Law & Order (1990) Episode Scripts

N/A - Savages

NARRATOR: In the crímínal justíce system the people are represented by two separate yet equally ímportant groups, the políce who ínvestígate críme and the dístríct attorneys who prosecute the offenders.
These are theír storíes.
DOMINIC: Thirty-two yards.
My grandmother could've kicked it.
Bad for you she wasn't suited up.
Hey, what do they pay that guy to put it through the posts? l just know what you're supposed to pay me.
You're 20 short.
Double or nothing next week.
You should be like Mr.
C.
He plays the spread, he pays the green.
Oh, he's a loser, too? You keep betting on the Jets, you're going to make me a rich man.
Mr.
C? Bobby! It's pay up time.
Bobby? Yo, Mr.
C? (SPEAKING SPANISH) RIVERA: Dominic, call the police.
Name is Bobby Cassidy, lived here the past six months or so.
Nobody's supposed to live here.
Building's zoned commercial.
Man who makes the rules is somewhere in the south of France.
Who else don't you know about? Oil painter, up on seven.
Guy strokes them like Picasso.
Check it out, all right? Super's no help.
No sign of forced entry.
lt's probably not a robbery.
The shooter left 200 and change in the wallet, which this poor sap withdrew from an ATM machine in the Bronx.
Grand Concourse Savings.
Yesterday about 2:OO.
CURTIS: l usually drink with friends.
Yeah, l've always said, drinking alone is underrated.
Okay.
We've got 68 TVs, a handful of walkmans.
Maybe Cassidy was dealing stolen goods.
l doubt it.
He's got a bunch of shipping orders.
Looks like he was paying full price.
Hey, Detective! You got to see this.
The stiff is sporting a girdle.
Looks like my grandmother's.
Yeah.
Did you see what's inside? Oh, yeah.
Old undercover trick.
What do you mean? This guy was on the job? l better call Van Buren.
Bad time to kill a cop.
There's a good time? No.
Only now the State gets to fry his ass.
VAN BUREN: Real name's Bobby Croft.
Undercover, seven years.
Gives him a lot of enemies.
We know who he was working? lntelligence division's stingy with details, but like everybody else real generous with attitude.
Did you get a statement from the other resident? Yeah.
He came home around midnight from a T.
S.
Eliot reading.
Heard nothing, saw nothing.
So, assuming the gun made noise, Croft was shot before then.
There's got to be some surveillance we can look at.
You're used to working on an OCCB budget.
Croft's lucky if he's reimbursed for pencils.
The department's not so broke it can't afford backup.
On the books, l was Bobby's backup.
On the street, he didn't want to know from me.
Afraid you'd blow his cover? Yeah.
Once he became Bobby Cassidy, the rest of his life all but disappeared.
Well, that's the drill for undercover.
GILBERT: Yeah, also, the way to get yourself killed.
Did he have any family? Girlfriend, but he didn't give her much time.
As hard as he worked, wasn't much to spare.
He didn't have much time for filing status reports, either.
Hey, Bobby kept me up to speed by phone.
He had Ted Quinlan in his crosshairs.
Wise guy dealing smack out of Hell's Kitchen.
Poses as some kind of antique importer.
Drugs? l thought Croft's front was dealing swag.
Yeah, part of the scam.
He needed to blend.
Wait a minute.
It says here, Croft requisitioned $125,OOO.
Yeah, that was going to be the closer on Quinlan, but they changed the location of the buy and we lost them.
And you didn't think to call Croft or go to his apartment? Well, we figured it was just Bobby being Bobby and he'd show in the morning.
You found the money, right? The heroin? Well, you got your motive.
That mick bastard got greedy.
Just a kid from the streets.
Import-export, who knew? The way we hear it, Mr.
Quinlan, you're importing from Mexican poppy fields.
Sounds like libel.
Maybe, l should call my attorney.
Maybe you should put him on speed dial.
l'll take it under advisement.
Now, you here to buy or just browsing? Was Bobby Cassidy one of your regular customers? A punk.
Wanted me to unload some cheap VCRs.
