Law Abiding Citizen

Question: I never really understood what the motive was when Clyde murdered his cellmate. Why did he do it? What did this act have to do with the plot of this movie?

Answer: To make sure he was placed in solitary confinement. The warehouse that he owned and operated out of that was next to the prison also had a tunnel connected to every cell in the solitary wing. Clyde needed to be in one of the solitary cells so he could leave the prison whenever he needed to unnoticed, which also served to make it look like he had an accomplice on the outside.

Phaneron Premium member

When Nick is talking to a spook later in the movie, he is quoted as telling Nick: "That cell-mate that he killed, you think that was random? No. That's a pawn being moved off the board. Anyone who had anything to do with that case, he's gonna be coming after you." Just as all deaths played roles in Clydes game, as the audience we are led to believe this inmate played a role, but were never given any resolution as to what significance it was. Not a big deal in grand scheme of things, but unexplained.

I don't know if you just didn't read the answer thoroughly or if you didn't pay close attention to the movie, but Clyde killing his cellmate was far from being unexplained. He can't leave the prison if he's in a regular cell with the general population, so he kills the cellmate in order to get placed in the solitary wing, because every solitary cell is connected to the tunnel in his warehouse that is next to the prison, which allows him to leave whenever he needs to.

Phaneron Premium member

Question: What was the whole thing about Clyde's house being broken into? Was it just a home invasion or something to do with his CIA past?

willieboy78

Chosen answer: Just a random break-in.

Phixius Premium member

Question: Two questions. Why did Clyde think Ames deserved to die? Sure, he was involved in the robbery, but he didn't participate in the murders, and in fact tried to save Clyde's wife from Darby. Also, why didn't Darby kill Clyde during the home invasion?

Answer: Clyde killed Ames so the police could find the hidden message and go after Darby which Clyde then lured him away to kill and place him on his property to start the cat and mouse game. Clyde blacked out too so he probably didn't remember too much what Ames did, even though he did say especially Darby is guilty. Not sure why Darby didn't kill Clyde. The scene suddenly ends. Maybe they tried or thought they killed him. I thought they stabbed him in his stomach and maybe expected him to die slowly but he managed to survive anyway.

Answer: He was also guilty by association. He was an accomplice who robbed them and even though he said stop, still watched Darby try to rape his wife.

Question: How could Ames have received the death penalty if he didn't actually kill Clyde's wife and daughter?

MikeH

Answer: He was a participant in a felony during which someone died. That means the felony murder rule applies. Felony murder is a capital crime.

Greg Dwyer

Answer: They made a deal with Darby. Darby testified saying Ames was the one who killed the wife and daughter in order to get a reduced sentence. Since Shelton's testimony was inadmissible because he blacked out it was Darby's word again Ames'.

scaryterri Premium member

Question: What body parts did Clyde cut from Darby? Clyde only mentioned three or four pieces, but cops on the scene say that Darby was found in about 25 different pieces.

EK8829

Chosen answer: He completely dismembered him. Clyde mentions taking his fingers with tin snips, I believe, so that right there can account for ten pieces.

Phaneron Premium member

Question: In court, Darby asks Nick if he's married. What's the meaning of this question, and why did he ask it? Seems a bit strange to just randomly ask someone that.

EK8829

Answer: Because Nick knows this man is guilty. He says it to almost imply, "well since I'm getting off, may as well make a visit to your family next. You married, Nick?"

Answer: The answer that someone else gave to this question is misleading; indicates that Clyde asked Nick if he was married. It was actually Darby who asks Nick this question. And there really is no answer except that Darby is a menace and a scoundrel. He only asked this to aggravate or pull some kind of thread at Nick. Nick knows this, which is why he replies to him the way he does.

Melissa Bostic

Answer: Probably because he was married with a child, and he wanted to know if he was also married, so he could possibly relate to his situation.

Question: Other than bail, how did Clyde even attempt to expose any flaws in the justice system? It seems like all he did was kill people.

MikeH

Answer: He wanted to teach Nick a lesson. His entire revenge revolves around the whole justice system for doing deals with criminals.

Question: What happened to the daughter?

Answer: She is killed, and its implied from what he was trying to do with the wife that he may have raped her before killing her.

