Stanley was not a bad kid. He was innocent of the crime for which he was convicted. He'd just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. (3.8)
"I want you to know, Stanley, that I respect you," Mr. Pendanski said. "I understand you've made some bad mistakes in your life. Otherwise you wouldn't be here. But everyone makes mistakes. You may have done some bad things, but that doesn't mean you're a bad kid."
Stanley nodded. It seemed pointless to try and tell his counselor that he was innocent. He figured that everyone probably said that. (5.8-9)
Because of the baseball schedule, Stanley's trial was delayed several months. His parents couldn't afford a lawyer.
"You don't need a lawyer," his mother said. "Just tell the truth."
Stanley told the truth, but perhaps it would have been better if he had lied a little. (6.34-36)