents were also separated. His brother and sister had educational problems and attended special needs schools, whilst his mother suffered psychiatric problems. Following his parents’ separation, Venables became isolated and attention-seeking. At school he would regularly bang his head on walls or slash himself with scissors. No effort was made to find the cause of his obvious distress.

Other media commentators blamed the behaviour of Venables and Thompson on their families, or on their social situation, living in one of the most deprived areas of the UK. The Liverpool Echo described the city at the time of the murder as “a wounded city… The region’s economy was on its knees, and unemployment was soaring”. A 2001 OFSTED report on Liverpool’s schools said that “the city of Liverpool has the highest degree of deprivation in the country”.

Following the murder, the boys’ mothers

“Arrest society!”

Nope. The kids are to blame for the most part. And Mother Theresa, you know as well as I do that they were well past the age of criminal responsibility, which is 8 in the UK.

So what, specifically, do you do with the murderers? It is beyond question that they knew what they were doing. All along I have vehemently objected to the secrecy surrounding this case.

What evidence has been provided to the public that if these kids were suffering from a psychosis which so altered their perception of reality that they cannot be held accountable for their crimes, that this psychosis is now “cured” and they present no danger to society?

Or alternatively, if these kids simply tortured and murdered a helpless human being that there is so little chance of recidivism that they can be freed, and freed under compulsory anonimity in a society which has not been asked whether it wants them?

What evidence is there that the current sentencing system in the UK is able to deal with cases like this? Why was Michael Howard’s tarrif found illegal in court? That’s just judicial legislation, of which there is far too much in the UK.

If the rule is simply that persons under a certain age should be treated as if they have not committed the offence in question, but have committed some lessor offence (had they been robbing banks and dealing drugs they’d still be under supervision), what is the age which has been chosen, and what are the sentencing guidelines?

I am also convinced that bonkers sentencing has a very negative effect on society as a whole. Why bother going straight? The deterrent to crime used to be the liklihood of getting caught. Now not even that matters.

Best thing to do is go and live in Taiwan. Worth noticing that the police here are useless and sentencing is very light. You can murder someone on Friday night and be out on parole Thursday week. Society is to blame I am sure to some extent, but we can’t arrest society.

So my solution would be to shoot the parents and chop the arms and legs off the perps.

On a more serious note - do these kids feel punished? Does anyone think they have been adequately punished for what they did? Does punishment matter? Isn’t the penal code all about punishment, justice, and rehabilitation? The latter without the former two is counter-productive, and I would argue, impossible.

And it helps society respond to such terrible stories in a mature, reasoned and productive manner, rather than simply lashing out in retaliation.

Most people who commit heinous violent crimes are themselves victims of abuse. That doesn’t excuse their crimes, but it does suggest that maybe if we want to reduce the number of heinous violent crimes we ought to work on reducing the level of child abuse and increasing healthy, positive living environments. How can one do that? By providing educational and occupational opportunities to those who need them. By providing counseling and treatment for alcoholic, drug addicts and the mentally ill, instead of just punishment. By ensuring that everyone has access to at least a minimal amount of food, housing, healthcare, childcare and recreational opportunities.

Ensuring that our brothers and sisters, neighbors and fellow members of our community have such basics isn’t a handout to the undeserving; and it isn’t just a compassionate act of goodwill; it’s even logical from a greedy, selfish perspective because it costs a lot less to provide such positive measures in advance than to pay the costs of crime and punishment when those things are missing, as countless studies have shown.

I don’t think it’s necessary to debate whether they were aware what they were doing was wrong. They did it. Whether they knew it was wrong or whether they are mentally ill, the fact is that the children were and quite possibly still are a danger to society.

For me, prison is not for punishment; it is for keeping dangerous people out of mainstream society. These kids should be locked away for life because it is safer that way - for them and our kids.

Life imprisonment for 10 year-olds?

What if they were 8 years old?

How about 6?

Would life imprisonment still be appropriate?

Yes, for exactly the reasons I gave above.

I realise that the perpetrators in this case were also victims of a poor, unhealthy upbringing. We cannot guarantee that they will ever learn to change their ways - the only way to find out is to release them. Then you are taking a gamble, and the stakes are murderers freedom v. public safety, and for me public safety wins every time.

Now, if the kids were judged by professionals to be ‘cured’ of their inappropriate behaviours, then I have no problem with them living their lives outside the prison environment as long as they are not at large - a kind of halfway home, perhaps, but one where they must work to fund the expense of keeping them.

Simply put, I don’t like taking the chance that they are or ever will be rehabilitated.

[quote=“Stray Dog”]I don’t think it’s necessary to debate whether they were aware what they were doing was wrong. They did it. Whether they knew it was wrong or whether they are mentally ill, the fact is that the children were and quite possibly still are a danger to society.

For me, prison is not for punishment; it is for keeping dangerous people out of mainstream society. These kids should be locked away for life because it is safer that way - for them and our kids.[/quote]

I would tend to agree. The focus is almost always on the perpetrators of the crime, and the more appalling the crime, the more the bleeding hearts and artists feel sorry for the perpetrators.

As Mother Theresa points out, many perps are themselves victims of crime. When those people were victims, what did society do to help them? Did we by any chance just tell them that well they came from a bad area/family and what did they expect? Did we reinforce the idea that it is OK to be bad if you’re “bad” anyway and when their turn comes around to be the criminal and not the victim we’ll take their unfortunate backgrounds into account? What sort of values system is it that turns this case on its head and invokes the European Court of Human Rights in favour of two of the most hideous criminals the UK has ever seen? What sort of values system does that create? What incentive is there for the poor guy living in a crap neighbourhood after fleeing his abusing home to go straight when all around him are profiting from criminality?

I believe that these kids knew what they were doing and knew they’d get away with it. The portrayal of them entirely as innocents abused, while tempting, is dangerous and not an explanation. The most convincing argument punted at the time is that they simply had no values system at all. Whilst they knew that torturing and murdering a child was wrong, their only gauge of how wrong was based on their past experience of the likelihood of capture and the severity of punishment. Notice their artful deceit under interrogation, and the prior attempts to set the crime up as an accident. If they’d run around smeared in blood Animal Farm-style eating body parts they’d be off to Broadmoor for the Glass Syringe, but they were cool as cucumbers. So, they’re “all better now”? Yeah right.

So odd coming from you of all people. It’s almost as though someone stole your avatar. :s

You who are fanatical about transforming mangy, neglected, flee-ridden street animals into decent domestic pets, yet you’re not willing to give a second chance to a young child who has been brutalized and deprived of love and support for the first years of his life, a child who NEVER had a chance at all.

Incidentally, here are a couple of extreme cases:

s-t.com/daily/04-96/04-27-96/1calif.htm

archives.cnn.com/2000/US/02/29/s … index.html

While the crimes committed by these children are tragic, to me the thought of locking them in prison for life is as barbaric as suggesting that they be buried to their necks in the sand and stoned to death.