Murder in the First

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Murder in the First is a 1995 film about a petty criminal named Henri Young who is unjustly sent to Alcatraz. The man is put into solitary confinement for 3 years (when the maximum is 19 days) making him go mad, and causing him to kill another inmate. A young lawyer is assigned to his case and defends him, while putting Alcatraz on trial by pointing out that the incredible brutality his client endured was in a sense the real killer.

Directed by Marc Rocco. Written by Marc Rocco and David L. Wolper.


James Stamphill: Did you kill Rufus McCain?
Henri Young: I was the weapon, but I ain't no killer.

James Stamphill: How do you think the Yankees will do against the Redskins this year?
Henri Young: The Yankees are a baseball team. The Redskins are a football team. Personally, I think the Redskins would kick the shit out of them.

James Stamphill: I will ask you what I want to ask you.
Henri Young: And I answer what I want to answer.
James Stamphill: Fine.
Henri Young: Fine.

James Stamphill: Unlike many men who lived long after, Henry Young did not die in vain. In the end he was not afraid. He lived and he died in triumph. If only we could all do that.

Henri Young: Action: I won. Reaction: you can't never take that away from me


  • They locked him up. They crushed his spirit. But they couldn't hide the truth.
  • One was condemned. The other was determined. Two men whose friendship gave them the will to take on the system.
  • The trial that brought down Alcatraz.
  • "I accuse Alcatraz of crimes against humanity." – The lawyer
    "I was a weapon, but I ain't no killer." – The accused
    "I am not on trial here." – The warden
  • One broke his silence. The other broke the system.


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