Stories

Aqeela Sherrills

Aqeela’s Story

My son, Terrell, went to a party with friends in 2005 in an affluent neighborhood and was shot to death. He was home on winter break from Humboldt State University. Even though Terrell had never been involved with a gang, he became a victim of random gang violence.

Terrell's younger brother and sister suffer to this day. The perpetrator has never been caught or charged. But with every passing year I grow more committed to seeing justice through and to ending this type of senseless violence. I know one key is for parents to act more wisely to protect young people.

One day I'd like to tell my granddaughter Heavenly that her father's murderer has been apprehended and that justice will be served. I pray that I can tell her that her dad's death was not in vain. I pray that these words from one father, who loves and misses his son, will appeal to the humanity of another.

Permanent imprisonment is a viable alternative to our deeply flawed death penalty system. Cutting health and human services and propping up a broken death penalty system is a guarantee for more heartbreak. California doesn't need more grieving families like mine.

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