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"I'm not a very good man, sir, but I am sheriff of Maycomb County. Lived in this town all my life an' I'm goin' on forty-three years old. Know everything that's happened here since before I was born. There's a black boy dead for no reason, and the man responsible for it's dead. Let the dead bury the dead this time, Mr. Finch. Let the dead bury the dead." (30.60)
Heck Tate may be sheriff, but he's not 100% committed to the letter of the law. Is his approach actually more just, here? Could Atticus actually be wrong for once?