Law & Order (1990) Episode Scripts

N/A - School Daze

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.
It was a horror show.
According to her mother, I give Jodi a B, I not only ruin her life, I spoil a perfect 4.
0 and her chances of getting into Princeton.
That kid has no chance of getting into Princeton.
She's a drone.
You tell her mother that.
So what are you going to do? The honorable thing.
Change it to an A.
(SHOTS FIRING) Oh, my God.
BOY: Get down! (FIRING CONTINUES) A couple of the kids said he was small.
Others said he was average.
He ran out through the kitchen into the street.
He was dressed in black.
Uh, looked like one of those, you know, in the movies.
Ninjas? Ninjas, right.
Is there any chance anybody recognized him? He had a stocking or something covering his face.
Okay, thanks.
We'll be in touch.
Crouching tiger, hidden student.
ED: We got three dead, including one critical.
Head shot.
We probably won't have much luck with prints on the shell casings.
The kid gets away.
You ever hear of that happening before? No.
They either shoot themselves or they surrender or somebody tackles them when they stop to reload.
No heroes at George Mason High.
(CELL PHONE RINGS) These are city kids.
They know better.
Yeah, Green.
Oh, okay.
Head shot died en route to the hospital.
That's four dead.
You ever see one of these mass shootings in a big city school? People move into the city to get away from crimes like this.
GIRL: I was just talking to my friend.
BRISCOE: Who's that? Emily.
And I looked up, and there he was.
He was just standing there, like he was waiting for someone to notice him or something.
Like some kind of weak-ass ninja, right? Then I started to laugh.
You started to laugh? I mean, he looked completely wack.
I'm like, "What is this, Halloween?" And then he pulled out the gun.
He just started shooting, and I froze, and then it's like there's this weird pause.
No one knows what's happening.
And finally people start screaming, and then he reloads, he starts shooting again.
Was he targeting anybody, could you tell? Like zeroing in on any individuals, groups? I don't know.
I couldn't help it I saw this ninja, and then Howard just popped into my mind.
Why did he pop into your head? I don't know.
Howard was always a little obsessed with that stuff.
You know, guns, kung fu, all that.
I even heard him say something about Columbine once.
Really? What'd he say? Just that those guys were stupid for killing themselves.
Was Howard at school today? No.
But you know, after, like after I thought about it, it just didn't make sense.
How come? Howard's black.
Yeah, it's the same story with me, except this one girl came up with a name, Howard Earl.
I sent a unit over to his apartment, just in case she's right.
What's going on over here? No, no, no, he's got the whole thing.
It's definitely prime time.
Just tell me how high I can go for an exclusive window, all right? Hey, excuse you.
The auction's over, kid.
What? We're detectives.
This is evidence.
What's your name? Kevin Miller.
You got this on videotape? Yeah, I got it all.
Look, when can I get my tape back? Oh, don't worry, these vultures'll still want it anytime.
Trust me.
I don't care about the money.
Yeah, right.
This could be my big break.
What are you talking about? I want to be in the news business.
No comment.
(SHOTS FIRING) BOY: He's got a gun! Get down! Get down! (CHILDREN SCREAMING) He's reloading.
(FIRING CONTINUES) (SOBBING) No one's going to be able to ID him.
Ed's got a candidate.
Howard Earl.
He's black.
Classmate says that he's small, he has an attitude, he's obsessed with guns and he even talked about Columbine.
What are you doing to locate him? Well, we got uniforms on his building, at the pizza place, and a couple of other neighborhood hangouts where he lives.
Find out whatever you can about him.
Spotty attendance, failing grades, suspended three times in the last year.
Once for bringing a concealed weapon to school.
A weapon? A box cutter.
Did he use it? No, but he brandished it in the lunch room.
We get the impression that he's not very popular, that other kids pick on him.
Detectives, we have 3,000 students enrolled in this school from every walk of life.
All I can tell you is he's not involved in any extra-curricular activities.
No sports, no after-school.
Did anybody reach his parents? No father listed.
He lives with his grandmother at the address they gave you.
Well, where's his mother? Prison.
For what? Aggravated assault.
Guy's name is Lonnie Nolan.
Claims he saw Earl a few hours ago.
Nolan, where was it you saw Earl? Coming out of the deli over on Broadway Terrace.
