In the book Monster by Walter Dean Myers, was Steve given a fair trial?In the book Monster by Walter Dean Myers, was Steve given a fair trial?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Like so much in the novel, this is something that is open to discussion and reflection.  Indeed, it did not seem like Steve was prevented from having a full disclosure of his day in court.  In the end, he is acquitted of all charges, so he could not have been the victim of rampant and institutional unfairness in the trial, itself.  Perhaps, the larger issue is that the fact that he is "young" and "a Black male" is where there is unfairness.  The fact that Steve's condition in the world as a young male of color is where there is unfairness.  Steve's lawyer points this out as an obstacle that she and her defense of Steve must overcome.  This might be where there is unfairness, in that an individual's state of being in the world represents a hurdle to overcome at trial.  Indeed, what the prosecution presents in terms of Steve's involvement is countered by the defense's depiction of events, and in this, there is fairness present as Steve has a chance to counter what it is that the prosecution is saying about him.  Yet, while there is little doubt that Steve did something that night.  He was not at home reading about astrophysics.  In the fact that the trial centers around the preconceived notions that are attached to a young male of color out at night, there could be unfairness in this element being so prevalent at a trial.  Yet, I didn't see unfairness in the trial proceedings itself outside of this existential element of potential unfairness.

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