A mother is calling for revision of the laws concerning juvenile offenders since, in her opinion, they have failed everyone in this society.
In a message that went into wide circulation on social media on Tuesday, the woman asserts that a suspect in the shooting death of a Syrian businessman was involved in the brutal beating of her son.
Allegedly, he was one of three youth who attacked and beat 16-year-old Jerkeem Jackson last year. The young men were seen on video surveillance, trailing Jackson, shortly before he was attacked in Ottos, beaten, and left for dead.
The teenager sustained injuries to his head and cuts about his mouth, face, eyes and hands, and remained in a coma in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for some time; but he made major progress in his physical recovery.
In spite of there being three persons involved in Jackson’s attack and wounding, only one was charged: Darrell Giddens, 21, of Radio Range.
Accordingly, Giddens was remanded to His Majesty’s Prison on an attempted murder charge and reportedly was sentenced to a term of 40 months, last Friday, May 19.
In her message, the mother says the youth now suspected of murder – as well as the other young assailant – did not pay for the crime against her son. She claims she was told they were too young to be tried for attempted murder.
If he is found to be involved in the businessman’s murder, will he be deemed too young to stand trial for the capital offence, she now asks.
She reports that her son was in a coma for two weeks, which has left him with permanent brain damage, and he is now a shell of his former self. And she points out that neither her son nor any member of her family had provoked his attackers.
As a result of the incident, she says her other children have had to receive counseling, with her youngest son being most affected and incurring a stress-related injury.
Accordingly, this mother says the justice system has failed the youth and everyone else in Antigua and Barbuda.