So you offered him some smack instead, huh? l offered him a Queen Anne chair.
What do you say we cut the crap here? His name wasn't Cassidy, it was Croft and he was on the job.
He's dead now and that pisses us off extra special, you catching on? A cop? No way he could afford the Queen Anne.
Just for the record, Mr.
Quinlan, where were you last night? Where l am every night, eating my dinner at Stafford's.
BRISCOE: You have company? My accountant, Paul Sandig.
We were reviewing my projections.
He had steak au poivre.
l had fettuccine Alfredo.
We were there from about 8:OO until l left at 1 1 :45.
Was this business or pleasure? Oh, strictly business.
Quinlan Imports is exceeding projections by almost 30O_.
Turns out Ted's got a real gift for predicting currency rate changes.
You seem like a sharp guy, Mr.
Sandig.
You had to know what Quinlan was all about.
l'm a certified public accountant.
l independently review financial information provided by my clients.
Anything they don't provide is outside my purview.
l knew Bobby Croft.
(SIGHS) Used to work homicide out of the 37.
His wife dumped him, he volunteered for undercover.
Sometimes, l really hate this job.
Yeah, not one of my better days either.
Your shooter emptied his revolver from about three feet.
He hit all six? Yeah, but we're not talking about Lee Harvey Oswald.
Areas of entry range from Croft's shoulders to his knees.
Angles of entry indicate he kept shooting after Croft went down.
So the shooter panicked.
Or he wanted to make sure.
One more thing, Bobby had traces of semen and vaginal discharge in his undershorts.
l thought he didn't have time for his girlfriend.
Catch this guy, will you? SARAH: l wanted to be Bobby's wife.
l wanted to have his children.
l settled for an occasional weekend in the Poconos.
Well, undercover work and marriage He was thinking about you.
Get off it.
If he thought so much about me, he would have quit the damn job.
BRISCOE: Last night? We were together, at my place.
He said he was going to take me to Atlantic City this weekend.
CURTIS: Do you remember when he left, Sarah? We left together, about 1 1 :OO.
He brought me here, on the way to his place.
Did he say anything about meeting someone later? He checked his machine before he left.
l think l think he returned a call.
l'm not looking forward to going home.
Yeah.
Dead cop, the divorce rate always doubles.
My wife worries, l can't say l blame her.
She'll feel better when we put this guy away.
She'll feel better when we bury him.
The little lady wants blood? From a cop killer? You're damn right.
What are you, a bleeding heart, Lennie? Albert Grazzo, scar from here to here.
Three years ago, he walks into a Korean joint, grabs $141 and a Raspberry Snapple and on the way out, he pops Mr.
and Mrs.
Lee just for the hell of it.
There's a point to this? Goes straight to his girlfriend's place on 98th and Columbus.
Logan and l walk up about 10 minutes later and we're eyeballing a thirty-eight.
And? And he dropped the gun.
Well, good for him.
He thought twice about killing a cop.
Yeah, what l'm thinking is if he was already facing the chair for popping the two Koreans, he wouldn't have thought once.
Screw bleeding heart.
l just don't want to end up bleeding on the floor of some joint on Columbus.
(CELL PHONE RINGING) Curtis.
All right, thanks.
Girlfriend's LUDs.
Croft called Quinlan? Next best thing.
One call to the restaurant where Quinlan ate dinner.
BRISCOE: He called you, Ted.
And an hour later he had six holes in him.
l told you.
He was a punk.
ln my neighborhood, that's what happens to punks.
Really? And who do you think put them there? l'm sure you'll let me know when you find out.
About the call? Like always, he was hot to unload some cheap computers or something.
l didn't pay him any attention.
Yeah, that'd be a good story, Teddy, except we know that Croft was a cop.
We also know he requisitioned over a hundred grand to buy some heroin from you.
And we didn't find the heroin, and we didn't find the bucks in his apartment.
l don't know a hell of a lot about Queen Anne chairs, but l know how to add one and one.
Well, then maybe you deserve a promotion.
My coffee's getting cold, l think l'll freshen it up.
