Law & Order (1990) Episode Scripts

N/A - Innocence

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.
Suspect's inside the apartament? - Neighbors confirmed-- cedric stuber, Lives with his mother, third floor.
This is the gentleman that called in the tip.
- I recognized the guy from the police sketch.
I followed him here, called 911.
He's the killer.
- All right, stay here.
- N.
- What is it? - We just have a few questions to ask you, ma'am.
- Quit yelling in the hallway.
- Mrs.
Stuber? - Yeah.
What do you want? - We'd like to talk to your son cedric.
- He didn't do nothing.
[toilet flushes] - hey.
No, no.
Hey! [grunting] - Ah! - Let him go! My baby! My baby! - Hey! Get her out of here! - No! No! - That's him! That's the gay basher! - Why'd you kill him? Do you hate gays? - Gay basher! - Gay basher! - I'm bleeding.
- We'll take care of you down at the station.
Or you can ask one of these gentlemen for a band-aid.
- Murderer! - Hater! - Gay basher! - Gay basher! - Where were you last Tuesday night? - Home with my mom.
- Mm-hmm.
What did the two of you do? - I don't know-- watched tv.
- Which channel? - [laughs] I don't know.
I was surfing.
- Remember this guy? - Uh, that--I got nothing to do with that.
- So you do know what this is about.
- Yeah, I watch the news.
- That guy you killed? His partner got a real good look at you.
- How'd it go down? The victim say something? Things got out of hand? - I didn't kill no gay dude.
- It's beneath you, huh? Straight guys never have a problem With two girls together.
It's kind of hot.
But two guys It's the ass thing, right? - Does that skeeve you, cedric? Hmm? Imagining what two guys do together-- The ins, the outs, what goes where? - Doesn't bother me.
- Oka-- maybe he likes it.
Is that--is that it? Maybe that's why you were downtown, Looking for a little taste Something on the down low? Hmm? - You like a nice ass on a man, cedric? - Shut up! You shut up! I ain't no fag.
- Stuber's our guy-- Access to the weapon, shaky alibi, the hoodie.
Just couldn't find physical evidence.
- So the case hangs on the I.
Sorrentino, how you doing? - Every time I come down here, it's like reliving that night.
So I hope we're not wasting our time.
- You're not wasting your time today.
- Take a few extra minutes if you need.
- No.
I recognize him.
Number three.
- You sure? - I'm positive.
That's the man who killed alan.
I'll never forget that face.
- Charge mr.
Stuber with murder.
- Thank you, mr.
I'll walk you out.
I'll be gone for a few hours.
- You're charging him on one I.
The gay community must have the d.
's office by the balls.
- Seyou in court, mr.
- Thanks.
I know you're doing everything you can.
The accelerator machine is down.
They got a technician working on it.
- How long? - She couldn't tell me.
- All these people ahead of me-- I can't take this kind of time.
- You can, and you will, babe.
I'm gonna get you some new magazines.
- Is that your husband? [clears throat] [both chuckle] - Boyfriend.
- Mm.
He's nice.
- Yep.
- You're lucky to have somebody wait with you.
- Well, I haven't seen you before.
It's your first time? - Yeah.
Radiation newbie-- that's me.
My oncologist says that radiation is the last chance, That if this doesn't work, then they can't operate.
- That's what they say.
- Like, the treatment Burns you up inside Melts everything together.
- Radiation is strong because it has to be.
That's why it works.
So you keep thinking about that-- The x-rays destroying the cancer.
- [sniffles] okay.
- Okay.
- You're a tough girl.
I can tell.
- [on recording] my husband has been attacked.
There is blood everywhere.
It was a white kid in a yellow sweatshirt.
He had some kind of razor.
Help us! Alan is bleeding to death! - That's you on the tape.
- Yes.
[clears throat] - Please tell us what happened To you and alan camden that night.
- We were walking home from a party.
We were holding hands.
A man on the street saw us, and he spi And he said, "what are you looking at, fags?" - Do you see that man in the courtroom? - Yes.
The defendant.
- Then what happened? - Alan yelled back.
He always had a short fuse.
The man pulled out a box cutter and attacked alan-- Blood spurting everywhere.
I tried to get in between them, But he had sliced alan's neck.
Alan fell Bleeding.
- And what did mr.
Stuber do then? - He looked at me, and he said "keep your mouth shut, faggot, or you'll be next.
" - Thank you.
