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 'Bulger Killers Were Too Young To Be Prosecuted'

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PostSubject: 'Bulger Killers Were Too Young To Be Prosecuted'   Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:45 am

James Bulger's killers should not have been prosecuted for his murder because they were too young, the Children's Commissioner for England has said

Maggie Atkinson, who was appointed to the post last autumn, has called for the age of criminal responsibility to be raised from 10 to 12 years old.

A civilised society should recognise that children who commit offences should be treated differently from adult criminals, Dr Atkinson told The Times.

Her comments come after James' mother Denise Fergus met Justice Secretary Jack Straw to discuss the return to custody of her two-year-old son's killer Jon Venables.

Mr Straw has refused to confirm the details of why Venables was returned to prison.

Dr Atkinson said politicians should put the needs of children first and not allow themselves to be so influenced by the views of victims' relatives

"The 'we are too worried about the parents issue' is something that runs like a thread through a number of cases.

"My constant song is 'listen to the children and young people'."

Calling for a change in the law, she said even the most "hardened" of youngsters who have committed serious crimes are "not beyond being frightened".

"The age of criminal responsibility in this country is 10 - that's too low, it should certainly be moved up to 12; in some European countries it is 14," she told the newspaper.

"In terms of knowing what the full consequences of your actions are, you are into older childhood or adolescence."

She continued: "In most Western European nations they have a completely different way of intervening with youngsters who have committed crime

"Most of their approaches are much more therapeutic, much more family and community based, much more about reparation than simply locking somebody up."

Dr Atkinson insisted Venables and Robert Thompson, who were 10 in 1993 when they were charged with the James's murder, needed to be in a contained environment like a youth justice facility and given programmes to help them turn their lives around.

Venables' breaking of the terms of his "life licence" which saw him recalled to custody should actually help to force a debate on the effectiveness of the current system, she said.

"Youngsters are usually tried in a youth court, (Thompson and Venables) were tried in an adult court," she explained.

"What they did was exceptionally unpleasant and the fact that a little boy ended up dead is not something the nation can easily forget.

"But they shouldn't have been tried in an adult court because they were still children."

Ta TW for the sig.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Bulger Killers Were Too Young To Be Prosecuted'   Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:12 am

The crime they committed was deemed to be on par with a crime an adult would commit. They also understood the crime, the charges and actions taken. Therefore the right court tried them.

A child of 10, is deemed responsible enough to understand the concept of right form wrong and know it's own mind to make its own decisions.

A juvenile court would have tried them as if they had no concept or responsibilities for the crime they committed. The outcome may have been different.

Those 2 were pandered enough at the time of the trial, and their subsequent incarceration and releases. Changing the law won't bring back the child they brutally and systematically tortured then killed.

In my opinion what they did to the child was an act of premeditated intention, they knew, they acted accordingly and therefore were tried in the right court, an adult court.

Dr Atikinson is a do-gooder leaping on to a bandwagon that does not need his assistance or input. No matter what behavioral concept s he had planned it would no work on those 2. Their crime was too deplorable. Giving treats to people like them, if they don't murder your cat, is a crime in itself.

I would suggest Dr Atkinson crawls back under the warm utopia stone he crawled out from, that or get a Job working in the government. He's right up their with their cuckoo nonsense.
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