Hey, l got some rights here.
My air, my rules.
Now, my partner, he's a patient man.
Me? l get pissed off real easy, especially when l'm lied to.
l told you already, l didn't kill that cop.
The more you lie, the more impatient l get.
Well, l suggest a change of underwear.
You listen to me, you piece of crap.
That body lying in the morgue could be me.
So when l see you sitting there with that smirk on your face, l don't really feel líke waítíng for the State to put that needle ín your arm.
This is getting out of hand.
l'm not looking.
l can't breathe.
Guess what? It's just me and you, buddy.
You happen to croak, l can bury this so deep in self-defense, the mayor will be pinning all kinds of medals on me.
Get him out of there.
Rey.
Give me a minute.
(COUGHING) That son of a bitch is swimming in it.
You ever hear of the Fourth Amendment? He killed a cop! He's got rights.
Well, let me get him a cup of tea and some crumpets, and l'll tell him how sorry l am for wrinkling his shirt.
Can the attitude, detective.
What the hell is going on here? That guy is laughing at us! l let you back in there, he'll be suing us.
And that scares you? No.
What scares me is you giving this kid carte blanche to mau-mau a witness.
Guys like Quinlan don't exactly respond to ''please'' and ''thank you.
'' Oh, great! So l'm supposed to let you turn Curtis into another Rambo.
Remember where that Ianded your last partner.
Let Quinlan go.
Now! What? Detective Curtis, if you want to arrest someone, you need evidence.
Let him go.
(DOOR CLOSING) ls she still chapped? Oh, that was nothing.
You should have seen her the day l took a three-hour lunch.
A dead cop, you'd think she'd bend the rules.
Hey, she just doesn't want to be testifying at your trial.
She hates the hell out of going to court.
This just came in.
A warrant for Quinlan's financial records.
Oh, great, we'll nail him for not declaring his maid.
Croft used marked bills when he made his buys.
We pick up the trail, maybe it leads back to Quinlan or the maid.
Corporate and financial records of Quinlan Imports Inc.
Can't imagine you'll find this useful.
Just following orders, Mr.
Sandig.
You do all of Quinlan's corporate housekeeping? A perfectly legitimate accountant's function.
So everything's in here? C of l, minutes, by-laws, banking records? Whatever he gave me.
Like l said, l'm not my client's keeper.
l see numbers like this, l want to reach for a tall glass of Bromo.
And this is iust the legit money.
How we doing? Oh, great.
l got all the way through January.
Yeah well, the public wants us to pick up the pace.
Nothing like being the test case.
You don't sound too happy about it.
lf justice were color blind, l'd be dancing in the streets.
Hey, the only color l'm thinking about is blue.
The statute says cop killers are the first in line for execution.
Yeah, but we've got to prove that Quinlan knew Croft was a cop before we start filling the syringe.
Hey, this is interesting.
On January 21st, Quinlan wrote a check to the New York Department of State.
Yeah, his annual corporate franchise tax.
Right, so why did he pay it twice? Here's another check dated two weeks later.
He's got another corporation.
l got a friend at State.
You get married, that's the last l hear from you.
Three kids and a shield, Marcie, l've been busy.
What? Detectives don't eat lunch? Okay.
Here we go.
Check number 262 was the corporate franchise tax for Quinlan Imports Inc.
Check number 275 was for CJC Corp.
Do you have records on the second one? One thing we got plenty of is records.
CJC Corp.
10,OOO shares issued, outstanding.
All shares held by Edward Quinlan.
CURTIS: Do you have anything else? lncorporated August 1 2, 1992.
Primary place of business, New York, New York.
Three bank accounts, Grand Concourse Savings.
BRISCOE: That ATM slip? That's the place where Croft withdrew money the day he was killed, right? l see here that once a week for the past year, there were $9,OOO deposits into each of three Quinlan accounts.
CURTIS: Ten grand triggers federal reporting requirements.
So you can see, we've done nothing wrong.
Aiding and abetting a money-laundering scheme, you're kidding, right? Look, l'm iust as surprised as you are.
Our software's designed to spot this and bring it to my attention.
