Star Chamber, The (1983) Movie Script

Councilman Donnagher, who is the only
member to vote against the proposal...
said he was not at all convinced
that the proposed site...
was the only suitable place
for such a facility.
He went on to say that
this is not the first time...
the utilities commission
has come up with a site...
that it insisted was the only suitable place.
In South Los Angeles,
the body of a woman was found in an alley...
behind a row of abandoned automobiles.
She was identified
as 68-year-old Margaret Howard.
She'd been shot in the head
at close range.
Sergeant Thomas Spota told
Eyewitness News reporter Chuck Hurley...
this appears to be the work
of the same person or persons...
who have committed a series of similar attacks
in the area in the past few weeks.
She had apparently cashed her welfare check
about a block and a half away...
at, uh, approximately 4:00 in the afternoon.
She was shot at close enough range...
with a.38 caliber bullet
to leave powder burns.
Forensics estimates the time of death...
at somewhere between 4:00 and 6:00 p. m.
Do you have any suspects?
No. Not really.
Five elderly women have been murdered
and robbed in this area in the past two months.
Is one man responsible for all of them?
Well, we haven't finished
our ballistics check yet...
except that all of the other victims
were shot with a.38...
all were robbed of their welfare checks...
all were killed in the afternoon.
The ballistics on the first four match.
I expect they will on this one.
Anyone with any information
on the Southside Killer...
should call our
Eyewitness hotline number.
You don't have to give your name.
The only possible lead
reported by the police...
is two people who claim
they saw a male Chicano leaving the alley...
at around 4:30 p. m.
He is described as in his mid-20s...
approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall
and slender.
600,000 to catch a goddamn baseball.
Now we gotta worry that he's sensitive.
Shit. You give me 600,000,
you can call me any name you want.
Shit. You give me 600,000,
you can call me any name you want.
You gotta know how to
handle your personnel...
you know, get the best out of them.
Hey. Check this cutie out.
- Where?
- Green jacket.
- You know him?
- No.
So what about him?
I don't know. What's he doing bopping around
6:00 in the morning? Tell me that?
Maybe he's coming from a physics lab at USC.
Right. Let's check him out.
- Aw, are you shitting me?
- This dude ain't right.
- Oh. You got a hunch, right?
- Right.
- Instinct, right?
- Right.
You're watching too much television again.
- Wait! Don't touch it!
- Is it wired?
No, no. Of course not.
You just can't search it. We need a warrant.
- Right.
- For real.
- You're crazy.
- Probably, except we need a warrant.
I know because
it happened to me once before.
How about if I knock on the garbage can...
and identify myself as a police officer...
and the can gives me consent?
You can fart around all you want.
The guy's garbage can is his private property
and we need a warrant.
I don't believe this.
We got a pile of slime...
making tracks as soon as he sees us.
He stops long enough
to drop something in a garbage can.
Think he just can't stand to litter?
You also think we're gonna get a warrant
in the next 30 seconds...
because that's when the can
is going in the truck.
Time out. I got it.
This can is going to that truck.
We can't search this can...
But we can search the truck.
We're talkin' genius here.
Don't pull no lever. Police.
Join the police and see the world.
Join the navy and see the world.
Aw, shit. I joined the wrong thing.
Mm. Yecch.
Gimme a pen.
Hello, turkey!
Judge Culhane is never too busy.
We live in a selfish age.
They like to call this the "Me" generation.
Well, Jim thinks this should be
the start of the "Us" generation.
He lives his life that way.
We should live ours that way.
When Community Hospital
needed the new wing...
it was Jim Culhane who spent two years...
calling old friends...
starting the fund drive, following through.
It was Jim you called
when there was a problem, any problem.
Now, Community Hospital
has that wing, thanks toJim.
Thanks to the countless hours
he spent doing thankless work for us all.
In the past 11 years...
Jim's record as a superior court judge...
has been a model of fairness and courage.
There's probably no more difficult task
for any public official...
to bridge the gap between
public understanding and civic responsibility.
Judge Culhane has never
shirked his responsibility...
and he's managed to engender
the trust of the community.
Jesus Christ.
Superior CourtJudgeJames Culhane
was found dead tonight...
the victim of an apparent suicide.
The incident occurred during
a testimonial dinner forJudge Culhane...
in which he was being honored...
as Southern California Legal Association
Man of the Year.
Judge Culhane had served
on the superior court bench for 11 years.
He leaves a wife, Michele,
two daughters and five grandchildren.
And then what did you do?
Uh, Detective Mackay remained
stationed outside the defendant's house...
while I took the gun to a lab.
We ran a ballistics check on it...
and it turned out to be a gun used
in four previous killings on the Southside.
- Killings that were known as the Southside Murders?
- Yes, sir.
Uh, we also found a clean set
of fingerprints on the weapon...
and based on that evidence,
obtained a search warrant.
We returned to the house where Detective
Mackay was stationed and we served the warrant.
- You conducted a search?
- Yes, sir.
- What did you find?
- We foundjewelry... watches and rings...
uh, that kind of stuff...
in a shoe box in a closet.
We also found four women's handbags
with wallets in them.
The wallets contained driver's licenses...
social security cards and food stamp cards...
all belonging to the Southside victims.
- Are these the items you're referring to?
- Yes, sir.
And they were all found in the home
of the defendant, Mr. Hector Andujar?
- Yes, sir.
- And then what happened?
We arrested him
and then we Mirandized him.
What do you mean
when you say you Mirandized him?
Uh, we read him his rights.
We told him he had a right to an attorney...
that one will be appointed for him
if he couldn't afford one...
that he had a right to remain silent.
Uh, you know, his rights. All of'em.
And then what happened?
He confessed. Now, we told him
he didn't have to say anything...
that he could have a lawyer, all that stuff.
He said he wanted to confess
and waived his Miranda rights.
We asked him ifhe knew what he was doing,
ifhe understood what waiving his rights meant.
He said, yes, he understood...
and he confessed to the killings.
We took him downtown and booked him.
He repeated his confession to a stenographer.
Thank you, Detective Wiggan.
No further questions, Your Honor.
Yeah. Uh, Detective Wiggan...
I'd like to go over
some of your previous testimony if I may.
Of course.
Now, you stated
that you didn't search the garbage can...
in front of Mr. Andujar's home
because you didn't have a warrant.
Yes, sir.
Right. So you waited
for the contents of the garbage can...
to be deposited in the garbage truck?
- Yes, sir.
- Hmm.
- You then searched the contents in the garbage truck itself?
- Yes, sir.
Okay. Detective...
tell me exactly
what kind of garbage truck it was.
What kind of garbage truck was it?
I don't know. It was a garbage truck...
the kind that comes up the street
and collects garbage.
Well, let's be a little bit
more specific than that, shall we?
Was it a big open truck?
Was it an enclosed truck?
Was it the kind of truck
that had a big scoop in the back?
- Was it a...
- Yes, that kind with a... with a scoop...
Huh. The kind with a scoop.
- That kind?
- Yeah.
Uh-huh. Now, did you search
the contents of the scoop...
or did you wait
until the contents of the scoop...
were dumped into the body of the truck?
