Some of you may or may not be familiar with the name Jordan Brown. Well ok, I get it, it’s a common name, so you’ve probably heard it somewhere. His case came up in adolescent psych the other day while we were discussing whether a 15-year-old mother should be allowed to make major medical decisions involving her child by herself, or should others be involved to assist her in the making of those decisions.
So the scenario looke something like this. The girls 15, baby’s daddy’s 17 and just got out of jail on assault charges. He’s hanging out at the hospital, having a grand old time, making all these free phone calls to god knows who, kinda going, “Look at me! I just got out of jail!”
So he’s doing that, and this 15 year old mother, who’s HIV positive, whose child is also, is making all these oh my god huge decisions, that really, no parent should be forced to make alone.
Jordan Brown came up when we were asked, is the father an adolescent or an adult? I’d seen an update on his case, which I’d been eyeballing for awhile, Over here a few days prior to the discussion we had.
Jordan Brown should have been the typical 11-year-old kid. He was adjusting to a divorce or breakup of his parents, and that’s difficult for any child that age. However, on February 20, 2009, this child took a youth-sized gun, and shot his soon-to-be stepmother. His dad, Chris, had given the gun to the child as a Christmas present. He’d also proposed to the deceased on the same day.
First, why would you give your 11-year-old a shotgun? I mean, I get it if you want to teach your child to shoot, for hunting purposes, like this guy did, but couldn’t you see signs of trouble before?
Ok, so I’m a bit biased here, but I would never hand my 12-year-old brother a gun! That’s just asking him to use it stupidly. I can see giving a kid a small youth-model gun when they’re around 15 or 16, because by that time, one hopes, his sense of morality has developed. But to give a kid in a precarious or new situation a gun, at age 11… No.
What was the father thinking? hadn’t there been reports from the school, teachers, principal, whoever else have you, that would indicate to any sensible person with a working brain in their cranium, “Um, by the way,this kid shouldn’t be in possession of an unregistered firearm.”
No, apparently, in Pennsylvania, you don’t have to register children’s firearms. I’m now curious as to whether that’s the case everywhere, must look it up later. If the child shoots and kills an adult, is he fully responsible for his actions? Could part of the blame be placed on Dad for giving the kid a gun and not locking it up in the first place? Ok, I guess I can see allowing a kid a gun, if you’re smart, and you lock the thing up in a safe after each use. But this genius let his 11-year-old kid keep a gun, out in the open, in his room.
So the kid’s 11, he’s jealous and angry that his new stepmom’s having a new baby. Reportedly he tells one of his little friends that he wants to shoot his stepmom. Dad, why weren’t you paying attention here? Obviously, this kid wasn’t psychologically equipped to be owning, shooting, or keeping a firearm in his room!
My other question here is, can an 11-year old premeditate a murder? Children, at age 11, especially boys, can be very immature for their age. Is the ability to premeditate present yet? In the beginning, his dad says it was an accident.
There’s been tons of controversy surrounding this case because noone was really sure whether Brown should be tried as a child or an adult. Obviously, were he tried as a child, his sentence would be lighter than had he been tried as an adult.
Eventually, a judge ruled he should be tried as a juvenile. His reasons, if you look at update 4 over here make sense.
Apparently, none of the defense’s claims held up according to this judge, so if Brown is found guilty, he gets out of prison in 2018. Had he been tried as an adult, they’d have most likely nailed him with life in prison, no parole. It took 2 years for this child to be discertified as an adult, for a crime he was charged with at age 11.
It seems like much of this was because there are those who genuinely believe this kid didn’t do it, and that if he did, he’s a low-risk offender. How do we know that, though? We don’t. This kid committed a murder at age 11. He was only a child, with an underdeveloped sense of morality. Besides, how can you prove he didn’t do it? His prints are all over that gun, even if he did ditch the shell casing on the way to school. Assuming he’s guilty, there’s no real way of determining whether he’s a high or low-risk offender, because he was only 11 at the time and one is not fully developed at that age. I realize that the victim’s family wanted him tried as an adult, and with good reason, but I think the judge was right. You can’t try a 14-year-old kid as an adult for a crime he committed at age 11. The understanding of what he did, if he is guilty, wasn’t fully there at the time. He new what he was doing in the moment, but wasn’t aware of the consequences of his actions, as is the case with most children at age 11.
Kids at that age love to test buttons. I have a 12-year-old brother who seems to believe that because I’m treated like a child by my parents, he doesn’t have to do as I ask.
There’s no excuse for what this kid did if he’s found guilty, but as mentioned above, the parents should’ve been a little more emphatic about firearm safety and use. there is no reason that child should have had that gun in his room, left out in the open. The father is partially to blame, too. No reasonable adult lets a kid keep a gun in his bedroom. There’s no reason you couldn’t have purchased a safe with the weapon and given that to the child along with the gun.
I’ll agree he should be tried as a juvenile, I’ll agree he’s at fault if he’s found guilty. But Dad’s not receiving anything from the looks of it over here, for being an idiot. (Well ok so you can’t legally charge someone with being stupid)… But why isn’t the father receiving a legal slap on the wrist for letting the kid have the gun in his room unsupervised? I know he was supervising the instruction and use of the weapon outdors, but you can’t just hand a gun to a kid and say, “take this upstairs to your room.”