So either your computer caught a cold or somebody's been doing an end run.
The software's definitely working.
Looks like it was manually bypassed.
This by-passer have a name? Oh, my God, l knew this was going to happen.
Why don't you tell us all about it? He told me it was just once.
He said he needed to hide some cash because of his divorce.
A deposit once a week for a year? Must've been the world's worst divorce lawyer.
Come on, Ms.
Byman.
You had to know he was laundering money.
l never asked any questions.
l wanted to stop, but he said l was in too deep.
He tape recorded all our phone conversations.
He said he was going to use them against me.
And how much did Quinlan pay you for all your help? Quinlan? Who's Quinlan? Who are we talking about here? Paul Sandig.
Sandig? The damn accountant.
l swear.
l don't know anyone named Quinlan.
Well, what about Croft? Cassidy? Sorry.
This face, you recognize it? Day before yesterday, he came in about an hour after Mr.
Sandig.
He said Mr.
Sandig sent him, he wanted the same service.
And you quoted him a price? l told him l had no idea what he was talking about.
Then l called Mr.
Sandig.
He said he didn't send anyone.
He asked me to describe the man.
Am l in a lot of trouble? Sandig finds out Croft's onto him, then he panics.
Come on.
A pencil-head like Paul Sandig a murderer? l don't think so.
Why? Because he spent four years on an ivory tower and he's got a diploma on his wall? Listen, Sandig Ieft the restaurant before Quinlan.
He had more time to get to Croft's place.
My guess is he just didn't want to see those diplomas in a cell in Attica.
Well, we can arrest him for laundering money then.
l want the son of a bitch for murder.
Let's see what's on those tapes.
l'll call for a warrant.
Yeah, while you're at it, call Profaci.
Tell him to pick up Quinlan for laundering.
Paul is going to be furious when he gets back from Tarrytown.
You can tell him to send his complaint to Judge Fishbein.
This has to be a mistake.
Paul is president of his son's little league.
His wife runs the PTA.
He's not a criminal.
You have any more storage space in here? Well, yeah, but l assure you, you're wasting your time.
This is terrible.
l'm expecting clients.
The sooner you show us everything, the sooner we'll be out of your hair.
LYNDON: Paul keeps some of his stuff in there.
He's got the key.
You want to open this up? SANDIG: Why would l send somebody? You stupíd BYMAN: l dídn't tell hím anythíng.
SANDIG : Díd he leave a name? The teller goes on to describe Croft.
We're getting warmer.
We're getting hot.
The next call was from Marty Prince.
Why do l know that name? BRISCOE: Sleazeball insurance adjuster.
Two steps ahead of a fraud scheme a couple of years back.
Paul, ít's Marty Prínce.
l got what you need on Cassídy.
SANDIG : Not on the phone.
l don't get it.
What's an insurance guy got to do with this? Hey, l knew all about my second wife's boyfriend way before l went into court.
lnsurance guys can find out anything about anybody.
We figure Prince did a make on Croft and told Sandig he was a cop.
Which knocks this up to murder one.
Talk to Prince.
Sandig said he was checking out a new client.
He pays my full rate, l don't get too curious.
Well, what'd you find out about Cassidy? First of all it wasn't hís real name.
No credit history.
BRISCOE: Sandig didn't need you for that.
Yeah, how about this? l knew he was a cop.
How'd you figure that out? Nothing gets by these eyes, gentlemen.
Mr.
X drives a car repoed in an NYPD drug sting.
The car is never resold.
Now, unless the department started a leasing company l don't know about, he had to be one of New York's finest.
Well, now he's one of New York's deadest.
Everything l did was kosher.
Just stick around to testify, all right? Let's get a warrant for Sandig's house.
We find a weapon You've been here for hours.
l don't know what you expect to find.
Just what it says on the warrant, ma'am, ''evidence relating to a homicide.
'' This is ridiculous.
My husband is a CPA, not a murderer.
Paul! First my office.
Now this? What's going on? lt's a mistake.
Did you call the lawyer? They're trying to find him.
l'm going to sue you and then l'm going to sue the city.
