Support this blog

Friday, May 6, 2011

Lawless and corrupt Pennsylvania

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Makes you wonder about juvenile justice in Pennsylvania state doesn't it?

Well, here's another story that makes you wonder...
2years ago, on a cold and snowy February morning, Kenzie Houk was shot dead as she lay in bed in the farmhouse in Wampum, Pennsylvania, which she shared with her 2 daughters, Adalynn and Jenessa, her fiancé Chris and, his son Jordan. . She was 2 weeks from giving birth to a son and, the baby also died from lack of oxigin. A heinous crime, and a devestating blow to the family, but it didn't end there...

Chris was at work and, the 2 older children were in school when the youngest daughter, who had just celebrated her fourth birthday the night before, found her mother. The girl ran out crying and flagged down some tree trimmers working near the house. .

who had motive to want Kenzie Houk dead?
to my knolledgeOnly one person
Kenzie Houk and her ex, Adam Harvey, had been engaged in a bitter paternity and child-support battle and, Kenzie had been forced to take out two protection from abuse (PFA ) orders against him, one in 2006 and another one in 2008, after he threatened to take her whole family out.
Just 2 weeks earlier, harvey found out through DNA testing that Kenzie’s youngest daughter Adalynn wasn't his after all. Kenzie had not only cheated on him by sleeping with another man and, passing the child off as his, he had also payed child-support for years for some other man's little girl. Clear motive for wanting his ex dead, wouldn't you say? Yet the police never seriously pursued an investigation... Instead, an 11-year-old child, who had just lost his stepmother and the little brother he had been looking forward to was being held in the Lawrence County, Pa., jail, until a judge aproved that he be moved to a juvenile facility 5 days later.

what are the evidence against Jordan Brown?
Well, there doesn't appear to be any.
Evidently the cops found Jordan's youth-model 20-gauge shotgun, which by the way they're having trouble proving was the actual murder weapon, in his bedroom and, decided Jordan had shot his stepmother in the head some time between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. With the 2 younger siblings in the house, but neither of them noticing anything. He then supposably left the house as if nothing had happened and caught the bus to school with his stepsister as usual. All without anyone noticing anything strange about the 2 children's behaviour.

The gun needed to be cleaned, as he and his father were shooting at targets that weekend and hadn't cleaned it yet, but They found no blood neither on the gun nor on the boy himself and, as for gun powder residue, well they found 2 small specks, probably a memory of that weekends practice.

Apparently we're suppose to believe that an 11-year-old child was smart enough to keep the blood off of the gun from a close range shot, dispose of the empty shotgun shell on his way to the schoolbus, but he didn't panic and try to get rid of the gun itself, something I'm sure even an adult murderer could do in that situation. No he just put the gun in his room without cleaning it and left for school. Hmm...

Next, they say that Jordan's story was inconsistent. Well, he was pulled from class, told that his stepmom had been murdered and then interrogated by the police with neither his father nor a lawyer present. But we shouldn't expect any shock from the child, right?

His 7-year-old stepsister was treated the same way and, after Extensive questioning by the police the girl thinks she saw her stepbrother with the gun that day and that she heard a bang. Her story isn't considered to be inconsistent however, even though she only remembered this when they got to the second round of questioning. More over, nobody seems to find it the least bit peculiar that she heard a loud bang, but didn't run to check out the situation.

Jordan's motive?
According to his father he didn't have one
Though according to the prosicution and the media it must have been jealousy of the unborn brother... Strange then that his father says that there were never any such indications. He should know shouldn't he?
Is he lying to protect his son?
Not very likely... I'm of course no expert, but just ask yourself if you as a parent would protect your child if he had shot his stepmom or stepdad for that matter, the woman or man you loved, in cold blood and also killed your little baby. I'm a parent and, I can tell you that I would not!. Would I work for a fair sentence and adequat psychological help for my child? yes, But would I try to get him off? no. It's almost more likely that it would take years before he was able to lay eyes on his son again if he believed him to be guilty.

Milestones in the legal process
February 21, 2009 11-year-old Jordan Brown was charged as an adult with two counts of criminal homicide, a charge which carries a mandatory sentence of life without the possibility of parole.

March 24, 2009 A preliminary hearing was held in which the prosecution failed to produce credible evidence linking Jordan to the crime; Lawrence County district attorney Bongivengo said he only had to show that a crime had been committed and that Jordan could have committed it.

May 6, 2009 Jordan pleaded Not Guilty at a formal arraignment hearing before the Lawrence County Common Pleas Court, Judge Dominick Motto presiding.

August 26, 2009 Arguing that the state had failed to produce sufficient evidence to support the charges against Jordan, his attorneys filed a writ of habeas corpus requesting Jordan’s release. They also requested that information illegally gathered by police be suppressed. The judge denied both motions.

Before his guilt or innocence is determined, Jordan must be decertified as an adult and his case remanded to the juvenile court.

January 29, 2010 A hearing was held to determine whether Jordan will be tried as an adult or a juvenile. The court heard testimony from psychologist Dr. Kurt Heilbrun and staff members of the detention center where Jordan is being held about Jordan’s “amenability to rehabilitation.” The hearing was continued 30–45 days in order for the prosecution to do its own psychological evaluation.

