Life in the ghetto

Topics: Posttraumatic stress disorder, Crime, Child abuse Pages: 3 (673 words) Published: April 22, 2015
Sydney Hoehn
Ms. Flynn
English 98R 1006
30 October 2013
Life in the Ghetto
In “The Ghetto Made Me Do It” an essay by Francis Flaherty, Flaherty explains the effects of growing up and living in the ghetto and the legal establishment affiliated with the ghetto. Felicia Morgan was born and raised in the ghetto; she experienced things in her first 12 years that some people will never experience in a lifetime. Growing up in a violent world can have an emotional and mental toll on anybody and it took a toll on Morgan. Her mother was a drug addict and one time set her father on fire. Morgan had witnessed her parents eating dinner with guns next to their plates at age of seven and was raped at age twelve by her landlord. “So perhaps it’s not too surprising that Morgan, as a teenager, committed six armed robberies and one intentional homicide in the space of 17 minutes in October 1991” (Flaherty 163).

The legal establishment used to defend Morgan was quite shocking to some. Robin Shellow, Morgan’s defender argued that violence in the ghetto is normal and so routinely that Morgan does not think she is responsible for her actions or her crimes. The establishment was called the “ghetto defense” and even though it had no affect in Morgan case and she was found guilty, the defense appeared around the nation, in courtrooms and caused both enthusiasm and outrage. Is the defense a medical one? Well Shellow would say so. Shellow believe Morgan suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder also known as PTSD and other disorders caused by her lifetime of violence and crime. Shellow states that PTSD has been used as a criminal defense for Vietnam veterans, abused wives and many other trauma cases, but not for people who have to deal with violence as part of the daily lives. PTSD is a disease and something they have to live with everyday, no matter how they came to have it but for ghetto-residents the defense for it is irrelevant.

In another way, to compare the ghetto to...
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