Jake Tyler Brigance Quotes
Carl Lee: Ask if he thinks I should go to jail.
Jake Tyler Brigance: Carl Lee, they amputated his leg because you shot him. He's the prosecution's witness.
Carl Lee: You're my lawyer ain't ya? Ask him.
Jake Tyler Brigance: Your Honor, one question.
Judge Omar Noose: Make up your mind, Mr. Brigance.
Jake Tyler Brigance: Deputy Looney, do you think Carl Lee shooting you was intentional?
Deputy Dwayne Powell Looney: No sir. It was an accident.
Carl Lee: Ask him!
Jake Tyler Brigance: Do you think he should be punished for shooting you?
Deputy Dwayne Powell Looney: No, sir. I hold no ill will toward the man. He did what I would have done.
Jake Tyler Brigance: What do you mean by that?
Deputy Dwayne Powell Looney: I mean, I don't blame him for what he did. Those boys raped his little girl.
D.A. Rufus Buckley: Objection, your Honor! The witness' opinion on this matter is irrelevant.
Jake Tyler Brigance: I don't know what to say.
Ethel Twitty: There's nothing you can say. I know you didn't want any of this to happen, but it happened all the same. You wagered all our lives on this. You just went ahead and did what you felt you had to do, no matter what the cost. Some folks think that's brave. Not me, Jake. Now, you may win, but I think we've all lost here.
Deputy Dwayne Powell Looney: Hey Jake, didn't you defend Billy Ray Cobb a few years back?
Jake Tyler Brigance: What kind of case was it?
Deputy Dwayne Powell Looney: Caught him selling dope. Spent time in Parchman. Got out last year.
Jake Tyler Brigance: I think some Memphis lawyer handled that. Why do you ask?
Deputy Dwayne Powell Looney: Well, we picked him up for rape. Him and Willard.
Jake Tyler Brigance: Who'd they rape?
Deputy Dwayne Powell Looney: You know Carl Lee Hailey?
Jake Tyler Brigance: Sure, I defended his brother Lester.
Deputy Dwayne Powell Looney: It was his little girl.
[closing argument] I want to tell you a story. I'm going to ask you all to close your eyes while I tell you the story. I want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to yourselves. Go ahead. Close your eyes, please. This is a story about a little girl walking home from the grocery store one sunny afternoon. I want you to picture this little girl. Suddenly a truck races up. Two men jump out and grab her. They drag her into a nearby field and they tie her up and they rip her clothes from her body. Now they climb on. First one, then the other, raping her, shattering everything innocent and pure with a vicious thrust in a fog of drunken breath and sweat. And when they're done, after they've killed her tiny womb, murdered any chance for her to have children, to have life beyond her own, they decide to use her for target practice. They start throwing full beer cans at her. They throw them so hard that it tears the flesh all the way to her bones. Then they urinate on her. Now comes the hanging. They have a rope. They tie a noose. Imagine the noose going tight around her neck and with a sudden blinding jerk she's pulled into the air and her feet and legs go kicking. They don't find the ground. The hanging branch isn't strong enough. It snaps and she falls back to the earth. So they pick her up, throw her in the back of the truck and drive out to Foggy Creek Bridge. Pitch her over the edge. And she drops some thirty feet down to the creek bottom below. Can you see her? Her raped, beaten, broken body soaked in their urine, soaked in their semen, soaked in her blood, left to die. Can you see her? I want you to picture that little girl. Now imagine she's white.
Ellen Roark: Do you want me to stay?
Jake Tyler Brigance: Yeah, I want you to stay. So you'd better go.
Jake Tyler Brigance: I need a drink.
Lucien Wilbanks: At three o'clock in the afternoon? What would your wife think?
Jake Tyler Brigance: I'm my own man, Lucien. I drink when I want to.
Lucien Wilbanks: When did she leave town?
Jake Tyler Brigance: This morning.
Lucien Wilbanks: You wanted this case, well you've got it. It isn't easy saving the world even one case at a time, but you stick with it. You just might have a knack for it. Don't do what I did. Don't quit.
Jake Tyler Brigance: What are you talking about, quit. You're a hero Lucien.
Lucien Wilbanks: Hero my ass. Do you think the world needed me beating cops heads on that picket line. I was needed here. In that courtroom. And I let them push me, I gave them an excuse to kick me out and now I can never plead a case in there again. You can. You're an attorney. Be proud. You job is to find justice no matter how well she may hide herself from you. So you go on in there and you do your job.
If this is a party, boys, where's the chips and beer? Otherwise, your being here seems a bit like illegal client solicitation, what with Carl Lee already having a lawyer and all.
Jake Tyler Brigance: I can't be you, Lucien.
Lucien Wilbanks: Don't be me, Jake. Be better than me.
Carl Lee Hailey: We ain't no friends, Jake. We are on different sides of the line, I ain't never seen you in my part of town. I bet you don't even know where I live. Our daughters, Jake; they ain't never gonna play together.
Jake Tyler Brigance: What are you talking about?
Carl Lee Hailey: Well, you are white and I'm black. See Jake, you think just like them, that's why I picked you; you are one of them , don't you see?. Oh, you think you ain't because you eat in Claude's and you are out there trying to get me off on TV talking about black and white, but the fact is you are just like all the rest of them. When you look at me, you don't see a man, you see a black man.
Jake Tyler Brigance: Carl Lee, I'm your friend.
Jake Tyler Brigance: We're going to lose this case, Carl lee. There are no more points of law to argue here. I want to cope a plea, maybe Buckley will cop us a second degree murder and we can get you just life in prison.
Carl Lee Hailey: Jake, I can't do no life in prison. You got to get me off. Now if it was you on trial...
Jake Tyler Brigance: It's not me, we're not the same, Carl Lee. The jury has to identify with the defendant. They see you, they see a yardworker; they see me, they see an attorney. I live in town, you live in the hill.