Well, we, uh, searched the scoop
after the trash had been emptied from the can.
- I... I don't understand.
- Was the scoop empty...
before Mr. Andujar's trash was put into it?
Uh-huh. Thank you, Detective Wiggan.
Oh, I don't understand.
That was a perfectly good search.
Thank you, Detective.
There's no further questions.
Your Honor, may counsel approach the bench?
Yes. Detective, you're excused.
I move that all the evidence
obtained by Detectives Mackay and Wiggan...
be ruled inadmissible in this case,
dismissed immediately.
On what grounds?
They were meticulous in their procedure.
They waited until the garbage can
was emptied. Andujar waived his rights.
- On what grounds?
- Your Honor, under the rule...
my client had a reasonable
expectation to privacy.
The police cannot search his garbage can
without a warrant.
They did that. They waited
until the garbage can had been emptied.
However, they searched the scoop
of the garbage truck.
They did not wait
until Mr. Andujar's garbage...
had been mixed
with the rest of the garbage in the truck...
thereby rendering it common garbage.
As long as Mr. Andujar's garbage
was there by itself in that scoop...
as long as that garbage hadn't been mixed
with other garbage in the body of the truck...
the police could not search without a warrant.
- I don't believe this.
- There is ample precedent on this point, Your Honor...
specifically People v. Krivda, uh...
I know the precedent, Mr. Karras. Thank you.
Since the gun
was the grounds for the warrant...
and the evidence
and the ensuing confession...
were the direct result of that warrant...
and that warrant was granted illegally because
of the invasion of my client's privacy...
Your Honor, I have to ask you to rule
all the evidence and the confession...
as tainted and inadmissible.
- This is not happening.
- Mr. Hyatt, uh, I'm afraid he's right.
The evidence is not admissible.
Your Honor, we have a man here...
who cold-bloodedly murdered
five elderly women...
after robbing them of their welfare checks.
We have the murder weapon
with his fingerprints on it.
We have thejewelry and the wallets
of the victims in the defendant's apartment.
We have his full confession,
freely given by him.
And now you're telling me
that we don't have a case...
because two cops at 6:00 in the morning...
searched the scoop of a garbage truck...
instead of waiting
for some guy to pull a lever.
Are you really going to tell me that?
I'm gonna tell you
that if I allowed this evidence...
it would all be thrown out
in the appellate court.
I don't like it any more than you do.
This man is gonna go free?
- You're gonna let him go?
- I don't have a choice, you understand that?
No, Your Honor, I don't.
In superior court, Hector Andujar...
the man accused of committing
the Southside Murders...
was released from custody this morning...
after the case against him
was dismissed on a technicality.
Despite confessing to all of the murders...
Andujar is now a free man.
Deputy District Attorney Martin Hyatt
said that the case will not be retried.
He spoke with reporters.
We cannot retry him, because
all of our evidence has been thrown out.
Than includes the confession,
the stolen articles...
the gun with his fingerprints on it.
All of it. We have no case against him.
- How do you feel about that?
- How do you think I feel? Nauseous.
I don't know what they expect us to do.
- We have a man who admits
to murdering five women.
Right now,
he's walking out of this building a free man.
This is all because a judge has ruled
that some ridiculous technicality...
What do you want?
- Hey, kiddo, what do you want?
- What?
Food. What we have here is a restaurant.
- They bring you food here. You'll love it.
- Sorry.
I'll, uh...
I'll have anything you're gonna have.
Can't read the menu. I forgot my glasses.
- Just testing.
- Deputy D.A. Hyatt, he looked at me.
He said I'm letting the man go.
I'm putting him back on the streets.
So? Nobody else was sitting on the bench,
so it must've been you.
I want soup.
I'm ready to put the guy away
for 150 years...
but it would have been thrown out
in the appellate court...
and that son of a bitch, he knows it.
But he's sitting up there
trying to make me look bad...
while he's running for office
on the twelve o'clock news.
"Sizzling rice soup. "
I love the sound when they dump the rice in.
At my age, that's excitement.
Jesus Christ. I don't know what we're doing.
- Playing a game, kiddo.
- Yeah.
So that's why
my mother sent me to law school.
We've got, um, five women murdered...
and the killer's free
because a garbage man didn't pull a lever.
- Ben, that's not a game.
- Sure it is.
Who do you think we are?
Umpires, sweetheart.
Every day we get the lineup cards...
and then explain the ground rules
to the managers.
We tell 'em, uh, anything hitting the bull pen
is a ground-rule double.
And then in the eighth inning,
some clown hits one in the bull pen...
so the left fielder, he knows the ground rules,
he doesn't chase after it.
The runner, he figures "What the hell,"
so he keeps on going.
Then the manager comes
steaming out and he says...
"You send that runner
back to second base!"
And I say, "I'm sorry, they just changed
the ground rules. Today the bull pen's okay. "
So the run scores.
It's always been a game.
Only now the bad guys have a stronger team.
They had a better draft.
You know,
I took a lot of notes in your class...
and I can never remember
you saying anything quite like that.
You should have taken fewer notes
and listened more.
I love it.
The recent appointees, you're all alike.
You're not even old enough to shave.
Listen, you think my court
is any different? Huh?
You think I don't set guys free
every goddamn week...
who have raped entire school districts?
You wanna match ulcers?
You know, I watched you grow up.
You love to suffer.
You wear it like one of them corduroy jackets
with the patches on the sleeves.
Me, I just don't complain about it.
I do something about it.
You do what?
Pork with the silly pancakes.
What the hell do they call that?
- What do you do?
- I want soup. Soup, yeah.
Detective Lowes? I'm Picker.
I made the call. It's over this way.
My partner found him.
We were on foot,
doing a routine patrol...
when we noticed something
in the bushes over there.
- We went over to take a look.
- Anybody touch anything?
Well, the lab guys got here
about five minutes ago.
Looks like the same M.O.
As the other ones.
Christ, it's a mess too.
- Any identification on him?
- No, sir. This is my partner, Nelson.
- Any signs of a struggle?
- No, sir.
Looks like the body
was dumped here afterwards.
He's just a little kid.
There is a set of indentation marks in
the grass from a vehicle of some kind.
Maybe good enough to make a cast of.
The body had to be driven here.
Oh, shit.
Bushes aren't disturbed.
There's no blood stains on the grass.
It happened somewhere else.
He's just a little kid.
Look, uh, why don't you, uh,
take your partner back to the car?
Yes, sir. Come on.
- I've never seen anything like it.
- I know.
Just a little kid.
I got a little boy.
- I never...
- Come on, let's just get out of here.
Just a little kid.
How could anybody do that?
- Come on.
- Why?
Hey, fellas! Here come de judge.
- Hi.
- Hi.
- You want a drink?
- No, thanks.
Well, I saw the news on television.
I think you need a drink.
- Hi, guys.
- Hi, Dad.
Just a sec.
How about the bottle and a straw?
You want breezy patter,
or do you want to talk about it?
I'll take the patter.
Thank you.
Some weather we're having, huh?
Do you think the Dodgers
will win again this year?
- How about those freeways?
- I'll talk.
I love you.
And I love you.
- Hello, freakos.
- Turn on some music, man.