Jenny, get them out of here.
Boys, go up to bed.
CURTIS: Look what l found.
Thirty-eight special, huh? And there's more.
CURTIS: Looks like 1 25k worth.
Paul Sandig, you're under arrest for the murder of Detective Robert Croft.
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you do say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
You have the right to an attorney.
If you cannot Docket 2715, People v.
Sandíg, Paul Míchael.
The charge is murder in the first degree.
Do we have a plea? Not guilty.
Ms.
Kincaid? The People urge Mr.
Sandig be held without bail.
Mr.
Sandig has no criminal record.
He has strong ties to the community, and he'll post cash collateral sufficient to secure his presence.
This is a capital offense, Your Honor.
Nothing like being first.
The defendant will be held without bail.
Next.
So, Claire, how savage are we feeling today? lf you're asking whether the State is going to ask for the death penalty? It's not my call.
You're saying you haven't talked to Jack about this? Adam Schiff has l'll get back to you.
We haven't even tried Sandig and the papers are clamoring for an execution.
Because they know that's what the people want.
Pataki rode the death penalty plank all the way to a mansion in Albany.
Political propaganda.
The voters iust iumped on the bandwagon.
You don't like the law so it's propaganda.
Come on, Jack.
The homicide rate is at a 25-year low without the death penalty.
Pataki failed to mention that fact during the campaign.
Maybe that fact's irrelevant.
People are sick of crime, period.
Yeah, my neighbor would have us kill the old lady upstairs, because her dog barks all night.
Fortunately, the statute only applies to such trivial offenses as cop killings, torture killings, felony murders and killing the witness to a crime.
l've been all over the file.
We've got Sandig dead to rights.
The envelope filled with heroin had both his and Croft's fingerprints on it.
Ballistics match.
He knew Croft was onto his laundering.
He also knew he was a cop.
l think you have to look at the big picture, Adam.
Paul Sandig is the poster child for the death penalty.
He's white, he's rich and he killed a police officer.
Not in the heat of passion, but in cold blood.
You're so sure? Maybe he was nervous.
Maybe he panicked.
He has a wife and kids.
(SIGHS) Well, l appreciate your enthusiasm, both of you.
But the statute puts the burden on you.
All l can say is l'm glad l'm not on the bench anymore.
Good fight's not so good of late.
The constitution is a living thing, Adam.
lt expands, it contracts.
lt has to cast off what it cannot use, otherwise it dies.
You're telling me you've changed your mind since your opinion in People v.
Davís? No.
Just because something is constitutional, that doesn't make it moral.
Johnson, up in the Bronx, said no one would ever be executed in his jurisdiction.
That's nonsense, Al.
Any district attorney who speaks in absolutes is abdicating his responsibility.
Well, since you hold no absolutes, then there are circumstances where you'd be comfortable with the death penalty? Obiection, assumes facts not in evidence.
l called you To be taken off the hook.
You wanted to be able to file it under murder two? Question.
Can anything be moral if it doesn't apply to all men equally? Sandig kills Croft in the Bronx, he lives.
ln Manhattan, he dies? Answer! Morality is not now and never has been a significant part of the criminal justice system.
Very nice speech.
Oh, no.
You make the speeches, you get your picture in the Tímes.
The price of the party.
l want you to file the notice of intent to seek the death penalty.
lt's the right thing, Adam.
lt's the law.
But you don't have to use it.
Although l'd like to pretend l'm Solomon, Ms.
Kincaid, l'm not.
Just an elected official who hasn't slept the past three nights.
Wait a minute.
You can't tell me that you think it's all right lf we don't ask for the ultimate punishment here, what are we saying about society's position on cop killings? CLAIRE: Yes, what Sandig did was despicable, but how many people are sitting on death row because of a bad attorney, rather than because they committed a heinous crime? That won't be Paul Sandig's problem.
He iust hired Helen Brolin.
Look at the facts.
A couple of overzealous cops got a little overanxious and they stepped all over Hell, they trampled my client's Fourth Amendment rights.
lf counsel is referring to the search that uncovered Mr.
