Law & Order (1990) Episode Scripts

N/A - Nullification

NARRATOR: In the criminal justice system the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups, the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.
These are their stories.
(INDISTINCT CHATTERING) Hey, so who do you like in the third? Alby's Gal.
You gotta be kidding.
Her last start She was over-matched.
But I still lost.
Who told you to bet? You did.
Hey, I just told you who I liked.
Sam, Alby's Gal in the third.
When's the last time you picked a winner? Maryland Princess.
Get out of here.
(GUNSHOTS) (WOMAN SCREAMING) (MACHINE GUN FIRING) (ALARM RINGING) (PEOPLE SCREAMING) MAN 1: Are you all right? Are you okay? MAN 2: Oh, my God, what happened? (BLARING CONTINUES) It was their scheduled run.
They come twice a day.
You notice anyone casing the place? No.
I was just walking with them, talking.
About what? The third race.
I gave them a good tip, too.
Alby's Gal.
Came in 38 bucks to win.
They should have bet.
Thanks.
All this body armor, and they forgot the bullet-proof ski mask.
The other one's on the way to the hospital.
Tell me this hump has a wallet.
"Audentes fortuna juvat"? CURTIS: "Audentes fortuna juvat.
" Yeah.
Jesse James and his dead partner both have the same tattoo, an eagle with what? "Fortune favors the brave.
" What'd you get from that guy? Along shot.
Alby's Gal.
Paid $38 to win.
He thinks the guards should have bet.
I guess it wasn't their lucky day.
RODGERS: Male, 45 to 50.
No needle marks.
Drug panel was clean.
He kept himself in shape.
Thickened skin on the index finger of the left hand.
He could have been a carpenter.
Hammer kept missing the nail? Or a do-it-yourself er.
These scars, from the knee to the hip, fragments of something hit him at fairly high velocity.
The bird house he was building blew up? Maybe a car accident.
Or shrapnel.
See how the skin is stretched? Old wounds.
What about the tattoo? Within the year.
Mid-life crisis.
Some guys get a Harley, some get a tattoo.
(RINGING) And what did you get? Good for you, Rodgers.
SHRIER: MAC-11s.
Both of them.
Take a look at the slide mechanism.
The releases are filed down.
It's been modified from semi to full auto.
Yeah.
Our do-it-yourself er isn't just a carpenter.
Modifications like that aren't hard, if you know what you're doing.
What about the bullet that killed the guard? Wells? Didn't come from these guns.
The guy that got away? The residue in the casings indicates that all three guns used the same kind of ammunition.
Centerfire.
American-made, most likely.
From the proportions of lead, barium, and antimony, I'd say a non-standard mix.
Extra kick.
Something they cooked up at home? Sure, depending on the home.
Yeah, but not something you'd find in Martha Stewart.
The good news is, the second guard's gonna make it.
And the perp in the hospital? John Doe's still unconscious.
But Latent rolled his prints and the DOA's.
And the third guy disappeared into thin air.
The guy in the red windbreaker.
Not just red.
Witnesses from the NYB, from the street, we got fire-engine red, cherry red.
Crimson.
So our fugitive's windbreaker's noticeable.
Everyone's looking at the windbreaker.
They don't see anything else.
Prints taken off the DOA and the one in a coma.
Matthew Brant, the DOA, and our Mr.
Doe is Greg Kubie.
Both guys are from the suburbs, Hastings.
Criminal records? Not a traffic ticket between them, Brant was a vet.
Kubie's a cop.
Yeah.
Hastings PD.
It's him.
(SNIFFLES) I know this is hard.
Was your husband having money problems? Any trouble at work? No.
The third man we're looking for, do you have any idea who that might be? Other wives, how do they react? Everyone reacts in a different Have any of the other wives called you sadists? My husband was a good man.
Two or three times a week, at dinnertime Mom.
his old students stopped by to tell him how he changed their lives.
He was not a criminal.
What right did you have to kill him? PHIL: Kay? (DOOR OPENS) Hey, Kay.
Kay, Kay, Kay (SOBBING) Easy.
If you'll excuse me.
I'm Mrs.
Brant's brother, Phil Christie.
Your sister's having a hard time.
Is that a photo of Matt? Do you mind? (EXHALES) It really is him.
It's unbelievable.
Did you know your brother-in-law owned a gun? That's not unusual up here.