The Monk is here, little freakos.
What are we doing here, man?
Nobody's got shit worth taking.
Shut up, man!
Just shut your fucking mouth!
I'm not talking about the freakos.
There's a liquor store
a couple of blocks from here.
Just a couple of blocks.
The Monk knows, right, little freakos?
Hello, little store.
Wait! Just be cool.
Let's just check this little place out.
- Oh. Let's get out of here, man.
- No, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.
Big score, asshole!
The market.
The all-night market, it's up here.
It's big. There's always people.
Pull up behind that blue van.
- What's the matter?
- I don't like it.
- What about it?
- I don't know. They're cruising kinda slow, don't you think?
One-Adam-41. Request want
and warrant on light blue Ford van.
One-Adam-41. Roger.
- I wanna listen to some music.
- No! No, I gotta think.
One-Adam-41. Blue Ford One-Adam-
Thomas-George one-niner-three:
No want. Two moving warrants.
One-Adam-41, roger.
Oh, shit. Cops!
Be cool.
We ain't done nothing wrong.
- You all right?
- I'm all right. I'm all right.
I'll take the driver.
What's the problem, Officer?
Can I see your driver's license
and registration, please?
Sure, sure. Wh-What'd I do wrong?
There are two outstanding traffic warrants
on this vehicle.
Whoa. Must be some mistake.
I paid those tickets.
I really did. A long time ago.
- Can I see your license and registration, please?
- Yeah, sure. Uh...
- Your name Lawrence Monk?
- Yeah, that's me.
- May I see your license, please?
- Sure, sure.
What are you guys
doing around here this hour?
Nothing. Just driving, you know.
- Just driving?
- Just driving.
- Hey, Nelson, you smell something?
- What?
- You smell marijuana?
- Aw, shit, man!
- I don't know.
- What the fuck are you guys doing?
- We ain't been smoking. You know it.
- I smell marijuana.
- You think maybe they got more inside?
- You want me to check inside?
Do it.
Freeze! Freeze!
The pretrial hearing of Lawrence Monk
and Arthur Cooms is set to begin tomorrow.
Monk and Cooms are accused of the mutilation
and murder of 10-year-old Daniel Lewin.
The District Attorney's office
has confirmed to Eyewitness News...
that the murder of the Lewin boy
was part of a child-pornography ring...
in which small boys were kidnapped,
used in pornographic films
and then murdered.
Precisely why did you stop the vehicle
driven by the defendants?
We ran a D.M. V. Check on the vehicle...
and the response was that
there were outstanding warrants.
- And then what did you do?
- I informed the driver.
- Mr. Monk?
- Right, Mr. Monk.
I informed him
that the warrants were outstanding.
And what was Mr. Monk's response?
He said that he thought
there must be some mistake...
that he had already paid
his traffic tickets.
Well, I told him I didn't have any choice.
The warrant was there.
And then I asked him for his driver's license
and his registration.
- Did he produce them for you?
- Yes.
- Were they in order?
- As far as I could tell.
Then why, if the driver of the vehicle...
had a valid driver's license
and registration for his vehicle...
if he was fully cooperative...
if all you say he had done
was fail to pay a few traffic tickets...
then why, Officer Picker,
did you conduct a search ofhis van?
I smelled marijuana.
- You smelled marijuana?
- Yes, sir.
Were either of the defendants
acting in a manner...
that would indicate
that they were intoxicated...
or in any way
under the influence of marijuana?
Were they stoned?
Well, I can't say that.
But I did smell the marijuana.
When you searched the vehicle,
did you find any marijuana?
- You didn't find any?
- No. That's what I said.
You're excused.
- Did you smell marijuana?
- Well, uh...
- I'm not sure.
- Either you did or you didn't.
I can't say I actually did.
- Yet you searched the vehicle.
- My partner instructed me to.
I see. Tell me, Officer Nelson...
the shoe in question, the black sneaker...
could you see it in the van from the outside?
- What do you mean?
- I mean, was it in plain sight?
Or could you only see it after you
opened the side door during the search?
After I opened the door, I saw it.
- Thank you, Officer Nelson.
- I'll never forget it.
- You're excused.
- Never.
- Thank you, Officer.
- Your Honor, the, uh, defense...
moves for the exclusion
of the child's shoe as evidence.
I'm sure the prosecution
plans to introduce it in the case.
- On what grounds?
- On the grounds, Your Honor...
that the police had no right
to conduct the search in the first place.
Your Honor,
under the Ross Decision...
of the United States Supreme Court...
the police do have the right to conduct
a search of the vehicle...
if an officer suspects
the presence of contraband.
It is specifically stated in that decision...
that a police officer's assertion
that he smells marijuana...
is sufficient reason
to suspect the presence of contraband.
Mr. Hingle,
the Deputy District Attorney is correct.
I wasn't referring to the search.
If the Deputy District Attorney had
taken the time out to check her records...
she would have found
that the outstanding warrants...
for the unpaid traffic tickets were invalid.
Mr. Monk paid those tickets
more than a month ago.
Since the state was forced to lay off
a number of clerical employees...
the vehicular records have been way behind...
as much as 60 days in some cases.
Now the District Attorney's office knows it.
Your Honor,
those officers were acting in good faith.
They were told that a warrant existed.
It doesn't matter whether
they were acting in good faith or not.
The simple fact of the matter
is they had no warrant.
My clients were illegally detained.
The result of that detention
was the search of the van.
Your Honor,
the police did everything properly.
You can't suppress this evidence because of...
of a clerical error.
I'm gonna take this under submission.
And if either of you have case authorities
that you feel are relevant...
I'll be very glad to hear them
in my chambers.
I'm gonna rule on this motion tomorrow morning
at 10:00 a. m. Until then, court is recessed.
Your Honor,
the principal piece of evidence is that shoe...
a child's sneaker
that belonged to Daniel Lewin...
covered with Daniel Lewin's blood.
It's the major link
between the defendants and the crime.
And if we aren't allowed to present it...
the people may not have a strong enough case
to secure a conviction.
If Your Honor grants the motion to suppress...
that would be the same thing
as dismissing this case.
The motion from the defense
concerns itself with police procedure.
There is a question here
whether or not this was a proper search.
Your Honor,
this is a case involving the torturing...
the sexual molesting...
and the murder of a little boy.
There is reason to believe
that this case also involves...
similar horrors
committed against other children.
I know how serious this is.
Maybe you should have realized how
serious it was when you presented your case.
You've done fairly sloppy work here.
You've hinged everything on a piece
of evidence obtained in a shaky search...
and now you drop it in my lap. Terrific!
I will not allow something that I know
is gonna be overturned by the appellate court.
Now, Mr. Hingle here is doing his job,
I'm trying to do mine...
and I would suggest
that you do yours a little bit better.
- Your Honor, I...
- Do you have a case authority to bring me?
Do you? Because if you don't...
I'm not gonna sit here and listen to you
tell me how serious this is.
Now, I'm gonna try to find
some precedent, some case...
some decision that could
possibly justify this evidence.
And I'll give you my answer
tomorrow at 10:00.
- Thank you, Your Honor.
- Your Honor.
Judge Hardin!
