Tony Hicks Approved for Parole
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On January 21, 1995, Tariq Khamisa, a 20-year old college student, was killed in San Diego, CA. He was shot by a 14-year old gang initiate, Tony Hicks. Tony pled guilty to the crime and, through the recent passing of a new law, became the first youth in California, under the age of 16, to be sentenced as an adult. Tony was sentenced to 25 years to life in an adult prison.
Tariq’s father, Azim Khamisa, saw victims on both ends of the gun. Mr. Khamisa saw that Tariq was the victim of the 14-year old gang member, but also that the 14-year old gang member was a victim of society. Mr. Khamisa understood that Tony had no tools to help him navigate through life. At 16 years old, Tony was sent to Folsom Prison at the highest level of security, placing him in prison with adult men, a new law the Khamisa family did not agree with.
Mr. Khamisa reached out in the spirit of forgiveness and healing to Tony’s grandfather, Ples Felix. Together they started TKF to stop youth violence.
Since the beginning of this tragedy, Tony confessed to his crime and has continuously sought to better his life. He has apologized to the Khamisa family, shares his remorse, and plans to join Mr. Khamisa and his grandfather, Mr. Felix, in their efforts to teach children accountability, compassion, forgiveness, and peacemaking.
From prison, Tony has written numerous blogs responding to questions from youth participating in the TKF programs. He has also earned his GED and is working towards his AA degree in Social Work. Tony participates in Gangmembers Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, Toastmasters, and has done rigorous self-inventories to identify his character defects.
The Khamisa family and the Tariq Khamisa Foundation supports the release of Tony Hicks at his upcoming parole hearing on November 28th.
We believe Tony Hicks made a mistake and atoned for it. He has served his time and is suitable for parole.
We believe Tony Hicks is a powerful example of the benefits of restorative justice. TKF plans to bring Tony onto the staff following his release so that he may share his message about the consequences of violence.
We believe youth will benefit from Tony Hicks. The bottom line is that our youth need Tony. He has a powerful voice in stopping youth violence. Tony is uniquely suited to teach youth accountability, compassion, forgiveness, and peacemaking.