After having watched "A Time to Kill", I have a better understanding on Race and Ethnicity, and how they have changed from the past to present. In the movie, I saw how a man was traumatized to the extent of murder when he had found out that his little girl had been raped. This man, who happened to be black, was then put on trial in front of a jury of peers, all being white, and had to justify his actions based on a plea of insanity. I feel that any man, no matter what ethnicity and race he may be, deserves a fair trial.
The basic setup has 10-year old Tonya Hailey, the daughter of Carl Lee Hailey, being raped and beaten by two redneck white men. Carl believes that, because of the time and setting this movie takes place, the two rednecks will not be brought to justice to his satisfaction. Taking the law into his own hands, Carl Lee guns down the pair in front of dozens of witnesses in the Canton, Mississippi courthouse. In the process, he also seriously injures a local police officer. In doing this, I believe that while Carl may not have been in the right by law, he did the same thing that any other caring father would want to do. He only acted on his feelings in murder. Carl Lee is arrested for the double murder, and faces trial. Due to the racism in the town, and the type of jury he suspects of receiving, he obtains a respected lawyer. For his attorney, he chooses a local white lawyer, up-and-coming hotshot Jake Brigance. With a team that includes a sleazy divorce specialist, an energetic assistant, and his old mentor, Lucien, Jake goes up against the outstanding local DA. There are already people in an uproar because a black man has murdered two white boys, but when the KKK become involved, the whole town becomes involved in the case. I feel that Jake begins to realize that his life, and the lives of everyone close to him, including his wife and daughter, is in an extreme amount of danger.