Boy May Become Youngest Ever to Serve Life Sentence for Murder

Jordan Brown, now 12, is accused of murdering his father’s fiance. State of PA plans to try him “as an adult.”

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Aaron Blumer's picture

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Assuming the allegations prove to be true in court, how does something like this happen? And should he be tried "as an adult"? In PA, conviction for 1st or 2nd degree murder = automatic life sentence.

mounty's picture

He seems to have known what he was doing (he disguised the weapon so as not to arouse suspicion) and that he could get into serious trouble if caught (why else would he ditch the shell casing along the road?). If the jealousy motive pans out, what makes him different from an adult who finds out his significant other has been unfaithful and kills one or the other (or both) of the offending parties in a fit of jealous rage? Is murder less evil if you're not legally considered an adult by your society? Nothing magic happens on your 18th birthday.

Aaron Blumer's picture

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I can't quite explain why I find the whole thing so disturbing. In some ways "childhood" is an artificial category--at least in terms of exactly where it ends--but it is a category Scripture acknowledges as well.
Maybe what stirs me is not so much what to do with him (I'm not for sentimentally individualizing law), but how the kid got that way in the first place. Sure, we can say "we're all sinners' but we are not all equally degenerate and it's bizarre for a kid that young to even get the whole idea of killing somebody.
So I guess I'm among those who want to blame cultural factors to some degree here. Did the kid get desensitized and familiar with killing via video games and violent movies? I'm not really queasy about violence in general--it's so often about good vs. evil, which is not a bad thing for kids to get in their heads--but these "1st person shooter" games are being played by kids too young to even read. That's got to have consequences. (I know some neighborhood kids who have watched R rated guts-n-gore movies over and over when they were preschoolers). I just wonder if that's the case for this boy and its being hushed up.

(Edit: I don't believe that shooting turkeys or being familiar w/the weapon had anything to do with it. There is nothing 'natural' about going from turkeys to people... but there is something natural about going from killing imaginary people vicariously to killing real people, especially if you're doing it before all your basic moral cogs are in place)