Children Need the Chance to Start Fresh

by | Jul 2, 2012 | Law

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In the 1950s, a popular movie came out based upon a play that was based upon a novel by William March titled The Bad Seed. The story is about an incorrigible little girl who was born to be bad. The film came out during a period of time in which juvenile delinquency was a fairly new idea, but was also on the rise. You might not have been able to find a juvenile defense lawyer in Ottawa County in 1956, but you would find more kids “acting out” (to use more contemporary terminology) in ways that broke the law.

Right around this period, medical and mental health professionals were trying to figure out why kids were acting out, but were also up to their necks in a long-lasting debate over nature versus nurture – i.e. is behavior determined genetically, or by the environment in which one is raised? The book, play, and movie all take the nature premise to its furthest extremes, and toy with the idea that a little girl can be born with a “murder gene,” inherited from her grandmother, that causes her even at a young and tender age to be a serial killer. “Some people are just born evil,” says the character of the father of the girl-murderer in the film.

It’s very easy for children to make mistakes, start hanging out with a wrong crowd, or slip into difficulties due to peer pressure, and it can be just as easy to throw up one’s hands and decide that the kid was just born this way. Most contemporary psychiatric and psychological experts do not believe that genes force anyone to do anything. Although some predispositions may be present, behavior seems to more or less be the end result of both nature and nurture, with a little bit of freewill thrown in the mix.

Kids and adolescents who get into trouble are often troubled themselves, and finding all the right resources to provide help and get them on a straight path before it’s too late is part of the job of a juvenile defense lawyer. Ottawa County has juvenile lawyers who are seasoned, compassionate and passionate who care about kids

Negotiating less restrictive sentences that include public service, counseling, restitution, and probation is usually a better path for most kids than merely spending time locked up in a juvenile facility. If your child gets into trouble, a juvenile defense lawyer can work hard on your child’s behalf to represent his or her best interests. Kids are not born evil, and every one of them deserves a second chance.


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