What is justice? Is it when a person’s demise makes society feel better? Or is it when a suspect gets acquitted of all charges brought against him? Wherever there is justice there is obscurity. No matter how it is looked at, there is no real justice in the judicial system. In Albert Camus “The Stranger” the narrator, Meursault, is being trialed for the murder of a man he encounters at the beach. At his trial, the prosecutor makes much of Meursault’s demeanor and the prosecutor focuses on irrelevant information like Meursault’s failure to properly show grief at his own mother’s recent funeral. The prosecutor based the trial on events which had taken place prior to the murder.
Even though, his points did not have the connection with the murder which the prosecution maintained. Therefore, the prosecutor created an unfair trial, by not giving Meursalt adequate time to speak in his own defense, bringing up irrelevant situations such as his relationship with his mother and his beliefs. Meursault was not given the chance to defend himself because of questions from the prosecutor and lack of knowledge of his lawyer. The case was rather built upon his lack of feelings towards his mother’s death and his choice not to believe in God.
Typically, throughout a trial, the defendant is given time on the witness stand to plea innocence, and explain why he committed the crime. Meursault, however, stood before the judge and was asked yes or no questions. This left him with little or no time to plead his case. Before he could say anything else, he was back on his way to the jail. Meursault said, “I didn’t even have time to think. I was taken out, put into the van, and driven to prison…” (Camus88). At first he did not know what was going on, but knew he wanted to say something.
Then every time he would try to say something, his lawyer would simply say “Just keep quiet- it won’t do your case any good” (Camus98). Meursault’s lawyer would not let him say anything, and this bothered Meursault. Every now and then, during the trial, Meursault would have the urge to stand up and yell in his head, ” Wait a minute! Who’s the accused here? Being the accused counts for something. And I have something to say’ “(Camus;98).This made Meursault feel alienated from the trial that was going to determine the rest of his life.
The prosecutor had involved his personal feelings about Meursaults beliefs into the case, which was definitely not needed. The prosecutor had repeatedly asked Meursault about his belief in God, and eventually got agitated because Meursault did not believe in God. “…drawing himself up to his full height and asking me if I believed in God. I said no. ‘Do you want my life to be meaningless?’ he shouted”(Camus;69). The prosecutor had absolutely no right to bring personal feelings about Meursalt into the case.
He clearly was mad and irritated, because Meursault did not believe in God. The prosecutor was offended at the fact that, he had no belief, because of this he began to mock Meursault. “That’s all for today, Monsieur Meursalt” (Camus; 71). As a prosecutor you are there to do your job, and not to build relationships or hatred for people. However the prosecutor had allowed Meursaults views to dictate the outcome of the trial. The prosecutor went about the whole trial, asking Meursault, his acquaintances and also his friend’s personal questions about his relationships with people.
The prosecutor focused mainly on the irreverent events that had happened prior to the trial. The prosecutor focused on his reaction to his mother’s death and relationship with her. Firstly, Meursault is a human being with a lack of emotions. Maybe most of the people will get freaked out or think that he is a monster, but he actually isn’t. For example, he loves his mother and care for his girlfriend Marie, but he just doesn’t have the strong emotions for them. He doesn’t cry on his mother’s funeral, he thinks marrying another girl will be the same. However Meursault lifestyle is indifferent, it’s quite hard for him to show emotions, on the other hand, because of this Meursault should not be judge. Nonetheless the prosecutor somehow found his relationship, with his loved ones to be relevant to the case, when it was not.
“He asked me why I had put Maman in the home. I answered I didn’t haven’t money to have her looked after and cared for”(Camus;88). As one may see, the prosecutor had personalized the case by asking him why he had put his mother in a home. Meursault inability to care for his mother was irreverent, however because the prosecutor may had feel that Meursault is “monster” for putting his mother in a home, he wanted everyone else to have the same perspective.
The case had end up focusing on the relationship his mother and how bad of a son he was to her, rather than the killing of the Arab. The prosecutor had brought the director in to witnesses, badgering the director with unnecessary questions about the relationship. “He had asked whether Maman ever complained about me…To another question he replied that he had been surprised by my calm the day of the funeral”(Camus89). As it is shown the prosecutor was more interested by Meursault lack of emotions and lifestyle. Throughout the whole trial the prosecutor was more so trying to prove everyone that Meursault was a bad son and self centered person.
In conclusion the judicial system may definitely be corrupted at times and proceed unfair sentences. Just as Meursaults trial which was based on emotions of the prosecutor rather than the facts of the day of the killing. The prosecutor relied on events prior to that day, which were absolutely not significant to the ruling. Meursault’s relationship with his mother and how he had decided to proceed with his life had no connection to the trial. The prosecutor had also not given Meursault an ample amount of time to answer or prepare for is questions, it happened all so fast for Meursault. As a result, he created an unfair trial and unrelated points against Meursault. All in all the interpretation of these events, provided by the prosecution was largely unfounded.
Courtney from Study Moose
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