- I'm sorry for your loss, sir.
What--what time were you and your partner Walking home from the party? - A little after 10:00.
And alan was more than my partner.
We were married.
- Of crse.
So it was dark out.
Had you been drinking? - No.
I don't drink.
- How about drugs? - Objection.
- People's 12-- the victim's tox report.
Alan camden had Meamphetamine and marijuana in his system When he was killed.
I'm trying to determine if the witness Was also under the influence.
- I'll allow it.
- I had one or two hits off a joint.
I dot do hard drugs.
- When you picked my client out of the lineup, How much time had passed since the attack? - Two weeks.
- Two weeks after the fact, You were able to recall a total stranger Whom you had seen for a matter of seconds On a dark night when you were high on pot.
- Yes.
I'm sure it was him.
- I'm sure you believe that.
Nothing further.
- Cedric's a good boy.
He works driving a truck.
He pays rent, buys groceries.
- Where was cedric the night of January 12th Around 10:00? - Home with me on the couch.
We were watching tv.
- Have you ever known your son To make any antihomosexual remarks, mrs.
Stuber? - Absolutely not.
He wasn't raised that way.
- Nothing further.
- At television program Were you watching that night, mrs.
Stuber? - A reality show-- Project designer.
- You and cedric were watching this program together? - That's right.
- Well, let me ask you something, mrs.
Do you consider yourself a good role model for your son? - Yes.
I do.
- Cedric listens to you.
He shares your ethics and your morals? - Yes.
I taught him well.
- Project designer-- what kind of show is that? - It's a contest about fashion design.
I watch it because I like to make my own dresses - And a lot of the contestants are gay, aren't they? - I supposso.
- So your son likes watching Gay fashion designers onhe couch with his mom.
Some people might consider that a little girly.
- He only watches it because I like it.
- Well, have you ever considered the possibility That he likes it? - No.
- That he enjoys watching gay men? - That's not true.
- He enjoys watching them and fantasizing about them.
- He's not one of them.
He's not a sissy.
My boy's not gay.
How dare you? That's disgusting.
- Like you said, mrs.
Stuber, You taught your son well.
Nothing further.
- On the count of murder in the second degree, How do you find? - We find the defeant guilty.
[scattered applause] - The defendant is remanded for sentencing.
- Thank you, mr.
Cutter, for alan.
I can'help thinking maybe somehow He's more at peace now.
We both are.
- Request for interviews from out magazine, The advocate, and [chuckles] I've been invited to speak At the next l.
- Well, I hear they have the best parties.
- Hold up on the self -congratulations.
The hudson university innocence coalition Is taking on cedric stuber's defense.
They just filed a motion to set aside the verdict.
- What, within hours of stuber's conviction? - Apparently, they found new evidence They're claiming we overlooked In our overzealous rush to judgment.
And guess who signed the motion.
- "emily ryan.
" - The head of the innocence coalition.
- My old law professor [paper rustling] And mentor.
- I guess she's not done schooling you.
- After the verdict, A concerned citizen called mr.
Stuber's attorney With new evidence.
The attorney contacted us to help file an appeal.
- D we felt compelled to act immediately.
- Th citizen claimed what exactly? - Come on, mike, I made you earn every grade.
I won't give you a preview of our case So you can eviscerate it.
- We'll need the name of that witness.
- Of course.
Lisa - Sylvia corgan.
I'll get you her contact information.
- Well, thank you for your time, professor ryan.
- Emily, please.
And don't take this as a personal attack.
I know that we're both only interested in justi.
- I had information about jon sorrentino, The victim's husband.
I thought someone should know.
He has another boyfriend.
- Well, how do you know that? - I had a house on the market in the pines, fire island.
My buyer, ted wilson, said before he made a final decision, He wanted his associate to come by and see the place.
So a month ago he brings over his so-called associate.
It was jon sorrentino.
- "so -called"? - They were kissing when ey thought I wasn't looking.
I didn't think anying of it at the time.
- When did you think something of it? - When I saw the paper here with this picture in it, I realized I had seen him before.
His husband gets brutally murdered, Then two days later, he's kissing another man? Please.
- The real estate agent's a busybody.
- But you did buy a house with jon sorrentino.
- As a rental property.
He's a client.
I did a design consultation for him Onis adirondacks house a year ago-- The house he owned with alan.
- So you and jon aren't involved.
- [scoffs] on as business partners.