Judge Hardin, please, can I talk to you?
- I have something I want you to see.
- What is it?
It's a photograph of a boy.
He's a 10-year-old fourth-grader.
His front teeth are too big
and his hair falls on his face.
Are you Dr. Lewin?
I was Dr. Lewin. I'm not anyone now.
The school sent us these pictures.
They wanted to know
how many we were gonna order.
How many 5-by-7's, how many wallet-sizes.
We took 'em all. I want you to have one.
I'm sorry. I can't take this.
Why not? Might help in your deliberations.
Might help you decide
whether these men go free or not.
Dr. Lewin, please try to understand this.
I am not deciding how guilty
or not guilty these two men are.
Now, I'm sure your son was a wonderful boy.
And I know how you must fe...
No, I don't.
I don't have any idea how you must feel.
Could we sit down for a minute, please?
I have to rule on a point of law...
that has nothing to do
with these two defendants.
It's only concerned with how
a particular piece of evidence was obtained.
My wife, uh,
she has to be sedated all the time.
She says she can hear Danny screaming.
We had to move out of the house.
She kept going into Danny's room.
I had to get her away from that.
How can someone torture a child?
How do you erase that sound from your head?
Those two are creatures.
They're not human beings.
Look at the photograph.
That was my little boy,
not a plaintiff or a statute.
That is my little boy.
He's not a point of law.
Look at the goddamn photograph!
I understand how you feel.
I really do.
But I only deal with the law.
What about justice?
Do you ever deal with that?
Does that ever fit into this little
crossword puzzle that you call the law?
You're so worried about the rights
of those two monsters!
What about my little Danny's rights?
You don't escape so easily.
You don't run and hide so easy.
You take this photograph and you look at it!
That's what this is all about.
Nothing else.
Nothing else.
- He's a lightweight.
- I don't agree.
- A lightweight.
- I grant you that Harvard Law School...
doesn't wait with bated breath
for his next decision.
But he's a solidjudge who does his homework,
and he's a stable man.
I'm sure he's very nice to his cocker spaniel,
but that's not good enough.
Now look, we can argue all night long.
It's not gonna do us any good.
It also won't erase the fact...
that we have a vacancy
created by Culhane's death.
It won't go away...
and we're not a full court till it does.
Now, we have to find a man.
Granted, it must be the right man.
However, we have an obligation to find him.
What about your friend, Hardin?
- He's good.
- Is he ready?
He's close.
Uh, when will you talk with him?
- Soon.
- What does "soon" mean?
It means not in the next 10 minutes
and before late.
- You will talk with him?
- Yeah.
Yeah. He's very close.
It's not working anymore.
All the catch phrases,
all the bromides that get you through the day.
It's just not working anymore.
I feel like I'm on the wrong side.!
Jesus Christ! It's all upside-down.
My first day in law school,
I went to the library, you know?
And there were all of those books,
and they were tan and red...
and they had gold writing,
and they smelled so good.
It was... It was like
I was looking at the truth...
right up there in all those rows.
The truth.
The law.
You even got to say it in a deep voice...
like you're in, uh,
some kind of echo chamber.
"The law. " Nothing is right or wrong!
It's either the law or it's not the law.
Well, we got a problem here, because, uh...
it's... it's not working anymore.
It turns out that right and wrong count.
He's Max's age.
The last thing he ever felt was torture.
I got five women shot through the head.
I got bodies piling up all around me.
I'm passing out the ammunition.
See, the bad guys...
they get hold of one of those books...
they find something and...
and I give 'em the prize.
It doesn't matter
that it wasn't put there for them.
It was put there for that little kid
and the five women.
But that doesn't matter...
because they found it, and that's the law.
W- What happened to right and wrong?
It's gotta be somewhere in one of those books.
There's so many books.
It's gotta be in there somewhere.
I don't know if I can do it anymore.
I don't know if I can look at one more face
come into my court expecting right...
and I gotta tell them wrong.
I just, um... I don't know anymore.
All rise. Department 121 of the Superior
Court of the State of California...
All rise. Department 121 of the Superior
Court of the State of California...
for the County of Los Angeles
is now in session.
The honorable Steven R. Hardin judge
presiding. Please be seated and come to order.
In the case of, uh,
People v. Lawrence Monk and Arthur Cooms...
a motion has been made
by defense to suppress certain evidence...
specifically an article of clothing
belonging to the victim...
on the grounds
that it was obtained in an illegal search.
The prosecution has stated that this
piece of evidence is crucial to their case.
Whether that is true or not, my basis for
ruling cannot be guided by that criteria.
My criteria is, and always will be...
the constitution and the laws
of the State of California.
Lf, in fact, this single piece
of evidence is that crucial...
then it is the responsibility
of the prosecution...
to make doubly sure that it
conforms to the laws and precedents...
laws and precedents
the prosecution is quite familiar with.
My responsibility...
is to ensure a fair trial for the accused.
If I knowingly allowed a procedural defect...
or a violation of the law to pass before me...
I would not be fulfilling
those responsibilities.
I would be equally derelict if I simply
allowed something like this to pass...
and forced the appellate court
to overturn a conviction...
that was based
on that evidence or procedure.
I believe that the search in question...
would be found by any appellate court...
to be without probable cause.
And as a result, as painful as it may be...
I must rule in favor of the defense...
and rule that the evidence be excluded.
Your Honor...
As I stated yesterday...
this evidence is the main link...
between the defendants
and the hideous crime that was committed.
If we are forced to proceed without it...
we do not feel that we will be able
to properly prosecute this case.
We are rendered powerless
without that evidence.
I understand.
I have no choice.
Your Honor, the defense moves for dismissal
on the grounds of insufficient evidence.
How do the People respond?
Your Honor,
the People have no choice either.
We do not object.
The motion is granted. The case of People v.
Lawrence Monk and Arthur Cooms is dismissed.
The defendants are hereby released.
God bless fucking America!
Can we lose this place now, man?
It'll take a couple of hours to do the paperwork,
then you can pick up your belongings and go.
The Monk is free.
The wheels of justice have turned.
I believe it's the scales of justice.
- Hey, uh, you did okay, man.
- Thank you.
Yeah. Maybe you wanna come
and have a drink or something?
Look, I did my job.
The lady who holds those scales
is blindfolded.
She doesn't have to see who I do it for.
However, I do.
I checked with the Bar Association...
and they said I don't have to
have a drink with you.
No. No.
Goddamn it, no!
- Give me the gun, man!
- No.!
Goddamn it, it's over!
Dusty Baker.
- Baker's a class act.
- For 800,000, he should be.
- $800,000?
- A year.
That's four times more
than the President of the United States makes.
- Baker's a better hitter.
- Sometimes.
Steve Sax. Second base.
Why does everybody here bring radios?
It's as if they won't believe what they see
till Vince Scully tells 'em he saw it too.
Come on, Sax! Do something!
- Which one's Sax?
- The one up at bat.
Sax is a class act.
Ahhh! You wimp!
He wants more money than Baker.
If Mays was playing now,
they'd have to give him his own state.
What did you mean when you said that
you didn't complain about what's going on...
that you did something about it?
- What?
- At lunch.
