This morning a reader who is monitoring the public comments to a recent article in People magazine by Caitlin Keating about the Jordan Brown case alerted me to this entry by “alawyer,” who works in the Washington DC area and has been following juvenile justice cases for years. She used to be a frequent responder on this blog—we even spoke once on the phone—but parted ways over my stance on celibate pedophiles. She did not wish to become involved by association with nuanced/unpopular ideas which might have come out in a witch trial such as frequently grips the nation’s capitol over one issue or another.
Nevertheless, her comment to the People article was so excellent and wise, I have reprinted it here so it may enjoy wider distribution.
I disagree with “alawyer” in only one respect: her faith that an adult jury trial would have resulted in an acquittal. Prevailing public opinion in New Castle was so toxic at the time before Jordan won his right to juvenile proceedings—and the risk of life-without-parole was so great—that I have always believed that an adult jury trial was simply too risky. There were no good choices at the time—Pennsylvania law ensured that. Holding out for a juvenile acquittal was the best, but most time-consuming, choice to be made.