- Published: November 14, 2012
An interesting case has been in the news lately involving a multi-millionaire dollar mother, Gigi Jordan, explaining that she killed her 8 year old autistic son, Jude, to protect him from his biological father. Jordan force fed her soon an overdose of prescription pills and explained to police that her son had been the victim of sexual abuse from his biological father. In addition, Jude and Jordan had become targets of his adopted father’s involvement with a mob. The billion dollar scams and illegal drug operations behind his adopted father’s actions and his abuse from his biological father drove Jordan to kill her son. The defense is using the term “altruistic filicide” to claim that Jordan had killed her son because she believed that she was acting in his best interest. However, the plot thickens from there. On the scene, there was also a two page suicide note explaining why she decided to kill her son and soon take her own life. The prosecution wants to use this as evidence to frame this as a murder-suicide attempt by Jordan while the defense explains that Jordan feigned the suicide to protect her son. The crucial piece of evidence? Lost. Evidently, Jordan’s blood sample that could swing this decision was lost after being stored for some time at local Bellevue Hospital. This leaves a tough decision for the judge and jury to try to decipher the true intent of Jordan and her rationale for taking the life of her son.
With crucial forensic evidence lost, a forward-looking legal system would still have plenty of opportunities to dissect this case. However, it would also raise a handful of questions that the jury would have to juggle. First, if brain scanning technology was used, how accurate would the true intent of the mother be measured? If she is suffering from some brain abnormality, how would the jury know that was the driving force behind her murder? Both of her ex-husbands denied all allegations that were placed against them, referring to Jordan as crazy and her claims as complete lies. Is it possible that Jordan is simply delusional? When it comes to cases like these though, we know that Jordan was the one that committed the crime. The question of moral culpability is the bigger question here, one that is usually in the background for a forward-looking legal system. In that case, if she is in fact guilty of the crime, what kind of punishment does she deserve? It is obvious that a crime of this magnitude deserves some jail time or civic commitment, but does she pose a risk to others or to recidivate? The murder is an isolated incident, and there is not much evidence to indicate that she would be a danger to others or to recidivate if reintroduced into society. In the future, the advent of neuroscience would help shine light on these kinds of cases, but other questions will need to be answered by the jury as shown above. If her brain is shown to be normal, I think few people would allow her to walk free or have only a few years in prison for her heinous crime on her son. This is only one example of the many issues that are raised by neuroscience and its potential introduction into the criminal justice system.
Daily Mail Reporter, . "from 'sexual abuse at the hands of his monstrous father' ." Mail Online. N.p., 19 2012. Web. 13 Nov 2012. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2190630/I-saved-life-horror-Millionaire-mother-claims-killed-autistic-son-protect-sexual-abuse-hands-monstrous-father.html.
Parascandola, Rocco, Kerry Burke, and Larry McShane. "Gigi Jordan feeds son, 8, fatal dose of pills, leaves strange 2-page note in botched murder-suicide." NY Daily News. NY Daily News, 05 2010. Web. 13 Nov 2012. http://articles.nydailynews.com/2010-02-05/news/27055576_1_pills-fatal-dose-jude.
Moynihan, Colin. "Evidence Lost in Murder Case." The New York Times. The New York Times, 01 2011. Web. 14 Nov 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/02/nyregion/blood-sample-is-lost-in-case-of-gigi-jordan.html.