Posts Tagged ‘what’s Judge Motto’s payoff?



Now strangers are beginning to call me from Lawrence County to tell me about the official corruption and the fear the people have about speaking out about it. Even the school children in the Mohawk School District have been muzzled.

A parent of one of Jordan Brown’s friends called me last night. She would only give me her first name and wouldn’t leave her phone number (I don’t have caller ID). I had already known the school staff had been warned to not speak to anybody about Jordan Brown or his case.

(I served a couple terms on a school board and know firsthand what chicken-shits school administrators tend to be where potential lawsuits are concerned.) 

I had been told the police directed school administrators that neither they nor any school district employees should speak with anybody about the case. They are not even permitted to speak to Jordan’s defense attorneys.

But I had not known until speaking to this mom that the kids have been prohibited from even speaking Jordan’s name at school and threatened with “big trouble” if they do.

This mother told me it is her opinion and that of other parents that it was the with the intention of muzzling the students, not dealing with any supposed trauma, that counselors were sent into the school shortly after Jordan’s arrest. “She told me I shouldn’t talk about Jordan or say his name,” her child told her.

At school today, Jordan is a non-person. It is as if he had never attended there. It reminds me of stories about Jewish students just disappearing from German classrooms and nobody saying anything. It is like something out of George Orwell’s 1984.

Hey, I’m no conspiracy theorist and slow to jump to conclusions, but I am convinced the stories of official corruption in Lawrence County PA are true. Too many people are telling me the same things. And how else, if their forensic evidence suggests a handgun was the murder weapon, could the police claim Jordan’s shotgun was used and expect to get away with their fraud?

People are coming forward and telling me about their experiences with Judge Motto too and, contrary to what Jordan’s lawyers have told me, Motto does not appear to be fair or reasonable or impartial or even a good man. People are telling me he is a major gear in the corrupt machine that is mangling the life of this innocent child.

I am just amazed that people in Pennsylvania are remaining quiet and not speaking out. I am ashamed they are allowing their children to witness this injustice being visited on their friend while remaining quiet. Children are our only hope for a better world, but events in Pennsylvania make me pessimistic.

If I were to hear from just one brave kid, someone who knows Jordan and is willing to speak up for their friend, my hope and faith in the future might be restored.


in the background

If you’re one of those people who are discouraged by Monday morning’s ruling and have abandoned hope for Jordan Brown (or Pennsylvania, for that matter), I want you to know that there is much happening in the background that may, in time, restore your faith in American justice.

This latest ruling by Judge Dominick Motto cannot and will not stand. It is clearly unconstitutional because in saying that Jordan is not amenable to rehabilitation as long as Jordan professes his innocence, it denies the right of the accused to avoid self-incrimination. The judge has in effect said that Jordan is guilty before the case has even gone to trial. Powerful people who are much more influential than this country judge are getting involved behind the scenes. Expect this case to go far.

Yesterday I learned that outside official investigators have also taken an interest in events in Western Pennsylvania and are closely monitoring the situation. They already know the reputation of Pennsylvania State Police in this part of the state as “corrupt wannabes who couldn’t make it on big-city police forces” and are now “banished to the sticks” in rural Pennsylvania. These investigators are interested in learning just how far the corruption extends. If state and county officials have acted dishonestly with regard to Jordan Brown, they will eventually be exposed—especially as this bizarre case becomes a focus of worldwide media attention.

But don’t expect the prosecution to simply roll over. They’ll fight tooth and nail.

Since the prosecution of the case was transferred to the state’s Attorney General’s office, it has now become a factor in Pennsylvania Attorney General Thomas W. Corbett’s run for the Republican nomination for governor. The case is no longer about truth and justice (not that it ever was), but about the expansion and domination of brute power.

Corbett is appealing to hardline right-wing supporters and is predictably framing his campaign as supporting law-and-order values.

It seems so ironic to me that Corbett’s campaign is crowing that under his leadership “235 child predators” were captured “before they could harm innocent children,” and yet he and his deputy Anthony Krastek are themselves predating on Jordan Brown, who by any honest assessment of the facts and evidence is also an innocent child—even though Corbett’s office ludicrously claims Jordan is an adult and continues to insist they have “strong evidence” proving guilt. (They don’t. They’re lying. They’re political!)

If the prosecution’s tactics and arguments are any indication of Corbett’s ideas of the kind of “law and order” he would enforce as governor, then I’d have to predict Pennsylvania and its proud role in our history will cease to symbolize American freedoms and would come to represent the creeping fascism that is perverting our way of life.



I got a call yesterday from a woman in New Castle whose son, a classmate of Jordan’s, wanted to write Jordan a letter and needed an address. We talked for a long time and in the course of our conversation, she told me about an old saying in Lawrence County that her dad told her: “If you want to get away with murder, Lawrence County is the best place to commit the crime.”