- Then why did the real estate agent Tell us you were kissing him? - I was consoling a friend Who'd suffered an unimaginable loss.
Two gay men can be affectionate without it being sexual, Just like you two.
- Don't play cute with us, mr.
Wh the police look into this, What else are they gonna find out About your relationship with mr.
Sorreino? - Okay.
We weren't together then.
But things developed.
We're a couple now.
- Then why the charade? - Jon knew how it would look.
We thought it was better to keep it quiet.
- Jon sorrentino is listed As co-owner of the fire island pines house.
Went into contract three days after the murder.
- Well, it could be legit.
Ted wilsonays they didn't start a relationship Until after alan died.
- Which sorrentino didn't mention.
A one-witness case-- we need to make sure This witness didn't have his own motive.
- It doesn't change the fact that sorrentino Picked stuber out of the lineup.
- Somebody took a picture of stuber when we arrested him And posted it that day on a gay rights blog.
Sorrentino could have seen it Before he came in for the lineup.
- Let's subpoena the blog And find out if sorrentino visited the website.
- We should also find out If he was involved with ted wilson before alan's murder.
- According to his phone records, He called ted a few times.
And then there's this A series of calls two months ago To holt, levy, and trachtenberg-- Divorce lawyers.
- Alan and I had a bad week.
We were fighting.
He was using drugs.
- So you wanted to get a divorce.
- I wanted to know my options.
We were married in massachusetts Where gay marriage is legal, But we live in new york where it's not.
So we couldn't get divorced here.
- So you're stuck in the marriage.
- Till death do you part.
- What? No.
I just didn't want to be married anymore.
- Was this before or after You got involved with ted wilson? - [sighs] Okay I should have told you about that.
We were trying to be discreet, Be--because I thought it would look bad.
- Guess what.
It looks bad.
You want to get rid of your husband.
A few weeks later, he winds up dead.
- Alan was killed by cedric stuber.
He was yelling gay epithets.
This was a hate crime! - Okay.
Anything else you wanted to be discreet about? - Nothing.
I wanted out of the marriage, But I did not kill my husband.
- Either jon was telling the truth, And his husband was gay-bashed to death - Or he's lying.
- Right.
He found someone to kill his husband And pass it off as gay bashing.
- That doesn't explain his I.
Ing stuber at the lineup.
- Or he did see stuber's photo on the blog.
- Not to mention you told him He wouldn't be wasting his time with the lineup.
- I doubt that had any influence.
- You hope it didn't.
That was a dumb thing to say.
And emily ryan's gonna jump all over it.
Make sure you prosecuted the right man.
- Okay.
Is there any evidence Sorrentino visited the blog before the lineup? - Well, there's a hit from an I.
Address That we traced back to a hedge fund where he works.
- That doesn't mean anything.
There's 30 people in that office.
- Mike, the innocence coalition's Gonna make it mean something.
- Mr.
Sorrentino's credibility is undermined By his silence about his marital troubles.
And his I.
Of mr.
Stuber was tainted When mr.
Cutter stated That he "wouldn't be wasting his time" Viewing this lineup.
- I, in no way, indicated which person he should identify.
- If his witness saw a photo of my client on a blog, Well, he would already know who to I.
- The only hard evidence professor ryan has presented Is that jon sorrentino's marriage was in trouble.
It doesn't prove he made a false identification, Nor does it exculpate mr.
- That is true, ms.
- We have an additional witness That is prepared to give testimony.
- Uh, my name is rodrigo diaz.
I know jon sorrentino pretty well.
I knew his boyfriend alan too.
- How is that, mr.
Diaz? - I'm their drug dealer Or I-I used to be.
- When was the last time that you saw mr.
Sorrentino? - He asked to meet me two months ago, Said he was tired of being married, But he couldn't get a divorce.
So he asked me if I knew anybody, uh, That can get rid of his problem, You know, like a hit man.
- Did he say why he was asking you? - Said he wanted his husband alan dead.
[laughs] I told him he was crazy.
- Thank you.
- Mr.
Diaz, if you knew jon sorrentino Was soliciting a hit man, Why didn't you go to the police after his husband was killed? - I tried.
I called the precinct on 18th street.
- You tried? - Yeah.
And they put me on hold, So I got frustrated, and I hung up.
- So why come forward now? - Because it's the right thing to do.
- Oh, and it wasn't the right thing to do a month ago, When mr.
