Juvenile Court Juvenile Criminal Justice System Has Case Study

Excerpt from Case Study :

Juvenile Court

Juvenile criminal justice system has enforced laws, which govern the rules for determining whether a juvenile criminal is eligible for a sentence or a counseling period is mandatory to alter the behaviors of such individuals. This system has been effectively placed for children less than the age of 21 who have reportedly committed crimes in various forms such as sex offenders; murderers etc. (Whitehead & Lab, 2012). In this aspect, several crimes have taken place in USA marking the statistics in the country by 32% of the total juvenile crime statistics (Whitehead & Lab, 2012). In this essay, a case study of one of the most fierce juvenile crime acts have been presented which explains a situation where the juvenile criminal was at first ordered to be treated as an adult for the sentence purposes due to committing first degree of the crime. However, later due to his age was sent back to receive juvenile trial. The case explains the crime as of an eleven-year-old boy who murders his father's pregnant girlfriend killing both the woman and her unborn fetus. The eleven-year-old murderer named Jordan Brown uses to live with his father, his girlfriend Kenzie Marie Houk and her two daughters aged 4 and 7 years old in Pennsylvania in their farmhouse (Jones, 2012). The murder case published in USA Today discusses the event that took place when the juvenile murderer, now fourteen years old, was only eleven at the time when he used gunshots to kill his father's girlfriend. The proceedings on the case reveal dual opinions on whether the crime committed by Jordan brown is deliberately planned and organized or the child was suffering through some mental sickness (Jones, 2012). This also gives rise to whether Houk's behavior initiated him to take such an extreme step or he developed assumptions or insecurities with his father being committed to Houk and having a new child from her. The unborn child could have been a major factor in driving Jordan brown to take the step however; this cannot be stated confirming that the child is accused of deliberate crime (Jones, 2012). Another aspect of this crime comes as Houk's former boyfriend Adam Harvey that was dismissed as non-guilty later in the case. Evidences on child committing the crime do not provide substantial proves and raises questions to Houk's relationship history as a serious factor in identifying her murderer (Jones, 2012).


Newspapers on the case revealed that Marie Houk was asleep in her bed when the father left to work. As soon as he left, Jordan used a 20 gauge youth model shotgun to shoot her in the head, which was gifted, to him by his father on Christmas. Jordan after shooting Houk left the house with Houk's older daughter for school bus and dropped the shotgun on his way to catching the bus (Jones, 2012). Later police arrived at the crime scene when the youngest daughter aged only four wandered outside the house and caught attention of man working nearby only to inform her consent about her mother being dead. According to Pennsylvania juvenile justice system verdict, brown will remain in the juvenile court custody unless he reaches the age of twenty-one (Sherman & Jacobs, 2011). After which his behavior will be a deciding factor on whether he really committed the crime helpless to his mental condition or he had motives behind it. He is being rehabilitated in the juvenile facility, which is about eighty miles away from his home. Chances are that if brown is convicted of the murder after being held for trial in the adult court he may receive a lifetime imprisonment but this remains undecided unless Brown shows improvement in his statements, which he constantly makes contradicting to his actions. According to judge Dominick Motto, brown is convicted of the crime due to the intense nature of criminal act and shall be trialed as an adult in the court…

Sources Used in Document:


Bell, S.J. (2011). Young Offenders and Youth Justice: A Century After the Fact. Toronto: Cengage Learning .

Jones, B. (2012, April 13). http://www.usatoday.com/news. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-04-13/pennsylvania-boy-kills-dads-pregnant-fiancee/54259732/1

Sherman, F., & Jacobs, F. (2011). Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons.

Smith, R.S. (2007). Youth Justice: Ideas, Policy, Practice. Cullompton: Willan.

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