Monday, March 29, 2010

11-year-old Alleged Killer to be Tried as an Adult

Lawrence County Judge Dominick Motto has given the green light to prosecutors who are pursuing Jordan Brown as an adult for the murder of his father's girlfriend. Judge Motto found that Brown would not be amenable to treatment within the nine years he would be under the jurisdiction of the juvenile courts if tried as a juvenile.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Brown faces life in prison. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he would become the youngest person in the United States to serve a mandatory life sentence in prison without parole.

Brown was 11 years old when he allegedly shot his father's girlfriend. She was pregnant and asleep when she was shot in the head with a 20-gauge shotgun. In denying the defendant's request to transfer the case to juvenile court, Judge Motto wrote, "(The) defendant . . . killed his father's fiancee who was 8 1/2 moths pregnant, by administering a shotgun blast to the head. The evidence further shows that the defendant acted alone and without provocation from the victim. Further a degree of sophistication was shown in concealing evidence of the commission of the crime."

Judge Motto further wrote, "Experts from both the defendant and the Commonwealth have agreed that in order for rehabilitation to occur in the Juvenile Court System, Defendant must take responsibility for the offense and at this juncture, has failed to do so."

Forty-two states authorize sentencing juveniles to life without parole(LWOP). Fourteen states allow a minor to be tried as an adult at any age. Pennsylvania allows a child of any age to be tried as an adult for murder. Pennsylvania also leads the nation in juveniles serving LWOP. Pennsylvania has at least 330 offenders who were sentenced to LWOP as juveniles. Across the country more than 2,250 offenders are serving life sentences in adult prison for crimes committed as minors.

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1 comment:

Kayla.Zoller said...

I meant to ask in class about the Jordan Brown case, but I didn't think of it until after you left. I don't think it is right to try a child as an adult for any crime because it is not the child's fault when a crime is committed. When children are involved in crime, it is most likely because they were not raised knowing what is right or wrong. Parents need to take the time to talk to their kids about right and wrong, and they need to know warning signs of something being wrong. Brown was supposedly jealous that a new baby was coming, and if someone would have talked to him about it, a different outcome probably would've happened. Instead, he is in a messy situation, being tried as an adult at 12 years old. I don't think any child should have to go through this.

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