Stuber was on trial for murder? I didn't know about no trial.
Now, this student from the innocence clinic, Lisa kline, she found me, And she heard I was jon and alan's dealer, And she asked if I knew about any problems between them.
I said maybe I did.
And she convinced me to tell my story.
- As far as you know, Did mr.
Sorrentino hire a hit man? - No.
Nah, I don't know that.
Eir witnes is a drug dealer Whose claims can't be verified.
I ask that the court respect the jury's decision.
- The jury made their decision with only half the facts.
And mr.
Stuber was denied the opportunity To present an alternative theory of the crime.
- I agree.
In light of this new witness And mr.
Cutter's apparent attempt To influence the lineup identification, I'm granting defense counsel's motion.
Guilty verdict is set aside.
I'm ordering a new trial.
- I don't know whether to be outraged or humiliated Or both.
- Oh, nothing personal, mike.
Now let's see if you really did learn something from me.
- Nothing personal? That was personal.
- This surprise witness, this dope dealer, Really hurt us.
- If he's lying, we need to prove it.
- Is this about salvaging your case Or finding out if sorrentino really had his husband killed? - I don't give a damn about anything Expect putting the right people in jail.
- Good.
I'll get my guys back on it.
- Bad enough being second -guessed by emily ryan Hell of a lot worse if she's right.
- Seemed like a straight -up gay bashing, And now I don't know.
- Forget that emily ryan was your mentor, mike.
She's just another defense lawyer.
- A defense lawyer who just won a retrial for a killer.
- That too.
- You're telling me this murderer Might walk away scot-free? - L -let's take it a step at a time.
Was rodrigo diaz your drug dealer? - He used to be.
- Did you ever have a conversation with him About your marital problems? - Well, I -I definitely told him Alan and I weren't getting along.
- Meaning "could you get rid of him for me?" - Oh, my god.
You think I hired him to kill alan? - Rodrigo swore under oath That you asked for an introduction to a hit man.
- That's a lie.
Do I need a lawyer? - If I had something to hide, I'd make a phone call.
- What else do you want to know? - Why would rodrigo say that? He have any kind of grudge against you? - Alan had a really bad meth habit.
It was one of the reasons Things weren't working out between us.
It got to the point where I told rodrigo If he kept dealing to alan, I was going to the police.
- No doubt that would piss him off.
- So why isn't he down here answering these questions? - You can help us out with that.
- Winston? - Yeah.
It's cold out there, huh? - You a cop, man? - Are you? - You look straight.
I didn't know these chelsea boys had any straight friends.
- What can I tell you? They said you can get molly.
Can you do 20 or not? - That's $25 apiece.
If you went to school on the short bus, that's $500.
I need $250 up front.
There's a $50 service charge too, bro.
- Hey.
Let's take a walk.
- Aw! You think I'm stupid enough to carry my own stash, man? - You were stupid enough to lie on the witness stand.
- Is that what this is about? Everything I said in court is the god's honest truth, man.
- Except you forgot to mention That jon said he was gonna dime you out If you didn't stop dealing to his partner.
- Nobody asked me about that, man.
- Tequila chito's in brooklyn.
Lisa at the innocence coalition.
So you were with her at this tequila bar.
- So? - Is that how they convinced you to testify? They bought you a couple shots of patron anejo? - Got nothing else to say, man.
- All right, then get in.
- Yeah, that's rodrigo.
- He a regular here? - He comes by when he's flush.
- He ever come by with a woman, brown hair, early 20s? - Yeah, a few weeks ago.
They had a pitcher of margaritas.
- This is a busy place.
How come you remember what they ordered? - About 20 minutes after they were here, They got in an argument.
Rodrigo started to walk out, And she came up to me with a credit card, Asked for $100 cash back.
- What'd she do with the money? - She gave it to him.
Then they sat down and talked some more.
- Did they leave together? - No.
About an hour later, She asked me for the number of a car service.
Rodrigo came out here by himself to wait for it.
- We ran down the car service, and the driver told us That rodrigo paid him 20 bucks To drive him to an address in prospect heights-- A known drug location.
- So professor ryan's student greased the wheels of justice With some drug money.
- Are you suggesting they bought his testimony for 80 bucks? - And a pitcher of margaritas.
- You throw in retaliation For jon's threat to call the cops on him-- I'd rate rodrigo's credibility at zero.
- Rodrigo was reluctant to get involved.
