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Corrosive Shame
Therapy for Life
Nature or Nurture
On SomeOtherSpace I just got sent a circular about the James Bulger case. The basic theme of it is that the two murderers (let's not beat around the bush) should be locked up rather than given any chance of living a normal life.

Now, this is exactly the kind of issue that starts a good row - hence my posting it here. I think that they should be allowed to try and resume as normal a life as possible when released from custody, including anonymity if that is necessary, as long as they are properly monitoried by the authorities. Surely the best chance of avoiding reoffending is to help them make something of themselves, not for tabloid reporters to hound them?

Of course, one of my MySpace contacts clearly doesn't agree - so what do you think?

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34 lies or Lie to me
ant_girl From: ant_girl Date: April 19th, 2006 06:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I would tend to agree with you. Especially as they were so young when they did it.
snoww_wwhite From: snoww_wwhite Date: April 19th, 2006 08:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
i think bsad parents make bad children.... this system is fucked, locking them up is fucked up, letting them go is fucked up too...

snoww_wwhite From: snoww_wwhite Date: April 19th, 2006 08:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
*bad parents
wulfboy From: wulfboy Date: April 19th, 2006 09:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think they should be allowed to have a life. I doubt very much they will ever be able to do so, having spent their formative years institutionalised, and with the hysteria that will welcome their release. They killed someone; I like to hope that there is a chance that they have been rehabilitated, understood what they did, and can live with the consequences of it all.
nyarbaggytep From: nyarbaggytep Date: April 19th, 2006 09:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
I refuse to row. It gives me blisters.
kissmeforlonger From: kissmeforlonger Date: April 19th, 2006 10:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I read Gitta Sereny's excellent book on Mary Bell which had a section on the boys who killed James Bulger. If Mary Bell can live a normal life and have a family, there's no good reason why they can't - provided they have really been rehabilitated.

Life in care with psychiatric help is probably a better place for them to grow up than in their family.
From: kingandy Date: April 19th, 2006 10:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I'm broadly of the opinion that the prison service exists to rehabilitate rather than lock away forever. If you're going to do that, you may as well just execute them, as it'll be cheaper and more humane in the long run.
gaius_octavian From: gaius_octavian Date: April 19th, 2006 10:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
As a taxpayer, more than enough of my money has already been wasted on their upkeep. 9mm rounds are cheap, and there'd be a queue around to block to pull he trigger, aye, and no-one would lose a wink of sleep over it.
From: ikkleblacktruck Date: April 19th, 2006 10:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
They should have been executed. Rehabilitation is a joke.
anatosuchus From: anatosuchus Date: April 20th, 2006 07:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Rehabilitation: Restore to health or normal life by training or therapy after imprisonment, addiction or illness."

Why do you regard this as a joke?

NB: I didn't put the definition to be condescending, merely to check we were on the same page.
litt1e_n0thing From: litt1e_n0thing Date: April 19th, 2006 10:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Couldn't see the debate on there, being a proud non-myspacer ;)

Let them go, it was fucking *ages* ago, they've served their time, sorry if they weren't the typical murderer age that means they die or are old & frail to the point of total uselessness before release - that's how the system is, tough shit. They were what, about 12?
Jesus fucking christ, who hasn't done dumb stuff when egged on by mates at that age? Not to the point of murder, generally, but the amount of attention they've had to suffer, from an early age, for ALL these years, over ONE single murder is just ridiculous. Presumably they've been pretty thoroughly watched & psychiatrically (thass not a word, is it..) assessed over the years, so if the professionals think they're ok, let them go. Stupid one off mistake (MORE than paid for) would be my bet..
From: ikkleblacktruck Date: April 20th, 2006 07:48 am (UTC) (Link)
How many murders would be too many, then, would you say?
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From: curlwomble Date: April 20th, 2006 12:45 am (UTC) (Link)
If the Probation Service were infallible, I'd say trust their judgement.

If the Courts were infallible I'd believe in capital punishment if they were ever convicted of something of this ilk again.

I believe that the abominations who gang-raped those two girls, tortured one to death then fluffed the execution of the other should be shot like the dogs they are.

But if those two kids have learned the wrongness of what they did and realised that (at the least) they *will* be caught and banged up again if they do it again, then let them out. The risk of another death is a price worth paying for our humanity.

Those bastards aren't human. Shoot them.
spida_x From: spida_x Date: April 20th, 2006 06:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Its hard to think about this sort of thing without thinking of all teh bad points.
You have to think about who they will be in contact with when they are released.
If they are given a new lease of life different names etc how would you feel if a close friend or relative got involved with them not knowing who they really were.
I think for their safety they would probably be better of locked up for the rest of their life.
anatosuchus From: anatosuchus Date: April 20th, 2006 07:38 am (UTC) (Link)
jfs pretty much summed up my position. Permanent incarceration should be reserved for those who pose a contunied danger to the populace. There is a case for "for their own safety" given the appalling vigilante action some people advocate, however this should be at the request of the subjects, not imposed upon them.
anatosuchus From: anatosuchus Date: April 20th, 2006 07:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Obviously, "continued" - I wish LJ would sort out editing of comments.
load_of_flannel From: load_of_flannel Date: April 20th, 2006 10:19 am (UTC) (Link)

According to the philosophy of our justice system they should be released as they have served their sentence and paid their debt.

However I see no logic that dictates that we should subsequently as a state pay for their protection, police escorts etc.
From: rock_n_rollstar Date: April 20th, 2006 10:36 am (UTC) (Link)
I had another friend post about this yesterday too, haha. Loving it.

But i totally agree, plus people would only cause problems and violence and such towards them if they knew who they were. What they did was disgusting, yes, but now that they've been let out, anonyminity is the best option.

That circular always makes me chuckle, though, as they were released like...5 years ago? The authorities, even if they were to pay attention to some stupid chain letter, wouldn't be able to do much about it now, would they?

Apparently one of them was locked in the young offenders home a few doors down from me. Lurvely.
sixtine From: sixtine Date: April 20th, 2006 01:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
True. Both boys are now living anonymously under protection schemes in the UK, despite tabloid whining. There was a huge uproar locally. The story will raise its head again next time there aren't any royal/footballer stories to fill the heads of the plebs.
sixtine From: sixtine Date: April 20th, 2006 01:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
They were less to blame than their carers. What kind of idiot allows a child to watch horror films/play violent computer games? Until someone has an understanding of what is normal and acceptable social behaviour, they shouldn't be exposed to violent fiction. Yes, that applies to LRP too. I have heard people say that by the age of 10 (I think that's how old they were), you know right from wrong. That's only true if someone has spent the last 10 years telling you and enforcing the rules.

Rehabilitate, ensure no continuing psychoses, release. Give people something to live for and they will live.

Liberal (small l) to the core.
From: ikkleblacktruck Date: April 21st, 2006 12:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Or just delete them from the gene pool and problem solved.
34 lies or Lie to me