Law & Order (1990) Episode Scripts

N/A - Myth of Fingerprints

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.
Can't you hook up with a guy who lives in an elevator building? Quit bitchin', we're here.
Thank God, these heels are killing me.
Jimmy, you in there? Jimmy! He's with that Connie Ditchko, I'm gonna kill him.
That Ukrainian girl? Oh, relax, he'll call you tomorrow.
Come on.
What, Jimmy gave you the keys to his crib? You only been with him a month.
He didn't give it to me.
I took it.
Oh, you go, girl.
(SNICKERS) Jimmy! Jimmy! (GASPS) Oh, my God.
(CRYING) Jimmy! Oh.
my God! And the dead guy is James Foley, 36.
Girlfriend was supposed to meet him at some club, he didn't show, she came looking for him.
I guess it was the maid's week off.
ED: Hmm.
I'm no M.
, but it looks like this guy got his head bashed in.
Maybe they were fighting over which TV show to watch.
It's a lot of blood.
Head wounds.
Bleed like crazy.
Tell me about it.
When I was a kid, I fell off my bike, split my scalp wide open.
My mother thought I was gonna die.
How many stitches? Twenty-six.
Beats me.
Most I ever got was eight.
Bobby Delillo split my lip open playing stickball.
(CHUCKLES) Stickball? Hey, Willie Mays was a three sewer stickball player.
Guess he was in the middle of shaving.
Looks like he missed a spot.
Blunt force trauma, skull fracture.
Cause of death, epidural bleeding.
That never happened playing stickball.
CSU found blood splatters on the television set, mixed with hair fibers and skull particulate.
Any chance this was an accident? I did blood alcohol and ran a tox screen.
He'd had a couple of drinks.
But was he inebriated enough to stagger around and pull the TV down on top of himself? I don't think so.
So it was a homicide.
I found fresh bruises on his torso, consistent with punches or blows.
So what, they waltz around, the perp picks up the TV set and bashes his skull in? Or they tussle, the perp shoves him, he falls down.
Irresistible force meets immovable object.
I also found some blue synthetic fibers on Foley's pants, which matched fibers CSU pulled from the window sill.
That's a long shot.
Well, lab says these type of fibers are used to make work clothes, uniforms, jackets.
Maybe the cable guy.
Yeah right.
Like they ever show up.
What about the girlfriend? Witnesses put her at the club at the time of the murder.
And these blue fibers? Maybe Foley was a sucker for a uniform.
There's no sign of a break-in.
According to the girlfriend, she had to use her key to get in.
So Foley's shaving, gettin' ready to go out.
He buzzes the guy up, lets him in.
They fight, Foley gets his head smashed in, the perp either closes the door behind him or he goes out the window and down the fire escape.
And leaves a few fibers behind.
What about prints? Latent lifted Popular fella.
How about the canvass? A neighbor heard two men arguing, and then aloud bang, sometime around 10:45.
That would've been the TV set, imploding on Foley's skull.
Another neighbor said she saw Foley arguing with a heavyset white guy in front of his building a few weeks ago.
She know what that was about? Only that it got pretty heated.
Yeah, unfortunately, there's no "heavyset white guy" listed in the phone book.
What else do we know about Foley? Well, he had a record.
Uh, couple of assaults, drug possession.
That explains the visitors.
Last bust was for four grams of coke.
He got probation.
With that record? Maybe his lawyer was Clarence Darrow.
ED: Girlfriend seemed to think he'd cleaned up his act.
Girlfriends are always the last to know.
Them and probation officers.
Well, he's been passing his urine tests.
As far as I know he was clean.
What about this last bust? Well, the cops raided some dance club he was working at.
They found some coke behind the bar.
So how'd he get probation? What I heard, they screwed up the search.
Our Fourth Amendment at work.
Well, except for this family court thing, I thought that Foley was doin' pretty good.
ED: What family court thing? Some custody fight or something.
BRISCOE: He had a kid? Yeah.
With an ex-girlfriend.
Apparently, she's been ridin' his ass about child support.
Only Foley never shows up in court.
Finally, this family court judge calls me, tells me, if Foley doesn't show up for the next date, I should violate his probation.
When was this? Few weeks ago.
But I checked.
Foley showed.
