Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

7 April 2011

USA: Pursuit of adult trial for 13-year-old boy should end

USA: Pursuit of adult trial for 13-year-old boy should end

The Pennsylvania authorities should drop their pursuit of an adult trial for a 13-year-old boy accused of murder, Amnesty International said today.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office has until 10 April to decide whether to appeal a state court’s decision that could mean Jordan Brown is tried in a juvenile court instead of an adult court.

“Trying Jordan Brown in an adult court puts him at risk of being sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole”, said Amnesty International’s Guadalupe Marengo.

“Life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, when imposed on anyone who was under 18 at the time of the crime, violates international human rights law.”

Jordan Brown is accused of the fatal shooting of his father’s fiancée in 2009 when he was aged 11 years old.

He was charged with two counts of homicide, because the victim was eight and a half months pregnant and her unborn child also died.

“It is impossible to expect a child to understand and to make adult decisions about a case which could result in his spending the rest of his life in prison”,
said Jordan Brown’s lawyer David Acker.

“It is disturbing to realize that under our current law, a 13-year-old child can be locked into a prison with hardened adult prisoners for the rest of his life.  In talking with Jordan, it is clear that he is a child,” he added.

Jordan Brown is one of the youngest people known to Amnesty International currently at risk of being sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.

There are at least 2,500 people in the USA serving life imprisonment without parole for crimes committed when they were under 18.

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13-year-old US boy's murder trial could violate international law





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