A MAC-11? Do you know a guy named Greg Kubie? Yeah, once or twice a year, he sat in on a poker game we got going.
Was your brother-in-law tight with anyone in particular besides Kubie? This is a friendly community.
Matt had a lot of friends.
Any of them with eagle tattoos? (CELL PHONE RINGING) Your brother-in-law and Kubie had the same tattoo.
It's the first I heard of it.
Two days ago, I was having breakfast with him.
Today, they tell me he's murdered because he's trying to rob an armored car.
He wasn't murdered.
The guard he was robbing shot him in self-defense.
Matt was one of the most decent men I have ever known.
I'm gonna go check on my sister.
Excuse me.
That was Profaci.
Nothing at Kubie's place except for three-day-old pizza.
Brant and Kubie had the same tattoo.
You want to give me odds the third guy has one, too? How many tattoo parlors can there be in a town this size? Yeah, 10-12 guys, right, came in maybe last March, April, eagle tattoos with something in Latin.
All at the same time? Three together.
Then, a couple of guys three weeks later ask for the same design, the next week, two guys.
Like that.
You keep a record? They came in with a picture, something from a computer thing.
Did they tell you what it was for? A club or a gang? It's not my business to ask.
Here.
One of them paid by check.
Thomas Robbins.
The tattoos? A gag.
A few of us got drunk one night, made a bet.
The next morning, I forgot I had it.
I get out of bed.
Boy, was my wife pissed.
Who made the bet? Tony Lapella, AI Goodman, Matt Brant You know Brant well? Since high school.
A decent guy.
History teacher, basketball coach, active in the church.
What about Greg Kubie? Never met him.
I guess he saw the tattoo on one of my buddies.
Yeah, I guess so.
Everybody in town's been talking about it, and I don't know what did or didn't happen, but one thing I do know is, Matt Brant couldn't hold up anyone.
And the 20 or 30 witnesses? (PAGER BEEPING) Mind if I use your phone? Yeah.
So, where were you on Tuesday at 2:00 p.
m.
? A bunch of guys get a tattoo, they got to be crooks? Is that it? Two guys rob an armored car, they both have the same tattoo, we have to take that into consideration.
Day before yesterday, I was just finishing meals-on-wheels.
Every week, same time, same day.
We're not like you guys in New York.
Kubie just regained consciousness.
If I wanted a lawyer, I'd hire one.
But, Mr.
Kubie Who have you talked to about my case? No one, but I still think it's important Get out.
These are detectives.
I'd advise you KUBIE: Get the hell out! You can get out, too.
Why don't we just I have the right to remain silent.
Officer Kubie Anything I say can be used against me in a court of law.
Look, I got nothing to say to you.
(SIGHS) Cops.
What a pain.
He's not gonna roll easy.
Hey, that tattoo artist, she said they came in with a picture printed from a computer.
I type in what we're looking for, eagle graphics and the motto "Audentes fortuna juvat.
" The search engine does the rest.
If it's anywhere on the Internet, we'll get a hit.
One of these days, you'll have to teach me how to play solitaire on that thing.
(COMPUTER BEEPS) Bingo.
This shows us where to find it.
Let's surf the Net.
CURTIS: The New Sons of Liberty homepage.
It's a militia.
Maybe Jesse James and his pals were trying to finance a revolution.
What you're saying is, I've got this tattoo, it means I belong to this group, the New Sons of Liberty? Do you? How about you, Detective? Are you active in politics? How about answering my question? I figure you for a disappointed Democrat, or maybe a disappointed Republican? You're disappointed in something.
BRISCOE: it's a nice computer you got there.
Is that where you keep your virtual clubhouse? You thinking of dropping in? Maybe signing up? Depends on the dues.
Cops get a special rate? "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech "or the right of the people to assemble, "and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
" I don't have to tell you anything about my politics.
CURTIS: "What about Waco? "The Feds pumped the Davidian compound full of CS, "which is highly flammable, and then started the fire which killed women and kids.
" BRISCOE: The FBI infrared surveillance tape made at Waco shows flashes coming from the FBI forces that could have been incendiary fire.
It's 3:00 in the morning.
That's when they come out of the woodwork.
"it was a show of force to scare off anyone "who wants to fight Big Brother.
"We've got to learn how to defend ourselves.
" I'm ready.
