Inherit the Wind Questions and Answers
by Jerome Lawrence, Robert E. Lee

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What is the main thrust of the prosecutions case against Bert Cates?

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The primary force of the prosecution's case is that Cates engaged in direct violation of Hillsboro's law that forbids the teaching of evolution in public school settings.  The prosecution believes that their case is fairly direct.  Bert Cates broke the law by teaching evolution.  The force of their case is more procedural.  There was a violation of an existing law.  It is punishable by Hillsboro's legal statutes.  It is in Drummond's presentation of a defense where a more substantive issue of due process is raised.   Drummond is forced, through rejection of his own expert witnesses, to debate whether or not the law, itself, is just and legal.  Drummond uses Brady's own prosecutorial presence to make clear that there is about as much ambiguity in the Bible's teachings than in anything else.  Therefore, to rest the legal state of being on such a foundation is not within the spirit of jurisprudence.  It is here where the prosecution realizes that the trial has spun out of their control.  From a central and main focus of a procedural issue, the ending of the trial is one where a more substantive issue has been raised and the verdict is rendered accordingly along those lines, as opposed to finding in the proceduralist focus of the prosecution.

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