ED: You sure it was him? Am I sure? His mother and me used to run together back in the day till she went crazy.
BRISCOE: Crazy? Yeah.
Cut this other bitch.
Coked up out of her head.
Next thing I know, there's all this blood.
Familiar family saga.
What was Earl wearing? Black sweatshirt, maybe dark pants, black bandana.
Would you call it in? What's Howard done? We're not sure yet, Mr.
Listen, man, I ain't gonna lie to you, that boy scares me.
I see him coming, I just cross the street.
I've been thinking a lot about this Earl thing, and it just doesn't track for me.
Since when do these things ever track? Well, it's just a black kid doing a school shooting like this doesn't fit the profile.
Drugs, sneakers, gangs, that I'll buy.
But a black kid shooting up a lunch room? Maybe we've finally reached full equality.
Well, did he talk about his plans to anyone? Brag about them? If he did, we didn't find 'em.
So we've got a 16-year-old kid boiling with rage, planning this fantastic revenge scenario, and he doesn't talk to anyone.
We got another sighting.
Remember, this is a sit-down only so bring the grandmother along, and make sure both of them know what his rights are.
How you doing? OFFICER: Okay.
Kid fitting that description went in that building 20 minutes ago.
Figured I better wait for you guys.
Thanks, Officer.
Good job.
This is him! I hate when they do that.
I got him! Get the car! Cut him off! (CAR HONKING) (SIREN WAILING) (SIREN WAILING) Come here.
Come here! All right, all right.
You okay? I'm good.
Ripped the new suit.
We got company.
I see 'em.
Come on, move 'em back, Officer.
Come on, out of the way.
Come on, you heard him.
Watch your head.
BRISCOE: One of my ex-wives called this morning to bust my chops.
Which one? I forget.
God, he really does look like he's eight years old.
I thought you were just going to talk to this boy.
The kid had other plans.
Where's his grandmother? She refused to come down.
Yeah, she's probably scared out of her wits.
Hey, how were we supposed to know there was gonna be a photographer staking out the scene? Well, the kid that told you about him obviously told the press.
It was only a matter of time before they tracked him down.
Has he even had breakfast yet? He won't eat.
And he said he won't talk until his lawyer shows up.
When is that supposed to be? Well, well, well, what have we here? Conspiracy to obstruct justice? Speak of the devil.
ED: You're representing Howard Earl? I am.
And I plan to bring a multi-million dollar suit against the city, the NYPD, and the three of you as individuals just as soon as this case is dismissed.
Your client ran, Ms.
Maybe it had something to do with black kids being afraid of cops and that y'all don't look exactly like the Prize Patrol.
Okay, just do what you gotta do.
Should've checked his alibi, officers.
He was with his grandmother.
My grandmother'd swear I was the Pope if she thought it'd get me out of trouble.
They were visiting Howard's mother up at Bedford Hills at the time of the shootings.
He was literally under lock and key.
I'll have the prison fax you the sign-in sheet.
I'd like to get my client now, please.
I'm taking him out to breakfast.
BRISCOE: We're checking on anybody who was absent yesterday.
I understand.
What kind of gun was used? A 9mm.
Why? Nobody got a look at the shooter's face, right? Right.
You sure he didn't say a word? Well, what's your point? What about a girl? A girl can handle a gun, right? She transferred here a month ago.
Colleen Jacobs.
She'd been harassed at her old school.
Her classmates there heard her say that she'd like to kill everybody who teased her and then herself.
Why wasn't something done about it? Something was done.
They transferred her here.
So much for a desperate cry for help.
They transferred her here and She wasn't making a good adjustment.
She's been out the whole week.
I was just about to sic the truant officer on her.
Jacobs, we checked with your daughter's school.
She hasn't been there all week.
Oh, no, no, not George Mason.
No, we started her at Catholic school last week.
Thank God, otherwise she would have been there yesterday.
ED: The high school doesn't seem to know about this.
Well, they obviously don't know much, Detective.
I phoned them, I wrote them, I told them Colleen was leaving.
Colleen, honey, these men are homicide detectives.
You think I did it, don't you? You think I shot those kids.
Did you? I wish I had.
Oh, honey, don't say that.
They're all jerks at that school.
I hate them.
You don't mean that.