One day you said that
you did something about it.
- I did?
- Yes. What did you mean?
I'm old. I say things.
How the hell do I know what I mean?
But what do you think that you meant?
Throw the stupid ball!
Pedro Guerrero.
- Don't you play games with me.
- This is not the time.
- Was that a home run?
- No, it was a single.
- Why is this not the time?
- Not now, kiddo.
- When?
- When you're ready.
- Ready for what?
- For what I will tell you.
I don't understand.
- I don't understand.
- You don't have to!
- I'll come to you when the time is right.
- When?
Soon. Come on, Guerrero!
A class act, that guy.
- Inspector.
- Another body?
Looks like 11 years old, maximum.
No identification. It's unbelievable.
- Time of death?
- Within the last four hours.
- Tire tracks?
- Indentations.
The body was transported here.
- Anybody see a van in the area?
- Nobody saw nothing.
A patrolman spotted the body
making routine rounds...
looking for smoochers, that sort of thing.
A little kid.
What kind of thing
we got running loose in this city?
I never saw anything like it.
I have.
I wanted to check to see
that you could make bail.
Yes. I'm putting my house up as collateral.
The policeman.
I'm told he's gonna be all right.
- Yes.
- That's good.
Well, if there is anything that I can do,
please just let me know.
That's very kind of you.
I think you've done enough.
Tell me, do they really
make license plates in prison...
or is that just in the movies?
- Dr. Lewin...
- I'm not upset, you know.
I'm really not. I tried to do something.
At least I tried to do something.
My only regret
is that I didn't kill those two creatures.
You want absolution?
I'm not gonna give it to you. Try a priest.
No, I understand.
As a man, I would have tried to kill 'em too.
As a judge, I can't.
Well, you don't have to worry.
You didn't murder my son, so you're covered.
I take it that's what you wanted to hear.
Maybe, yeah.
You did murder someone else's son.
You're gonna have to
deal with that pretty soon.
- What are you talking about?
- Didn't you hear?
You should be in prison.
They have a wonderful
communications system in this place.
It's better than the six o'clock news.
Another little boy was tortured
and murdered last night just like Danny.
There's another father that's gonna have those
sounds in his ears for the rest of his life.
And you're gonna have to face him...
and explain to him
how you let those two go...
so they could murder his child.
This one's on you, Your Honor.
This one you did.
That boy would be alive
if you hadn't let 'em go.
You go tell that father about your system.
You give him the... the lecture
on your precious justice.
Save all the platitudes
that you were gonna use on me.
You use them on him.
Better than that, use them on yourself.
But don't worry about me.
I am really all right.
I can look at that man.
I tried to do something.
You killed his son.
Why, Steven. Hello.
Hey, kiddo.
No more games. No more.
- You all right?
- Yes.
Please, close the door.
- You want something to drink?
- No.
Sit down, kiddo.
This may take a few minutes.
You're asking me to tell you things
that you may not want to hear about.
I mean, right now you're pure...
suffering, however,
pure as your actual driven snow...
which is what you want to be.
If I continue,
once you hear what I'm gonna say...
you'll lose that forever.
- You want me to continue?
- Yes.
I need a drink.
There were nine of us...
all on the superior court bench.
You're an instant replay, kiddo. The very
same dialogue, the very same fury, exactly.
Oh, boy. You are...
You are depressingly familiar.
So we all sat around
and compared horror stories...
and we said, "What's happened to the law?"
Just like you.
And then somebody said the strangest thing.
He said, "We're the goddamn law. "
Think about that. We are.
The whole goddamn system...
has been turned
into this giant Rubik's Cube...
which anyone can twist into whatever
pattern they want, so long as it fits.
You see, it's not good enough
for us to sit around and say...
"What you're doing is not what the system
is all about. It's not what was intended.
However, it's okay with us,
because it fits. "
Oh, no.
Thatjust is not good enough anymore.
You look around you. Everybody glides along
on roller skates or on jogging shoes...
with those Martian radio things
over their ears.
People who stay inside,
double-lock their doors...
and turn the TV up as loud as they can...
so they won't be able to
hear what's really going on.
The whole goddamn world
is out to lunch. Why?
Because nobody wants to be held accountable.
Well, we are accountable.
We're the judges, for Christ's sake!
We're the law!
We let it all happen.
So the nine of us...
we became a court.
Our own court of last resort.
We review cases, the excruciating ones...
the ones where it's all been perverted.
We make judgments.
We carry out sentences.
L... I don't believe this.
Time to get your fingernails dirty, kiddo.
Someone has kidnapped justice
and hidden it in the law.
Now who's better qualified
than we are to find it?
- You tell me that.
- I don't know. L...
I just... I don't know.
You have arrived
at exactly the same place we are.
You're a good young man,
who wants to be a good judge.
You don't know what the hell
being a good judge is anymore.
There are eight of us...
and we have a vacancy.
Judge Culhane, he was the ninth.
Now don't tell me you haven't
thought about something like this...
because if you do, you're a liar.
- I don't know what to say.
- In or out, kiddo.
In or out. Nothing in the middle.
There's no more time for that.
If it's out, you'll never be able to
prove anything you heard...
and you can go back to wringing your hands.
I'll tell you this. I can sleep at night.
I really can.
Can you?
Beamer, Albert R.
Age:28, height:5'7", weight: 140 pounds.
Two priors... 1977, assault with a
deadly weapon, 1980, breaking an entering.
Served a total of three years.
February 8, 1981.
Mr. And Mrs. Herbert Lear,
age 66, 64 respectively...
withdraw $200 from an instant credit
machine outside a Security Pacific Bank...
at 11:00 p. m.
As they're walking back to their car,
which is parked less than 10 yards away...
they are attacked and robbed at gunpoint.
Mrs. Lear was struck across the temple
with a gun when she screamed.
Mr. Lear was shot at point-blank range
and was killed instantly.
Mrs. Lear suffered a fractured skull.
Albert Beamer was arrested two days later...
when he attempted to use
one of Mr. Lear's credit cards.
At the trial, Mrs. Lear
positively identified him as the attacker.
Beamer was found guilty
and was given the death sentence.
The verdict was appealed.
The court stenographer, named Martin Peel,
dies of a heart attack...
before his notes can be transcribed.
He's one of the old-timers
that uses his own personal shorthand.
The judge is Ed Lynn. Figured he'd
save some money during the trial...
didn't order daily transcriptions.
As a result, all they had was Martin
Peel's notes, no one to translate them.
The appellate court ruled...
that since there was no valid trial record...
the court could not properly hear the appeal
and ordered that Beamer be retried.
This was after he was convicted
and sentenced.
The one witness, Mrs. Lear,
subsequently suffers a stroke and dies.
The autopsy proves that the stroke
was directly related to her head injury.
Since there was no longer any witness...
the State had no grounds to retry Beamer.
And he's free.
- Any questions?
- Did he have an alibi?
Yeah. He said he was at home
watching television that night.
Any corroboration?
He said he was at home alone.
How did he explain the stolen credit card?
He said he found it on the street.
He's willing to cop a plea for using the card.
Any other questions?
I'd like a verdict.
- When are you going home?
- Soon.
