[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

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.

Ellen Roark: Do you want me to stay?
Jake Tyler Brigance: Yeah, I want you to stay. So you'd better go.

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.

And until we can see each other as equals, justice is never going to be even-handed. It will remain nothing more than a reflection of our own prejudices.

Jake Tyler Brigance

What is it in us that seeks the truth? Is it our minds or is it our hearts?

Jake Tyler Brigance

It ain't easy saving the world, even one case at a time.

Lucien Wilbanks

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.

[to rapists] If I get any trouble outta you guys, I'm gonna integrate this jail.

Sheriff

America is a wall, and you're on the other side.

Carl Lee

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A Time to Kill Quotes

What is it in us that seeks the truth? Is it our minds or is it our hearts?

Jake Tyler Brigance

I am a liberal Row-Ark. What I am not is a card-carrying ACLU radical.

Jake Tyler Brigance