In 1964 in the south, circumstances were very different. There were separate fountains for whites & non-whites. The schools had not yet been integrated. Churches were separated with the 'coloreds' church usually being across the tracks. When Coop returns to Justice, Mississippi he realizes how things stood. He was in his office when his secretary announced: "'Mrs. Lindsay, there is a Negro woman here to see you'. The sentence's strained tone revealed the woman's discomfort with even voicing the news."
He is deciding whether or not to take a case where a young man has been accused of the brutal murder of a local girl. He visits the Sheriff's office to talk to the young man. "Because you're white & you'd be turning your back on your own kind. Nobody here will cotton to your doing any such thing. They'd call you a...' The Sheriff stopped before finishing his thoughts.
'A what?' Coop demanded.
'You know!' Estes barked back, his eyes aflame.
'Say it!' Coop challenged, sticking his finger at the other man's face. "Say the word. Everybody does. It is said in churches & schools.'
Coop knows what he will face in accepting this case. He'll be shunned & worse. His family will also face the same consequences. It's not an easy decision to make.
If he sold out, he wouldn't like the man he faced in the mirror daily. "His decision, one few would even know about, would define him from this day forth. It would shape who he was & his sense of values."
Maltose, who was rich & ran the town was visited by Frederick, the District Attorney. He mentions Arthur Conan Doyle. "Frederick shook his head. What did the words of a dead English author have to do with anything?'" Maltose explained that Sherlock Holmes would say: 'The game's afoot'.
Coop is talking to Hattie, the Aunt of Martin, the accused. He mentions how difficult it must be to be black in Justice. "If you are like me you just come to accept the way things are & do your best to deal with what you've been given."
In interacting with his client Coop explains the way the law handles things in Justice. "The rules seem to be different for a Negro & a white when it comes to Justice or anywhere else."
As he explored the facts he realized that Martin was innocent. "This frame was much more elaborate than he believed possible. Someone with access to the body has put some thought into this."
"There are times when having integrity is a real pain." Coop explains to the judge of the trial.
Regarding the Maltose family in 2014, the new Chief of police explains people would like to see their family brought down because "...the old scars still seep & the old anger still remains."
"They are God's quilt come to life & stitched together by faith, grace & a bit of courage."
This has twists & turns & a harsh look at an ugly time. Can there be hope in Justice?
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