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Persuasive Writing

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Buckingham Palace 7 Bridge Street London Sutton SW1A 2AA Surrey SM8 4XX 14th December 1952 To Your Majesty, the Queen I am writing to you about the awful miscarriage of justice toward the teenager Derek Bentley. I am in no doubt that a gracious ruler such as your self would not stand for such inhumanity and have no joy in putting a boy with so much left to achieve in life to death. I am sure that you have heard how Derek was found guilty of murder, along with his friend Christopher Craig. We all know that murder is wrong, but Derek did not commit murder. Derek Bentley suffered a tragic accident when he was a young boy, leaving him cursed with epilepsy and a poor mental age. He was sent out of school early, as he could not keep up with the other keep up with the other children. This caused his parents to worry about his future, wouldn't you? Derek obviously was very unconfident with himself; suffering from a low self esteem, extreme self-criticism and little respect for himself. He had spent the majority of life inside; away from social situations, therefore never receiving the social skills required for a boy his age. ...read more.


Before this shocking, dreadful and tragic night, Craig had only ever carried an unloaded gun around Derek. Derek does not even own or carry any weaponry. Craig was the one who had the gun, and he had brought the knife and homemade knuckle-duster with a spike on with the intention of giving it to Derek. From this alone, it is clear that Craig is the one with the sinful, violent and life destroying purpose, not Derek. Can you not see that? It is true that Derek was heard to shout, "Let him have it, Chris!" This has been witnessed by many police officers, the upholders of the law. But has it crossed the mind of the court that he did not mean for Chris to shoot. How could a child, which is what Derek is as he only has the mental age of an eleven year old, have murderous thoughts? They couldn't. Instead, he simply meant, let the detective have the gun Chris; surrender. Maybe the court just wanted to get revenge for the death of PC Miles? Maybe they have just decided that Derek meant shoot, even though you don't truly know what he meant? ...read more.


We have written to the Home Secretary, Sir David Maxwell Fyfe, but he refuses to see the reasons for intervening in the case, even though he has received a petition signed by about two hundred MP's against Derek's death, and the suggestion of mercy from the jury. We urge you to pardon Derek. How can this many people be wrong about his guilt? How can you turn a blind eye to this devastatingly incorrect sentence? How can you murder someone who is clearly blameless? Derek is truly the innocent one of the two, the one who deserves to live. He did not understand what was going on. He is just a child. There is an execution age limit of eighteen years for a reason; a child would not be able to comprehend the crime they had committed. As previously mentioned, Derek was not violent in any way whilst under arrest and he did not try to get away or to join Craig, which would have been easy as Detective Fairfax was wounded. He never fought his arrest. Can you not see that the wrong man is being killed? One innocent man involved in this case has already been killed; does the British Justice System want to live with the guilt of killing another? The majority of the country wants Derek to be released; do you? Yours faithfully, R. Millhouse ...read more.

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