Have you had something to eat?
- Yes.
- When?
Yesterday? You look like shit.
- Thank you.
- You're welcome. You want a pizza?
No. I don't want any pizza.
- Go home, Harry.
- In a little while.
You can look at that stuff all you want. The
words are not gonna change. You know that.
I know.
If you don't get some rest
and something to eat, you're gonna die.
And if you don't go home,
you're gonna die here.
I don't want you to die here...
because if you die here, that'll mean
I have to do all of that paperwork.
And right now,
I'm up to my ass in paperwork.
The answer is in here somewhere.
- It always is.
- It'll be there tomorrow.
All right. Let's get a pizza.
- I hate pizza. Let's go get drunk.
- What?
You're the one
that's always worried about my health.
Oh, you can die in a bar. That's okay.
I can skip out and leave you there.
It's just when the bodies fall across my desk,
you see? That's when it be comes a real drag.
I thought it was another woman.
Now I don't.
What are you talking about?
A woman knows when there's
somebody else. She really does.
- In bed, you just know.
What's the matter with you?
Nothing's the matter with me.
I just felt like I've been losing you,
and I don't know what to do about it.
And I'm terrified.
It's like you're pulling away from me...
as if you went away somewhere.
And I don't know how to fight it.
Look, I'm...
I've really made it miserable for you,
you know.
It's not you. It's not us. It's...
I'm trying to figure out what I'm doing.
I love you.
I love you too.
I'm so proud of you.
- Don't be too proud.
- Why not?
Because I may not live up to your expectations.
You could never disappoint me.
Marvin Dawson.
Age: 29. Six feet, 160 pounds.
Eight prior arrests, two convictions.
1977 armed robbery
and 1980 assault with a deadly weapon.
August 20, 1980.
A jewelry store owned by a Mr. Victor Willis...
located on Spring Street, is robbed.
Mr. Willis is shot and killed.
Local informants told the police
that the robbery was committed by Dawson.
Investigators brought photographs
of Dawson to the witnesses.
Both identified him.
A warrant was obtained on the basis
of the identifications...
the informants
and Dawson's prior criminal record.
His apartment was searched.
The stolen jewelry was found, along with
the knitted hat and a. 22 caliber revolver.
Ballistics confirmed that both
murder victims were killed by that gun.
Dawson was arrested later
that night in a local bar.
He was Mirandized and booked.
He was informed of the jewelry and the gun.
He waived his Miranda
and confessed to a police stenographer.
Dawson was convicted and sentenced to life.
The case was appealed by his lawyer...
on the grounds that
the warrant that had been obtained...
stated that the police were searching for...
quote, "stolen jewelry,"end quote...
and that the warrant
should have been more specific.
The appellate court ruled that stolen jewelry
could have meant any other stolen jewelry...
from any other robbery and gave the police a
license to search for anything they felt like.
The appellate court held in favor of Dawson
and ruled that the warrant was invalid.
Since the warrant was invalid,
thejewelry and the gun were not admissible.
And since they were not admissible,
the subsequent confession was not admissible.
Dawson's free.
Hello? Yeah.
Dr. Harold Lewin, who was scheduled
to go on trial next month...
for the courtroom shooting of a policeman...
has apparently committed suicide
by taking a massive overdose of sleeping pills.
Dr. Lewin is the father
of eight-year-old Daniel Lewin.
Daniel Lewin was one of nine children
who have been brutally murdered...
in what police suspect
may be a child pornography ring.
Lawrence Monk and Arthur Coons, who were
accused of murdering Dr. Lewin's son...
were released from custody and all
charges against them were dropped...
when Judge Steven Hardin
ruled that a crucial piece of evidence...
linking them to the murdered child
could not be used in the trial.
When the ruling was announced
byJudge Hardin in court...
Dr. Lewin allegedly tried to
shoot Monk and Cooms.
In the ensuing struggle,
a police officer was wounded.
Dr. Lewin left a note
asking his wife Carol to please forgive him.
- Guilty.
- Guilty.
You all right over there?
w- would you quit being a pain in the ass?
Hey, I really don't feel like running after you.
I just ate lunch.
Flowers, this is so dumb.
Look at you, bimbo. I ain't getting down
on my hands and knees and look for you...
and ruin a perfectly good pair of pants.
So what I'm gonna have to do is...
shoot this gun under some cars.
Now the bullets,
they're gonna bounce all over hell and back.
And one of them
could hit a gas tank and rupture it...
and the car would blow up,
and you'd be roastedjust like a marshmallow.
Then I'd have to go fill out
all those reports about the car.
And the morgue guys would come
and put you in one of those black plastic bags.
And that's a whole ton of paperwork
for me, Flowers.
And you know
how much I hate to do paperwork.
Ooh, I could wound you. Nah, that would
mean paramedics and ambulances...
and a whole bunch of noise.
Then I'd have to go to the hospital
and question you.
And that's two different sets of reports.
So the more I think about it...
when I weigh all my options...
the least amount of paperwork
for me to do is...
if I just blow your fucking head off.
Gotta hand it to you, Flowers.
If you're gonna hide,
you might as well hide under a Cadillac.
His name is Flowers.
He's a car thief. He's one of the best.
He's been stealing foreign cars
for a ring that ships them across the border.
They got a really fine operation.
He gets an order for a blue BMW coupe...
Flowers steals 'em for him.
And there's no speculation
in the deal, either.
He gets them the year,
make and model that they want.
He also does some domestic work
for a few of our local cuties.
If they're gonna do a really nasty job,
they order a car from Flowers.
We've been watching him
for a couple of weeks...
and we staked out a garage he's particularly
fond of and he didn't disappoint us.
Just like fish in a barrel.
He's served two stretches already...
and he's shitting a brick
about being a three-time loser.
Flowers, this is Detective Lowes.
- Pleased to meet you.
- Hi.
This is not a good bust for you, my man.
Not good at all.
I know, I know. I'll deal, I told you that.
What you want?
Three-time loser, that's real bad.
You're really good at what you do,
aren't you?
The best.
Shit, anyone can open a domestic.
The GM's, they're a fucking invitation.
Now the Germans, they make some fine cars.
- I can get you anything you want.
- That's not exactly what we had in mind.
- Three-time loser.
- I told you I'd deal.! You want names?
I'll give you any damn name you want.
And it's a big deal too.
It goes through Mexico
and then back through Texas.
- It's a good bust.
- You're gonna have to do better than that.
Your partner was a real tough guy.
Like a rock.
He gave us more names
and dates than we knew what to do with.
He talked so fast we needed more
than one stenographer in here.
Well, what the fuck do you want?
Well, what the fuck do you want?
Tell Detective Lowes
what you told me before about the van.
- The van?
- The van.
Oh! Oh, oh, oh, sure, I'll give you that,
but, uh, what do, uh, I get?
If it leads to an arrest,
you might get a break...
because grand theft auto
is a lot of paperwork.
And you know I don't like to do paperwork.
W- Well, what do you mean I might get?
I mean if you don't start
doing something good...
you're gonna get so much hard time
that when you get out there won't be any cars.
People will be getting around
on conveyor belts.
Okay. Okay, the van. A blue van.
