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I can't believe Bobby killed Lucy!

Posted by
06 Mar 2015
Whether you like it or not, there are two things that have happened recently that you will have heard about. The first is Madonna spectacularly falling over at the Brit Awards, and the other is that Bobby killed Lucy Beale.

I don't watch much television, but one thing I can't miss is Eastenders, especially when there has been a story about "who killed Lucy” for such a long time. Months of anticipation ended in the least likely person, her little brother, being revealed as her killer. It is quite unusual for a child to be named in such a way either in television or film, and the punishment for Bobby (if any) has yet to be revealed. It really got me thinking about what happens to minors who end up (intentionally or not) committing such heinous crimes.

The case of Jamie Bulger is probably the most memorable to me, given that it took place in my childhood, and had national coverage. A two year old was abducted, tortured and murdered by two 10 year old boys. It was widely reported that after one of the killers was released from prison, he went on to commit more crime. So how effectively was his rehabilitation dealt with? Did imprisoning a child have a negative impact on his development? Or was he simply the "evil child murderer” portrayed by the media, who could never be led along the straight path?

Compare this to the case of Silje Redergard, a little girl in Norway, murdered by two little boys, aged six. It is another horrific story, which no one should have to suffer. But the interesting difference is that the two boys in Norway were integrated back into society, and protected from both the media and the public (the criminal age of responsibility in Norway is 15). The identity of the boys was never released, they were moved to a different school, and coached back into normal day to day life. The two boys are now over the age of 21 and reportedly have not been in any trouble since.

Have the two different approaches to punishment had a different impact on the development and rehabilitation of these young offenders? If Jamie Bulger's killers had been integrated back into society as with the case in Norway, could the outcome have been any different?

So how should we deal with young offenders? At what age should you be legally accountable for your actions? What is the most effective way of preventing future crime? An interesting topic, yet a difficult task for those involved in the legal process.

Let me know in the comments below what you believe is the most effective way to rehabilitate young offenders... 
Tagged In: Events, Legal
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