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The Bulger killers: was justice done?

(1000 Posts)
WannaBeWonderWoman Thu 08-Feb-18 00:07:32

Following on from previous thread which was filled.

What would have been the correct way to deal with these little boys who subjected a tiny two year old to protracted agony and unimaginable suffering then?

Interested to know what all the bleeding hearts on here believe should have happened? Whether they attended an adult court and were convicted of murder which they confessed to anyway, was this crueller to them than what they put that child through? They were well treated and even when they were serving their 'sentence' they were protected and given all they wanted (more than they would have got if they'd been in their own homes probably) and had all the help and therapy it was possible to give them. Did they suffer? You could actually argue that they benefitted from killing. They have to live with what they've done, yes, but if they did I find it hard to comprehend that Thompson especially (who came across as the leader in the interviews) can.

The Norwegian case which is often compared to this is nowhere similar IMO. The perpetrators were a similar age to their victim. They were 6 which is almost half the age V&T were and they wouldn't have been tried here anyway. Most importantly that crime was not premeditated or drawn out for hours like the many horrors inflicted on James.

He was the only victim here.

Cronuts Thu 08-Feb-18 00:11:22

There's so much speculation on their upbringings here but according to the court reports at least one of them had a pretty normal upbringing.

I don't quite understand why so many of you feel you know better than the actual psychologists who found that they did know right from wrong and knew that what they were doing was wrong.

If they are so well rehabilitated they wouldn't have been able to live with themselves and what they had done.

The fact that one still can't control his urges to watch children be abused and the other has been able to detach from what he did and live a normal life and look at himself everyday in the mirror speaks volumes.

TabbyMack Thu 08-Feb-18 00:14:02

What a stupid OP.

"Bleeding hearts"? Seems to me you are completely disinterested in alternative viewpoints & would rather take the opportunity to try and pretend a moral superiority. Shame you need to use a murdered child to achieve that.

I think what shoud have happened is, in fact, what did happen.

Tried. Sentenced.

echt Thu 08-Feb-18 00:16:15

How very odd.

I've been following these threads and always taken the "bleeding hearts" to be those who appear to be after blood, death and/or mutilation of Jon Venables or throwing away the key on him and Robert Thompson.

They should have been tried in a youth court, not an adult one. Only then could justice be done and seen to have been done.

tillytrotter1 Thu 08-Feb-18 00:18:22

If children commit crime below the age of 10 they are deemed incapable of knowing right from wrong. In that case the parent(s) should be tried for the crime as they are responsible for the <10 year old's lack of awareness of right and wrong. A normally brought up child is usually aware of right and wrong from an early age, if they're not then someone has failed to do their job.

FellOutOfBed2wice Thu 08-Feb-18 00:22:48

I wanted to add this on the last thread but it was full. So following on:

I’ve been reading this thread with interest. I personally don’t think they should have been tried as adults. I also think it’s a basic human defence mechanism to have to “other” perpetrators of crimes like this and say they’re inheriently evil, because that way it will never mean it’s our brothers or sons that might end up in circumstances that lead them to do something like what they did.

The fact is that given the wrong circumstances it could be any one of us or our children that do something like this, no ones immune from the possibility of neglect/abuse that might lead you down the path they went down.

There were three child victims in this and feeling sorry for Thompson and Venables doesn’t take anything away from how sorry I feel for James Bulger and his family.

Bourdic Thu 08-Feb-18 00:27:37

Knowing right from wrong is not the same as fully appreciating the true implications of your actions. I was ashamed at the time of the British system of justice trying them as adults in an adult court and the daily scenes outside the court of pure bloodlust and hatred. As for Thompson - we have no idea of how or if he lives with himself, we just know that he has made a life for himself and kept out of trouble.

Cronuts Thu 08-Feb-18 00:30:34

See I think the "othering" that's going on is the posters who believe it's all down to upbringing.

The my child won't do it because I'm a good parent attitude because it's more frightening to think well actually some people, even children can commit a crime like this regardless of outside factors.

Only 1 of them grew up in an abusive home and there's no definite answer on how abusive it actually was.

People don't want to believe that we can be born evil/have something wrong with our brains or whichever way you'd rather phrase it. So we keep looking for the answer when there isn't always one.

WannaBeWonderWoman Thu 08-Feb-18 00:31:00

echt FYI 'bleeding hearts' is a common term used to describe woolly minded liberals.

Would being tried in a Youth Court made any difference to them? Do you think they would have been more disturbed by being tried in an adult court than torturing and murdering a toddler or do you mean they would have been treated less harshly? Was an 8 year sentence in a children's home where they were treated very well (even able to indulge in sex with the staff as teenagers) too harsh then?

FellOutOfBed2wice Thu 08-Feb-18 00:36:00

Cronuts I had this argument with someone on twitter who said “of course they should have been tried as adults” and when I said “would you still think that if it was your 10yo son” I got a barrage of abuse saying that THEIR 10yo son would NEVER do anything so heinous and how very dare I. The people who say they were born evil have to believe that so that they can sleep at night thinking they’ll never be the parent or sibling or child of someone capable of something so dreadful. I’m sure V and Ts parents thought exactly the same. No ones immune, many factors influence why people do terrible things.