Question: Why did Darby rape and kill Clyde's wife and daughter? Seems pointless, given that Darby and Ames were only there to rob the house.

EK8829

Chosen answer: Maybe Ames was only there for the robbery, but given how quickly Darby decided to commit rape, it may be something he has done before and decided to take advantage of once he saw that there was a woman home that he could have his way with.

Phaneron Premium member

Question: Clyde says to Darby, "Now, what we don't want is you swallowing your tongue, so bear with me" and then inserts some kind of mouthpiece into Darby's mouth. What does it do, and why does he not want Darby swallowing his tongue?

EK8829

Chosen answer: The devices he places in Darby's mouth is to keep his tongue in place. He doesn't want Darby to swallow his tongue (i.e. choke) because he wants him to be awake and alert for the duration of his torture. This is also why he gives him an adrenaline IV to keep him from passing out as well as tourniquets for his severed limbs to prevent him from bleeding to death.

Phaneron Premium member

Question: When Clyde is about to die from the bomb, why didn't he just end the call on the phone he was calling from? He could have probably cancelled the detonation.

tetracore99

Chosen answer: Unfortunately, that wouldn't have done it. Once the phone on the bomb recieved the signal there was no going back.

Phixius Premium member

Question: Ames was in prison for 10 years and after that time he was executed? Why after 10 years?

Answer: The appeals process for capital murder cases is long and arduous, and it is also automatic in most jurisdictions. It typically takes years for those on death row to actually be executed.

BaconIsMyBFF

Question: I used to work in a prison as an intake nurse, and I am wondering how in the hell did the warden and guards who were watching the food go through the X-ray scanner not see that the bone in the T-bone steak could be used as a shank? It could be seen on the monitor, so it was obvious. Either sloppy writing of the movie or it just wanted to show the jailers were just inept.

Answer: I think you have given two good answers to your own question. Unless someone knows more about the writing of the movie, it's either a plot convenience or a subtle suggestion that the prison isn't well run.

Question: What did Clyde use to stab his cellmate in the neck in order to be sent to solitary confinement?

Answer: The bone from his T-bone steak.

Phaneron Premium member

Question: After Clyde has butchered Darby in the warehouse, he tells the kidnapped cop "Thanks for the car" and drives off with his own vintage car. What kind of car was Clyde's ride?

Answer: It's a 1962 Cadillac 60 Special.

EK8829

Question: I never saw it from the beginning. Does it actually show the home invasion, or is he just telling us about what happened?

Answer: The theater version shows the wife's rape and murder, but not the daughter's. When the little girl interrupts her mother's rape, Darby smiles and laughs as he tells Clyde and Ames, "I'll take care of her, kids like me." He then picks her up and carries her into another room as Clyde's wife stares at Clyde as she dies and that's when Clyde blacks out.

Answer: We see Clyde answer the door and immediately get assaulted, but we do not see his wife's rape, nor the murders of the wife and daughter.

Phaneron Premium member

Answer: He's in prison for killing Darby and Ames, though factually, since he hasn't even been charged with either murder, he should be in county lockup. This is a pretty glaring goof for a film that makes commentary on America's justice system.

Phaneron Premium member

Answer: Nick also points out that the crime scenes are always contaminated. The evidence was probably contaminated by the cops.

Answer: The reason the DNA was inadmissible was not elaborated on. We're only told it was inadmissible because of the "exclusionary rule." Therefore, the judge in the case must have deemed the way the DNA was collected from the suspects was in violation of their constitutional rights. The why was not explained and anything would be a guess (something like when they were arrested and there was no probable cause to take a DNA sample). But it's seems more of plot convenience to move the story forward quickly. Clyde passing out had nothing to do with the DNA being inadmissible, it only meant his eyewitness testimony may be considered unreliable. Therefore the DA's Office was not willing to try both men using Clyde as a witness, but go with the plea deal.

Bishop73

Answer: Because Clyde passed out.

Factual error: In the scene when the police are heading to Clyde's house to arrest him, this tactic is highly unrealistic. In real life, when a person is simply a suspect in an investigation, the police do not all drive to the suspect location with lights and sirens going. This loses the element of surprise. They didn't even know if he was home, anyway.

Anthony Lemons

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