This is an interesting question. I think it relates a lot to two factors—the outcome of the trial and prejudice leveled against Steve during the trial. There isn’t a clear-cut answer from the text, but an argument could be made either way.
Fair Trial Argument
The argument for why Steve did have a fair trial comes from the fact that he was found not guilty at the end of the novel. James King was found guilty, but Steve can escape the life sentence. Now, we as readers are not privy to the jury’s conversations or the reason why they let Steve off—but the argument could be made that because he was able to be found not guilty, his trial must have been fair. Otherwise, he would have been found guilty regardless of the evidence or arguments offered.
Unfair Trial Argument
On the other hand, someone could argue that Steve was lucky to be found not guilty because he had an unfair trial because of his age, social status, race, and background. His lawyer, O’Brien, tells Steve that...
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