Construct a multi-paragraph, written response in which you make and support a claim about whether Steve Harmon is guilty or innocent. Your response must be based on ideas and information that can be found in Monster.

Guilty until proven innocent, innocent until proven guilty. Both are common ways of looking at the justice system. Monster was a riveting, compelling, galvanizing novel that takes you on a journey through the struggles of a young man facing a hardship not many can cope with. Steve Harmon is innocent because the key witnesses did not incriminate him, his journals are significant in confirming this, and he did not do anything directly related to the robbery or the murder.

Firstly,when the key witnesses were testifying nobody voiced any truly convincing evidence or words to commit Steve. When Lorelle Henry was testifying, she stated that she did not see Harmon while she was there. In looking at the justice system with different perspectives, in assuming Steve was “the lookout” he would not be inside the store at all. If Steve was the lookout, as Bobo Evans acclaimed while he was testifying, how could anyone have gotten into the store while the robbery was going down? Was there really a lookout? No. We do not see him actually agree to be part, just that he was present when the job was mapped out. If Steve’s job was to signal that the coast was clear, it is key to accept that no signal, was Steve’s signal. No signal however, could also exemplify something going awry. There is dominant material that suggest Steve is a good kid, the belief in him by his mother and his teacher, but also his relationship with his little brother.

Secondly, when reading Steve’s journals there is no sign of guilt or incriminating words of his own that gives any reason to give reasonable doubt to the reader. He states ” I’m having trouble breathing,my heart is racing ,I am is scared.” He wrote “I want to look like a good person. I want to feel like a good person because I believe I am.” Steve believes he is a good person, but in the courtroom he is portrayed as an insensitive, and almost an inhumane “monster”.


In conclusion, Steve is innocent in all accounts. He was open, raw, and vulnerable, as he wrote in his journals. He showed overwhelming amounts of confusion and fear while he was confessing his truth, rather than guilt and culpability. Harmon