Running head: CHILDREN WHO KILL
Jon Venables and Robert Thompson:
Children who kill
Dr. Joyce Hall-Yates
The Juvenile justice system has changed over the years. Before the first establishment of this system, courts and judges treated juveniles as adults and sometimes received the same punishment as adults. For many years, there were debates on if children before the age of 21 were responsible for their actions seeing as they aren’t fully capable of understanding their actions. This murder of Jamie Bulger created an uproar all over the world on children at such a young age know right from wrong and also violence. Backgrounds, and family upbringing and violence in the media had played a major role in this murder case. Robert Thompson and Joe Venables were two ten year old boys from England who were convicted of the murder of two year old James Bulger on November 24 1993, which made them the youngest convicted murderers in modern English history. Their names were not released to the public until after the trial by the judge because the nature of the murder and the public’s reaction. On February 24 1993 at New Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle, video evidence showed the two boys observing other children, which police believe they were finding a target that day. The day of the murder, Thompson and Venables skipped school to go to the mall which they did frequently. Throughout the day before the murder the two were seen stealing a variety of items which included candy and some batteries and a can of blue paint, and a couple of these items were found at the murder scene. That same afternoon, James Bulger went to the mall with his mother Denise. While the mother was inside a butcher’s shop, she realized that her son had gone missing. She had left him at the door while placing her order at the shop where Thompson and Venables spotted James. The two boys took James and left the mall. Thompson and Venables took Bulger on a two mile walk across the city of Liverpool, where he was dropped on his head and had suffered minor injuries to his face. The police state that the boys joked about pushing him into the Liverpool canal. People had seen them when the three were walking across Liverpool and had also seen the bump on the little boys head but did nothing to intervene. Many people believed the three to be brothers and went about their own business. Eventually the boys led Bulger to a railway line near an abandoned railway stationed where Thompson and Venables attacked Bulger. During the trial, this location is where one of the boys had thrown blue paint into Bulger’s eye. They then kicked him and hit him with bricks, stones, and an iron bar, which was part of the railway; they had also placed batteries in his mouth. Bulger had suffered ten skull fractures to the head from the iron bar striking him. Police had also suspected that there was sexual harassment that had taken place since some of his clothing was removed from his body and his foreskin had been manipulated. When asked about it, the boys were unwilling to give details. Before the boys left him, they had laid Bulger’s body across the railway tracks and held his head down with bricks and stones hoping that a train would hit him and make his death appear to be an accident. Later on that day after the two ten year old boys had left the railroad tracks; Bulger’s body was cut in half by a train. On February 14, his detached body was discovered. The Police swiftly found the video images of Bulger’s abduction from the shopping center by two unidentified boys. Newspapers stated that many people saw Bulger that day but had never intervened to help Bulger as he was taken throughout the city with the two boys. This crime created anger in Liverpool. The crime that had taken place was so brutal and the boy was very young people in Liverpool was astonished on how someone could bring harm to a young individual...
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