Do you know any Web sites where I can find out more? What are you doing? (GRUNTS) I'm looking for the black helicopters.
They don't come near urban centers.
(COMPUTER BEEPS) Lennie, we're in.
You got this from a chat room? A New Sons of Liberty sub-site.
Which we found through a chat room.
This tells you how to modify a semi-automatic weapon to full auto in the same way the guns used in the robbery were modified.
Are we sure one of the New Sons of Liberty posted it? No, but it's a connection.
It's a stretch.
Your Honor, if I publish a magazine article by an anonymous author on how to make a bomb You're gonna protect your anonymous author.
But if that article advocates using that bomb Can I subpoena your notes to find out the identity of the author? We're on very murky ground here.
This is speech protected by the First Amendment.
With these instructions, the New Sons of Liberty advocate illegal use of automatic weapons.
It's no longer free speech, it's a verbal act.
An illegal act.
I don't know.
I don't like this.
My daughter just had a baby.
A girl.
Two weeks ago.
I want her to have the same freedoms I've had.
And if she becomes an armored car guard? Give me the paper.
I figured you'd be back.
With a warrant? I was going to say with stormtroopers.
Look, why don't you make it easy on all of us and just give us a list of the New Sons of Liberty? Am I under arrest? No.
Lock up when you're done.
Keep an eye on him.
The New Sons of Liberty membership list.
Twenty in all.
A nice round number.
Not enough to start a revolution.
More than enough to rob an armored car.
We need search warrants for their homes and workplaces to be executed simultaneously.
A big show of force.
Will the department back you up on this? I'll get the money.
Then, I'll get the warrants.
What are you looking for? My son is only 17! The New Sons of Liberty don't have an age limit.
Read the warrant.
If you have any questions, I'll be glad to answer them.
COP: Why don't you check out that cabinet over there.
Hey, Sergeant.
Yes, sir? Open this up.
We hit the mother lode in the crawl space.
"A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
" Look at this, full autos, AK-47s, a couple of MAS .
223s, a bunch of M16s, boxes of ammo.
Yeah.
Enough guns to take over Staten Island.
Take a picture and send it to Charlton Heston.
Pack this stuff up.
Take everybody downtown.
Okay.
Let's go now.
Cray, Lewis, March 21, 1965.
Private, New Sons of Liberty, 016.
Okay, Mr.
Cray, Lewis.
We're gonna need to know your whereabouts on the afternoon of Tuesday, August Sth.
Cray, Lewis.
March 21st New Sons of Liberty, 004.
James Bond minus three? Robbins, Thomas.
October 15th New Sons of Liberty, 018.
Listen up, tin soldier, this is no game.
Felony murder means a needle in the arm, so if you don't want to be the sucker on the slab, wise up.
Brant, Matthew Jr.
December 18th, 1980.
Private Automatic weapons, munitions, body armor.
Is that what the robbery was for, more guns? Bigger guns? Christie, Philip.
August 4th, 1962.
Major, New Sons of Liberty, 002.
LT, you have a call.
Make sure the Major is comfortable.
So far I've got calls from the ATF, the FBI, the whole alphabet soup down in Washington.
Let them take a number.
It's our case, New York City.
They have no jurisdiction.
They took jurisdiction in Waco.
JACK: The murder weapon? VAN BUREN: Not among the ones we found.
ROSS: They're smart.
Probably tossed it in the Hudson.
If it's any consolation, we have the militia members' prints all over the guns.
But no connection to the murder.
So after all that, we charge them with simple gun possession.
They post bail.
We look like fascists or idiots, take your pick.
(TELEPHONE RINGING) McCoy.
It's for you.
Yeah? Thanks for calling.
Ballistics.
The special powder in the ammunition, the home-load used in the robbery, they found it in the arsenal seized in Christie's house.
But we don't have the murder weapon.
(EXHALES) The hell with it.
Conspiracy to commit murder and robbery.
Charge them all.
"Docket number 57643, "the People v.
Philip Christie, Thomas Robbins, et al.
"Murder in the First Degree, Attempted Murder in the First Degree, "Conspiracy in the First Degree, "Attempted Grand Larceny in the First Degree.
" Ms.
Mandel, how do they plead? PHIL: Your Honor, as ranking officer my co-defendants have chosen me to act as our own counsel.
Are you a lawyer? I've worked as a bailiff.
I know about your rules and procedures.
You file the motion, the court will consider it.