He wouldn't come into the clinic.
- So you invited him to a bar? - I've been at the clinic two semesters.
I've had to meet witnesses in prisons, In tenement hallways where junkies are shooting dope.
- D you ply them all with cocktails? - Rodrigo ordered the drinks.
- And throw them a little drug money on the side? - It was carfare.
Professor ryan always said You were on thball, mr.
Frankly, I'm a bit disappointed You'd mistake cab money for a bribe.
- Did rodrigo ever mention He was pissed off at jon sorrentino For threatening to turn him over to the police? - I don't have to download my interview for you.
- No, but now you have all the facts.
You must have doubts about his credibility.
- Jon sorrentino is the one who lied here.
He hired somebody to kill his partner And make it look like a gay bashing.
You're grasping at straws Instead of admitting you were wrong.
- I think the grasping's just begun.
Thank you.
- What the hell's going on now? I got a call from emily ryan.
You subpoenaed her students' academic records? - One of her students paid off a witness-- The witness who blew up our case.
- Your subpoena covered every student Who's worked at her clinic for the past ten years-- Their grades, their written assignments, Their email messages.
- We're entitled to know If there's a pattern to these improprieties.
- Leverage is one thing.
You've declared war on the hudson innocence coalition? - Why protect people who make it their mission To undermine our work? - I'm not arrogant enough To believe we never make mistakes.
- My doubts disappeared when I found out Their witness was enticed to come forward With cash and tequila.
It's easy to wax philosophical about emily ryan, But the egg's on my face, jack.
Don't ask me to withdraw that subpoena.
- Here you go.
If she's intent on making diaz her star witness, We'll find every customer he's ever ripped off To impeach him.
- Mm, that's easier said than done, mike.
- Working on a subpoena to doctors without borders? - Oh, what can we do for you, professor ryan? - I just talked to jack mccoy, And he says that he's standing behind your crusade Against my students.
- So when can we expect the records? - Oh, you still have a few more hoops You're gonna have to jump through.
- Well, we're fully prepared For your motion to quash our subpoena.
- Didn't I teach you about blowback, mike? Sometimes you open up a door that you think is safe, And an inferno comes roaring out.
Just remember, this was your call.
- Am I just hearing things, or did she just threaten you? - Ah, it's just standard defense -lawyer shtick.
Don't worry about it.
- The privacy of these academic records Is protected by federal law.
Cutter's subpoena is an insult to hudson university And its students.
- Well, these students forfeited their right to privacy When they chose to intervene in a criminal case.
- My clinic has freed 22 innocent men Who were doing life without parole.
How am I gonna get students To volunteer for this kind of work If they think the government is reading their emails, Scrutinizing their academic record? - The d.
's office has no interest in these records Other than to determine if ms.
Ryan's students Were incentivized to manufacture new evidence.
Now, we've already established That a student corrupted a witness.
- The student paid for carfare, bought a couple of drinks.
- Drug money and booze.
This may be the tip of the iceberg, your honor.
- The prosecution has made a clear showing of impropriety, Professor ryan.
I want to know what else is going on Over there at your clinic.
So I'll give you the academic records, mr.
Cutter, Not the emails.
- Students who worked on a successful exoneration Have a grade average six points higher Than one who didn't.
- And are your grades in there too, mike? - Just because they're being rewarded Doesn't mean they're cooking the books.
Most of ryan's exonerations Were based on irrefutable dna matches.
- I'm not saying that every piece of new evidence She's uncovered is tainted, But there's pressure on these kids To overturn convictions.
And her tacit reward system, It--it fosters a culture of overzealousness.
And--and emily, she finds the way in.
- I assume you're speaking from experience.
- Yeah.
She knew I had nowhere to go for the holidays, And she used to invite me to her house for thanksgiving, With her husband-- and christmas dinner.
And I would have run into bullets for her.
- And this is how you repay her kindness.
- The four students who worked on stuber's case Got letters of recommendation to prospective employers.
- And you're planning on introducing all of this At stuber's new trial.
- Forget the retrial.
We'll move for a hearing to see how far Ryan's students went to manufacture A wrongful conviction here.
Judge braden can reinstate the jury verdict.
- Professor ryan was always skeptical Of one-witness I.
Cases like this one, Especially when there was community pressure To make an arrest.
So she had us talk to jon and alan's neighbors.
One of them put us onto their drug dealer, rodrigo diaz.
