The Stranger

by: Albert Camus

Part Two: Chapters 3–4

1

“Not only did the man before you in the dock indulge in the most shameful orgies on the day following his mother’s death. He killed a man cold-bloodedly, in pursuance of some sordid vendetta in the underworld of prostitutes and pimps. That, gentlemen of the jury, is the type of man the prisoner is.”

2

“In short,” he concluded, speaking with great vehemence, “I accuse the prisoner of behaving at his mother’s funeral in a way that showed he was already a criminal at heart.”

3

“I can prove this, gentlemen of the jury, to the hilt. First, you have the facts of the crime; which are as clear as daylight. And then you have what I may call the night side of this case, the dark workings of a criminal mentality.”

4

“This man has, I repeat, no place in a community whose basic principles he flouts without compunction. Nor, heartless as he is, has he any claim to mercy. I ask you to impose the extreme penalty of the law; and I ask it without a qualm.”

5

I didn’t look in Marie’s direction. In fact, I had no time to look, as the presiding judge had already started pronouncing a rigmarole to the effect that “in the name of the French people” I was to be decapitated in some public place.