By Sadie Gurman
Twelve-year-old Jordan Brown’s future rests in a courtroom. The question is which one.
Prosecutors say the fifth-grader used a 20-gauge shotgun to kill his father’s pregnant fiancee as she slept in February in their farmhouse in New Beaver.
If he is tried and found delinquent in juvenile court, the state could not incarcerate him beyond his 21st birthday.
If he is tried and convicted of first-degree murder in adult court, experts say he would become the youngest person in the United States to serve a mandatory life sentence in prison without parole.
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“It is irresponsible to be sending into adult court these youth who are still growing and changing,” said Jody Kent, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Campaign for Fair Sentencing of Youth, which is monitoring the case.
“It’s impossible to determine now what an 11-year-old is going to look like 20, 30, 40 years from now.”