- The first time you talked to mr.
Diaz Was in a tequila bar.
- What did you expect? He's a drug dealer.
- Whom you compensated for spending time with you.
- He asked me to pay for his drinks and carfare.
I was reimbursed by the clinic.
- But after taking the cash And then downing a pitcher of margaritas, He revealed the new evidence you were looking for.
- He wasn't drunk enough to make me doubt what he was saying.
- And then he agreed to testify for you Just like any upstanding citizen.
- That's right.
- Are you sure you didn't offer him more money Or anything else to motivate him? - He was worried about being arrested, Because he'd be admitting to selling drugs.
I told him if that happened, The clinic would get him a lawyer.
- Did you mention any of this-- The free lawyer, the carfare, the drinks-- To professor ryan? - Well No.
- After your work on the stuber case, Did professor ryan write you a letter of recommendation For a federal clerkship? - Yes.
She did.
- Am I the only professor To write you a letter of recommendation? - No.
I have two others.
I'm in the top 10% of my class.
I'm also on law review.
- Were you motivated to embellish mr.
Diaz's story For a grade or a recommendation? - Absolutely not.
I was motivated to expose the truth, To remedy an injustice.
- Thank you.
- I'd like to call emily ryan as the people's next witness.
- Your honor, I'm defense counsel.
- Co -counsel.
Gilman can handle any questioning.
- I was alluding to attorney -client privilege.
- I'll be asking about her clinic, Not her conversations with mr.
- Please take the witness stand, professor ryan.
- It's customary to cover a witness' travel expenses, But we can't control what a witness does with the money.
To suggest that mr.
Diaz perjured himself for $80, I find that preposterous.
- Is it also customary to provide free cocktails And free legal representation? - Lisa may have been a bit oversolicitous.
I would love to have some more experienced iestigators.
Unfortunately, we don't have those kind of resources.
- So you reward the students in your clinic Who work on successful exonerations With better grades And more enthusiastic recommendations.
- They have higher grades Because I assign my brightest students To the most serious cases.
- With all this at stake, how can we know for certain That lisa didn't suggest this hit man story to mr.
Diaz? - My students may get a big overzealous.
A lot of us are susceptible to that.
But they don't suborn perjury.
That goes against everything that we stand for.
- All right, step down, professor ryan.
I've heard enough.
I'm troubled by the way mr.
Diaz Was coaxed into coming forward by an apparent bribe.
Without his testimony, I never would have taken the extraordinary step Of setting aside a verdict By a jury who weighed all the facts.
- The jury did not have all the facts.
- Almost all the facts.
I now find diaz's testimony extremely suspect.
I'm reversing my earlier decision And reinstating the jury's conviction.
- In that case, The defendant moves to dismiss for another reason.
- Judge, are you gonna allow professor ryan To keep taking potshots at a legitimate jury verdict? - What's the problem now, professor ryan? - The lead prosecutor's license to practice law Was obtained fraudulently.
- Excuse me? - You heard me correctly, judge.
My client's right to a fair trial Includes the right to be prosecuted By assistant district attorney, And mr.
Cutter is not an attorney at all.
- I went to three colleges in four years.
A couple of credits slipped through the cracks.
I thought it would get sorted out By the time I got to law school.
- So you don't actually have your b.
- I did the work, but no one Actually handed me a diploma.
- I don't understand how this affects your law license.
- This Oversight got perpetuated When I applied for the new york bar.
- You represented to the bar overseers That you had your undergraduate degree.
- Right.
- And on your resume to the d.
's office.
Damn it, mike.
- How did emily ryan find out about it? - She was my faculty advisor.
I mentioned it to her once, and she told me, "don't worry about it.
It's a technicality.
" - It's now a technicality That puts every one of your convictions in jeopardy, Starting with the stuber case.
- Judge braden wants to put me under oath, Hold a hearing in his chambers tomorrow.
- I'll be joining you.
- After I passed the bar exam, I checked the qualifications for the new york bar.
A college degree is not a requirement.
I do have the required law degree, So I believe that my license to practice law is valid.
- May I ask a few questions, judge? When you were interviewed By the bar examiner's character and fitness committee, Did you mention any of this? - No.
- So when you were sworn in as an a.
And you promised to uphold the laws, You were essentially committing a fraud On the people of the state of new york.
- I object to that characterization.
The question is whether his lapse of judgment Impinged on the defendant's right to a fair trial And why professor ryan waited so long to assert that it did.
