A Time to Kill
Two well-connected white boys rape and try to kill a ten-year-old black girl in Mississippi in the ‘80s, but they are shit out of luck. The girl survives. The girl’s father (Samuel L. Jackson) fears the two will go free, which is a possibility, so he goes to the courthouse and kills them both. He persuades his friend Matthew McConaughey to defend him. No big surprise, after an impassioned speech, he gets the jury to return a not guilty verdict.
I’m a little conflict about this. Damn right these two skidmarks in the underdrawers of humanity deserved to be slaughtered like the pigs they were. And damn right I’d have done the same thing if it were my daughter, and accepted the consequences. But there was collateral damage, which is not addressed at all. In his fusillade, Sam also hits an innocent deputy in the leg, which has to be amputated. So long, deputy job. And yet Sam walks out of the courthouse a free man, and is last seen attending a barbecue.
This was taken from John Grisham’s first novel, and the cast is great, with Sandra Bullock, Kevin Spacey, Oliver Platt, Ashley Judd, and Kiefer Sutherland. I do not automatically condemn vigilante justice, if it is one wronged individual doing the vigilanteing, not a mob, but this man was in the wrong for the great bodily harm he caused. Sorry, Sam, you need to do some serious time for taking the man’s leg.