Thursday, July 4, 2013

The parole of Jon Venables and what happens next.


Today, we heard the news that the UK's Jon Venables had gotten parole.

It's a complicated issue to start off with, as to why a person can murder a toddler and then get parole, only to be subsequently locked up again for having child porn on his computer, and then subsequently be released yet again two years after that.

Whilst I don't condone either the release of Venables, or the very possible lynch mob that will form and go hunting for him (and probably hurt or kill innocent people who are mistaken for him in the process), deep down, everyone is well aware that he's effectively a dead man walking - whether they agree with it or not.

It's an unfortunately fact that despite the UK's forward thinking and advances in society and etiquette, at moments like this a large portion of the population will descend into a witch hunt.  Mob rule and all. 

So my question is who is responsible for what comes next?

What is happening is the parole board is putting the government on trial with the public.  They've made a mockery of what's already a very emotionally charged situation, and in the process, turned it into a rather dangerous one.

By letting Venables out, the parole board has sent a clear message to much of the public that their safety comes second place to Venables' rights to a third chance.  At least, that is what much of the general public hears.

And there lies a problem:  Whatever the reasons that the parole board had for this decision, it's lost on the public.  Jon Venables isn't even going to be Jon Venables when he's out, as that name is so evil in the UK, and if someone kills him, many people are going to be watching to see if the justice system dishes out a bigger sentence to his murderer than what Venables himself got for killing a toddler.  

Very few things can emotionally charge a population like this topic does.  The government is basically putting itself in a situation where the public will get outraged.  

At the end of this all will likely be an inquiry.  It'll also be viewed as largely pointless, because the public already has an opinion of what should have happened, which is not to grant Venables parole. 

As for the people on the parole board?  Oh, they'll be alright…  You can guarantee that.