A few days after his arrest, Richard’s family “scrapes the money together” for a lawyer, and they hire Bill Du Bois, a defense lawyer with forty years of experience. Richard gives him the letter for Sasha, which he immediately puts in his briefcase. The letter contains “an admission of guilt,” and he doesn’t want Sasha to see it until the case is over. The case, however, won’t be over for fourteen months.
Du Bois withholds Richard’s letters because he fears that they will make Richard appear guilty and cause him to spend even more time in prison, yet the letters are an important part of Richard’s redemption and Sasha’s closure. Richard’s letters underscore the ineffectiveness of prison as a meaningful form of punishment and rehabilitation.