But if I had done it, I wouldn't have wussed out and worn a mask.
I would have wanted everyone to know it was me.
Then maybe they would've gotten it, and they would've felt bad for the rest of their lives.
(DOOR SLAMS) She doesn't know what she's saying.
She's depressed.
Well, we're going to have to check with her new school.
It happened at lunchtime, right? The shooting? Yeah, it was about 12:30.
Colleen was in therapy.
Yeah, Green.
ED: So what do we have here? Brian got this e-mail.
When'd you get this? BRIAN: Couple of hours ago.
Who's it from? Calls himself Ninja Nightmare.
BRISCOE: Why'd he send it to you? I don't know.
Brian's the Student Council President.
It says he's coming back to finish what he started.
That's what got us so nervous.
Okay, we're going to try to trace the e-mail.
In the meantime, you stay right here with your parents.
Any candidates on the sender? Well, we're going back to talk to the school psychologist, see what we can come up with.
Well, sending an e-mail afterward is clearly learned behavior.
This case is less than two days old, and we've already gone through two completely credible suspects.
And who knows how long this list is going to be once we talk to the shrink.
Ninja Nightmare? Any ideas, Doc? How long will it take you to get a court order? I can call the D.
's office right now.
Forget the D.
What do you got? There is a student.
Who? I don't know if I can break privilege.
We don't need to see the file, Doc, we just need a name.
You realize what's at stake here? Of course I realize what's at stake.
My daughter goes to school here.
Then tell us what we need to know.
This student, he's really scary.
He's been kicked out of three different private schools before he came here.
Some pretty violent episodes.
How come you didn't tell us this before? Well, he's relatively new.
I wasn't fully familiar with his history.
Give us the name, Doc.
Henry Semple.
You know we're taking a chance, right? (DOORBELL BUZZING) Hey, it's called hot pursuit.
I just don't want to end up on the cover of The Post twice in one case.
Yes? Police.
We're looking for Henry Semple.
Is he at home? Yes.
EDI Henry! Lennie, he's got a gun! (SIGHS) Well, partner, I think you just redeemed yourself.
Docket ending 995.
"People v.
Henry Semple.
" "Four counts Murder in the Second Degree," "11 counts Attempted Murder Second.
" I'll hear you, Ms.
Your Honor, the defendant, Henry Semple, armed with a semi-automatic weapon and concealing his identity, entered the high school he attends and without provocation emptied his weapon at his fellow students, wounding 11 and killing four.
Despite his age, the People request remand.
Judge, I'm not going to try this case today but the facts just proffered by the People will obviously be disputed at trial.
I should add, Your Honor, that ballistics has matched the gun recovered from the defendant with the murder weapon.
Are you saying they got the wrong guy, Counselor? The wrong kid, Your Honor.
And, no, that's not our claim.
It is our contention, however, that the shooting was not without provocation, and will ultimately lead to different conclusions than those reached by the People.
Present in court today are the parents of my client.
His father, Bill Semple, is a corporate partner for the law firm of Whittier and Hughes and a former attorney for the Justice Department's Antitrust Division.
JUDGE: I appreciate his family's here, Counselor, but do you honestly expect I'm sending him home? No, Your Honor.
and Mrs.
Semple are, however, asking that their son be committed to a private, secure psychiatric facility in lieu of bail.
They have offered to assume the cost of his incarceration there, as well as the cost of his transportation to and from court as required.
We have buses at Rikers to do that.
But not the medical health professionals available at a private facility.
It's our contention that such an environment will assist all the parties, including the People, in assessing an appropriate course of treatment for my client.
The only treatment the People are interested in at this point is life behind bars so he can never do this again.
I'm sorry, Counselor, but given the nature of these charges I simply won't risk the safety of any employee of a private facility.
Accordingly, the defendant is hereby remanded to the Department of Correction without bail.
(GAVEL BANGS) Why not let his parents pay the cost of his incarceration? Because it creates an appearance of impropriety.
Wealthy parents getting special consideration for their son.
I also don't think we want the jury pool hearing anything about a private psychiatric hospital.
That just gives his lawyer a leg up in the insanity defense.
So a kid who obviously needs psychiatric treatment doesn't get it because no one does, and we keep him at Rikers because it makes our case look better.
This is a strange way to run a candy store.