Laura Rodriguez filed a V petition against James Foley for custody and support on January 8th of '98.
That's over three years ago.
Guy ignored the summons.
A lot of 'em do.
So what happened when Foley finally did show? It was one of those real knockdown drag out type of things.
ED: Which ended how? Mother got full custody plus an order from the court, for support dating back to when the kid was born.
BRISCOE: Foley make a payment? Uh, not on that day.
I'd have to check another file to see if he's made one since.
Dead beat dad Don't waste your time.
Mother couldn't have been too happy about that.
Well, if you ask me, I think the real fight was about the fact that mom brought a new boyfriend with her to court.
Who's that? Never got a name.
But he and Foley got into it pretty good in the hallway.
Couple of court officers had to break it up.
Look, I'm sorry Jimmy got himself killed, but I got nothin' to do with him anymore.
I been tryin' to put all that behind me.
That's hard to do when you got a kid together.
Jimmy wasn't part of Billy's life.
Never has been.
There's another man in the picture.
What's that got to do with anything? Miss Rodriguez, we know about the fight outside the courtroom.
Go in and play in the other room, okay? Mommy'll be right in.
Three years, three years and I don't get a cent.
Billy never gets so much as a birthday card from Jimmy.
It finally takes a judge to make him show up.
And then he thinks he's got the right to tell me how to live my life.
He objected to your relationship? Yeah.
I think callin' me a slut would qualify, don't you? BRISCOE: What's your boyfriend's name? Terry.
Terry Fullmer.
What was the fight about? I guess Jimmy didn't like the way Terry was lookin' at him or something, 'cause he said something to Terry and then Terry said something back and Jimmy swung on him.
This Terry? Yeah.
Heavyset white guy.
Terry's been the only man in Billy's life.
He buys him things, babysits.
He's a good person.
I met the guy a couple times.
I take it you two didn't get along.
He treated Laura like crap, and Billy.
So, no, he wasn't my favorite person on God's green Earth.
Laura says you've been helping out, huh? That's what a grown man does.
Takes care of his family.
Not like Foley.
Deadbeat wouldn't even fork over a couple bucks for diapers when money was tight.
That must've really pissed you off, paying for a kid who wasn't yours.
Wasn't the way I saw it, but what's your point? A witness ID'd you arguing with Foley in front of his apartment building a few weeks ago.
We had some words.
I was just tryin' to get him to come to court.
You wanna tell us where you were last night? With Laura at home.
That's not much of an alibi.
You think I killed Foley? Much as I hated the hump, I wouldn't do that to Billy.
Guy was still his father.
Look, I was just tryin' to do right by Laura and the kid.
Then, uh, you won't mind if we borrow your shirt.
For what? Hey, man, if you don't want to cooperate, we'll come back with a warrant.
I got nothin' to hide.
Foley hardly even knew his own kid's name.
Whoever did this to him, he had it coming.
No fiber match on Fullmer's shirt.
Even if there were, you'd still have to put him at the scene.
We re-canvassed the building with Fullmer's photo, to see if anybody saw him the night of the murder.
No luck.
Excuse me, Lieutenant.
Prints from Foley's apartment came back.
Thanks, Cordova.
Any matches for Fullmer? I don't see his name.
But AFIS hit on eight partials, generated a list of possibles.
So much for not consorting with known felons.
Most of these are drug charges.
Another successful probationer.
Here's one guy with a manslaughter rap.
Maybe Foley shorted the wrong customer.
I ain't seen Foley in almost a year.
That's funny.
The neighbor says she remembers your face pretty good.
Says you used to come up to see him all the time.
Social visits, Mr.
Lynch? Hey, look, just 'cause a guy goes to see another guy, doesn't mean anything illegal happened.
It does if they're both felons.
Or if one of them got his skull smashed in.
Well, what are you talking about? Your friend Foley got himself killed.
Now, your prints being there, plus your previously demonstrated willingness to take a man's life, maybe you might wanna help us out on this.
When did this happen? ED: We're not gonna help you out with an alibi, Mr.
I work every night.
I get on at 6:00, I'm here 'till midnight.
If it happened between then, it couldn't have been me.
But you have seen him more recently than a year ago, haven't you? BRISCOE: When was the last time you saw him? Hey, man, don't make us go to your PO.
