Freddie Cobb: You can't blame a nigger for being a nigger, no more than you can blame a dog for being a dog. But a whore like you, co-mingling with mongrels, betraying your own. That makes you worse than a nigger. I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll leave you tied up here naked. First, it'll just be bugs eating at ya. One day, maybe two. That sun's gonna be cooking you. And animals... they're gonna pick on your stink. They'll come looking for something to eat.
Ellen Roark: Carl Lee Hailey should've shot you too.
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.
Carl Lee Hailey: What that Memphis doctor say about her?
Gwen Hailey: She's doing good. Her jaw is healing. She can't run and jump yet, but it won't be long.
Carl Lee Hailey: How about the other?
Gwen Hailey: There was too much damage. She ain't never gonna have kids.
Carl Lee Hailey: You know, I think about them too boys. Dead, buried, probably starting to rot. And I remember them walking into court... one proud, the other scared. I remember how they fell. One on top of the other, screaming and squirming and not going nowhere. God help me Gwen, but that's the only thought that give me comfort.
Looney? Dwayne? I made Ozzie bring me. Shit, Dwayne. We knowed each other since childhood. It's my fault. No matter what gets said in court. I knew what I was doing, and I sure didn't intend to hurt you, but just them two boys. I know it don't mean much now, but I'm sorry.Carl Lee Hailey
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.Jake Tyler Brigance
Ellen Roark: Ah. Ellen Roark, brilliant law student.
Harry Rex Vonner: Do with me as you will.
Ellen Roark: Looking forward to it.
Harry Rex Vonner: Okay!
Ethel Twitty: Will you help an old lady to her car?
Lucien Wilbanks: You don't need any help, Ethel. But I'd be honored to escort you to your automobile.
Harry Rex Vonner: Lucien, I thought you were dead.
Lucien Wilbanks: I'm trying.
Ellen Roark: I keep thinking, what would Jake do? What would my father do? What would Lucien do?
Harry Rex Vonner: Well see, there's your problem. What you should be thinking is, what would Harry Rex do?
Ellen Roark: What would Harry Rex do?
Harry Rex Vonner: Cheat. Cheat like crazy.
Ellen Roark: Do you want me to stay?
Jake Tyler Brigance: Yeah, I want you to stay. So you'd better go.