I stole it for these three dudes
who needed it for a few hours.
The deal was I pick it up for them...
and then I bring it back to where I got it...
so nobody, not even the owner,
knew it was copped.
This was a while ago. I got them this van...
and then I waited at a bar
until they brought it back to me.
And then I returned it
to where I copped it from.
There was...
There was some blood in the back...
and mud on the tires
like they were driving through the park.
And there was this little kid's shoe
or something. I really didn't look too close.
Hey, I didn't know
they was gonna kill some kid.
I just got them this car and I brought it back.
That's all, and I swear to God.
Flowers, this is very important.
- Who were these guys?
- They're loony tunes, man.
Three black dudes. They're into porno.
They snatch kids and use 'em in, you know,
flicks and shit like that.
I want to find these three.
I really and truly want to find them.
I want to give 'em to you, 'cause I swear
to God I didn't know what was goin' down.
We believe you.
Do we have a deal?
- Hello.
- Hello.
- I hate these things.
- Don't be so stuffy. The food's free.
I don't know what the hell
I'm doing at a party for Walden.
Ellen wanted you to meet him. Can't hurt.
That guy has been running around the state
like a lunatic...
giving speeches
on how we've been coddling criminals.
- I don't want to meet him.
- Well, we're here.
And he's there, so you might as well
stop complaining and get it over with.
- He's where?
- Right there.
- You go ahead.
- No way. I promised Ellen you would actually materialize.
Besides, I like people to see you.
You're fairly cute, for a judge.
- Emily.
- Oh, Mrs. Cummins, hello.
- I'm so glad you could come.
- Thank you.
- And, Steven. How nice.
- Hi. Hello. Thank you.
I would like to present State Senator Walden.
- This is Steven and Emily Hardin. They're very nice people.
- Senator.
- Are you Hardin of the superior court?
- Yes, I am.
- Nice to meet you.
- It's a pleasure.
Well, why don't you two go get something
to eat and enjoy yourselves...
while I show the senator off to everybody.
- Thank you.
- Go have some fun.
Well, you had him
eating right out of the palm of your hand.
- Can we go now?
- No.
- Emily!
- Janet! Hi.
- See you later.
- Bye.
- I've been trying to reach you all afternoon.
- Steve.
I spent two and a half hours
in a dentist's office...
listening to Muzak
and reading Junior Scholastic.
- You look a little tired.
- Yeah, I am. A little bit.
Well, maybe we should get away
for a few days, just the four of us.
Make fools of ourselves like the last time.
That sounds good. That'd be nice.
- Well, you must be feeling pretty relieved right now.
- Why?
Well, you know, with what just happened
with those child murderers.
- What are you, uh, what are talking about?
- It was on the news.
Well, those two guys who everybody thought
killed all those children...
the ones you let go and everybody
criticized you for it, don't you remember?
Well, the cops just arrested three other men
and these guys really did it.
It was just on the news.
When did th...
When did this, uh, when did this happen?
Just now. I thought you knew.
Well, anyway, you come out smelling
like a rose. I'm really glad for you.
Are you all right?
Yeah, I'm fine. Excuse me one moment.
It's the middle
of the goddamn infield that matters.
Don't give me first baseman.
No, you plug up the middle of the infield.
You play... You play first base
because you can't throw more than 60 feet.
- Hello, kiddo. Do you know George Tillis?
- Hi. No.
- Hi. How are you?
- He's with the Attorney General's office.
Doesn't know beans about the game of
baseball. Other than that he's all right.
- I got to talk to you.
- Sure, I'll be around tomorrow.
Listen, you name me one team
that made it without a strong middle infield.
- I have to talk to you right now. Excuse us.
- What's the problem?
Eh, uh, sorry.
- What's the matter?
- Did you hear?
- About what?
- Monk and Cooms. They're innocent.
We've got to stop him.
Hold on. Where'd you hear about this?
Three other guys were just arrested.
Now you got to
get the group together right now.
In the first place, calm down.
In the second place, how do you know
these guys they arrested are guilty?
Just stop the bullshit, all right?
I'll gather the information on the three guys.
You just get everybody together.
It's not as easy as you think.
- What?
- It might take a while.
What are you talking about, a while?
You hear what I'm saying?
- It's just not as easy as you think. Maybe by tomorrow.
- Tonight.
- Well, I can't promise anything.
- Tonight.
I'll try.
The detective's name is Harry Lowes.
He obtained the warrant
on the testimony of an informant.
The suspects were arrested
early in the morning...
apparently in the act of making
a pornographic film involving children.
There is a lot of physical evidence
linking them to the murdered children...
including film on them and some clothing.
One of the three is willing to testify
against the others if he's granted immunity.
It looks... It looks very solid.
Well, will somebody say something
for Christ's sakes?
How do we know for sure these men are guilty?
Well, what does it matter?
There's certainly more than
a reasonable doubt about Monk and Cooms.
What is it? There's something
everybody else knows that I don't.
You keep looking at me
like I'm speaking some kind of foreign language.
What exactly do you want us to do?
What do I... What do I want?
Am I the crazy person in this room?
We have to do something about Monk
and Cooms, and we have to do it now.
- That's what I want!
- It's not as simple as that.
I think the phrase everyone is searching for is,
"We can't. "
Don't look at me like someone
just took your crayons away. We can't.
I wish we could.
Do you understand
how risky this whole business is?
Do you know how vulnerable we are?
Do you?
Machinery has been set in motion
that simply can't be stopped.
We don't know who the person is.
We can't.
And he can't know who we are.
I know this is not what you want to hear.
Hell, it's not what we want, either.
- We're in a corner. There is nothing we can do.
- That's not good enough.
We've tried to provide as many safeguards
against something like this as possible.
There's always a risk of mistake. We have to
weigh that risk against what we have all...
dedicated ourselves to accomplish.
- We think it's worth it.
- These guys are not guilty.
It's not worth it. Nothing is worth it!
Who the hell do you think you are...
coming on like the captain
of the high school debating team?
"It's better that 10 guilty men go free...
rather than one innocent man
go to the gas chamber. "
That's wonderful!
You'll win trophies with that one.
The only trouble is
it doesn't work out that way.
The 10 guilty men who go free
will, in all probability, kill again.
And so what you have then is at least
10 more innocent people who will be killed.
You start multiplying the numbers
and you tell me what you come up with.
- This is insanity.
- Where is it written that you're the only one with a conscience?
Who gave you the crusade franchise?
Tell me that.
We're all here because we're terrified about
what's happening in the big real world out there.
We're taking the risks.
We don't like it any more than you do.
We're sick about this, just like you.
We have families, just like you.
We eat cereal for breakfast, just like you.
We all agreed to sit at this table
and be part of what goes on here...
including the pain that it brings.
You're like some bomber pilot...
who will wear the leather jacket
and drop the bombs...
as long as he doesn't
have to see where they hit.
Well, that's too goddamn bad.
We cannot let this happen.
There is nothing we can do.
Well, I don't have the answers...
and I certainly don't know how
all the pieces fit together.
But there's clearly something wrong here.
And I'm responsible for it
and I'm not gonna let this happen.
I'm sorry. It's out of our hands.