Maybe three, four months ago.
I heard he was movin' a lot of product out of that club he worked at.
And you weren't too happy just being a busboy? Only nothin' happened.
Foley got busted himself a few days before I saw him.
Said it was a lot of coke and he had to lay low for awhile.
We heard it was just a few grams.
I guess some of it got lost on the way to the station house.
Look, all I know is Foley said he wasn't going to jail.
Why do you want to know about Foley? We were just wondering how he got off with a jaywalking ticket on a half pound of coke.
Problems with the search.
You had a valid search warrant.
We pulled your jacket.
Where do you get off pulling one of my case files? The case came in A1 weight, it went out C weight.
I don't think I like your implication, Detective.
And I don't think we like being told the same story you supplied the probation officer.
Why all this interest in a maggot like Foley? ED: Because this maggot got himself murdered the other day.
I hadn't heard.
So now you want to tell us how Foley got himself a "get out of jail free" card? We flipped him.
Foley was a confidential informant.
A Cl? Yeah.
Narcotics said that they'd been sitting on Foley for months, got a tip that he'd been moving some real quantity out of this club.
How much did they find? A half a pound of uncut cocaine.
So they get their information and Foley gets probation.
And the PO gets some bogus story about a search gone bad.
Give me a nice clean homicide any day.
How much information did Foley provide? Well, according to the cops who handle him, in three months, Foley's dropped a dime on about half a dozen bad guys.
Do they think anyone found out about it? BRISCOE: There's one for sure.
"Glenn Edwards.
" Foley testified against him at the trial.
He got transferred to Sing Sing a month ago.
Whose turn is it to put in for gas money? You wasted a trip.
I got nothing against Foley.
BRISCOE: That's funny, we heard he sent you here.
Guess he did what he had to do.
That's a pretty enlightened attitude you got there, Mr.
Now if I found out some guy ratted me out What comes around, goes around, why sweat it.
Then you knew Foley was dead? My people thought the news might cheer me up.
Yeah, we were thinking the same thing.
Yeah? Well, I got a pretty good alibi.
BRISCOE: Well, doesn't mean you couldn't have had one of your people arrange it though, does it? Just 'cause I fanned a few flames doesn't mean I set the fire.
Meaning what? Look into a dude Foley capped about What? He came back from the dead for revenge? Foley skated on the murder but it turns out the guy who's actually convicted for it is right here in this prison.
ED: And you know this how? Told you.
What goes around, comes around.
When I got transferred here, I found myself on the same cell block with an innocent man.
I just thought he might like to know who he's doin his time for, that's all.
Edwards never told me anything about anybody named Foley.
Now why would he make something like that up.
How do I know? He's the one who had the beef with this guy.
And he just happens to point the finger at you? Things like that happen in here all the time.
Look, I don't know why he would tell you that he talked to me about Foley.
He didn't.
So you never heard of James Foley? ED: Look, Mr.
Campbell, the warden says that you've been proclaiming your innocence since you set foot in here.
Doesn't seem to have done me much good, does it? Well, who knows, maybe today's your lucky day.
I been up here for 12 years for a crime I didn't commit.
The guy who was sent here with me already died in this place.
If my lucky day includes two detectives accusing me of another murder, I think I'll just pass.
Edwards' phone log from Sing Sing doesn't have any outgoing calls within a week of Foley's murder.
Maybe he sent a postcard.
Victim in the Campbell murder was a gang banger named David Gale.
There was an eyewitness, fingerprints on the murder weapon.
Another innocent man falsely convicted.
This witness had a pretty good sheet.
Possession, prostitution.
Hey, like we always say, if only all our witnesses could be choir boys.
But the forensics were good you said? Set of partials on the gun.
Moving on.
Maybe not.
Lead detective on the case was Of course, I remember the case.
I made grade because of it.
You got grade money in Narcotics? Well, city was in the midst of a crack epidemic.
The victim was a Lower East Side dealer.
One more dead crack dealer.
Practically a public service.
Only this one was shot in a park across from City Hall.
The mayor went ballistic, wanted it solved fast.
Which you did.
Well, I had a little luck, you know.
Eyewitness was a prostitute.
Said she heard shots, saw the co-defendants, Campbell and a guy named Larry Martin, running from the car where the victim was, and then we found the murder weapon in a dumpster.
