Sunday, April 08, 2007

Money well spent...

This is one of those news story's that makes you wonder why the newsdesk editor bothered to even get it typed up let alone give it web space.

According to Government papers released under the freedom of information act (an act that we have the USA to thank for as previously we were entitled to see sod all of any government doings), the Governments legal representatives have spent the sum of £13,000 in defending the new identities of the killers of James Bulger.

Who he, you cry ?
"You're not British are you ?" we all cry in response.

Anyone who is British will remember the news story of 1993 when two 10 year old Liverpool youngsters took 2 year old James Bulger away from his mother (when her attention was diverted for a minute or so) and walked him to a nearby railway line where they murdered him with bricks and an iron bar.

Robert Thompson and Jon Venables are pictured above at their arrest some days later, remember they are 10 years old in the photos, they don't look like murderers do they ? And that was the thing that no-one could ever get their heads around, news media at the time blamed video games, violent tv cartoons, anything at all to explain why those two boys could have done what they did without realising that it was, at the very least, wrong.

They were both sentenced to detention "at Her Majesty's pleasure" a strange British legal term which is used for serious juvenile convictions where the young person is suitable for rehabilitation and acted beyond their own comprehension of what is "right" or "wrong".

The sentence satisfied the British public and media for a while until it realised that what it really means is that once the psychiatrists have finished delving into the minds of such offenders to find out why they did their evil deeds, they then set about correcting the imbalance in preperation for Her Majesty's pleasure to have been satisfied and the young person can be released under licence - the thought that these two boys could be released as teenagers sent the British tabloid press into apoplexy or at least as much apoplexy as they thought would sell more newspapers to those who thrive on apoplexy.

The 18 year old Thompson and Venebles were released in 2001 to even more apoplexy as the tabloids learned that they had been given new identities and new locations, and that they had actually been living that way for several months before the press were informed - all of this because some of our news media would love nothing better than to track down either/both young men and cruxify them - metaphorically speaking of course, but in reality there would be plenty of volunteers to do the actual deed themselves even now, 16 years after the event.

And so it is no suprise that HM Government spent £13k on injunctions to foreign news media who wished to reveal the current identities of the now 24 year olds, if we value our legal system then we must abide by it and if our legal system is based on a rehabilitation of offenders principle then we must accept that offenders can rehabilitate, whether we like it or not - being the father of a 5 and a 1 year old at the time of the incident I can understand the pain that James Bulgers parents must still feel, but we are talking of complete strangers who would happily commit murder in these, and other rehabilitated and released (under licence) offenders, and £13k isn't that much tax money to pay for the protection of them, and our legal system.

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