Snow Falling on Cedars Chapter 29
Alvin Hooks theorizes for the jurors about the night of Carl Heine's death. He claims that Kabuo waited until the dead of night, and then pretended his battery was dead. As Carl let him come aboard his boat to get assistance, Kabuo hit him in the head with his fishing gaff. Kabuo, says Hooks, had hoped that throwing Carl overboard would make him disappear forever. Hooks asks the jurors to look at the defendant. "Look into his eyes, consider his face, and ask yourselves what your duty is as citizens of this community." Chapter 29, pg. 415
Nels, in his closing statement, immediately points out the prejudice in Alvin Hooks' own statement. He claims that the trial is entirely based on prejudice, in fact. Nels asks, "Will you contribute to the indifferent forces that ceaselessly conspire toward injustice? Or will you stand up against this endless tide and in the face of it be truly human?" Chapter 29, pg. 419
Judge Fielding is worried, knowing that if the jury finds Kabuo guilty, he alone will decide whether or not Kabuo should hang. He cautions the jurors to think hard during their deliberation. They are being asked whether Kabuo committed first degree murder--they must address only that question. They must determine if he planned the murder--it cannot have been in self defense or a sudden whim.