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Jon Venables [Mar. 7th, 2010|10:54 am]
Tony Grist
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.

[User Picture]From: jenny_evergreen
2010-03-07 01:30 pm (UTC)
I believe suicide should be allowed, and even assisted suicide, but the person dying must be unequivocally willing.

In this case, those boys should never have been incarcerated in the first place, but placed in a safe environment and given heavy and extensive therapy.

But the world is screwed up. *sigh*
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-03-07 01:37 pm (UTC)
I'm instinctively in favour of asssisted suicide- but I can see it raises all sorts of moral and legal problems.

Britain is almost unique among western nations in putting children as young as Thompson and Venables on trial.
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[User Picture]From: jenny_evergreen
2010-03-07 02:59 pm (UTC)
*nod* It's definitely a minefield, but I think one that needs negotiating.

*nod* Aside from my insane country. *sigh*
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