- I'll take the defense motions to dismiss Under advisement.
Once again, mr.
Cutter, I am very disappointed by this turn of events.
- You were 21.
You made a mistake.
- I just raked a law student over the coals For having poor judgment.
- Well, maybe you should have never gone after the clinic.
- I didn't have a choice.
Their witness was lying.
- And you had a chance to show up your mentor.
- That had nothing to do with it.
- Really? Mike.
- Jack's gonna fire me.
- You're being paranoid.
- I'd fire me.
Who knows if they'll let me keep my license? - Well, well Personal visit from the district attorney.
- You know why I'm here, emily.
- That ship has already sailed.
- Not necessarily.
- I've seen too many innocent men rot in prison Because of prosecutorial hubris.
- Mike went after your clinic Because that's what you taught him to do.
He didn't deserve this.
- I didn't deserve this.
And I gave you the opportunity to reel him in.
- Then blame me.
Mike's a fine prosecutor.
He does you proud.
Do you really want to destroy what you created? - I still have a client to represent.
- Do you believe he's innocent? Or are you teaching mike cutter another lesson? - What do you propose? - If I can bring mike around to man one, Will stuber make a deal? - Right.
He pleads, and my motion for dismissal Just goes away? - Mike's still going to have to face the bar overseers.
- No promises, jack.
Uh -uh.
It sounds like we both have some convincing to do.
- Stuber's a hate murderer! He doesn't deserve man one! - I agree with you, on the merits.
- I see.
We need to make a deal to cover my ass.
Well, I'm sorry, but I'd rather get disbarred Than be a part of that scenario.
- Here's the scenario you should be worried about.
Stuber gets retried by a real lawyer.
He walks, because emily ryan's Injected enough doubt in the case to sway a jury, And judge braden refers your misfeasance To the first department.
- Well, I'm sorry, jack, but I won't do it.
- Yes, you will.
If you have any hope of staying on here, End this debacle with a plea bargain.
- Always be early-- just like I taught you, mike.
- And face the door-- That way, you don't get stabbed in the back.
- You forced my hand.
I warned you not to.
- I never thought you'd actually come after my license.
- Why? You didn't think I could fight as dirty as you did? - You were the one who started this, emily.
- I challenged one case.
You were the one that made this personal.
Everything that I have worked to build-- Everything that you used to believe in-- You're trying to rip it apart.
- Well, you should have known that I wasn't gonna back down.
- Well, you're here now, mike.
That shows maturity.
There was a time when you couldn't accept defeat.
- Judge braden says he'll have a ruling On our retrial motion tomorrow.
- Is that really what you want, mr.
Stuber-- Another trial? - I want to get out of here.
I'm innocent.
- Oh, well, then there's no need To talk about a plea bargain, is there? - W -wait a minute, mike.
Come on.
Now, just hear him out, cedric.
- This guy's not even a lawyer.
Can he even make a deal? - Yes, he can, mr.
And if you have any doubts, I'm here for your peace of mind.
- Oh, that's sweet of you.
So what do you got? - Man one-- - [laughing] screw that.
- Come on, mike, you can do better than that.
If he's gonna blow trial, the minimum is 15 years.
- Everyone in this room knows He won't get less than 25 to life After a conviction for a hate crime.
- You know what? I'm sick of this hate-crime crap.
It's not like he was a black guy [chuckles] Or a spic.
- Our fer just went up to 25.
- Mike.
- Go to trial if you don't like it.
- How about our moon for dismissal? How about your law license? - You can have my license! It'll free me up to testify About the hate speech your client just spewed in here.
And after 's convicted of murder in state court, I'll walk across to the u.
Attorney's office And have your client prosecuted For violating the matthew shepard act.
Hate murder against gays is a federal offense now.
Are you ready to do back-to-back life sentences, mr.
Stuber? You will die in jail.
- [whispering] is that true? - Uh, h -he'll take the 20 years you originally offered.
- It's 25 or nothing.
Now or never, mr.
- Is this fed thing for real? - Yes.
I'm afraido.
- I'll take the 25.
That guy's nuts, you know that? - Yeah.
I do.
- I've been reprimanded by the bar overseers-- Goes in the law journal tomorrow.
- "but we cannot see "how the flaw in mr.
Cutter's credentials Prejudiced any of his past convictions.
" - I dodged a bullet.
- Did you?