Rachel pleads with Bert to change his mind and admit what he did was wrong. She asks why he can’t be on the right side of things, to which Bert replies, “Your father’s side.” He knows that he is going against the town, the town’s religious leader, and religion itself, but he also knows he needs to stand up for his belief that he did nothing wrong.
After the jury selection is over, Bert has second thoughts about going through with the trial. He thinks that everyone is looking at him like he is a murderer. Drummond tells Bert that if he honestly thinks he committed a criminal act, he will pack up and go home. After a moment of thought, Bert knows he can’t quit.
Rachel asks Drummond for his honest opinion of whether or not Bert is a wicked man. Drummond replies that Bert is a good man, and even a great man, because it takes a brave man to be a pariah to his community for standing up for what he believes in. It takes a smart man to stand up and say, “I don’t know the answer!”
STANDS UP FOR BELIEFS
And while they're making you sweat, remember-- you've helped the next fella.
BERT AS AN EVERYMAN HERO
Don't plague her. Let her go.
Bert doesn't know if he's won or lost. Drummond tells him that his perseverance in this case will give strength to the next person who has to stand up against a law that restricts his freedoms to think and to speak. Bert has stood up for the very freedoms every American should expect, and enjoy -- even the right to be wrong.
After watching Rachel badgered on the stand, and having her words twisted by Brady to the point that she becomes emotionally distraught, rather than allow Drummond to cross-examine her to correct the record, Bert tells him to let her go. He is pained by the pain this has caused her.