With Campbell's prints on it.
Detective, those visitor logs you asked for.
Thank you.
Those Campbell's or Edward's? Both.
He's nothing if not thorough.
Hey, check this out, Campbell and Edwards both had the same visitor a week before Foley's murder.
Then again two days later.
Who? Luke Campbell.
I'm supposed to notify corporate before I talk to law enforcement.
This isn't about work, Mr.
What's it about then? Your brother? I got nothing to say about him.
What about, uh, Glenn Edwards? ED: He's an inmate at Sing Sing.
The visiting log there says you met him October 10th, and then again on October 12th.
Same days as you saw your brother.
ED: What's going on, Mr.
Campbell? This guy Edwards said he knew something about Bobby's case.
ED: Bobby knew about the meetings? No.
I went to see this guy on my own.
BRISCOE: So what'd he tell you? Nothing.
It was a scam.
He said he knew something, but he wanted money first.
He didn't tell you that your brother was innocent? That he knew who the real killer was? No.
He didn't.
He didn't mention a guy named Jimmy Foley? No.
So where you were last Tuesday night, Mr.
Campbell? I was working the night shift at my other job.
Tuesday, the 18th, Mr.
Campbell was working a building in Midtown.
ED: What kind of job is that? Sit at a desk, bring a book, try not to fall asleep kinda job.
Is he alone all that time? Well, there's a supervisor.
What about a break? Half hour for dinner.
Supervisor's gotta come by and relieve him.
BRISCOE: So, the boss isn't on the premises? He roves, he checks each building once an hour.
We want to talk to him.
I can page him for you.
Uh, excuse me, are your guards bonded? We do extensive background checks.
Criminal history, references, the works.
ED: Fingerprints? Absolutely.
What else you got in the bag? How's it going, Mr.
Campbell? I'll be with you fellas in a minute.
You got a receipt? No, I think you're gonna come with us now.
Come with you where? Look, I told you guys everything I know.
Well, we think there's a few details you left out.
How does it feel? Put this T-shirt back and consider yourself lucky.
LUKE: I told you before, I've never met anyone named Foley.
Then maybe you can explain why your prints were in his apartment? Prints don't lie, Mr.
You were there.
Look, you seem like a decent, hardworking guy.
You got no criminal record.
Why don't you just tell us what happened.
Help yourself out, man.
You say that fingerprints don't lie, but that is not true, not all the time.
Are you talking about your brother? They said his fingerprints were on that gun, but they weren't.
And you know this how? 'Cause Bobby was innocent.
An eyewitness identified him.
And his co-defendant.
That witness was lying.
Oh, so now everybody's lied right? Look, I know how it sounds.
But I didn't know what else to do.
So you went there to even the score.
It wasn't like that.
Then what was it like? (SIGHS) Bobby said to let the lawyers handle it, but they've been handling it almost 12 years, and nothing's happened.
When Foley came to the door, he knew right away who I was.
HOW? I don't know, he just did.
I bet he was real glad to see you.
I told him what he was doing was wrong.
That my brother shouldn't be serving time for a crime he didn't commit.
And what? Did you think he was just gonna confess? I don't know what I thought, but when I told him, he just laughed, tried to close the door on me.
BRISCOE: And you wouldn't take "no" for an answer.
I got past him, then I just started looking around for, I don't know, proof or something.
That's when he grabbed me, around my neck.
I told him to let go but he wouldn't.
And so I just pushed back and we fell, he must have hit his head.
You got that right.
Half his brains were on the floor.
I go up to see Bobby twice a month ever since I was old enough to drive.
For the last six months I've seen him giving up, giving up hope.
You don't know what it's like seeing your older brother give up on his life.
He's been rotting away in that prison for 12 years, for a crime he didn't commit.
And this was my one chance to prove his innocence.
And now the guy's dead.
(SNIFFLING) Self-defense.
His lawyer served notice at arraignments.
Awfully difficult claim to make out in another man's apartment.
There was also a PS, no plea.
Was this lawyer just over confident or does he know something we don't? Lieutenant Van Buren was the lead detective in the original case.
Back when I was in Narcotics.
Is there anyway they can make it seem like there's any truth to what he's saying? That his brother's innocent? I don't see how.