Sandig's tapes, it was executed pursuant to a warrant signed by Judge Fishbein.
Only the warrant covered Mr.
Sandig's office, which is suite 242.
The tapes were found in suite 248.
JACK: In the firm's storage facility.
But even if the warrant is narrowly construed, the police were provided access to the locker by the defendant's partner.
lt's well settled that a partner can consent to the search of partnership property.
Counsel should do his homework, he'd save us all a lot of time.
As you can see from the agreement between Messrs Sandig and Whitney, they had a space sharing arrangement, period.
They didn't share clients, they didn't share profits or losses.
Therefore, they were not, in fact, a legal partnership.
And Mr.
Whitney didn't have the authority to consent to anything.
She's right.
Even if Mr.
Whitney didn't have actual authority, he had apparent authority.
The cops thought Apparent authority has to be reasonable.
lf he'd had a key, maybe it'd be arguable.
But a bolt cutter? That's ridiculous.
l have to agree.
The tapes are inadmissible.
BROLIN: Thank you, Your Honor.
l also move that any evidence arising from the illegal search be excluded as well.
Namely, the testimony of an insurance adjuster, Mr.
Marty Prince.
Done.
As such, Your Honor, the State has no evidence whatsoever that my client had any knowledge the victim was a police officer.
And there goes the State's murder one charge.
They weren't partners.
We looked pathetic.
Jack, at least we can still put Sandig away for 25 years.
They strap you down, they stick a needle in your arm and run poison through your veins.
lt's barbaric.
l wouldn't weep for Paul Sandig.
Revenge is sweet, huh? Yes, it is.
It's a natural human instinct and there's no need to apologize for it.
No, except for the fact that it's illegal.
That's exactly my point.
There is no private right of action under the criminal justice system and so the State has an obligation to mete out fitting punishment.
And that's why we have prisons.
Because life without parole is fitting enough.
Let me ask you, Claire.
Why do you suppose 38 states and the federal government, and the military have all of a sudden adopted or re-adopted the death penalty? Like you said, people are sick of crime.
And the death penalty gives the feeling of control demanded by society.
People are frustrated by the uncertainty of the system.
They want to know for sure that Charles Manson won't ever be walking the streets again.
You don't think there are less draconian ways to gain the public's confidence? No.
l don't.
And believe me, if the State doesn't seek retribution, then the people will.
There'll be more Ellie Nesslers walking into courtrooms with loaded pistols.
You kill a cop, how Iong do you think it'll be before the cops kill you? Legal execution is a means to prevent street justice.
Well, after Judge Boucher's decision, in this case, it's not.
Maybe it is.
The statute includes as a capital offense the killing of a witness to a crime, right? So? Think about it, Claire.
Bobby Croft witnessed a lot of criminal activity.
Only we can't prove it.
l think we can.
QUINLAN: Maybe you haven't been watching your Court TV, but l'm supposed to squeal on the other guys, not myself.
Ted, a deal's a deal.
Don't worry about their reasons.
Mr.
Fat Retainer here, like he's got my best interest at heart.
Okay.
Tell me again what you need? Simple.
Testify that you personally sold drugs to the man you knew as Bobby Cassidy.
What do l get? JACK: Two years for money laundering.
Forget about it.
It's a good deal, Ted.
That is why Iawyers never make it in business.
Don't you see what's going on here? He needs me to fry his cop killer.
And l'm guessing he's willing to pay heavy.
A year.
A year pro.
l'll tell you what, Counselor.
You want my testimony? You drop the laundering charges completely, and l get blanket immunity for anything that l say that might tend to incriminate me.
That's You got it.
You should be paying me.
Have we become that savage? How far can our blood lust drive us? l've had a long morning, Counselor.
Can we skip the do-si-do? The defendant worked for a Mr.
Edward Quinlan, a known drug dealer being investigated by the victim.
lt is the state's theory that Mr.
Sandig killed Mr.
Croft in order to prevent him from testifying against Mr.
Quinlan.
Mr.
Quinlan will testify.
