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Murder charge for 13 year old, should he be tried as an adult?

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (AFP) - US appeals judges Tuesday began considering whether a 13-year-old boy accused of murder could be tried as an adult -- and risk spending the rest of his life behind bars.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court was considering a case that has attracted international scrutiny because of the possibility that Jordan Brown, who was just 11 at the time of his alleged crime, might be imprisoned as an adult and never be released.

The three-judge panel queried lawyers about the decision by a lower court to bar Brown from being sent to a juvenile court.

A key requirement of the juvenile court would be for Brown to show potential for rehabilitation, in which case he could be free as early as when he turned 21.

However, the lower court found against him after insisting that he show remorse -- something his lawyers say he can't do, given that he insists he did not commit the murder.

On Tuesday, defense lawyers argued that the lower court had violated Brown's Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. Appeals judges said this was the key issue to consider.

"The bottom line is, from my viewpoint: were his Fifth Amendment rights violated because of the way the trial court handled these proceedings?" Superior Court Judge Cheryl Allen asked a prosecution lawyer.

Answer Question

Asked by sweet-a-kins at 2:24 PM on Jan. 26, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 34 (67,502 Credits)
Answers (20)
  • sweet-a-kins

    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 2:24 PM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • US judges consider fate of 13 year old AFP/HO/FILE - A Lawrence County Prison-issued photo shows Jordan Anthony Brown. US appeals judges Tuesday began considering ...


    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 2:25 PM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • That's up to the judge to decide and the other governing bodies involved with the case.
    and not anyone else.

    Answer by jewjewbee at 2:27 PM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • Is there more information on the actual crime somewhere? Murder is murder I get that, but I'd want to know more about the violence involved before I made an opinion on being tried as an adult or child

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 2:27 PM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • You know I was going to post this a few days ago when the appeal first went through. It's a local case for me so I've been following it since the beginning. He was only 11 when he actually shot the woman. I don't honestly believe he had a grasp of the seriousness of what he was doing. I mean, he shot the woman because he felt she was taking his place with his father & he wanted her gone. Which is FAR from rational adult thinking. So no, I don't think he should be tried as an adult. He's not an adult, he's a child and he committed the crime not because he's violent, but because he is a child. If anything the person who allowed him to have such access to a gun should be facing charges. This child needs help, not prison!

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 2:27 PM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • I see no other situation in which an 11 year old is expected to act, think or be responsible in a way similar to an adult, so I just don't see how they can be tried as adults ever. The line may get a little fuzzy closer to 16 or so and in a teen with a violent past, but in my opinion 11 years old is just too young to be charged as an adult. To me, if you are so violent at such a young age then there is something wrong that needs to be fixed. Somewhere along the line this child was failed by the adults in his life. I don't think a life in prison is an appropriate sentence, but rehabilitation is certainly imperative.

    Answer by MaryMW at 2:34 PM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • Think this is the story where he shot the stepmom or dads gf.I believe she was pregnant at the time too..

    Answer by tnmomofive at 2:38 PM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • But Sabrina, he is insisting he didn't do it. It's being reported that he did it because he felt the woman was trying to replace him with his father? I wonder, is it possible that he was just so caught up with his feelings of inadequacy and hurt, among other things, that he did shoot her in a fit of rage, and doesn't remember? He could have been going through puberty, or the starts of it. Which certainly doesn't add to it. If his parents were divorced, or his mom had died, that is a factor. Which, I'm guessing it's one or the other. I don't know anything about his mental state. With something like this, I'd say they need to do lots of background searching. Talk with his friends, teachers. He needs to be thoroughly examined by a psychiatrist and psychotherapist and psychologist. This is a very young boy, his whole life could be destroyed if they make the wrong decision here. It's not black and white. It's very, very complex.

    Answer by Raine2001 at 2:38 PM on Jan. 26, 2011


    some things about the crime, she was his Dad's pregnant fiance'


    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 2:49 PM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • I am so glad that some people are for the little boy. my heart is breaking for him. i believe him. an 11 yr old is easy to get the truth out of. can you imagine what he is going through. i have a retarded nephew that is an adult and a girl said he touch her privates. he went to prison for 2 yrs and is on probation for 7 yrs. he doesn't understand why he was in and why he gets beat up a lot. why the guards throw his plate of food on the floor, why they take his prostetic leg from him and make him crawl up the steps to go to the shower. the guards are worse than the inmates because they can get away with it. if he questions a guard about why he is there they tell him he is chester the molester. on guard even put a big guy in with my 5'5" nephew and 3 guards cheered him on as he beat my nephew. he ended up with stitches. no one cared . i called talk to people and they don't believe him. they said all cons lie. so this little boy

    Answer by Dianakk at 2:50 PM on Jan. 26, 2011

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