Roman J. Israel, EsqDVD - 2018
From Library Staff
2018 Oscar nomination: Best Actor, Denzel Washington
Nominated Best Actor, Denzel Washington
From the critics
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Now, you're being overcharged to accept a plea and to keep things moving. They want to punish you for even asking for a day in court. It's a volume business. With guards getting overtime and private companies owning the jails... and building them as well.
I'll tell the judge and request a minimum five years. He's facing 15 at trial.
- For a 17-year-old breaking and entering? Hell, why don't we just get it over with and, uh, heh, shoot him?
- That's the offer. Do what you gotta do. Offer doesn't really...
He's not taking top plea. I can tell you that. You're already overcharging him.
- Let's talk about mitigating circumstances. He was caught wearing a T-shirt with a gang symbol.
Like the flag pin on your lapel.
- Five years. That's as low as the People will go.
What people? There's no people. There's you making a bullshxt career-climbing offer. Let's admit it.
The Constitution guarantees us a right to a fair trial... but there can't be fairness if 95 percent of cases never get heard. Criminal cases never get heard by a jury or a judge.
Let's discuss mitigating circumstances.
- Let's not. Voluntary manslaughter, 10 years. It's a good deal.
It's an enema of sunshine.
- I don't have time for this.
Well, I'm sorry for taking a nanosecond... off of your assembly-line, rubber-stamp existence.
The real enemies aren't the ones on the outside, they're on the inside.
Not speaking out... is ordinary. We're agents of change, George, each one of us. Now, I don't have the resources to finish this on my own. But with your assistance, I'm more than certain... that we can finish this and file it together. Partners on a landmark class-action suit... built on precedents and procedure... and actual proof, weight of proof.
We filed the wrong brief... in the wrong court to the wrong judge.
- What are you talking about?
A world where everyone's feelings are reciprocated. The capacity for everyone to contribute. Come on. Freedom is something you can only give yourself.
My meanings seem to obfuscate more than clarify. I mean, that's what the discourse is.
The time has come to put social revolution... squarely back on the agenda... where it belongs. Look at you. Just like I was. Just starting out your fight against the... dominant tendencies of our society. Well... you better get ready for the commitment it takes... to lead a resistant lifestyle. You better start forging... the armor to withstand the temptation... and the financial and emotional toll. Because when it comes to social injustice... and judicial indifference... and institutional racism... and outright goddamn greed... the overwhelming majority of the people in this country just don't give a damn.
I like the idea of starting the conversation... with how protest is still relevant or not... because, you know, we approach these things with, urn, a certain tradition... a certain, you know, uh, repetition of behavior... and sometimes thinking through it, we have to find new approaches.
Each of us is better than the worst thing we ever did.
We are formed of frailty and error. Let us pardon reciprocally each other's follies. That is the first law of nature.
I'm tired of doing the impossible for the ungrateful.
My lack of success is self-imposed.
There needs to be a bottom-up legal change. Who'll see us? What the world could be, not what it is. Society is something to be invented,
It is very difficult to be truthful. Not just with principles... but with yourself. To admit that you want something else and to try and act on it.
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