Keeping this kid out of a psychiatric hospital is our best shot at keeping him off the streets.
Permanently? I assume we're seeking the maximum here.
Consecutive life terms for a kid who's just turned 16? Even at his age, that's a death sentence.
Four children are dead, Nora.
We can't just send him to bed without any dinner.
I think Abbie's right.
We have to deal with this kid severely.
Life in prison won't deter the copycats, Jack.
Not with their Well, what about the other kids in these schools? We want them to come forward, but if we send a message this is just the result of a troubled mind they'll try to handle it themselves.
I watched this kid in court.
He showed absolutely no signs of remorse.
Well, I can't ask for life without a psychiatric evaluation.
He concealed his identity.
He fled the scene.
Those are both pretty good indicators that he knew the difference between right and wrong.
There's no middle ground here.
We've got the gun.
Do we have any witnesses? Best one's the kid with the video.
Better get on that right away before he sells his credibility.
Some of the kids don't want to come in here anymore.
But not you? I figure it comes with the territory.
Getting shot comes with high school? No, I meant being an aspiring journalist and all.
You know, I've been on CNN.
Is that so? I'm supposed to do a town meeting on Nightline, but it might conflict with a special on NBC.
Look, I'd really like to get the tape back.
We still need it for awhile, Kevin.
Now, I need you to think back.
If you saw anything, anything at all, that wasn't on the tape.
Like what? Like the kid's face.
Like No.
No, just what's on the video.
So where were you when the shots rang out? Lunch line.
And you just happened to have a video camera with you? Well, I just got it I try to take it wherever I go.
And I figured, last year in high school, final days and all that.
I want to get my friends, make sure I had something to remember them by.
Guess I do now, huh? Is your son's lawyer aware you're here, Mr.
Semple? We're not sure this attorney really appreciates our son's situation.
What situation is that? How is our son? Last report, he's doing all right.
Six of the children he shot are still hospitalized.
I'm very sorry to hear that.
You don't believe me.
Your concern seems a little late, that's all.
SEMPLE: You think we knew? You think you can look at your child and know he's capable of this? I think it depends on how hard you're looking, Mrs.
Look, maybe we deserve this, I don't know.
But we came here to talk about Henry.
What is it you want us to know? Henry's had some problems since we moved here from Virginia.
What kind of problems? Nothing to suggest anything like this.
You said in court you wanted Henry to spend the rest of his life in prison.
The judge will determine your son's sentence, Mrs.
But he's only 16 years old.
He's lucky he's not facing the death penalty.
You're the ones who sentenced that other boy to death, aren't you? The one who killed that delivery man.
I told you, that kid was 18.
They can't ask for the death penalty for Henry.
He's too young.
Your husband's right.
The death penalty isn't applicable here.
Our son needs help, do you understand? That's why we're here.
That's why we want to change lawyers.
Please, can't you just find some way to help him? We appreciate your time.
I'll have Henry's new lawyer to get in touch.
Well, there's a woman who's in complete denial about what's gonna happen to her kid.
Maybe it's the safest place to be.
Jack? Jamie Ross.
What the hell are you doing here? Hi.
This is a surprise.
Come here.
Thank you.
How are you? I'm good.
And you? Fine.
Ah, yes.
Absolutely beautiful.
But I thought you left us to spend more time with them.
I did.
I do.
But every now and then a case comes along that makes me sit up and take notice.
My appearance.
Henry Semple? I was retained this afternoon.
You're going to defend this kid? You mean instead of letting them take him out back and shoot him? Yes, I'm going to defend him.
Come on, Jack, these shootings are a phenomenon of children, and yet you prosecutors are hell-bent to try them as adults.
Pretty soon there'll be no distinction between children and adults at all.
I assume Mr.
Semple was aware we've worked together.
He also knows there'll be no favors coming to me because of it.
He was with the Justice Department himself down in D.
Yes, we met.
Well, then you know how concerned these parents are for their child.
What is it you want, Jamie? Am I going to have to fight with you? I don't want to fight with you.
I don't want to fight with you either, Jack.
I'm here to work toward some solution so we can both sleep at night.
Jamie, four people are dead.
Another six are in the hospital.
The law demands your client be held accountable.
It doesn't demand charging him as an adult without any evaluation.
Come on.
We both know what an evaluation's gonna to show.