- It's not out of mine.
- Don't talk foolish.
Where are you going?
I can't help feeling we've become them.
- Detective Lowes?
- That's me.
- Can I talk to you for a minute?
- Sit down.
- Thank you.
- Want a beer?
Uh, no. I'd like to ask you
a couple of questions...
about the arrest of these child murderers.
Well, I didn't figure you came down here
to watch people eat.
- Is it a good arrest?
- Are you a reporter?
You wanna play hot and cold? Okay.
You don't look like
you're from Internal Affairs.
- Your clothes look too good.
- Does it really matter?
You're damn right it does.
Are you kidding me?
Oh. You're the damn judge.
- You're Hardin.
- Detective, is it a good arrest?
What are you up to?
Yes, it's good.
We've got a lot of physical evidence.
Plus, we've got a full confession
from one of them. They did it.
It takes a certain kind of species
to do what they did.
- I know.
- You do?
Well, would you mind
not letting them go for a change?
I mean, it gets to be a real pain after a while.
They kill people, I chase them and you
let them right back on the street again.
I got to admit it keeps a lot of us employed,
but it gets to be a pain after a while.
So what about the other guys,
Monk and Cooms?
I mean, you were sure they were guilty
when they were released.
- Oh, that's cute.
- You were sure.
Yeah, I was.
Listen, you're dealing with a plodder here.
I have no family. God knows I'm not
good-looking enough to have pretty women.
I'm never anxious to get back
to that apartment I live in on Highland.
So I happen to stick with something
until I get an answer.
Not because I think I'm a hot shit,
but because I got nothing else better to do.
Listen, I wanted those two guys.
I thought they did it. I wanted to bust 'em.
Then it turns out that some other lice crawls
out from under a rock...
and they prove to be the guilty ones.
But those first two, I would have got 'em.
It might have taken a little while,
but, uh, I would have got 'em.
Otherwise, it didn't make much difference.
That's all I got is time.
That's the advantage of a plodder.
We're not fast. We're just persistent.
Now you mind telling me
what the hell you're doing down here?
I, uh, I really don't know.
I just I want to get some information
on Monk and Cooms.
- Why?
- For myself.
You know, um, after about three beers,
I start to get pissed.
And I'm way past the fourth one.
So you won't mind,
Your Honor, if I tell you...
that you happen to be lying
through your judicial teeth.
Something is happening,
you're not telling me what it is.
- Nothing. Believe me.
- Why?
Because I need you to.
Okay. We'll do it your way.
- What do you want to know?
- Where are they?
There are lots of places. They don't have
any regular apartment or anything like that.
They seem to hang around,
uh, an abandoned warehouse downtown.
Uh, I don't know
what they're doing up there...
- and, to tell you truth, I- I
don't want to know. - Where downtown?
- On Spring Street. You mean a specific address?
- Yes.
2420. An old abandoned building.
- I mean, you're not planning on... on visiting them, are you?
- No.
Oh, of course not.
Well, I thank you for your time
and your patience.
- I appreciate it.
- Like I said, that's all I got is time.
Hey, kiddo! Past your bedtime.
- What do you want?
- I'm looking for you.
Why the hell else would anybody be here
at this hour of the night?
Well, here I am.
I'm worried about you.
I wanna know what you're gonna do.
I'm not sure yet.
But I gotta do something. You know that.
Well, I'm sure you think you
have to dust off your armor...
and go clanking off to the Crusades.
I also know it's not quite as simple as that.
- Do you realize what you're risking?
- You tell me.
You might just expose everything
and everybody along with it.
Well, I'll try not to do that.
Oh, you're mighty quick to
risk everyone else's future, I must say.
That's very brave of you.
You know,
you're not exactly squeaky clean yourself.
I mean, you're in this
as deep as the rest of us.
- It's getting late.
- What about what we've all been trying to do?
What we have been doing?
Is this worth throwing it all away?
So it's not your ass you're worried about,
it's your cause?
There's a lot of nobility in this room.
Must be the paneling.
I'm talking about all of us,
our lives and our work...
as opposed to two guys, who, if they're
not guilty of this one particular crime...
are certainly guilty
of God knows how many others.
The issue here is this one particular crime,
and they're not guilty of it.
Do you think the group
is just gonna sit around...
let you blow this whole thing
wide open, do you?
They can't.
They can't.
What about you?
I'm easy to find. I'm in the book.
Don't do it, kiddo.
Seventeen David,
officer needs help vicinity of Fifth and Grand.
Report your location, please.
Seventeen David's on Sixth Street.
I'm on my way.
Roger, 17 David.
What the fuck you doing here, man?
Hmm? Hmm?
The man's asking you a question.
Who sent you here?
Nobody sent me here.
I want to talk to you, that's all.
- He's trying to rip us off.
- Trying to what?
Oh, you made a big mistake, man.
Listen! Listen to me! Just listen! Listen.
If I was trying to rip you off,
would I come here alone, huh?
- Unarmed?
- Bring him in the light.
Come on.
You look familiar.
Hey, hey. You trying to trick us? Hmm?
- Hmm?
- Shit. He's our judge, man.
We got ourselves a fucking judge.
I want to talk to you. That's all.
I don't care what you're doin'.
It's none of my business.
I want you to leave here.
You got to get out now.
- What?
- I'm gonna kick his ass.
No, listen to me! Just listen to me, will you?
For Christ's sakes...
- I'm trying to protect you.
- Protect us?
You're the one who needs protecting, my man!
Somebody's trying to kill you!
Who's trying to kill us?
I don't know.
Wh-What's it to you if someone's after us?
Tell me that, hmm?
- It's because he likes us, right?
- Ohh!
You like us?
He likes us.
Look, you. We want some answers.
You sneak in here, a judge, man.
You tell us some people are trying to kill us.
Then you say you don't know who it is, and you
won't say why you give a shit in the first place.
Now I gotta tell you,
this man is not someone you should get mad.
I mean it.
He'd as soon as kill you as eat a hamburger.
So you come up with the answers,
and you come up with 'em now!
I don't know who's after you.
Really, I don't.
But somebody is
and I'm just trying to warn you.
It doesn't matter why.
- He's jiving us, man.
- I think he is.
You got a P.C.P. Lab.
You're not gonna shoot that gun.
If I drop this in here, it's all over.
You tell him...
You tell him to put the gun down.
Put it down.
Somebody is trying to kill you.
If you'd listen to me and get out ofhere...
you'll find out the reasons...
'cause I'm... I'm gonna expose all-all of it.
I'm doing this for me, n-not for you.
I'm scared shitless, all right?
So you just...
- You just calm down.
- We can talk.
- You calm down!
- You just be... just be cool, okay, Judge?
Think about it.
Drop it.!
Warren Laws. Age: 22.
Seven priors, one felony conviction.
Assault with a deadly weapon,
August 28, 1979. Served two years.
December 8, 1981, at 4:00 a.m...
an all-night supermarket was held up.
The cashier told the gunman
that she did not have any cash on hand.
...on the grounds that
transporting the suspect to the witnesses...
was a violation ofhis rights
against unreasonable search and seizure.
Laws was released. Are there any questions?
I would like a verdict.