In England, a notorious child killer is being released from prison for a second time. Twenty years, ago Jon Venables and a classmate led two year old James Bulger away from a shopping center in Liverpool, England, and then murdered him by beating him with bricks and iron bars. Once they were finished, they dumped his body on some train tracks and fled the scene.
They were ten years old at the time.
Eight years later, in 2001, they were both released from custody and given new names to try to reintegrate back into society.
Venables was arrested again in 2010 for downloading and distributing over 100 images of child pornography.
Well, now he’s being released again to the dismay of his victim’s parents.
The entire case is sickening, and the children obviously had some kinds of deviant mental or emotional issues. How else could you explain what they did to little James Bulger? Only a monster could do what they did purposefully.
The British (and most European) justice system is much more liberal and forgiving than our American system. The Europeans seem to place much more weight in rehabilitation than they do in justice (you only have to see the sentence that convicted mass murderer Anders Breivik received).
In this case, it is obvious that Venables is not rehabilitated, and any child who happens to live near him will be in danger for every second that the man is free.
How should society respond?
However, once he committed the second crime of gathering and distributing child pornography, shouldn’t the government have locked him away in a psychiatric institute or even a prison? Is there a case to be made that some child criminals should not be allowed release, even though their crimes were committed as children?
The man will continue to be an obvious danger to society as long as he is free and the government of England has done more than a disservice to their people–they have actively made their country less safe. Something is wrong with the system, but how do we fix it?
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