Now enter a plea.
Your Honor, for all defendants on all charges, not guilty.
Your Honor, the People request remand.
Your Honor, we move that all charges be dismissed on the grounds that we are prisoners of war under the terms of the Geneva Convention.
What? Mr.
Christie, this is a civilian criminal court.
I have no authority to rule on your motion.
PHIL: You do, Your Honor.
That flag has fringes on it, which means it is a military flag.
Which means this court is a military tribunal.
You must recognize us as prisoners of war exempt from trial.
Our motion Mr.
Christie, I don't care how many fringes, bells and whistles are on this flag, this is a civilian criminal court.
Got it? Bail is set at $1 million for each defendant.
Next case.
(GAVEL POUNDS) Prisoners of war? What's he talking about? The New Sons of Liberty believe they're at war with the US Government.
And Son of Sam got his marching orders from a dog.
It's nonsense.
Have you read their manifesto? "For the sake of global trade, "low wages and high profits, the US Government has mortgaged its sovereignty "to global interests, and has endowed the FBI, the ATF, and the CIA "with extraordinary powers to enforce this new world order.
" You could make a case for that.
Have you started wearing fatigues under your clothes? Jack, these are not religious fanatics living on a compound.
They're articulate Misguided Definitely, but don't underestimate them.
They've got lots of support.
They've already raised six of the $20 million they need, from every state in the union, not one contribution over $500.
And who was this guard they killed? A redcoat? You need to prove there was a conspiracy.
Seventy rounds fired, two dead.
No problem with the overt act.
And your proof of the agreement to commit the robbery? So far no one's rolled on that.
The agreement can be inferred from membership in the New Sons of Liberty.
ROSS: Guilt by association? If it's an association dedicated to murder and mayhem, why not? Now I have to take him seriously.
Christie got his motion in front of Judge Scarletti.
Just be sure we don't have to go to The Hague to try this case.
Ha! The Geneva Convention defines prisoners of war as "persons who have fallen into the power of the enemy.
" The enemy being the District Attorney? And any office or branch of any government which is not constituted of and by the people.
Your Honor, how long are we going to humor this man? On its face, this is a patently absurd motion.
Mr.
McCoy, please.
Go on, Mr.
Christie.
Under the convention, such prisoners of war include the armed forces of a party to a conflict, as well as members of militia or volunteer corps, including members of an organized resistance movement.
Your Honor, the convention protects combatants, not common criminals.
It requires the existence of an open, armed conflict.
Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill, the Revolutionary War was fought for months before hostilities were officially declared.
JACK: They didn't attack an Army base.
They robbed a New York State Betting Office.
At best, they're terrorists.
Mr.
Christie's so-called army amounts to 20-odd hoodlums.
Twenty? 1,000? 10,000? How many have to believe what I believe before you recognize my right to say, "This is wrong, this must be changed"? Mr.
Christie, this isn't a First Amendment issue.
Your motion has been tried in the past by the Black Panthers and by other groups.
Granting it would give license to any criminal organization to circumvent the criminal justice system by declaring themselves at war with the government.
Motion denied.
As to your motion to act as your own counsel, it's granted.
But I want Ms.
Mandel to serve as your legal adviser.
Now, we're going to trial.
Did you compare the gunpowder found in Mr.
Christie's basement to that found at the crime scene? Yes, sir.
And what did you find? "We hold these truths to be self-evident" JUDGE SCARLETTI: Silence! " that all men are created equal.
" Silence in the court! ROBBINS: "That they are endowed by their creator" Silence in the court! "with certain unalienable rights" JUDGE SCARLETTI: Bailiff, please remove the defendant.
(GAVEL POUNDING) Order in the court.
ROBBINS: "that among these are life, liberty, "and the pursuit of happiness.
"That to secure these rights governments are instituted among men" Your Honor, I object to this removal.
Overruled.
We will make provisions for the defendant to observe the procedures of this court through closed-circuit television.
You may sit down, Mr.
Christie.
Mr.
McCoy, you may continue.
Did you compare the gunpowder found in Mr.
Christie's basement to the gunpowder at the murder scene? Yes, sir.
Both had the same distinctive chemical composition.
In my opinion, they were from the same batch.
Thank you.
Do you pay taxes? JACK: Objection.
Sustained.
Have you ever read the Constitution of the United States of America? Objection.