There was also a witness.
Brenda Warren.
JACK: How reliable was she? Reliable enough to convince a jury.
Bobby Campbell's prints were also found on the murder weapon and his co-defendant's blood type matched the blood at the scene.
Doesn't matter.
Defense counsel's still gonna try your case all over again anyway.
Can they do that? Propensity for violence.
If Luke Campbell can suggest Foley was the killer in his brother's case, he might get a jury to believe Foley was the aggressor in this one.
How many bites do these guys get? JACK: We need to re-interview your witness.
Brenda Warren had a drug problem.
Was there any connection between her and Campbell? Any motive for her to lie? I never found one.
Neither did Campbell's lawyer.
We had the guy's fingerprints.
Well, it's been 10 years, maybe they won't be able to find her.
But if they do, I don't want to take any chances, the defense finds some way to shake her original trial testimony.
We'll make sure all our I's are dotted and our T's are crossed.
They were 12 years ago.
I don't understand, I testified at the trial.
They were both convicted.
SERENA: And we're very grateful to you for that.
It's just, some things have come up that might make some people ask you about what happened again.
What are you talking about? What things? Honey, could you just give us a minute.
What things? Another man has been killed.
I don't understand.
Well, the person who's been arrested was the brother of one of the men you testified against.
He's after me? No, no.
It's nothing like that.
Then what? SERENA: Well, this man claims his brother was innocent.
That the man he killed a few days ago was the real murderer in the case you testified in.
How How could this happen? Some lawyers may come by here and try to speak with you.
No more lawyers.
I'm not talking to any more lawyers.
All you have to do, Miss Warren, is confirm what you said at trial.
I am not going through this again.
Listen, I pulled my life together after this trial.
I got straight.
I got my GED.
You can't just walk in here and start accusing me of lying.
We're not accusing you of anything, Miss Warren.
I think you should both just leave.
SERENA: They can subpoena you.
I want you to go.
We can subpoena you too.
Well, then I'll just say I don't remember.
Miss Warren, please.
I said get out of my house! Hope she was a little more cooperative than that at the trial.
Well, she testified over 12 years ago and now we show up at her door and ask her to go through it all over again.
It doesn't surprise me.
Oh, come on, you're not gonna really tell me something else wasn't going on back there other than a little reluctance? I don't know what was going on, Serena, and neither do you.
Well, what about the reward money? She was a crack addict, right? She didn't know about the reward before she came forward.
Look, she was a junkie.
Maybe her new husband doesn't know anything about that.
Who knows what she's afraid of now.
Well, whatever it is, we better find it before defense counsel does.
Well, even if she does change her story, we still have Campbell's prints on the murder weapon.
You're joking, right? You're talking about a case that's over 12 years old.
Well, you keep your records somewhere, don't you? Why do you need them? Campbell's kid brother is makin' noise about him being innocent.
Apple doesn't fall far, does it? SERENA: Look, I know it's a little inconvenient but we have a situation now that we need to deal with.
What kind of situation? The eyewitness, we tracked her down just to cover all the bases.
She acted a little skittish.
We're not sure we're gonna be able to count on her this time around.
Oh, well, you may have more of a situation than you thought.
VAN BUREN: What do you mean? Well, we archive all the physical reports once the guy's last appeal's denied.
Tell me who to contact and I'll have the file requisitioned.
Remember that water main that burst about five years ago? Don't tell us.
Flooded our record room downtown.
Campbell's prints are probably in the Gulf Stream by now.
Whoever said that justice delayed was justice denied, obviously never worked in the system.
This witness recants, it's a whole new ball game for both the Campbells.
Well, with any luck, it won't come down to this witness.
The fingerprint lift is definitely gone, but the CSU techs take photos of the dusted prints before they lift them.
The police department still has those.
They're in an evidence locker in Brooklyn.
JACK: We're sure they're still there? I sent Briscoe and Green over there this afternoon to walk them to the lab themselves.
Well, call them back and tell them to pick them up.
I'm not having the same lab do the test, that lost the results in the first place.
I know this fingerprint examiner.
She's been with the department I'm not questioning her professionalism, Lieutenant.
I'd just rather not give defense counsel any ammunition to argue that the lab that couldn't even keep their evidence dry shouldn't be trusted.
