1. What is meant by the “ghetto defense”? Define it in your own words.
2. Reread paragraph 8. Define what Shellow means by the “ ’cultural psychosis “ or “psychosocial history’ strategy.” What does it have to do with the ghetto defense?
3. What is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? What causes it?
4. Why do leagal experts worry about the ghetto defense being used and accepted in court cases? What would be the implications? How would it protect the poor instead of the powerful?
5. What are the biggest criticisms of the ghetto defense?
6. Does Flaherty’s thesis favor the ghetto defense? Why or why not?
Evaluating the Author’s Viewpoint Debate
1. Robin Shellow, Felicia Morgan’s attorney, believes intthe ghetto defense. Do you ? Explain your reasoning.
2. Flaherty raises the question that if a Vietnam veteran can claim PTSD from the shock of the war, why shouldn’t a similar defense be made of a young black reared in an embattled ghetto? How do you respond to the idea?
3. Flaherty believes the American justice system often favors the powerful over the poor. Is his support sufficient for the reader to accept his viewpoint? Do you agree? Support your points.
4. The ghetto defense suggests that society “tolerate(s) a situation so hobbling that its victims have become unaccountable for their action”, implying that each of us is responsible for such things a the Los Angeles riots and the living conditions in the ghettos. Do you accept such responsibility. Explain.
5. Reread the last paragraph. Does society have a responsibility to poor children like Morgan? How do you answer Flaherty’s

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