There’s a long history there of wrongful accusations, railroading, and killers remaining free, she said.

Mind you, she is the third person to have told me this, and all three are unconnected except for the fact they all live in Lawrence County. There must be something to it, don’t you think?

I am fifteen hundred miles away from Lawrence County, I’ve never been there, and I am connecting dots derived long-distance from some widely-spaced sources, but it does seem clear from what people have told me that this part of Pennsylvania has a tradition of corruption in its justice system.

Not exactly something the local Chamber of Commerce would want to crow about, yet an angle the world press could easily emphasize in its already-outraged coverage of the persecution of this child. Unless there’s a change of venue, the town of New Castle is going to be a circus in May or whenever the case finally goes to trial. I’m wondering if Lawrence County can stand so much light?

This caller told me about her circle of moms from the school who know Jordan and believe him to be innocent. They are dumbfounded by the judge’s ruling. She told me that if this is happening to Jordan, then all their kids are at risk. She said she has been second-guessing her family’s decision to return to Western Pennsylvania.

Jean-François Millet's "Good Samaritan"

“I feel like we have to do something,” she said. She told me that a circle of her friends from church are meeting regularly to say the rosary for Jordan.

I said I was so glad her son would write to Jordan. I told her people reaching out to Jordan and his dad means everything to them.

It exemplifies the best in our American tradition of helping a guy when he is down. Those are the friends who are always remembered.

If you have not done so already, please visit Jordan’s website at to learn how you can assist.

Your help is now needed more than ever.


political fix is in

It took all day yesterday for the enormity of Jordan Brown’s predicament to sink in. I was at a loss to understand the judge’s decision. The defense attorneys had told me he was a straight-arrow; in their experience Judge Dominick Motto had a reputation for fairness. Yet he had gone along with the prosecution’s absurd argument that Jordan cannot be rehabilitated unless he stops maintaining his innocence and admits to the crime before it has been proved whether or not he even committed it, and that failing an admission of guilt, Jordan must therefore be declared an adult.

Does this mean that children in Pennsylvania do not have the right to plead innocence when wrongfully accused of murder? Whatever happened to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty?

And how could this judge have been persuaded by the state’s inconclusive “evidence” that Jordan could have even committed this crime? What can have been the judge’s real motivation?

“I just don’t get it,” I said to myself. We met the statutory requirements for proving Jordan’s “amenability to rehabilitation,” and were supported in our arguments by Dr. Kurt Heilbrun, possibly the leading adolescent psychologist in the country. The prosecution is remaking the rules to suit themselves, and has apparently gotten the judge to go along.

Chris called me on his way home from Erie, where he’d gone first thing after hearing the news of Judge Motto’s decision. He wanted to be the first one to tell Jordan. Chris said Jordan “cried and cried.”

“How is Jordan putting it all together?” I asked. “What does he think is going on?”

“He’s trying to understand. He asked some good questions about whether there would be a fair jury, but the whole situation is even beyond my comprehension. How can you expect a kid to understand what’s happening when we don’t even understand?” he replied. “There’s something else at play that we don’t know about.”

“I’ve been thinking about this all day, Chris, and the only thing that makes sense to me is that there’s been a political fix agreed to. Unless they’ve fabricated some kind of ‘bombshell’ evidence we don’t know about (and they’re not allowed to withhold evidence), they know and we know they’re empty-handed of proof. The state knows it’s screwed up and they’re trying to force us into accepting a plea that will be face-saving for them and will prevent us from going after the state and its officials when the truth comes out,” I said.

Sure enough, by day’s end KDKA was reporting that the prosecution had signaled that they’re willing to be flexible about the penalty they’ll go for if the defense will deal.

Jordan’s attorney Dennis Elisco was quoted as saying that he and David Acker are considering making an interlocutory appeal of the judge’s decision.

According to Wikipedia: An interlocutory appeal is an appeal of a ruling by a trial court that is made before the trial itself has concluded. Most jurisdictions generally prohibit such appeals, requiring parties to wait until the trial has concluded before they challenge any of the decisions made by the judge during that trial. However, some jurisdictions (including Pennsylvania) can make an exception for decisions which are particularly prejudicial to the rights of an accused.

This judge is obviously no longer impartial and should have his decision reviewed and overturned by a court not influenced by politics but guided by the law.

There is more riding on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s getting this right than just young Jordan Brown’s future. People in all parts of the country and from all walks of life are sensing that something has gone horribly wrong in our country when the rights of an innocent child like Jordan can be trampled, and when that child can be designated as a sacrificial lamb and railroaded to perpetuate a broken and corrupt system.

There is a spirit of rebellion spreading in America. Tea Party activists are just the tip of the iceberg. The authorities in Pennsylvania are playing with fire and may unintentionally spawn a firestorm in the streets.