My twin sons, Albade and Obadiah, were just 22 years old when they were gunned down in East Oakland. Both students, Albade attending Merritt College and Obadiah studying to open his own barber shop, they were fixing Obadiah’s car when somebody shot and killed them at close range. The pain I feel for the loss of my sons will never go away. It is made even worse when I hear, almost daily, that another mother in California has lost her child to violence that has taken so many lives.
The person who killed my twin sons likely still walks the street today. Like the death of my sons, a shocking 46% of murders in California each year go unsolved, along with 56% of reported rapes. In this time of economic crisis, budgets for local law enforcement have been slashed repeatedly. Instead of hiring more officers to investigate open homicide cases, we are forced to lay off the very people who could catch these killers. Instead of being tested, rape kits languish on shelves while the perpetrator remains free to attack another person.
The death penalty is a broken promise. It does not make our streets safer and it takes away resources from things that prevent violence, like keeping our kids in school and putting cops on the street. It also denies justice for thousands of grieving mothers who, like me, will never see their children’s murderer be held accountable for their crimes.