March 29, 2010 Judge Dominick Motto ruled that Jordan’s petition for transfer from criminal court to Juvenile Court was denied. As justification for his ruling, Judge Motto agreed with the prosecution’s novel argument that Jordan’s continued claim of innocence prior to adjudication of the question of guilt or innocence demonstrated a lack of remorse that therefore showed that Jordan was “not amenable to rehabilitation.”

May 12, 2010 Arguing that Judge Motto’s order denied Jordan the presumption of innocence and his fundamental Constitutional right against self-incrimination, Jordan’s attorneys filed an interlocutory appeal and Judge Motto approved it.

January 25, 2011 Oral arguments were heard before the Superior Court in Pittsburgh regarding Judge Motto’s denial of Jordan’s petition to have his case transferred to the juvenile court.

March 11, 2011 The Pennsylvania Superior Court vacated the decision to try Jordan Brown in an adult court and asked the lower court to re-examine whether his case should be transferred to a juvenile court.

So what is the media doing to help this child?
Once upon a time I thought that the medias most important duty was to find out the truth and let the public know about it, but no! I don't profess to know the truth here, cause I don't, but you'd think that when:

the prosicution presents such a poor case with basically no evidence linking Jordan to the murder.
a judge violates the law by ruling that a child should be tried as an adult, because he doesn't show any remorse, which basically denies him the right to plead not guilty
the now 13-year-old has been encarserated for 2 years while they're trying to decide whether he's an adult or not, which violates the UN child convention
Upon trying a child as an adult the state of Pennsylvania would make it possible to sentence a child to life imprisonment without parole, which means that they would violate international law

well, you'd just think that the reporters should be flocking to Pennsylvania demanding an explanation, right? But no...
It's not sensational enough is it? After all It's a lot more fun to sell the story about the cold blooded little murderer and to speculate in whether the 11-year-old had an improper relationship with his stepmom, so they can sell more copies of the newspaper; truth be darned! .

I think it's absolutely horrid, how everybody just decided to convict this child beforehand: the police, the media and, even the judge who ruled that he couldn't be rehabilitated because he didn't show any remorse for what he had done. Further more, they have now allowed a child to be incarcerated for 2 years while they're asking whether 11-year-olds are adults or not. It's nothing but a form of child abuse and, if anybody but the state treated a child that way they'd go to prison for it; it's a disgrace!
Whether you want to believe that this boy is innocent or not, the answer should be pretty obvious. We don't expect our children to support themselves, raise families, or be able to raise children of their own. In fact we don't even let them watch movies or play cirtain video games with strong language or other inappropriate material. Why? Because they're children! Yet when they commit a crime they are suddenly suppose to be capable of making decisions from an adult standpoint. Somebody please explain the logic behind that to me, cause I cirtainly can't see any.
I am a member of Amnesty International and, upon learning about this case I put a petition up at to call on the acting attorney general to drop his pursuit of an adult trial in this case.
Please add your name to it!


Melissa said...

Hi, thank you for writing about Jordan. It is nice to see another person who is taking a critical look at this case. I run the forum and I really appreciate your efforts here and anything you can/will do in the future to help Jordan. I just wanted to thank you.

Helene said...

Thank you Mellisa. I'll check out the forum. Like I wrote I started looking around for information after I learnd about the case through Amnesty International Sweden and, I'm disgusted by the way this boy has been treated by the so coalled justice system, the media and the public as well. I even found a blog suggesting that he must be guilty cause he looks like a mean, sik little monster and, that anyone could see that he deserved to rot away in prison just from looking at him; it's totally absurd! trust me, if anything I can do will somehow make a difference, that'll be thanks enough.

Neil Killion said...

Hi, In cases like these you need DNA evidence to show someone is truly innocent. The motives you ascribe to the former partner seem viable and believable. Good luck in getting support on this. Sometimes the law is both long-winded and at the end of the day, just an ass, Neil

Helene said...

Thank you. With a justice system in a so called cyvilized country functioning in a manner one might expect from Iran, This kid needs all the support he can get..

JaxAce said...

This case is twisted and needs to be reviewed. I wonder if this story has been featured on a prime time T.V. show or 60 minutes.

Helene said...

I can't answer that with 100 % certainty, but not to my knolledge anyway.

Antony said...

Your post is extremely well "presented." Perhaps far better than whatever representation Jordan is receiving. While Im not Constitutional lawyer saying that the child should be tried as an adult before he has been found to be guilty violates any sense of morality. The boy is a child regardless of the outcome. The facts as you have them clearly would lead one to a different conclusion than the predetermined one that appears to be apparent based on the actions of the Judge and prosectors. What is really bothersome is what it says about us as a society. That we would do this to a helpless child and not focus on what the best result is for him and for society. Instead he sits in a cell for 2 years without a "fair trial." The media has become a pathetic part of this country. It is dominated by a profit motive that seem to excuse their duty to report on what is important.

Helene said...

Thank you. If my post can at least get some people to realise that critical thinking is needed here, as well as in other cases we learn about through the media, then part of my goal is accomplished. No country should treat a child like this and, especially not one that so often is used as an example for the rest of the world to follow. Arguments for considering human rights and, following international laws, are going to sound rather empty, if the so called "land of the free" Keeps violating them.

JT said...

Excellent article! I will be following this case now.