“I felt like it was genuine on their part,” Debbie says later in the elevator. “I’m always okay with hugs,” Sasha says. The deputy district attorney saw the families embrace and was “glad that they showed some remorse,” but he would rather see it “from the person who did it.” The district attorney never speaks to Richard, however, and Richard’s letters stay in Du Bois’s briefcase.
Richard is remorseful, and the fact that his lawyer (who has 40 years of experience) keeps his letters hidden is an example of the fundamental flaws of the justice system. Du Bois withholds the letters because Richard’s apologies assume guilt; however, when Richard fails to apologize, the system believes his remorselessness is a sign of guilt.