In the novel Monster, by Walter Dean Myers, the character Steve Harmon is found innocent of felony murder. This verdict is just because the book is good enough as it is. A question that people can ask while reading this novel is, was Steve Harmon truly the lookout for the convenience store robbery or was he in the wrong place at the wrong time? Regardless, he has been arrested for his part in the crime that led to the killing of the store’s owner. Charged innocent until proven guilty on page 27.
We know Steve was in the store when the murder happened, and he discussed his role with James King. Steve says he did not signal the others, they said he did. We will never see what happened when Steve left the store. Steve's father and the lawyer himself are suspicious of their innocence. By law, if he maneuvered with others to commit a crime and a person dies during that crime, all of the conspirators may be guilty of felony murder. Steve wrote monster over and over again on page 24. So there are hints that he may be guilty.
On the other hand, there are clear signs that it is essentially a good kid. A teacher, his mother, his relationship with his little brother. In his journal, Steve writes: I want to look like a good person. I want to feel like I’m a good person because I believe I am. But being in here with these guys makes it hard to think about you as being different. We look about the same, and even though I’m younger than they are, it’s hard not to notice that we are all pretty young. We don’t see him actually agree to take part, just that he was present when the job was planned. If we believe that his job was to signal the others that the coast was clear, we have to accept no signal, was the signal.
To prove that he is innocent King and Steve are friends on page 182. Steve was seen inside the store to see who was in there on page 186. Although he was found guilty, life in prison seems to be a severe punishment for the first crime, unless he was present when the person was killed. When the lawyer made a final statement, the judge was ready to testify. The judge said that Mr. King was guilty and Steve had not been convicted. Following this statement, he looked at his lawyer and wanted to thank her for her help, but just ignore her.
So I conclude the the book was alright. A question that people can ask while reading this novel is, was Steve Harmon truly the lookout for the convenience store robbery or was he in the wrong place at the wrong time? Well in think that Steve was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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