Justice? I Think So.
I had one of those e petitions today asking me to sign to prevent the killers of Jamie Bulger, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson being released with new identities and possibly eventually into a new life in Australia. Now I’m a great one for petitions but I thought about this one long and hard and in the end I decided that I couldn’t sign it.
What they did was of course, almost unbelievable, all the more so for being just ten years of age at the time but what do we know about their family background and the environment in which they lived. They have spent many years locked up and undergoing intensive therapies, re-programming if you like.
If punishment is required then losing the rest of their childhood and teenage years may not be sufficient for some but is an enormous price to pay and how long is punishment to continue. For ever? Along with punishment should go rehabilitation and those who are in a better position to know than us are convinced that this has been achieved. For justice to be true to itself there is or should be the element of mercy. Now that the killers are young men, no amount of continued punishment will ever remove from their memories the horror of what they did; their self punishment will be life long. It’s time for them and us to move on.
See also this group