That the kid knew right from wrong.
Which shouldn't be the end of the story.
Not with the country in the middle of an epidemic of these things.
I can only deal with the case in front of me.
Motion to suppress the gun, the statements, and any other evidence you obtained as a result of that school psychologist's big mouth.
I want to know if either of you talked to anyone other than the school psychologist who mentioned Henry Semple as a possible suspect.
What do you want us to do, Counselor? Verify our sources? I think we need to remember that when Briscoe and Green made the decision to pursue the lead a threat had been made via e-mail that the shooter was coming back.
We thought it was pretty important.
All of us are subject to having our judgments reviewed by the courts, Detective.
We're just trying to ascertain whether yours can withstand scrutiny.
Did either of you consider getting a court order first? Yeah, we discussed it.
CARMICHAEL: And? We both made the decision to proceed without one.
This judge hears that, and exigency could be out the window.
This psychologist had a child attending that school.
I think she let her fear for that child's safety compromise her professional obligations to this student.
I think there's a few thousand other students who'd say their lives may have been saved by it.
So the ends justify the means? These cops had every reason to believe that the sender of the e-mail was the shooter.
The means was simply going to the person who most logically could furnish an identity.
They coerced her into violating privilege.
What if it was your daughter he'd shot? What then? I'd pray that my fear for her safety wouldn't be used as an excuse to deprive three hundred million Americans of their Constitutional rights.
And what about the rights of kids not to be shot at when they go to school? The fact remains that if a mental health care provider revealed this information about an adult patient we wouldn't even be having this conversation.
We would if there was exigency.
The e-mail indicated that the shooter wasn't finished.
The e-mail was sent from New Orleans.
That information was not communicated to these detectives.
One phone call from their cell phones is all it would have taken, Your Honor.
This is a printout from the NYPD computer crimes section indicating that the e-mail was traced almost an hour before these detectives showed up at the Semples' home.
I'm afraid Ms.
Ross is right.
These police officers had plenty of time to verify their information or obtain a warrant.
Balance the interests here, Your Honor.
We're talking about a technical violation of the law against freeing a mass murderer.
What we're talking about is doctor-patient privilege and the Fourth Amendment.
I don't see how either can be construed as a technicality.
And with no eyewitnesses and no other way for the police to come up with Henry Semple as a suspect Everything seized becomes fruit of the poisonous tree, including the gun.
Your Honor, if the law doesn't give people the sense it can protect them, they're going to end up protecting themselves.
JUDGE: And judges do what in the meantime? Ignore the Constitution when it suits us? I've got no choice here.
The charges are dismissed.
The People can re-file if you can make out a case without the psychologist's profile.
If we had committed him to a psych facility in the first place, he'd still be there instead of out on the street.
It wouldn't be a problem if they'd pass laws that would allow school teachers and mental health professionals to release information without a court order.
Only they haven't done it yet.
Which is why we need a federal standard.
Which we also don't have.
Based on the merits, the court was right.
How can releasing a kid that we know committed the crime be right? Doesn't it concern you at all that releasing a kid's name to the public without a court order creates a feeding frenzy for suspects? Not when someone else's life is at stake.
Except these cops were given three names.
One of them was dragged out of his own neighborhood in handcuffs because nobody bothered to verify the facts.
The public looks to us to maintain law and order, not run around like chickens with our heads chopped off.
McCoy, Ms.
Carmichael, car's here.
Be right there.
We're meeting with the parents of some of the victims.
We have to tell them about the merits of the court's decision.
So as a direct result of the judge's decision, we had to let him go this morning.
What? You're saying this maniac is back on the streets? He was released into his parents' custody.
They're the ones who couldn't control him in the first place.
Could this bastard go back to school? JACK: I doubt he would.
WOMAN: But he could.
HOW? How could this judge just let him go? How could he just do that? The police gathered information without a court order.
Who the hell cares how they found out? Everybody in here knows he did it.
Let me tell you something.
This kid shows up anywhere near this school, I'll take him out myself.
We came here to let you know about this situation, but please don't forget we are officers of the court.
That kind of talk could get you into a world of trouble.
What we are asking you to do is try to remain calm and let us do our jobs.
Our daughter Lilah was one of the kids who was shot.
The bullet severed her spinal cord.
