The Practice
The Means

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Deborah: D+ | Grade It Now!
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Written by: David E. MachiaKelley

Miss Hart does her closing argument. She says this case isn't about false accusation. She says she's been accused of shoplifting three times herself, and has lost track of how many times she's felt suspected. She says her black friends tell her about being followed around in stores, too. But the answer isn't a riot, or defenestration of security guards. She doesn't say "defenestration," of course, but I love that word and I so rarely get a chance to use it. This recap presents a golden opportunity. She tells the jury they should be offended by the defense's argument, and says the idea that blacks should get special consideration because they can't control their violent impulses is "obscene." Yeah, that's about the nicest word for it. She concludes, "And as a black woman...I'll tell you...I'm going to go home and weep tonight. Whether the argument prevails or not, no matter. Because I'm going to go home and cry. Just because it was made."

Eugene's up. He says their testimony about group contagion was uncontested, and reiterates Traub's testimony. Then he says, "What crap!" Bobby interjects, "Your Honour..." Eugene turns and tells him, "I'm doing my closing!" He mentally adds, "So shut it, you pompous ass." Or maybe those are the voices in my head. Bobby sits down, trying to control his control-freakism. Eugene says that what happened was that Aaron was attacked, and he fought back. But they didn't think that as a legal strategy, they could get the jury to believe that he was justified. They thought they'd have a better chance of convincing a white jury that he was an animal. Eugene denounces that line of thinking again as crap. Bobby's totally freaking out, you just know it. Eugene starts talking about what a good man Aaron is, what a fine and upstanding member of society. He had just had it, seeing someone falsely accused, and then this fight broke out, and Eugene tells them that if they don't understand how and why this man could lash out, all it proves is that they don't understand. Eugene says, "Oh, I know, you can sympathize, but until you've been yanked out of your car, until you've been searched just because of how you look, until you see the look of fear in somebody else's eyes staring back at you simply because you're black...until that kind of thing happens to you over and over and over and over and over...you can't know." He pauses and paces toward Bobby. He continues: "My co-counsel, Bobby Donnell, looked me in the eyes this morning and said he understands." Eugene looks at Bobby; Bobby doesn't meet his gaze. "He doesn't. He might think that he does, but he doesn't." Eugene argues that Aaron went to the defense of someone wrongly accused, and got turned into the enemy, and was assaulted, and reacted with moral and personal outrage. He says he won't ask any of them to understand; he knows that's not possible. He asserts that Aaron is no deviant, and that he was justified. Eugene sits down. Bobby looks at him with an expression of resentment. What a complete wanker.

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The Practice

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