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Monday, February 23, 2004

Jamie Bulger RIP

Jon Venables ~ Robert Thompson

On the afternoon of February 12, 1993, in a shopping center in Merseyside (just outside Liverpool), two ten-year-olds took two-year-old James Bulger by the hand -- his mother had turned his back on him for just a few minutes to buy some meat -- and led him away (as a security camera filmed them).

A number of people saw the three boys walking and failed to intervene, despite the fact that James appeared to have been in distress and injured: the tabloids later dubbed them "The Liverpool 38".

Jon Venables and Robert Thompson made James walk about 2½ miles before beating him to death.

Days later, the 10-year-olds were arrested and subsequently stood trial in an adult court. Their minimum sentence was set at eight years but in 1999, the European Commission of Human Rights came out with some bunkum about the "highly charged" atmosphere of the trial -- an adult court, the boys separated from their parents -- having led to an 'unfair' verdict.

The sentence was later raised to 15 years, but on October 26, 2000, the Lord Chief Justice of England restored the 8-year term, meaning Venables and Thompson, both now 18 years of age, could be freed as soon as the Parole Board gave its approval.

On January 9, a judge ordered that, upon their release, Thompson and Venables be given new legal identities -- and the media prohibited from revealing any information about their new lives. Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, a Family Division judge, went further and warned Internet Service Providers that they could be prosecuted if they allowed any of information to be posted on their pages.

I don't think of myself as an eye-for-an-eye man, but I have this burning zeal to see the two lads tracked down and ... whatever.

There are some background sites and topics I refer to in desultory fashion whenever I rememberSurely some continental WoodStein types have the goods and can slip it out without risk of being slung into the clink?

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