Idiocy at The Barbados Advocate: Murderous 25 year old career criminal described as “Youth”

Headline: “Youth jailed for 10 years for killing visitor”

When Curtis Joel Foster chased down Canadian tourist Teresa “Terry” Schwarzfeld at Long Beach last year and beat her to death he was 24 years old and in the middle of a one man violent crime wave that had been going on at Long Beach for over a year. Foster committed multiple robberies, thefts, assaults and is or was charged with at least one rape of a tourist.

Foster is not a “youth” by any stretch of imagination, but that’s how the Barbados Advocate described him in their headline.

Was the paper trying to mitigate the public disgust at the light 10 year sentence by indicating that Foster is a “youth” and therefore somehow less responsible for his actions?

This is not the first time we’ve seen the term “youth” misapplied by the Barbados Advocate to describe adult men in their mid-20’s who commit violent crimes. We’ve noticed that the paper habitually refers to adult criminals as “youths” even if they are talking about a gang of not-quite 30-year-old thugs hanging out at the T.

Is it that “youths” are somehow less threatening to our image?

Words matter, so we’re calling the Barbados Advocate out for their idiocy… or their propaganda.

What do you think folks? Have you noticed this trend by the paper? Why do the people at the Barbados Advocate continue to describe 24 year old adult males as “youths”?

17 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, News Media, Police

17 responses to “Idiocy at The Barbados Advocate: Murderous 25 year old career criminal described as “Youth”

  1. Vernita

    He is a grown man, not a youth, of low intelligence, a drug abuser, plus a frustrated, avowed homosexual, and all of the above led him to commit that heinous crime on Mrs. Schwartzfiled. I have heard of similar crimes in other countries and the punishment is similar to this one here is Barbados, 10 years max.

  2. permres

    I suppose we could ask Heather Greenidge or the editor. Any chance of a reply?

  3. Crusoe

    Maybe they call them youth, so as to discourage potential victims from reacting too harshly and killing the ‘criminal scum’?

    That way it stops the potential victims being charged with using ‘excessive force’, as might happen if one of these scum was shot dead in the commission of a crime.

    Am I too sarcastic?

  4. Old Rooster

    Now that you mention it bfp I have notice this YOUTHS thing at the advocate and the nation too. Subtle, isn’t it?

  5. And since when is 60 “elderly”?

  6. politcal whoredom

    technically speaking he is a youth.. he may have a rap sheet that would suggest it belongs to someone older. But fact is he is 25 and that age is considered “youth”. I believe the writer was contrast his age with is crimes.

    Does anyone wonder if he actually committed this crime though?

  7. me

    His sentence was not unusually light. Internationally there has been a trend for five t0 ten year sentences for manslaughter.

    Jails are stuffed to bursting with nonviolent drug offenders, after all.

    Agitate for reform if you will, but please don’t think this was an unusual case.

    And if you want manslaughter folk to be kept longer, decide who you’d prefer to let out earlier.

  8. Youth?

    At 23 years old I already served 4 years overseas in uniform, had a wife, a daughter and a mortgage. I was finishing up my mechanic’s license at nights and working full time in a auto paint shop six days a week. Was I a “youth”? Nobody is a “youth” at 25 years old. I don’t know what standards the people have who consider Foster a youth. Foster is no “youth”. He made his choices like everyone makes their choices.

  9. BFP

    Hello me,

    Perhaps the real question is, “Was this truly manslaughter?”

    Given the return to the bushes for the weapon and then resuming pursuit as the victims ran away, and the second hit on the daughter-in-law at the back of the head, that is a real question. To the ordinary person on the street, that sounds like intent to kill. To me and many others anyway.

  10. Crusoe

    ‘ return to the bushes for the weapon and then resuming pursuit ‘

    That clearly demonstrates intent.

    If you and a neighbour argue over dominoes, you sweep the table and a rum bottle hits him in the temple, he dies.

    THAT is a case where one can say that the circumstances demonstrate manslaughter.

    Alternately, you get vex, go inside and get a baseball bat, on your return you wring a lash into his head.

    You have demonstrated, by going inside to:

    1) Obtain a weapon

    2) Cause him bodily harm with an offensive weapon

    3) Had the time to think about what you were doing, thereby it cannot have been an accident.

    THAT is murder.

  11. Crusoe

    By the way, the only mitigation in my example above, is whether it can be deemed that you were aggravated into the action above, which may affect sentencing but not the outcome per se.

    i.e., if prior to you going inside for the baseball bat, the other pplayer called your mother et all all sorts of names, said things about your wife’s chastity and admitted something you did not like, say, that he ‘organised’ yuh daughter.

    Then, a judge may expect that you would have reacted such, but still the jury would have convicted you.

    Those are just my thoughts from a lay citizen.

  12. definition

    I too was curious about how to define youth…it seems so subjective. Here’s what I found on the UN website. He was 24 at the time of the crime, so maybe they’re using UN definitions? Does Barbados have official economic definitions for these kind of words? didnt find any info on that

    …”Q – What does the UN mean by “youth,” and how does this definition differ from that given to children?

    A- The United Nations, for statistical purposes, defines ‘youth’, as those persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years, without prejudice to other definitions by Member States. This definition was made during preparations for the International Youth Year (1985), and endorsed by the General Assembly (see A/36/215 and resolution 36/28, 1981). All United Nations statistics on youth are based on this definition, as illustrated by the annual yearbooks of statistics published by the United Nations system on demography, education, employment and health.

    By that definition, therefore, children are those persons under the age of 14. It is, however, worth noting that Article 1 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child defines ‘children’ as persons up to the age of 18. This was intentional, as it was hoped that the Convention would provide protection and rights to as large an age-group as possible and because there was no similar United Nations Convention on the Rights of Youth.

    Many countries also draw a line on youth at the age at which a person is given equal treatment under the law – often referred to as the “age of majority’. This age is often 18 in many countries, and once a person passes this age, they are considered to be an adult. However, the operational definition and nuances of the term ‘youth’ often vary from country to country, depending on the specific socio-cultural, institutional, economic and political factors.

    Within the category of “youth”, it is also important to distinguish between teenagers (13-19) and young adults (20-24), since the sociological, psychological and health problems they face may differ.”

    Source: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unyin/qanda.htm

  13. He is not a “youth” but an ADULT with ability to know right from wrong. The crime MURDER and CHARGE was for MURDER. The light sentencing (10 years) is an insult to the public at large, and leave Bajans everywhere feeling that our judical system is a mockery.

  14. ???

    United Nations definitions of youth are ages 15-24. Because you are described as a youth, it does not mean you are not seen as an adult.

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  17. G Carter

    To hell with youth, why is his punishment only 10 years? that sends a very terrible message. For my country depending on tourism it is shamefull.10 years for a human life that chose to bring their dollars to the shores of Barbados. It is a shame, How can I feel safe and proud to invite my friends to visit Barbados.