Chapter 9 Summary
The defense attorneys begin to make their case. Briggs interviews his first witness, Dorothy Moore. Moore swears before the court that King was with her on the day of the trial. However, Petrocelli’s cross-examination suggests that she is lying. Moore claims that King brought her a lamp but she has since lost it because it broke. Upon further interrogation, it seems that she and King do not spend a great deal of time together, which makes it unlikely that he was in fact at her place when the robbery took place. Briggs’ second witness is George Nipping, who testifies that King is left-handed. However, even O’Brien dismisses the testimony as a weak argument.
The film cuts to an interior where O’Brien is preparing her client to testify. Steve will need to testify to distance himself from John King, who cannot testify because he lied to the police in his deposition and the prosecutor can use that against him. O’Brien puts a cup on the table and begins to ask Steve questions. If he answers correctly, she leaves the cup face up. If he answers incorrectly, she turns the cup over. Her goal is to help Steve learn how to answer questions so it will seem that his connection to John King and the other robbers is tenuous.
In his testimony, Harmon responds that he cannot firmly recall very much about the day of the robbery. Because his connection to John King and the other robbers is tenuous, he cannot say for sure when he last saw any of them. He explains that it was not a day of importance to him, and when the prosecution pushes him to answer what he was doing, he explains that he was going around town taking mental notes about places he wanted to film for his school film project. George Sawicki, the teacher in charge of the film club at Steve’s school, supports Steve’s claims when he testifies that he thinks Steve is a good kid.
Briggs, O’Brien, and Petrocelli give their closing arguments. Briggs again highlights that the prosecution’s case is built on the evidence of the monsters from which the prosecution claims to want to protect society. O’Brien emphasizes that it is very ambiguous whether Harmon was actually involved in the case; she slowly lays out and deconstructs the evidence against her client. Finally, Petrocelli speaks, and she convincingly argues that King and Harmon were both involved. She also goes on to explain that although Harmon did not pull the trigger of the gun that killed Mr. Alguinaldo Nesbitt, the law demands that he be tried for felony murder as an accomplice to the assault. After all, if he was indeed involved, his actions led to the robbery that led to Nesbitt’s murder.