Quinlan? You said yourself he's a known felon.
And he will testify to selling drugs to Bobby Croft.
The iury can draw its own conclusions.
Your Honor Please.
l need a score card here to tell the players.
l'll read your papers.
You'll have my answer by the end of business.
(DOOR OPENING) Bad news? Judge Boucher granted your motion to reinstate murder one charges.
So you won.
Congratulations.
(SIGHS) (FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING) Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, have you reached a verdict? We have, Your Honor.
Would the defendant please rise.
On the sole count of the indictment, murder in the first degree, how do you find? We find the defendant, Paul Sandig, guilty.
(PEOPLE CHATTERING) Motion to set aside the verdict, Your Honor.
BOUCHER: Overruled.
This court is in recess.
Sentencing hearing begins Tuesday at 9:OO a.
m.
Tuna fish? ls that how you celebrate a victory? lt's chicken salad.
lt's not over till after the sentencing hearing.
Then it's tuna fish.
Well, l wouldn't go planning my menu just yet.
My motion for a declaratory judgment, with Judge Boucher's decision.
Denying it.
Yes, well And my appeal and my brief.
The way l see it, the New York State death penalty statute doesn't even come close to passing constitutional muster.
She's brilliant.
Her appeal is based on substantive due process.
What happened to cruel and unusual? lt's been done.
Brolin is arguing that under the constitution a State doesn't have the power to take a life.
This should keep us in the library for a couple of months.
BROLIN: The 14th Amendment provides, in part, that ''No state shall make or enforce any law ''which shall deprive any person of life, liberty or property.
'' You're not going to start talking about penumbras.
l hate penumbras.
l wouldn't think of it, Your Honor.
l intend to deal only with that which the framers literally included in the constitution.
Specifically, the taking of a life Without due process of law.
The death penalty statute provides for a hearing that more than fulfills any constitutional requirements.
Procedurally, yes.
But l'm talking of substantive due process.
The limitations on a state to regulate certain areas of life.
The Supreme Court has severely limited the State's power to infringe on what it deems certain fundamental rights.
l believe the court has limited such fundamental rights to sex, marriage, child-bearing, and child-rearing.
Begging your pardon, Your Honor, the court never said that list was exhaustive.
And what right do you plan on adding? Don't be dense, Douglas.
The most fundamental right of all, the right to live and breathe.
lf we agree that is a fundamental right, any legislation that restricts it, must survive strict scrutiny.
ln other words, the State's objective must be compelling and the means of obtaining that objective must be necessary.
l don't think you can argue that crime prevention is not a compelling state interest.
No, but an execution is not necessary to achieve crime prevention.
That fact is abundantly clear from recent crime statistics.
Furthermore, it has been estimated that the death penalty will cost the State $1 18 million a year.
Wouldn't crime be better prevented if we used those funds to hire additional police officers? Thank you, Your Honors.
With all due respect to learned counsel, her 14th Amendment analysis is completely misplaced.
She made a lot of sense to me.
Because she focused on only one clause of the constitution.
Although the 14th Amendment deals with the issue generally, the Fifth Amendment specifically refers to capital crimes.
And once again, requires due process of law.
That's correct, in its application.
The court in Gregg y.
Georgía held that the death penalty is constitutionally sound if it is administered without arbitrariness or prejudice on the part of juries.
To this end, the jury's discretion has been restrictive, limiting the factors that may be presented at a sentencing hearing.
Correct me if l'm wrong, Mr.
McCoy, but hasn't a line of recent rulings insisted that the jury be free to hear any evidence that a defendant might put forward on his own behalf? Yes, but MACNAMARA: So, there is an inherent contradiction.
lt seems to me that the decision whether to take a life is so inherently subjective that it defies the consistency required by the constitution.
That would only be correct if one dismissed the viability of the jury system.
Show me a iury that can control its preiudices and passions to the point of objectivity.
JACK: The bottom line, Your Honor, is that the constitution cannot prohibit what its text explicitly permits.
Thank you, Your Honors.
Mr.
McCoy.
l just wanted you to know l shouldn't be talking to you, Mrs.
