In October, Nancy O’Malley, the district attorney, “abruptly withdraws” Richard’s five-year offer. “No! No! No!” Jasmine yells. “I’ve been nice! I’ve been polite!” The district attorney offers Richard seven years in state prison instead and tells Du Bois to “take the deal or go to trial.” Richard is led, handcuffed and shackled, into the courtroom to sign the plea.
By withdrawing Richard’s five-year offer, the DA ensures that Richard will spend more time behind bars. Richard doesn’t have a choice—it is either seven years or a potential life sentence—and his handcuffs and shackles are a reflection of what his future now holds.