Who do you want to do the analysis? Send the photos over to the FBI.
In the meantime, let's see if we can't get a DNA comparison on the blood that was linked to Campbell's co-defendant.
Anita, your detectives dropped them off a few hours ago.
I was just about to take a look at 'em.
You know, it's gonna be fun working with you again.
Well, there's been a little change in plans, Lisa.
What happened? The kid took a plea? Actually, the D.
's gonna have the FBI lab do the fingerprint analysis.
The FBI? Why, for God sake? Well, there's just a feeling that the loss of the original file could be used by some lawyer as a smokescreen.
Oh, so now a broken water main is my fault.
It's no one's fault.
They just don't want to create a problem if they don't have to.
Well, it's ridiculous.
I'm the lab supervisor.
You know, no one's gonna embarrass me, especially some defense lawyer.
That's exactly what I told them.
I mean, how many hours did you and I put into this case in the first place? Too many to count.
Look, this conviction helped me get off the lieutenant's list after I took the exam.
I am not gonna let this guy slip away now.
Well, it's not right, Anita, and you know it.
Take 'em.
What are we looking at? They're called ridge characteristics, areas where the ridges at the end of the fingertips abruptly end or split.
If two prints share enough of these, they match.
I always thought you just laid prints on top of one another like tracing paper.
It's common misperception.
Latent prints are often smudged, or overlap.
Plus, the pressure you press down with changes how a print looks.
We're actually comparing very different things and trying to say they're similar enough.
How similar do they have to be? Well, different labs have different minimum numbers of matching detail.
There's no universal standard? Some require others 15.
New York City has no minimum number.
Each individual examiner has his own standard.
So what about our print? Well, according to the trial transcript, your original examiner testified that she observed six matching points, which is her minimum number.
Isn't that enough? First of all, six is an extremely low number.
But more importantly, I couldn't even figure out how she'd found six.
I mean, they just aren't there.
And all this means what? It's not Campbell's print? I can't really say whose it is.
What I can say, is that your examiner never should have testified that this print was a match with Campbell's to begin with.
It's that subjective? JACK: It's bound to be.
They're trying to judge similarities.
What about the eyewitness? Lieutenant Van Buren and I re-interviewed her.
She was extremely uncooperative.
So then there is a reasonable chance that Campbell has been wrongfully convicted.
We should know more once the DNA on the blood comes back.
Either way it means his brother's going to be able to raise questions about Foley in his case as well.
You know, Russo's been in that lab for 19 years.
What if she's had her finger on the scale all along? No telling how many cases get reversed if that's true.
But I'd rather not open the floodgates based on speculation.
Randomly test 20 of her cases.
Let's find out if we got a cop in a lab coat.
I found seven false positives out of the 20 that I tested.
It's almost a third.
Statistically, it's impossible that she just kept making that many mistakes.
And it gets worse.
How? The original forensics team recovered over a dozen partial prints from inside the car where the victim had been shot.
Now, fortunately, those prints were kept in a file at another location.
At the time, this examiner declared them all unidentifiable.
That wasn't true.
FBI agent found a print in the vehicle with an eight point comparison.
AFIS spit out a possible, belongs to a guy named Ray Gifford.
Who's he? He and Foley were arrested together over a half dozen times.
Where's Gifford now? In a state prison in Florida doing life without parole on a drug sale.
An eight point comparison.
So you never looked into Gifford? I never even heard of him or Foley until a few weeks ago.
I had an eyewitness who had already ID'd Campbell and Martin, and then the print came back.
SERENA: The only theory of the case had two assailants.
Foley's prints are as good a match to the print on the gun as Campbell's, and he admitted the killing to our friend Edwards up in Sing Sing.
And Brenda Warren ran drugs for Gifford.
So if Gifford and Foley committed the murder, it means Campbell and Martin were innocent.
I don't understand.
Does this Russo just make stuff up out of whole cloth? Jack, I have known Lisa Russo a long time.
She has always been good people and the best in the lab.
The FBI found seven other false positives that weren't even close.
JACK: Get the paperwork started to get Campbell released.
SERENA: What do you want to do about Brenda Warren? Pick her up for perjury.
Bobby Campbell was just released.
And I made arrangements for Luke Campbell to be there when he was.