Sandig.
He's not really a bad man, you know.
He murdered a policeman.
He panicked.
You know what's crazy? Paul and l, we both voted for Governor Pataki.
MACNAMARA: Notwithstanding the comprehensive, and l must admit, most convincing argument made by the defense counsel We don't need the editorial, Shawn.
This court holds, on a vote of three to two, that the controversy of the issue has not yet become sufficiently concrete to be worthy of adjudication.
ln other words, the issue of the constitutionality of the statute is not ripe until someone's actually been sentenced to death.
When and if that happens, we will reach that issue.
The case is remanded for sentencing.
Talk about passing the buck.
lt was the right decision, Jack.
They iust hope the jury will prevent them from ever having to reach the issue.
You know, this is hard enough without your eyes accusing me every time you look up.
l'm not the criminal here.
l didn't kill a cop.
So, it's a value judgment.
lt's okay to execute Sandig because he killed a cop, and not a hairdresser or a dishwasher.
lt's not a value iudgment, Claire.
It's the law.
Like it or not, society has established a hierarchy of evil.
(SIGHS) Paul Sandig deprived the community of someone essential to its well-being, and l believe he deserves to forfeit his own life.
There are cracks in the system, Jack.
What if someone falls through? How do we rationalize that? First of all there's the' trial, and then there's the sentencing hearing and appeals and more appeals after that.
Checks and balances.
It's unlikely.
Unlikely? You can live with that? l've known him since l was 15.
We've been married for the past 1 1 years.
Was Paul ever violent? He's a gentle man.
Even with the boys, l never saw him raise a BROLIN: It's all right, Mrs.
Sandig.
Take your time.
He's not a killer.
He did it to protect us.
He didn't want his sons to know Thank you, Mrs.
Sandig.
Didn't want his sons to know what, Mrs.
Sandig? That he helped a criminal.
That he was laundering money for a drug dealer? He wanted to stop, but they wouldn't let him.
They threatened him.
They said they'd hurt us.
He got in over his head.
He couldn't get out.
lt could've happened to anyone, Mr.
McCoy.
So, if the stress is bad enough and you're an otherwise nice person, it's okay to put six bullets in a cop? Objection! Withdrawn.
No more questions.
l didn't know what to do, l was scared.
Do you feel remorse, Paul? Every minute.
l can't sleep, l can't eat.
l can't look my boys in the eye.
lf l could take back what l did, l would.
lt was a mistake.
No more questions.
How much money did you launder for Mr.
Quinlan? Around $6 million.
And how much money did you make from your dealings with Mr.
Quinlan? Almost a million dollars.
So maybe the threats weren't the only reason you didn't stop.
Objection? Overruled.
What do you want me to say? l screwed up.
You killed someone, sir.
You knew he was a police officer and you killed him anyway.
l was a son of a bitch, okay? Believe me, l hated myself for what l was doing, but l couldn't get out.
We had a life, it was lt was going to be ruined.
l'm so ashamed of what l did to that detective.
You know why l kept the gun? l was going to kill myself.
And what stopped you? l don't want to die.
l'm sorry, okay? l'm sorry.
l made a mistake.
Please! l don't want to die.
BOUCHER: Have you reached a unanimous verdict as to the sentence? FOREMAN: We have, Your Honor.
We find the defendant, Paul Sandig, should be sentenced to death, as prescribed by Article 22B of the Correction Law of the State of New York.
BROLIN: The defense requests that the jury be polled.
JACK: No objection.
BOUCHER: Do each of you, in accordance with your duties to the State of New York, and in regards to the defendant, Paul Sandig, find in favor of a sentence of death by lethal injection? l do.
JUROR 1: Yes.
JUROR 2: Yes, Your Honor.
l do.
JUROR 3: Yes, Your Honor.
JUROR 4: l do, Your Honor.
JUROR 5: Yes, l do.
JUROR 6: Yes, Your Honor.
JUROR 7: Yes, l do.
JUROR 8: Yes, Your Honor.
JUROR 9: Yes, Your Honor.
JUROR 10: l do.