In Walter Dean Myers's novel Monster, a teenage African American boy named Steve Harmon is on trial for the robbery and murder of a drugstore owner. Sandra Petrocelli is the prosecuting attorney for the State and attempts to prove to the jury that Steve Harmon and James King participated in the crime. During her closing arguments, Petrocelli begins by instructing the jury to not be distracted by the character of those individuals testifying against Steve Harmon and James King. She reminds them that this trial is about the murder of Alguinaldo Nesbitt, who was an innocent man and did not deserve to die such a brutal death. By instructing the jurors to dismiss the character of the witnesses, Petrocelli is challenging them to simply look at the facts of the case.
Petrocelli's second argument concerns the validity of the testimonies. She states that the State has produced three witnesses, who verify that James King was in the drugstore on the day of the murder and points out the witnesses' various confirmed statements. Petrocelli reminds the jury that the cigarettes were stolen and the City Clerk confirmed that Nesbitt was killed with his own gun, which corresponds to Bobo's testimony.
Petrocelli's third argument concerns Steve Harmon's involvement in the crime. She argues that Steve made a conscious decision to participate in the crime and attempted to walk a moral tightrope that day. Whether or not Steve gave a signal to Bobo or James is irrelevant. Petrocelli believes that everyone, including Steve, is responsible for the death of Alguinaldo Nesbitt and should be convicted of murder.