Chapter 4 Summary

In the fourth chapter, Harmon is thinking about his identity and the people around him. He considers how his mother is feeling and recalls the way she provides him with clean clothes every morning. In the courtroom, Harmon had to look at pictures of Nesbitt as he was when he was found dead. Harmon especially wonders what his attorney is thinking about him. He thinks she is wondering, “Who is Steve Harmon?” He wishes she could see into his heart because in his heart he knows he is not a bad person.

Back in the courtroom, things are again mundane and routine for everyone except the accused. The guards joke about a late juror, and there are children on a field trip to the courtroom. The children are afraid of Harmon. King enters and he acts as though the trial does not matter to him. However, Harmon does not try to look tough. He smells King’s aftershave and hair and he finds that he can smell each lotion separate from the rest. Harmon’s verdict will depend on the jury’s being able to separate him from King. Although King tries to intimidate Harmon, the older Harmon has now seen things in jail that make it impossible to intimidate him with just a look.

After the trial is back in session, Petrocelli continues to interrogate Osvaldo, who maintains that he only took part in the robbery because he felt intimidated. He explains that John King and Richard “Bobo” Evans were to go into the store to rob it. Steve Harmon was the lookout and was responsible to checking out the store to make sure there were not any police or others in the store. Osvaldo’s job was to cover the robbers’ trail after they escaped; he suggests that he might push a garbage can after anyone chasing the robbers.

Upon cross-examination, Briggs establishes just how much evidence the police had against Osvaldo. He had to cut a deal to testify to get out of trouble. O’Brien also cross-examines Osvaldo. She points out that he was apprehended for beating up his girlfriend after she found out he had impregnated another woman. She also catches him in a lie when she points out that he is a member of a gang. Osvaldo Cruz is a member of the Diablos, a gang that requires its members to fight another member and to slash a stranger’s face to join. He could not have been coerced into robbing a store.

Chapter 4 opened with Harmon considering what the people in his life must think about him. It ends with a scene in which he and his father talk in the visitor’s center. Steve’s father explains that he had always hoped his son would go on to become a football player. He never saw himself having to defend his son against murder charges. The scene blurs and darkens to the sound of Steve’s father sobbing.