We dismissed Luke Campbell's case, right? His older brother just spent more than for a crime he didn't commit.
There isn't a jury in the world that would reject self-defense and convict him.
I'm not sure I'd want to ask them to anyway.
What are our chances if we go after Russo for manslaughter? We'd have to show she knowingly lied and that her lie led to Martin's death.
But, for all we know, she was using her judgment.
The system can't be based just on judgment calls.
There has to be a set of standards.
Standards might not take into account the complexity of fingerprint analysis.
Everything in the system relies on people's judgment, Nora.
But when people cross the line, they need to be held accountable.
We have no proof that Russo knowingly lied.
Every one of her so called mistakes was made in favor of the prosecution.
To me, that means, she was neither mistaken nor is she incompetent.
We'd also have to prove that Martin's death was a foreseeable consequence.
In Sing Sing? Yeah.
Prison officials won't like us airing their laundry.
Then they should clean up their act.
What now? I need you to come down to the precinct.
I've got a lab to run.
Get somebody to cover.
I'm giving you a heads up here, Lisa.
You know what, Anita, I'm done being polite because we're friends.
I even watched while you people let a convicted murderer walk out the door.
I'm not gonna be quiet anymore.
Well, if you do start talking, I have to warn you you have the right to remain silent.
What the hell is this? Lisa Russo, you're under arrest for manslaughter in the death of Larry Martin.
You have the right to an attorney.
If you cannot afford one, one will be provided for you.
You understand these rights She's a civil servant what are you arraigning her on? JACK: Man two.
SERENA: And there's no offer.
Oh, come on.
You don't have a chance at trial and you know it.
She'll take an unpaid leave for six months, go through rigorous retraining.
This isn't a negotiation.
You're right.
Without proof that she acted with any criminal intent, it's a witch-hunt.
Your client got up in a court of law and lied, knowing these juries would rely on her testimony.
Innocent men were sent to prison.
One of them's dead because of it.
Any way you cut it, it's manslaughter.
(SIGHS DEEPLY) I can't believe this.
You would send me to jail for doing my job? Not a word, Lisa.
Not another word.
We're done.
Larry and I were doing construction back in '90.
JACK: What, if anything, happened on June 8th of that year? Two detectives came and arrested us for murder.
They said they had a witness that saw me and Larry kill some guy near the job site.
What did you think at the time? Well, at first I wasn't scared.
I mean, I was innocent.
I didn't know who this guy was, or how he got killed, or anything like that.
Then this one female detective came to see me in jail.
Said they'd matched my fingerprints with the gun.
After that it was like a nightmare.
What happened? The jury convicted me.
Judge gave me 25-to-life.
How did that affect you? My wife and I tried to hold it together, but finally got divorced.
She thought it would be better for our baby if he didn't have to deal with a father that was in prison.
She was right, but, my kid had to grow up without me.
And Larry Martin? Three years ago, Larry got shanked by another inmate.
He died in the infirmary.
Larry just wasn't cut out for prison life.
Nothing further.
You testified at your trial that you were home with your wife on the day of the shooting? Yes.
But a witness identified you and Mr.
Martin as the two men who were running from the victim's auto after the shots, isn't that right? All I know is I spent 12 years in prison for a crime I didn't commit.
So you say, but the witness never changed her story, did she? Even after she was arrested for perjury.
JUDGE: Sustained.
Nothing further.
Foster, did you examine a latent print in this case, and compare it to the prints of Bobby Campbell? Yes, I did.
What were your findings? Well, the print on the firearm was of no value.
I could not determine that it belonged to Mr.
Did you also examine of latent prints that had previously been examined and identified by the defendant? Yes.
And in seven out of the 20, I found she'd made false positives.
What conclusions did you draw from that? The comparisons that she was making were so far below any standard that, in my opinion, her testimony in those cases was knowingly false.
How many points does the FBI use comparing prints? We don't rely on any minimum number at all.
We rely on the expertise and the overall impression of the examiner.
So, examiners are allowed to make matches based on, say, six points? Theoretically, but other factors In fact, fingerprint analysis has never been scientifically tested, has it? Objection.
The technique's not on trial here, Your Honor, Miss Russo is.
Your Honor, my client is being accused of intentional inaccuracy.
