Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

Jon Venables

The authorities may be desperate to keep Jon Venables' identity a secret, but the man himself seems to have been trying- even more desperately-  to out himself. The story that's seeping through the official firewall reveals a haunted, young man- often the worse for booze and drugs- who has been buttonholing strangers and workmates and confiding his horrible secret to them- and then getting into fights when they reject him. We all find it difficult to live alone with our secret selves; how much more terrible when the secret self is a notorious murderer. Venables is not a psychopathic monster. A psychopathic monster doesn't reach out for acceptance and understanding. A psychopathic monster is sufficient unto himself and lives easily in his own skin.

I am implacably opposed to the death penalty- chiefly on the grounds that it degrades the society that operates it- but  this case makes me wonder if bringing a guilty, self-hating existence to a sudden end isn't in fact the  kinder, more merciful option.
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