They don't know if she'll ever walk again.
Lilah never did anything to that boy.
She didn't even know him.
You can't just let him walk away from this.
You can't just tell us that your hands are tied by the law.
MAN: ls the D.
's office even aware that there's a rumor this kid told other kids he was gonna do this, and none of them did anything about it? I'm sick of learning things about this case after the fact.
Hey, we talked to 52 kids who were either in the cafeteria or had been identified as friends of Semple.
Nobody indicated that there were prior threats.
Well, apparently someone knew.
The parents claim that Semple told some kids he was going to shoot the place up.
Do they have any names? Detective, I had just told them that we had to cut Semple loose because of your screw-up.
I wasn't about to let them knew they knew more than we did.
Anytime you think you can do my job better than me, just let me know.
Your job is to gather evidence we can use in court.
Not make headlines playing hero.
That's what you think we were doing? Let me tell you something.
The next time you go into court and somebody draws a gun on you, tell me how you deal with it.
You don't like your job's requirements, Detective, turn in your badge.
CARMICHAEL: Gentlemen, if we could just lower the level of testosterone just a little bit.
Now, why don't we try to figure out away to find the kids who might have been told beforehand.
ED: You lied, Kevin.
We asked around.
None of the kids remember you having that camera at school before that day.
BRISCOE: You told us you had it with you all the time.
MILLER: Is that a crime? Making a mistake about when you take your video camera to school? The Semple kid walked with four dead.
You think we're not gonna nail somebody for that? The only thing people hate worse than cops and lawyers, Kevin, is the media.
Are you threatening him? We don't have to.
All we have to do is tell everybody in that school he knew what was gonna happen and we just sit back and let nature take its course.
I want your badge number.
Look, just tell us who knew what Henry Semple was planning.
I'm calling my son a lawyer.
You can do that, Mr.
Miller, you can call a lawyer.
Nobody's gonna stop you, But I just want to you to think about what your son is going to take away from today.
Four kids are dead.
Your son could have been one of them.
So I just want you to be sure in your heart that you're giving him the right advice by asking for a lawyer rather than helping us find the killer.
Right now, Kev.
Tell 'em who told you.
Right now, Kev.
I didn't even know who this kid was.
Some kids gave him my number and he called me the night before.
He said maybe I should bring a camera.
He said some big-ass thing was going to happen with Henry Semple.
But I didn't know what.
The name, video boy, the name.
I thought Henry was only joking.
ED: What did you think was going to come out of that gun he showed you? A flag that says "bang"? I didn't think he'd do it.
BRISCOE: Then why call Kevin Miller and tell him to bring his video? ED: You knew what was going to happen, didn't you? You wanted it to happen.
I didn't.
BRISCOE: Only you didn't tell anybody.
Look, Paul, four kids are dead now.
There's nothing you can do to change that.
But if Henry goes out and he kills somebody else, you gonna tell us you didn't know about it then, too? The only reason Henry told me was 'cause he knew I got picked on just like he did.
You got no idea what it's like to come to school every day and know these kids are gonna screw with you.
That they're gonna steal your money, mess you up in the bathroom.
Once Henry did this drawing he was real proud of, and these jocks just pissed on it.
Then they made him put it back in his backpack.
I didn't think he'd really do it, though.
I really didn't.
You have a kid who'll say he thought Henry wasn't serious.
That's it.
JACK: And another who made the video.
Who can't make an ID.
A jury puts the two together, we think we have a shot.
What about when they hear another kid told the police that Howard Earl was the shooter? Or that a guidance counselor blamed a girl who doesn't even attend the school anymore? Jurors read the papers same as we do.
They know Henry did it They know he got off on a technicality.
If you think they're not going to jump at a chance to convict him this time around you're wrong.
Somebody better remind her of her ethical obligations as a prosecutor.
You mean the one that says I should put someone on trial who I think is guilty? No, the one that says you need evidence to do it.
I just told you our evidence.
You'd go along with that? What's our alternative, Jamie? Make a civil commitment.
Declare Henry not competent to stand trial, and he goes to a secure psychiatric facility.
So some shrink can release him a few years from now? No, I don't think so.
And what would be the basis for his incompetency? Henry has a mental defect.
He was thrown from a horse when he was six.
He had seizures.
They thought there was brain damage.
