Clansman Gang Trial | Lawyer wants under 10 years for ‘top-shooter’ Tareek James
The lawyer for Tareek James, one of the top shooters in the Clansman-One Don Gang, today begged for a sentence of under 10 years while arguing in court that he was a teenager when he got involved in gang activities and that he had an immature mind.
The 24-year-old convict, who was the bodyguard for convicted gang leader Andre 'Blackman' Bryan, is facing sentencing for being a member of a criminal organization and four counts of facilitating the commission of a serious offence by a criminal organization.
Gang membership and facilitating gang activities both carry a maximum sentence of 20 years.
In plea litigation today before presiding judge Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, attorney-at-law Esther Reid asked the judge to start his calculations at 10 years but ensure that the sentence is under that time.
She further asked the judge to bear in mind that her client grew up without his parents.
Reid disclosed that James' mother died from asthma when he was 11 and that his father was shot and killed a day after they met.
Drawing on the remarks of residents of Jones Town in Spanish Town, St Catherine, Reid asked the judge to consider that James was forced into gang activities and that the lives of family members were at risk had he refused.
At the same time, Reid said it must be taken into account that James' mind was immature and that he was under immense pressure and was ultimately led down a path of a criminality.
In begging for leniency, Reid also urged the judge to consider the sympathies of residents, noting that they have expressed the view that James was not a bad person but had simply fallen victim to a bigger irresistible force.
Reid further asked the judge to ensure that, in handing down the sentence, he imposes one in which her client will still be able to reintegrate in society on his release.
While stressing that her client had already lost many of his youthful years behind bars, Reid also asked the judge to remember that "he has many more youthful years left."
Notwithstanding that her client still maintains his innocence, Reid submitted that James can still be rehabilitated as he is aware of the traumatic and negative impact of gang violence and activities on the society.
She added that he has used the years that he has been in custody as a time for great reflection.
"He has had the almost six years in which he has looked at his life and his likely future and he is aware that at whatever point that he comes back into society much will be expected of him," Reid said.
- Tanesha Mundle
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