"A Time To Kill" by John Grisham.

Essay by pure_innocenceJunior High, 9th gradeA+, June 2003

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A Time To Kill is by the internationally acclaimed best seller of crime, John Grisham. Set in Clanton, Mississippi back when there was great division between white and black people and when the Ku Klux Klan was most prominent is when this story takes place.

Should a lesser crime be acquitted in face of a more heinous one? This is the question the jury has to ask themselves in the case of Carl Lee Hailey who guns down the 2 boys who have raped his ten-year-old daughter. To make things more complicated, Carl is black, the 2 men he executed were white and so is the jury! When people outside of Clanton hear that a black man has killed two whites, the town is filled with an angry mob determined to do anything and everything they can to send Carl on his way to the electric chair.

There are cases that can make or break the career of a young lawyer like Jake Brigance, the unfortunate lawyer who takes on the defence of Carl Lee Hailey.

With the mounting pressure from the public, threats from the dead boys' family and attacks from anti-black Ku Klux Klan, Jake finds that his life and the lives of his family are at stake. Despite the constant danger and knowing his chances are slim before an all-white jury, he remains dedicated, determined and even more passionate about his case doing anything and everything he can to defend his client.

I admired the book for its brutal honesty about the more ugly parts of America's not-so-distant past when black-white discrimination was at its peak. While reading the book, I felt the ten-year-old girl's pain and trauma and her father's anguish and fury. It captures your emotions, taking you into the story itself. This is...