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Heck Tate wants to protect Boo Radley. He knows the limelight of having saved the children would hurt Boo more than help him. Boo is very much a fragile Mockingbird who would not survive old ladies bringing him cookies and newspaper reporters at his door. Heck Tate knows there is a time for altering the truth. Atticus is more decided. His morality and lawyer's ethic dictates telling the truth. In this case, however, he understands that reality can be a messy thing and sometimes the truth does more harm than good.