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happy? – Nov 2 (Bentley and Craig)

02 Nov 05 - 08:33 AM (#1595687)
Subject: happy? – Nov 2 (Bentley and Craig)
From: Abby Sale

On November 2, 1952, petty thief, Christopher Craig shot & killed police constable Sidney Miles and eventually the 16-year-old Craig did 10 years for it. He was accompanied by the 19-year-old epileptic & retarded Derek Bentley. Seems there was no good evidence Bentley had anything to do with the killing but he was still duly tried and executed for it. On July 30, 1998 the Appeal Court exonerated Bentley. (I'm not clear how much better that made him feel.)

        He was just a half-grown frightened lad who couldn't read or write,
        But standing there with gun in hand he terrorised the night.
            It was guns and comics, films of war that made his education.

        At nine o'clock one Wednesday, they took young Bentley out,
        And made a noose of hemp and rope and put it round his throat.
            It was guns and comics, films of war that made his education.

                "Ballad of Bentley and Craig" written by Karl Dallas and performed by Ewan MacColl on
                Bad Lads and Hard Cases, 1957 and as "Derek Bentley" with Peggy Seeger on
                Chorus from the Gallows, 1960

There's a lot about this case on the web & its place in crime and capital punishment discussion – Google it, if you like.

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