I think we should be allowed to establish that the technique itself may be inaccurate and therefore to blame.
I agree.
But don't go too far astray, Mr.
The objection's overruled.
The methodology is based on the premise that no two sets of fingerprints are alike.
Yes, but no one really knows what the error rates are, do they? No.
Which means you can't sit here today and tell us that print is not Campbell's? Well, I don't think it is But you cannot absolutely exclude him, can you? No, I can't.
I observed six matching points between the latent print and the prints that were provided to me.
Agent Foster testified that he couldn't find six.
In my opinion he's being overly conservative.
So two examiners can disagree in good faith.
A good examiner uses his or her best judgment.
The lab standard is 12, but that's a guideline only.
And in the Campbell case, I used my judgment and relied on my expertise and experience.
I've been doing that for over 19 years.
Have you ever made a mistake? Well, I hope not.
That would be a fingerprint examiner's worst nightmare.
All I can say is that I performed my job the way I was trained to do it, and I did the very best that I could do.
You said you thought that Agent Foster was being too conservative.
That's right.
And you're comfortable with a minimum number of six matching points? Yes.
Are there other examiners in your lab who require more? Yes.
It's a matter of professional judgment.
But no one who relies on less.
I suppose not.
Does the name Simon Garrison mean anything to you, Miss Russo? Not off hand.
How about the face? No.
Your testimony was the key piece of evidence against him.
If you say so.
Isn't it the case, that after four other examiners in your office had examined the prints and refused to declare a match, that you had the case reassigned to yourself? In my opinion, the prints were a match.
How about John Quilty? Three other examiners refused, you declared a match.
I don't remember.
Danny Meyer.
Again, three other examiners.
Your Honor I looked at the prints in those cases.
They could be matched, so I reassigned them to myself.
I don't see anything wrong with that.
JACK: You don't? Case after case, you got on a witness stand, cloaked in the aura of an expert, and declared a scientific certainty, when in fact, numerous other examiners, had said that they were not a match.
I have 19 years experience.
I use my best judgment.
And your best judgment sent Bobby Campbell and Larry Martin to prison.
Two innocent men! A jury did that.
Relying on evidence testified to by you.
There was also an eye witness, the same blood type.
And you knew that, when you looked at those fingerprints didn't you? Oh, they were guilty.
Everybody knew that.
Not until you decided to declare the prints a match.
Madam Foreperson, have the members of the jury reached a verdict? Yes, we have, Your Honor.
In the matter of the people of the state of New York against Lisa Russo, how do you find? On the charge of Manslaughter in the Second Degree, we the jury, find the defendant sunny, (PEOPLE MURMURING) (BREATHES DEEPLY) (KNOCKS ON DOOR) I finished those fives you wanted.
Oh, thanks.
(SIGHING) I'm fine, Lennie.
I just wanted to make sure.
You know, you nudge a witness in the right direction at a line up, the gun was in plain view, not under the seat.
We do that all the time.
You wouldn't have passed off those prints to the D.
unless she told you there was a match.
Closing that case got me noticed, Lennie.
And I used to hear the whispers and the chatter behind my back.
"She got it 'cause she's black.
" "She got it 'cause she's a woman.
" And I never listened to that crap because I knew I had earned it.
You made lieutenant because you're a great cop.
All the drug collars you made, all the killers you put behind bars.
This one case isn't gonna undo all of that.
I'm not so sure, Lennie.
(SIGHS) I'm not so sure.
(DOOR BUZZING) Thank you.
If you came here to apologize, do us both a favor, don't.
You know, I have been racking my brain trying to figure out if I gave you any signals that I wanted you to do this.
Oh, so you came by to make yourself feel better.
To confirm your moral superiority.
I want to know why you did it.
Those were people's lives you were playing with.
You know, I don't recall you crying so hard when you made first grade off this case.
I never knew you lied! Oh, please! You people come in, you give me the evidence.
You tell me, "See what you can come up with, Lisa.
" And I gave you exactly what you wanted.
(PANTING) And you know what? You are the worst kind of hypocrite.
And are you really gonna sit there and tell me that you don't blur the boundaries? Go home and look in the mirror, Anita.
And when you do, you ask yourself is it right that I'm in here (SHOUTING) and you're not? Guard!