Adult vs. Juvenile Court VII
Most often in the news, you hear reports of young children who are below the age of seventeen to have committed crimes. Some are reported to have been involved in murder while others in robbery with violence. Nevertheless, what people are always concerned about the most is the manner in which they are persecuted. Currently, majority of juveniles who get involved with serious crimes such as murder or homicide have been tried in the adult courts because of the severity of the crime. In the year 2010, CNN reported a case that took place in Wampum, Pennsylvania involving an 11-year-old known as Jordan Brown. According to the report, Brown was considered as the murder suspect of a 26 year old woman known as Kenzie Houk who was by the time of her death eight months pregnant (Chen, 2010). In this case, Jordan was accused of two homicides, that of Houk and the fetus. He ended up not pleading guilty for the crime. Nevertheless, according to Pennsylvania law, any individual regardless of their age is charged in the adult courts as adult especially if they are suspects in homicide. This meant that Jordan was likely to be tried as an adult and might end up living the rest of his life in prison and not given any form of parole.
Jordan’s sentence was not adequate, but rather excessive. This is because according to experts, all children who have been involved with homicide need to be tried as juveniles in the juvenile courts. The sentencing also ought to be less harsh. However, Jordan was taken to Lawrence Country Jail where adults are jailed. Later, through the help of the attorney, he was sent to Edmund L. Thomas Adolescent Detention Center (Chen, 2010). The appropriate ages of the juvenile should be an individual who is below the age of seventeen and Jordan was only 11 years meaning it was harsh to take him to adult facility; the best place for him to be jailed was the juvenile facility. Nevertheless, based on the reports, Jordan has never been allowed to celebrate any of his birthdays and ended up spending Christmas there. This was a little harsh for the young taking into account that majority of children who are taken to this particular facility is released within a week or three days.
There is no evidence that the homicide was a gang activity rather Jordan was sentenced because he owned a gun that he used for hunting. However, the crime rates in Pennsylvania are high with per 1000 residents, you find that 21.28 individuals are involved in crime. The total number of violent crimes is 40, 339 while property crimes is 232, 085 on a yearly basis (Neighborhood Scout, n.d).
The only manner in which the management can change the outcome of Jordan’s case is when the Pennsylvania laws are changed that indicates that all children must be tried as adults. According to the prosecutor who was involved with the case, he mentioned that the Pennsylvania law did not give him any choice but to try Jordan in the adult courts regardless of his young age. Based on a research that was conducted in the year 2005, the court’s evaluation found that the adolescent brain was all grown thus the reason for the need for them to be tried in the adult courts.
The reports by CNN however do not indicate of any methods that the police used to conduct the search and seizure process during the investigation. However, Jordan’s attorney is confident enough that his client is innocent and should be freed from all the charges (Chen, 2010). The court process was similar to that of the adult cases whereby witnesses were involved including Jordan’s family. If I was called to testify on behalf of Jordan, I could support him because of his age. Since he had a gun within his vicinity, he might have shot the father’s fiancé accidently. There is strong proof that Jordan and the father were close thus, he could have not killed the fiancé out of spite. He should be taken to a correctional facility where he would be taken through counseling and advised on the right ways to behave in the society.
Chen, S. (2010, Mar 15). Boy, 12 faces grown up murder charges. CNN. Retrieved from http://edition.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/02/10/pennsylvania.young.murder.defendant/
Neighborhood Scout. (n.d).Pennsylvania Crime. Retrieved https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/pa/crime