A Time to Kill (film)

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A Time to Kill is a 1999 film based on John Grisham's 1989 book A Time to Kill. The film revolves around the rape of a young girl and the arrest and assassination of the rapists by the girl's father, Carl Lee Hailey. The remainder of the film then focuses on the trial of Carl Lee Hailey for murder.


Carl Lee Hailey

  • Yes, they deserved to die and I hope they burn in hell!

Jake Tyler Brigance

  • 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.


  • D.A. Rufus Buckley: Do you think men who kidnap a child should be free in 10 years?
    Carl Lee Hailey: No sir.
    D.A. Rufus Buckley: Do you think two men who rape a child should be free in 10 years?
    Carl Lee Hailey: No, sir.
    D.A. Rufus Buckley: Do you think two men who hang a child should be free in 10 years?
    Carl Lee Hailey: No.
    D.A. Rufus Buckley: Well what do you think should happen? What would be a fair sentence?
    Jake Tyler Brigance: Objection!
    D.A. Rufus Buckley: Do you think they should deserve to die?
    Jake Tyler Brigance: Don't answer that Carl Lee!
    D.A. Rufus Buckley: Do you think they should deserve to die?
    Carl Lee Hailey: Yes, they deserved to die and I hope they burn in hell!

  • 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.
    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.
    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: America is a wall and you are on the other side. How's a black man ever going to get a fair trial with the enemy on the bench and in the jury box?. My life in white hands? You Jake, that's how. You are my secret weapon because you are one of the bad guys. You don't mean to be but you are. It's how you was raised. Nigger, negro, black, African-american, no matter how you see me, you see me different, you see me like that jury sees me, you are them. Now throw out your points of law Jake. If you was on that jury, what would it take to convince you to set me free? That's how you save my ass. That's how you save us both.

  • 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's opinion on this matter is irrelevant.
    Jake Tyler Brigance: Your Honor, I belive Deputy Looney has earned the right to speak here today.
    Judge Omar Noose: Overruled. Continue.
    Jake Tyler Brigance: Go ahead, Dwayne.
    Deputy Dwayne Powell Looney: I got a little girl. Somebody rapes her, he's a dead dog. I'll blow him away just like Carl Lee did.
    D.A. Rufus Buckley: Objection your Honor!
    Jake Tyler Brigance: Do you think the jury should convict Carl Lee Hailey?
    Judge Omar Noose: Don't answer that question.
    Deputy Dwayne Powell Looney: He's a hero. You turn him loose.
    Judge Omar Noose: The jury will disregard...
    Deputy Dwayne Powell Looney: Turn him loose!
    D.A. Rufus Buckley: Your honor, you silenced that witness!
    Deputy Dwayne Powell Looney: You turn him loose!

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