You're joking.
We have no illusions about our son, Ms.
We're just trying to figure this out.
Well, it sounds like you're looking for away out.
I have three other children.
Good kids.
I don't want them hurt.
I also don't want Henry in Sing Sing for the rest of his life.
Not at 16.
At least let him talk to Skoda, Jack.
What harm is there in that? EMIL: I hear you draw.
You any good? Don't know.
How did you feel when those kids urinated on that picture you made and stuck it in your backpack? The way this works, Henry, is you answer my questions, then I talk to the D.
and tell them what I think about what you said.
Can you do that? Have a seat.
These kids at school were pretty rough on you? They never left me alone.
Was that what you wanted? To be left alone? I wanted to fit in.
Why do you think you didn't? Don't know.
Well, you must have some idea.
When we lived in Virginia, it was different.
There weren't so many of them.
Till my dad got this new job in the city.
I guess they all thought I was different.
Did you feel different? Maybe.
That still didn't give 'em any right to trash me like they did.
You think they got what they deserved, then? Not for me to say.
Just the same, if you were the one to say.
I don't know.
Heard they're not making fun of me anymore.
Heard they're even scared I might come back.
That's sort of cool.
Right? If you're asking me if he knew right from wrong, no question.
If you're asking me whether he should spend the rest of his life in prison, it's a tougher call.
Why? Because the fact remains a teenage brain's different from an adult's.
Different how? Still maturing, same as the rest of the body.
Frontal lobes, parts responsible for executive functioning, self-control, judgment, emotional regulation.
We all went to high school.
We all had problems.
None of us picked up a gun and killed anyone.
I'm just saying there's some science behind the phenomenon.
Androgen, for example, that effects the amygdala.
Part of the brain that controls things like fear and anger.
It's like I said.
If you're asking me if he knew right from wrong, he did.
The rest is up to you guys.
Thanks for the grub.
Sure thing.
The bottom line is, your son was able to appreciate the nature of his actions.
And the PET scan showed no organic injury to the brain from any fall.
Which means what? They're going to trial.
Unless your client wants to save the taxpayers some money.
A roll of the dice, Jack? Think of what's at stake.
CARMICHAEL: We'll take our chances.
SEMPLE: You'll take your chances? Then what the hell happens when they find him not guilty? Bill No.
What are we all going to do then? I'll tell you what.
Because then he'll be out.
He'll be out and maybe hurt other people.
Let him go to a hospital, Jack.
There's no basis for it in the law.
An insanity plea would be a fraud here.
And an acquittal? What will that be? He hurt our daughter.
Two years ago.
He broke her arm.
And now he walks around the house Bill, please.
He's our son.
Yes, he's our son.
Then how can we? How can you what, Mr.
Semple? He'll spend the rest of his life in prison.
You realize that.
Semple? MRS.
SEMPLE: Bill No, please.
What choice do I have, Patricia? Please tell me, what choice do I have? Oh, sweet Jesus.
He confessed.
Okay? My son confessed to me.
JACK: Where did this conversation take place? MR.
SEMPLE: In my son's room.
It was personal.
That was between you and me.
JUDGE: Control your client, Ms.
JACK: What did your son say to you, Mr.
Semple? Mr.
Semple, what did your son tell you? I came home as soon as my wife called me and told me what happened at the school.
I asked her where Henry was.
When I went into his room, he was just sitting on his bed.
The lights weren't on, but I could tell that he'd been crying.
JACK: What did you do? I put my arm around him, sat next to him.
What did he say? That he was scared.
Scared about going to school.
Scared of what some of the other kids might do to him? Scared about what he'd done to them.
Scared that he'd missed some of the real jerks and wouldn't get a chance to take them out again before JACK: What made you finally come forward, Mr.
Semple? Because I was scared, too.
Scared that he'll do it again.
Henry, for God sakes! I understand from your note the jury's reached a verdict.
We have, Your Honor.
Will the defendant please rise.
You may read the verdict.
JURY FOREWOMAN: On the first four counts of the indictment charging Murder in the Second Degree, we find the defendant Henry Semple guilty, Daddy? I understand his father's going to ask for leniency at the sentencing.
I doubt anything's going to save this kid from life in prison at this point.
With what's waiting for him it might have been kinder to give him the needle.
Either works for me.