Sustained.
(EXCLAIMS) No more questions.
Yeah, I carried a gun.
But I never thought I'd have to shoot anyone.
It was crazy.
Suddenly KUBIE: "That whenever any form of government" JUDGE SCARLETTI: Order in the court! "becomes destructive of these ends " I warned you! "it is the right of the people to alter" JUDGE SCARLETTI: Bailiff, remove the defendant! "or to abolish it and to" Get him out of my court.
"institute new government laying its foundation" You hear me? "on such principles "and organizing its powers in such form" (GAVEL POUNDING) "Governments are instituted among men" (KUBIE CONTINUES YELLING) You were saying, Mr.
Parent? Suddenly, everybody was shooting.
What do you know about the new world order? Before this trial, I never heard of it.
JACK: Do you work for it? PARENT: No, sir.
What branch of the government do you work for? No branch.
I work for the Stevens Securities Transfer Company.
Thank you.
Mr.
Parent, who owns the Stevens Securities Transfer Company? I don't know.
Who's on the board? I don't know.
Could they be working for a multinational corporation Objection.
JUDGE SCARLETTI: Sustained.
PHIL: How about New York Bets? What? Who owns it? The State, I guess.
New York State? Yeah.
Do you know who actually runs New York Bets? No.
And you didn't vote for any of them, did you? Objection.
JUDGE SCARLETTI: Sustained.
Mr.
Christie, if you have no relevant questions, you may sit down.
I have questions the jury may find relevant.
Your cross-examination is over.
The witness is excused.
KAY: They weren't called the New Sons of Liberty then.
A few years ago, my brother, Phil, and my husband used to sit around the kitchen table and talk about how the FBI shot that woman and her baby at Ruby Ridge, about how no one in the government cared about anything but the special interests.
Special interests? If you're rich or poor, the government pays attention.
But the average family in America doesn't stand a chance.
Like what happened with my brother when the government wouldn't let him see his kids after the divorce and they gave custody to his wife.
At any time, did your husband discuss plans for a robbery with you? The more involved Matt got with the group, the angrier he got.
And it wasn't like he was angry at anything in particular.
It was almost like he was angry at our life, at what we had, at what we didn't have.
After a while, I could hardly talk to him anymore.
Mrs.
Brant, did he ever talk about a robbery with you? Matt woke me up one night, after Phil and the others had been there, and he told me they had planned a robbery, and that he had volunteered for the mission, and there was some danger involved, and that if anything happened to him, he wanted me to know that he did it for my sake and for Matt Jr.
, for the country.
JACK: And what did you say? I told him I didn't understand.
I didn't understand.
The government wasn't bothering us.
I didn't understand why they had to commit a crime.
Thank you.
Mrs.
Brant, was your decision to testify coerced in any way? Objection.
JUDGE SCARLETTI: Sustained.
Did Mr.
McCoy offer you anything in exchange for your testimony? Objection.
JUDGE SCARLETTI: Overruled.
Answer the question, Mrs.
Brant.
Mr.
McCoy said if I testify, he'd sever my son's case and try him on reduced charges.
No! No, Mom! You shouldn't have done this! Turning mother and son against each other.
Order in the court! Mr.
Christie, please sit down.
Do you think the American people are gonna stand by and watch as you tear a family apart? JUDGE SCARLETTI: Bailiff, will you sit the defendant back down? Remove those defendants! Remove those defendants! No! JUDGE SCARLETTI: Remove those defendants! (INDISTINCT CHATTERING) (CLAMORING CONTINUES) Christie's master plan.
Look at his witness list.
The directors of the CIA, the NSA, the President.
The judge excludes them, Christie yells cover-up.
When you have no case JACK: Right.
It leaves him with just one witness, himself.
(TELEPHONE RINGING) (SIGHS) Ross.
Uh-huh.
We'll be right over.
That was Judge Scarletti's clerk.
There's a problem with one of the jurors.
(SCOFFS) Mr.
Shelby, it has come to my attention that you passed some reading material on to another juror.
Yes, sir.
To Bob Clark.
It's a newspaper.
Is this it? The Crisis.
Yes, sir.
It's named after the newspaper published in 1776.
How would you characterize this newspaper? "Our new army at both ends of the continent is recruiting fast, "and we shall be able to open the next campaign with 60,000 men.
" isn't this inflammatory? It's a quote.
