The Defendant: I am pleading guilty your honors but I'm doing it because I think it would be a waste of money to have a trial over five dollars worth of crack. What I really need is a drug program because I want to turn my life around and the only reason I was doing what I was doing on the street was to support my habit. The habit has to be fed your honors as you know and I believe in working for my money. I could be out there robbing people but I'm not and I've always worked even though I am disabled. And not always at this your honors, I used to be a mail carrier back in the day but then I started using drugs and that was all I wanted to do. So I'm taking this plea to save the city of New York and the taxpayers money because I can't believe that the DA, who I can see is a very tall man, would take to trial a case involving five dollars worth of crack, especially knowing how much a trial of that nature would cost. But I still think that I should get a chance to do a drug program because I've never been given that chance in any of my cases and the money that will be spent keeping me in jail could be spent addressing my real problem which is that I like, no need, to smoke crack every day and every chance I get, and if I have to point people to somebody who's selling the stuff so I can get one dollar and eventually save up enough to buy a vial then smoke it immediately and start saving up for my next one that I'll gladly do that, and I'll do it even though I know it could land me in jail for years because the only thing that matters at that moment is getting my next vial and I am not a Homo-sapiens-sexual your honors but if I need money to buy crack I will suck. . . .
The relevant question is not whether back then a few extraordinary individuals could overcome a system strongly weighted against them or whether today an admittedly far greater number requiring far less talent can succeed. The real question is whether it's harder for the people in this audience to succeed be they extraordinary, average, or below average. If it is, and I think it obvious that it is, then that's untenable in a country that purports to provide equal opportunity for all. Now of course you'll dispute my claim that it is more difficult to succeed for them. You say the battle's over. I say not only is it not over but you yourself are stationed on the frontline of the battle and have been all these years. This room and the criminal justice system as a whole is the frontline. This is where modern-day segregation lives on.