Monday 31 January 2011

Eleven year old in Pennsylvania U.S. may face life imprisonment without parole.


Jordan Brown was just eleven when according to prosecutors 
he shot and killed 26-year-old Kenzie Houk as she slept in her 
home, near Pittsburgh, in February, 2009. Houk was pregnant 
with a nearly full-term child at the time.
Jordan was charged with two counts of homicide. 
When Jordan claimed he was innocent the judge decided to 
try him as an adult. Some news reports make it sound as if the evidence is quite strong against Jordan but some blog sites give quite different story showing that the evidence is actually 
But even if he were guilty the sentence is regarded by many 
human rights groups as too harsh and even that a life sentence could violate international law.
Brown's lawyers have argued that the judge's decision to try 
Brown as an adult based upon his refusal to admit guilt 
violated his right to be presumed innocent and his right 
to avoid self-incrimination as well.
Susan Lee of Amnesty International said:"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 noted that the U.S. is one of only 
two countries in the world to refuse to ratify the UN 
Convention on the Rights of the Child. The other country 
is Somalia!
Although Jordan Brown is the youngest person known to 
Amnesty at risk to be sentenced to life without parole 
there are already 2500 people in the U.S. serving life 
without parole for crimes committed when they were 
juveniles. There are 450 in Pennsylvania, more than 
any other state.
The Sentencing Project in Washington claims that only 
the U.S. has juveniles serving life without parole and 
said:"That leads to only two conclusions: either kids 
in the US are far more violent than those in the rest 
of the world, or the US has developed uniquely 
harsh sentences." Another conclusion is possible. 
The politics of fear can be very successful at advancing 
the cause of the prison industrial complex.

Jordan Brown.

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