From Thomas Paine, one of the founding fathers.
In the voir dire, you were asked if you had any opinions which might prevent you from judging this case objectively.
I believe I can judge it objectively.
You told Mr.
Clark that you and some of the other jurors had made up their minds to acquit.
You said you wanted to send a message.
What message would that be, Mr.
Shelby? In this country, the people and not the courts are sovereign.
Isn't that right, Your Honor? Thank you, Mr.
Shelby, you can go.
So, Your Honor, he's dismissed? Why? He's going to exercise his right as a citizen and decide the case on its merits.
Your Honor, I move you excuse the entire jury and declare a mistrial.
Because they might acquit? Because Mr.
Shelby is encouraging them to nullify.
Which is his right in an illegal trial, and you've already thrown out all my co-defendants.
Now you want to throw out the jury, too? It's not enough you have the whole power of government behind you, you also have to rig the verdict.
You entered the courtroom with the presumption of innocence, just like anyone else.
The rights that I am fighting to protect are your rights, too.
I can defend my own rights, Mr.
Christie.
Please We'll replace Mr.
Shelby and Mr.
Clark with alternates.
Your Honor.
Gentlemen.
All that Christie needs is one hold out.
In the world of public relations, a hung jury is as good as an acquittal.
If we can knock just one more juror off, we exhaust the jury pool, we get a mistrial.
How do you propose we do that? I think we should find out everything we can about the other jurors.
I'll talk to Briscoe and Curtis.
Shady stuff.
This fellow Christie, he's really gotten under your skin.
JACK: He's a fanatic.
Because he believes what he's saying? When you first applied for a job here, we had an argument about some anti-war protesters.
Oh, come on, Adam.
They broke into a draft board and poured blood over the records, and you defended them.
You said a bad law sometimes demands an illegal act.
Nobody got killed.
It was a protest and they took their punishment.
PHIL: I know some of our ideas sound crazy, or extreme.
I could talk to you about Ruby Ridge or Waco or I could tell you how I came to believe that our government, a government I was brought up to love, is a threat to our liberty.
But none of that would explain what's happened, why we're on trial here.
The prosecution says we robbed and murdered.
And that's all this trial is about.
But let me tell you how I see it.
Let's say someone breaks into your house and they threaten you and your family Your Honor, objection, the defendant is on the stand as a witness.
This is summation.
Your Honor, as the counsel for the defense, I am laying the groundwork for a line of questioning, a line of thought that goes to the heart of my testimony.
I'll give you a little leeway, Mr.
Christie.
Thank you, Your Honor.
So, if you killed someone who broke into your house and threatened your family, most of you would see that as an act of self-defense.
Now, what if an enemy army occupies your town, and what if you and your neighbors decided to resist Objection, Your Honor.
Overruled.
Get to the point, Mr.
Christie.
Okay.
So, what if, as part of the resistance movement, you robbed somebody who was collecting taxes.
Taxes that would be used to increase the enemy control of your town Your Honor! New York Bets is a scam to collect taxes Objection sustained.
through a levy on gambling.
Limit yourself to direct testimony, Mr.
Christie.
Your Honor I am not going to allow it, Mr.
Christie.
And if I don't knuckle under, you'll drag me from court, too! Don't try my patience! And then who will be left to defend us? That's all.
According to Mrs.
Brant's testimony, the night before the robbery, you met with Matthew Brant, his son, Thomas Robbins, Lewis Cray, and half a dozen others.
Is that true? Did you study the Bushell case in law school, Mr.
McCoy? Please answer the question.
The case established the right for juries to nullify.
Answer his question, Mr.
Christie.
I am trying, Your Honor.
The right for juries to protect defendants by finding them not guilty, evidence of their guilt notwithstanding.
A right that goes back in America to John Peter Zenger, and had been used by black juries to acquit black defendants when they had been tried unfairly.
Mr.
Christie, what did you discuss that night with your co-defendants? It is a right used in anti-war cases and was defended almost 25 years ago in an article published JACK: Objection.
Non-responsive.
Published by the NYU law school entitled, "Jury Nullification in the Criminal Justice System" by Jack McCoy.
JUDGE SCARLETTI: Sustained, Mr.
Christie.
You wrote this.
In many ways, you and I are alike, Mr.
McCoy.
No, we're not.
I don't rob armored cars.
You were the third robber, weren't you? You killed Walter Wells.
