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Tony Grist

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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.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-03-07 01:45 pm (UTC)
That's sad.

We need to forgive our enemies- not for abstract, theological reasons- but for the sake of our own mental health.

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[User Picture]From: methodius
2010-03-07 05:06 pm (UTC)
As someone once said, resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

I saw some of the news items on TV on Friday, where they shows pictures of John Venables and Robert Thompson over and over again. Robert Thompson looked like a thug, the kind of kid I would have been scared of if I had been at school with them. Jon Venables looked like quite a sweet kid, the kind one might think could be mischievious but not malicious. But appearances can be deceptive

We had a Truth and Reconciliation Commission for people who did such things for political reasons, but what can you do with people who do such things just for kicks?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-03-07 05:38 pm (UTC)
It's interesting that Thompson- the toughie- is the one who seems to have made a go of his new life- and kept himself out of trouble.

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