Friday, 22 January 2010
Retribution or restoration?
The violence of the attack by two brothers on two other young boys near Doncaster is comprehensible only within the context of the violence of their own family life. Not that this is an excuse for what they did but it does offer a partial explanation for their actions. Having been brought up in a dysfunctional ("toxic) environment, they are themselves completely dysfunctional. "A potential psychopath" was the way one of the boys was described by a psychologist. I really don't know what I would consider as an adequate sentence for these boys. Without diminishing the enormity of what they've done, common humanity dictates that society recognises that the boys are victims themselves. In the event, the judge sentenced them to indeterminate sentences, with them serving a minimum of 5 years. In practice, they will serve much longer sentences than this. Is this adequate or just? I don't know. What I do hope that the media will promote a sensible discussion on how such offenders should be treated and, perhaps, provide us with an insight into the treatment the boys would get. Fat chance of this as the news media are already moving on to something else.