Justice for Joseph Adetula and His Family

 

Joseph Adetula was a young man in his prime. He had many dreams and ambitions. He was a helpful person and often did chores for his parents. Little did his family expect that the fourth of July, 2005 would be the last time they would see him alive. Joseph was brutally murdered in a drive by shooting on his way home from the convenience store that day.

 

In spite of the help of the police, the Adetula family has not yet achieved closure. They cannot get over their grief because their son’s murderer or murderers are still walking around, free to kill another person. They have not been brought to justice.

 

Investigation by Detective Jeff Felton has shown that Joseph was shot in a drive by shooting by individuals riding in a gold Cadillac. He was shot nine times in the upper torso, which resulted in his death. Though no arrests have been made, the police have had word that there may have been bad blood between Joseph and his killers.

 

Another source of pain for the family is that their request for compensation as the victim’s family has been denied. The Oklahoma Crime Victims Compensation Board states that the Adetula family is not qualified to receive compensation because the victim displayed contributory conduct by engaging in illegal activity (marijuana possession). Contributory conduct, according to the Oklahoma Crime Victims Compensation Board, is any decision or behavior on the victim’s part that contributed to the situation leading up to the crime. Examples they say may include intoxication, fighting, using poor judgment and membership in a gang, among others.

 

Mr. Dayo Adetula cannot understand why their petition has been denied. He has checked the criteria for eligibility and feels that his son did nothing that disqualifies them. There have been no signs that this crime was anything other than a bunch of kids senselessly killing his son. The board has insufficient evidence to deny their claim because up to now, Joseph’s murderers have not been caught.

 

The Adetula family has cooperated with every aspect of the investigation. They have done everything that the police have asked of them. Their son did not do anything to deserve being shot. Walking down the street does not contribute to a crime.

 

Joseph Adetula was not part of gang. He was not intoxicated. Nor was he under the influence of drugs at the time of his death. He did not sell drugs. In fact, although a small baggie of marijuana was found in his pocket at the time of his death, Detective Felton says that it appears consistent with personal use nothing more.

The crime here is murder, not drug possession. The drug is irrelevant to this crime. The police themselves have verified that Joseph was not a drug pusher – he did not have the kind of money a drug dealer would require. Joseph’s killers are unknown to his family. If they knew, they’d have had them arrested already.

 

Joseph is the victims here. Yet they are made to feel like it is Joseph’s fault. Where is the justice for Joseph Adetula and his family?