Little boys can be a wee bit wild. They’re prone to make mistakes from hitting a baseball through a neighbor’s window, tearing their sister’s Barbie’s head off or even torturing the family’s cat. But some take their adolescent angst too far. Jordan Brown of Lawrence County, Pennsylvania is one of those boys.
Due to his actions on a cold February day in 2009 – when he was just 11-years-old – he is looking at life in prison without parole. He’d reportedly be the youngest person ever to receive that harsh of a sentence.
What did he do to deserve this potential fate?
He allegedly shot and killed his father’s fiancée, who was also pregnant at the time. Kenzie Houk, who was nearly full-term in her pregnancy, was asleep in the family’s home when the boy shot her, killing Kenzie and her unborn child. Jordan Brown has been charged with two counts of homicide but refuses to admit any guilt. Due to pleading not-guilty, the judge has decided that he can be charged as an adult.
But the judge’s decision won’t be ignored and is facing a high-profile fight. Amnesty International is up in arms about the prospect of life in prison for the boy, saying that the court’s actions could be in violation of international law.
“It is shocking that anyone this young could face life imprisonment without parole, let alone in a country which labels itself as a progressive force for human rights,” Amnesty International’s director for the Americas, Susan Lee, said in a statement.
Jordan’s lawyers have predictably filed an appeal. But it does seem unreasonable that a child would be facing such a severe sentence. “Try to explain to a 12-year-old what the rest of your life means,” Jordan Brown’s father said. “It’s incomprehensible for him.” And kids, they do a lot of crazy things, shouldn’t his action – albeit pretty abhorrent – deserve a more age-appropriate punishment?
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