You can expect another outrage in the Lawrence County PA courtroom today when Assistant State’s Attorney Anthony Krastek presents his psychiatrist’s report on 12-year-old Jordan Brown’s “amenability to rehabilitation.”
In a 15-page single-spaced report that reads like the National Enquirer, the state’s hired gun Dr. John S. O’Brien II has actually claimed that Jordan would not be amenable to rehabilitation unless he were to admit to the crime before his trial.
Whatever happened to the time-honored tradition that any defendant, even a little boy, is presumed innocent until proven guilty?
This novel interpretation of “amenability to rehabilitation” is in total contradiction to the legal statutes in Pennsylvania and appears to be nothing more than a PR ploy to prop up the state’s “Addams Family” scenario in today’s decertification hearing. My guess is that Mr. Krastek knows he will lose this phase and that Jordan’s case will be remanded to the juvenile court where the proceedings will be hidden from public view. He is using this last public hearing and its media coverage to create the false impression that the state still believes it has a remorseless cold-blooded killer in custody (because a “doctor” says so!) and, by implication, that the state has other evidentiary proof—which it doesn’t.
I also suspect they are also attempting to turn up the heat to try to force some kind of plea bargain that will be face-saving to the prosecution and the police. Dr. O’Brien’s “driver” brought up the suggestion of a plea on the day of Jordan’s interview by Dr. O’Brien. “Innocent people don’t plead guilty,” Jordan’s dad answered the cop.
Expect Dr. O’Brien’s credentials to be challenged by the defense (he has no experience or expertise in evaluating juveniles) and a motion to exclude his report from consideration. (Both motions will probably be denied.)
What we will see demonstrated in today’s hearing is that, with the transfer of the prosecution from Lawrence County to the Attorney General’s office, Jordan’s case has already become politicized. Krastek and his superiors are said to have high political and career ambitions riding on Jordan’s conviction.
Today the state will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the authorities will will stop at nothing to win. They’ll fight indecently, relentlessly, and dirty every step of the way.
Expect up to a 20-day delay before this judge makes his ruling.