By asking Allison about her experience over the past year, Van Valkenberg tries to show just how grave Beau’s actions really were. Beau should be forced to pay for Allison’s year of hell, Van Valkenberg implies, by having to experience hell himself. Milt Datsopoulos takes the opposite approach. Datsopoulos tries to infantilize Allison by suggesting she needs aspects of the case explained to her. But no one, Krakauer shows through Allison’s forceful responses, understands Allison’s case better than Allison herself. Because there is no jury for Datsopoulos to emotionally manipulate in Allison’s hearing, his condescending approach may work against his cause. Judge Townsend has experience with the litigation of rape, and, unlike potential jury members, she is familiar with the victim smearing that is often a part of defense strategies.
The final witness for the prosecution, Katie Burton, is introduced to the reader for the first time at the trial. Burton came up with the sentence of thirty years with twenty years suspended that Shaun Donovan offered Milt Datsopoulos as the maximum should Beau decide to plead guilty. Katie Burton, Shaun Donovan, Fred Van Valkenberg, and the other prosecutors who contributed work to Allison’s case technically represent the interests of the state of Montana, not Allison’s personal interests. So Burton is, in addition to being a prosecutor, an expert on criminal sentencing. When Burton testifies that alternative or more lenient sentencing like the Boot Camp Program proposed by Datsopoulos would not offer sex offender treatment, she provides a compelling reason why a sentence in the more imposing state prison is not only just punishment but a necessary component of Beau’s rehabilitation.