Juvenile or Adult Court for Young Murder Suspect? Attorney Weighs In
Family members of Jacob Pushinsky are petitioning to have his accused killer, 14-year old Derrys Sanders Jr. tried in adult court.
“We need to show discipline,” said Jacob’s father Mark Pushinsky. “Show them to love your neighbor, not murder them."
In the past five days, they've received more than 2,600 signatures on a Facebook petition page called “Justice for Jacob.”
"Jacob's life is gone now,” said Jacob’s cousin Timothy Bordewicz. “If he (Sanders) does get tried as a juvenile, at 21, he'll be cut loose and back on the streets, and I don't think that's fair."
Sanders’ lawyer is seeking to have the case moved to juvenile court.
According to Erie Attorney John Carlson, there are a number of factors that will determine how Sanders will be prosecuted.
"It's a very tough decision, especially when you're talking about the crime of murder," said Carlson. "Some of the factors include the impact of the crime on the victim, on the victim's family, the impact on the community, the threat to the safety of the public posed by the child, the nature and circumstances of the offense itself."
Carlson says the fact that police are calling this an attempted robbery turned murder could also play a major role in this case.
"In juvenile court, the primary focus is rehabilitating the child, so that they can re-enter society and become a productive member of society throughout his adult life,” said Carlson. “In adult court, the focus is threefold---punishment, protection of the community, and rehabilitation."