Dear Sir,
Ray Fleming in his article “Setting the killers free” asks the question “how to determine the correct custodial sentence to pay for murder...”.
He also feels that the Parole Board is a satisfactory solution to decide on a release date, be it that “a risk will always be there...”.
His other main point is about the press revealing the identity/location of Thompson & Venables, and of course “vigilante” actions are to be avoided at all costs, but at the heart of this matter is the terrible nature of the crime, especially the victim being a toddler of two years of age.

The public's reaction is a human one, as opposed to the crime, which was inhumane.
Firstly the term “life sentence” in British law has no relation to a life term, murderers being released after 10 years, and we see it in the case of baby Bulger, 8 years. In Germany, “life” invariably means a minimum of 20 years.

One should also consider the nature of the killing.
Whilst no murder is excusable, one, say, committed in such a premeditated way, with such viciousness, against a toddler must be amongst the most horrendous to-date.

I recall reading some years past a book entitled, I think, “The Devils” by a top crime correspondant of the “Evening Standard”.
It was about the Brady/Hindley moor murderers.
One thing that stuck in my mind ever since were related recordings of the children being tortured, which this couple had recorded.
It begs belief that the human being is capable of such actions, and today we see a very similar crime with young Bulger.
Despite the efforts of Lord Loneford and his group, the moor murderers remain in prison, and with the release of Thompson/Venables, can the risk be taken? I recall reading of a case where a woman was released from a mental home, considered cured/re-habilitated, and shortly after stabbed to death on the street the first (13 year old) girl she encountered.

Did not know her, just something (again) snapped, and two more parents were left to grieve for the rest of their lives. This parole board in the Bulger case has a heavy responsibility, and if they're wrong, it will just result in some tut-tutting, sad head shaking, and “we acted in the best possible...etc...” not much consolation to another victim and his/her family.

Maybe when such murderers are released, if they re-offend, the parole board could serve a part or whole of the sentence given to the offender and that would certainly make them think twice when allowing future releases! So yes, a longer sentence, not given in vengeance, but rather to protect the public at large, and parole boards who can be severely punished if their judgement proves faulty with serious results.

The vast majority of the law abiding public deserve something more than at present.
Yours sincerely

Graham Phillips

Bulger killers: my full support for their release

Dear Sir,
In response to Ivor Dugdale–Jenkins Phew! I don't always agree with Ray Fleming but reading Mr. Dugdale–Jenkins's letter in today's (yesterday) Bulletin I can only say that what a relief it is that sanity such as Mr. Fleming's can survive in times of the ugly and revengeful mass hysteria that surrounds the Bulger case. Mr. Dugdale–Jenkins is, it seems, ready to lead a lynch mob to take revenge on the two killers of little Jamie Bulger although I am sure that he is normally the very epitome of law and order. Despite his dismay at the money spent incarcerating the two boys to date I am sure that Mr. Jenkins is normally a supporter of the millions of pounds spent annually on incarcerating all other criminals – from drug users to adult murderers.

What suitable punishment would he have advocated for these two ten year olds to avoid the cost of their incarceration?
The death penalty?
His extraordinary statement: “then let the 93% against their release, know of their whereabouts”, not only lacks statistical evidence of any sort but is paramount to encitement to murder these young men whom the very law – which I am sure Mr. Dugdale–Jenkins usually supports – has judged suitable for release. Are you advocating contempt and disobedience to the law, Mr Jenkins?

Are you prepared to accept that anyone, when they disagree with a parole board decision, should take the law into his or her own hands? If I was a Christian Mr. Jenkins I would say: May God forgive you, you know not what you do.

Meb Cutlack.S'Arraco