What's the matter, Mr.
Christie? If you believe what you did was justified, why won't you answer? "No person shall be compelled in any criminal case "to be a witness against himself.
" No further questions.
JUDGE SCARLETTI: Mr.
Christie, do you have any other witnesses or evidence to present? Since you've excluded all of my witnesses, no, Your Honor.
The defense, the resistance to tyranny, rests.
I think we've got what we need to bounce another juror.
Howard Lam m.
The blonde guy with the glasses.
Late '60s, at Harvard, he was one of the leaders of the SDS.
A real firebrand.
Implied prejudice against the government.
Kick Lamm off the jury, you got your mistrial.
Where'd you get this information? Police Red Squad records.
The creeps who took our pictures during demonstrations in the '60s? These files were supposed to be destroyed years ago.
Governments are like elephants.
They never forget.
We're not gonna do this.
We're not gonna become the people Christie thinks we are.
"Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered.
"Yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, "the more glorious the triumph.
" Tom Paine wrote that in a pamphlet that helped rally Americans to the cause of liberty in those dark days of December 1776.
We again face dark days.
Our founding forefathers fashioned a government based on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Today, instead of life, we have a job, we have sometimes two jobs.
Instead of liberty, we have crushing debt.
And happiness? We work hard, husbands and wives, 10-12 hours a day.
We work weekends, and at the end of the week we have less.
We have less real income, less benefits, less time with our kids.
The American dream used to be, each generation was better off than the previous one.
Are you better off than your parents? Will your children be better off than you? We believe that our government has been sold to global corporations that are sucking the blood and the life out of this country.
It's all right there in the newspapers, what they're doing.
NAFTA, illegal campaign contributions by foreign businessmen, the sale of foreign policy.
These people don't care about us.
They don't care about Americans.
They care about their bottom line.
We are not common criminals.
We are We are ordinary people like you, with jobs and mortgages, who are willing to lay it all on the line because we are afraid of losing our freedom.
But today, you have a chance to tell the government what you think.
Seize that opportunity.
We, the defendants, are not the only ones on trial here.
You are on trial here.
The State tells you to follow its laws.
But who lends the State its power? Who can take it back? The judge? Mr.
McCoy? No.
You do.
You are the State.
You have the power.
Freedom starts with a no.
Will you turn to the State and say no? Okay.
Okay.
This country began as an experiment in freedom.
The foundation of that freedom is equality before the law.
Everyone, whoever they are, whatever they may believe, must be equally accountable.
Mr.
Christie hopes you will ignore the evidence and nullify.
A power, he says, derives from a higher law.
I agree that such a higher law exists.
And each of you, as members of the jury, bound yourselves to it when you swore, on your conscience, before God and as a citizen, that you would decide this case on the facts.
You are asked to judge one thing, were the defendants, whatever their reasons, whatever their beliefs, part of a criminal conspiracy to commit armed robbery and murder! These guys did a great job of memorization.
Too bad they didn't learn from it.
We all remember that phrase from the Declaration of Independence about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the unalienable rights of everyone.
Notice that life comes first.
You can forget everything else about this case, if you remember one thing, these defendants, these conspirators, targeted an ordinary citizen, someone just like yourselves, a guy with a job and in the private sector, with bills to pay and a family to take care of, and they took his life.
They took his life! If it's okay for them to shoot him, it's okay for them to shoot anyone, including any one of you.
Without the law there can be no freedom, and without justice there can be no law.
Your Honor, we've been out nine days.
We've had 40 ballots.
We're unable to reach a verdict.
Is there any chance you could agree if you had more time? No, Your Honor.
(INHALES DEEPLY) All right.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have no choice but to declare a mistrial.
Yes! The jury is dismissed.
ROBBINS: You did it! See, see, see.
MAN 1: Hey, man.
MAN 2: All right.
Admit it, McCoy.
We won.
You didn't win anything.
The system you want to destroy won.
See you back here in a couple of months.
Enjoy your freedom while you have it.
(INDISTINCT CHATTER) REPORTER: Mr.
Christie, over here.
If he only knew.
You could've sunk this trial and you didn't.
You played it straight, Jack.
That rates as a moral victory.
It could be a hollow one if those clowns could find even one person who'd acquit them.
What does that tell you about this country? PHIL: We want to thank you all for being objective in covering this trial and being supportive .
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