I feel quite sorry for Thompson who some posters are giving a pasting for getting on with his life sucesssfully. If he truly felt remorse he would have topped himself is the implication from a couple of posters here, when it seems that he’s got on with life as an upstanding citizen and is actually a massive success story for the institutions and services that have helped him.

Bourdic Thu 08-Feb-18 00:38:26

My concerns about them being tried in an adult court is what it said about us as a society - that it was thought acceptable to do that. Where should they have served their sentence ? I expect some people think they should have been put in an adult prison and abused and battered to death.

GetOutOfMYGarden Thu 08-Feb-18 00:38:49

Attempt to rehabilitate during their childhood, in a secure unit. If they still presented a danger, detain them until they didn't. The second that the licence was breached, recall to prison. If it was a serious breach - as it is now - then lock them up indefinitely. As soon as one identity was compromised by Venables himself, no more false identities, leave him to it.

Make Denise Fergus aware that they had entered Merseyside, or at least hold them to the licence condition not to go there. No covering up drug use, going to matches in Liverpool, relationships with women with young children, 17 year old girlfriends in his twenties.

TheButterflyOfTheStorms Thu 08-Feb-18 00:42:17

even able to indulge in sex with the staff as teenagers

If you don't recognize this as abusive, you have a very narrow idea of what abuse is.

Cronuts Thu 08-Feb-18 00:42:37

I don't understand if he was genuinely rehabilitated how he can go about living an everyday life?

We all have different views on this but one thing we all agree on is it's an horrific, sickening crime. If he's suddenly a good person how can he live knowing that he actually did it?

WannaBeWonderWoman Thu 08-Feb-18 00:45:47

Venables was 17 Butterfly.

Cronuts Thu 08-Feb-18 00:46:36

@felloutofbed I absolutely think the being tried as adults was the correct decision. I think instead of being released at 18 they should have gone into an adult prison.

Whatever got them to this stage wether it was "being born evil" or having such terrible lives (even though there's no actual proof of this with one of them) James' parents deserved some form of justice which 8 years in a cushty residential home wasn't.

TabbyMack Thu 08-Feb-18 00:48:51

He was in an institution and the person he had sex with was in a position of authority.

That is abuse.

Same as it would be if a 17 year old girl had sex with a teacher.

TabbyMack Thu 08-Feb-18 00:50:13

If he's suddenly a good person

FFS. Who said that?

Clearly, in his case, the efforts at rehabilitation failed. Do you think no one should have bothered then?

TheButterflyOfTheStorms Thu 08-Feb-18 00:50:29

Absolutely @TabbyMack

I'm astounded people don't understand that there's an issue with that.

pallisers Thu 08-Feb-18 00:53:41

The James Bulger case was horrific - my nephew was his age. I was absolutely terrified and appalled.

I am appalled too at nice mothers who think a ten year old should be locked up for the rest of his natural life - all 80 years of it - for a crime committed when aged 10.

I am glad I don't live in a society run by people who think like that.

echt Thu 08-Feb-18 00:55:15

Would being tried in a Youth Court made any difference to them?

I don't know because it didn't happen. The fact is they were children tried in an adult court, as I said in my post, the opportunity for justice to be done and the be seen to be done was lost.

Cronuts Thu 08-Feb-18 00:56:23

@tabbymack apologies for paraphrasing hmm upstanding citizen and a massive success story were the direct quotes I was referring too along with the posters who are adamant he can't possibly have reoffended as we would definitely know about it.

RestingButchFace Thu 08-Feb-18 00:56:49

If you don't recognize this as abusive, you have a very narrow idea of what abuse is.
Couldn't agree more, I don't think anyone on this or the previous thread would have anything other than true sadness and revulsion for what happened to poor James but we live in what I hope is a civilised society. As such we need to ask ourselves what happened to those 2 boys (at the time) to allow them to view what they put that poor toddler through as normal. Being tried in an adult court was purely down to public and media pressure, I am in no way condoning what they did and it still knocks me sick but the perpetrators were minors themselves. I agree that their sentences and conditions of release should have been more stringent bit the trying of them in adult court was wrong. I also agree that as a condition of release any offences in anyway involving violence or sex offences should have resulted in a whole life tariff. To do that though we would have had to overhaul the entire justice system. The fact that Robert Thompson appears to be leading a normal (we will never know if it is exemplary) is an example of how our current system.can succeed.
If we don't believe in rehabilitation then what do we do? Lock up every one forever. I am conflicted (incase you hadn't noticed)

RestingButchFace Thu 08-Feb-18 01:00:39

I did try and post with paragraphs but my phone failed me!

echt Thu 08-Feb-18 01:02:44

echt FYI 'bleeding hearts' is a common term used to describe woolly minded liberals

Yes, I know. I was being sarcastic at the expense of the many very heated posters. Possibly I was being little too subtle.

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