Suspect (1987) Movie Script

- Miss Quinn.
- Justice Lowell.
I hope you haven't
been waiting too long.
Please come in.
- You have plans for the holidays?
- I'm staying in the city.
Spending Christmas with some friends.
I never know what to get people.
My wife would buy our gifts.
She always got just the right thing.
I hope this is appropriate.
Use it well.
Thank you, I will.
- Have a good Christmas.
- And you too.
Would you like
your car brought around?
Not just yet, Marie.
I want to clear my desk.
You know, Abraham Lincoln used to
hunt wild turkey down our roads.
You can still bag one there
for Christmas dinner.
Okay, polar bears! Let's go!
Come on, Mike. It's not that cold.
Bill, we've got something here.
UP here!
And now back to our main story.
Justice Lowell is said to have been
despondent over failing health.
The president, speaking this morning
at a memorial service, -
- called the Justice one of our
finest, most eloquent jurists.
A man dedicated to law and truth.
Funeral services will be held
this afternoon.
You pigs! That was my mother's!
- What is she doing?
- Out of the way!
From Your Honor's lock-up list:
Number fifteen,
United States vs Daniel Adams.
- Hi, Jack.
- Hi, Kath.
- Get my message?
- Yeah. You okay?
Yes, I'm fine.
Make him take a recess.
We'll blow smoke up his judicial ass.
Did I miss anything?
- Your assault with intent skipped.
- He promised me he wouldn't.
I have a feeling we'll see him
in March with a nice Florida tan.
Here's today's top forty.
- Busy night.
- 102 felony arrests.
Some kind of a record for Monday.
There must be something in the air.
- The Christmas spirit.
- Oh, yeah.
Get Carl Wayne Anderson.
Next on the list
is number seventeen:
United States
vs Carl Wayne Anderson.
Is his attorney present?
Your Honor, Mr. Anderson has refused
to speak with anyone at all.
You are accused of first degree murder.
Do you understand that?
Do you know where you are?
As I am unable to determine
whether Mr. Anderson is competent, -
- I will postpone presentment
pending psychiatric evaluation.
- Does the man have means of support?
- He's indigent, Your Honor.
The court, then,
will appoint new counsel.
Miss Riley with the Public Defenders'
Office will represent Mr. Anderson.
I'm due for vacation.
I haven't had a vacation in a year.
Miss Riley, please accompany
Mr. Anderson and interview him.
Yes, Your Honor.
What's next?
I'm Kathleen Riley,
with the Public Defenders' Office.
I'd like to ask you a few questions.
You're being charged with murder.
Could you tell me where you were
around midnight, December 18th?
Where were you at midnight,
December 18th?
I'm your lawyer.
Anything you tell me is confidential.
If you don't talk to me,
I can't help you.
I guess this is a waste of time.
Do you understand
what's happening to you?
Jim, you wanna let me out of here?
Can't they read?
Don't you own a watch?
We're in trouble.
We're in deep shit.
Support's drying up like an old whore.
It's too close to call.
- Did Comisky declare yet?
- She's still on the fence.
- Did she go in?
- Yep.
- Here's Eddie.
- Congressman Newton. Good to see you.
What about the whip? He said he'd never
turn his back on the American farmer.
What else is new? He got a sudden
backache. He's sitting out the vote.
Told his side of the aisle
to vote their conscience.
That'd be a first.
- What do you think, Grace?
- I can't help you, Eddie.
Just wanted to see
which way the wind was blowing.
- That's it?
- Yeah. I respect you.
I won't insult you with promises.
You gotta vote your conscience.
When you get humble, I get nervous.
I feel I'm being set up.
Nothing up my sleeve.
You did what you could. I'm in
a tight spot. My district's blue-collar.
- They don't like government subsidies.
- But I'm on their side.
I come from a farm family myself,
of dirty collars.
People expect milk on their table.
And if the price isn't right, -
- the dairy farmers dump it
in the river. It's a terrible waste.
Grace. Grace.
When you were in trouble
When you needed support
on the car company bailout, -
- I ran up the flag for you.
I pulled a lot of votes.
That's life, Eddie.
No, Grace, that's politics.
Life's what everybody else does.
All right, look.
Your district has a big inner-city
lunch program, right?
We'll donate a year's worth of milk.
No point in it going down the river.
I don't believe that you're trying
to bribe me with milk for babies.
Grace, it's a good bill.
Just give me some time
to shore up some support.
Have the vote postponed
till after the holidays.
Why did you wait so long
to come to me?
- It slipped my mind.
- Nothing slips your mind.
"Life's what everybody else does. "
You're dangerous.
I'll get it postponed.
But that squares us.
Don't ask me for my vote.
It's not for sale.
- What happened?
- He beat up an officer last night.
Like to put his eye out.
That's the third time in two months.
Keep going like this, he'll wake up
one morning and find himself hung.
I'll pretend I didn't hear that.
Did a doctor see him?
Yeah, he came and went.
He wouldn't let him touch him.
- Take the cuffs off.
- The chief told me not to.
Just take the cuffs off.
I'll be responsible.
All right.
You're wearing the suit.
- They put animals to sleep, you know.
- But they miss some sometimes.
Are you trying to commit suicide?
If you are, I've got better things
to do with my time.
Oh Jesus.
Get a doctor.
I couldn't read
your writing in some places.
I think I got most of it, -
- but I have to ask you
some more questions.
Have you told me everything?
Have you told me everything?
Piece of cake.
Maybe it won't bother a jury that your
fingerprints were all over her body.
And, possibly, they won't mind
that you carried a big knife.
They'll probably understand.
She was dead anyway. Why not rob her?
And maybe I'll play quarterback
for the Redskins next season.
Tell me that you did it.
I'll ask the judge for mercy
and save us both a headache.
"Michael was there -
before me. "
Michael. Michael who?
And eyes?
What color were his eyes? Brown.
All right. And his hair?
Dark hair.
And how tall was Michael?
He had a tattoo on his hand?
Is there anything more
about Michael?
Can you remember anything more?
Doctor's here. Come on.
Good evening, Louis, Ansel.
I hear you're up for an appointment
to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Yes, I've heard those rumors.
- Don't bullshit a bullshitter.
They're more than rumors.
When's the announcement?
The president will make his choice known
by the end of the month.
That reminds me.
I'm scheduled to hear the Winslow trial.
It's gotta drag on into spring.
Would you consider making a change?
I'd like to clear my docket
in case the appointment comes through.
You're scheduled for -
- United States vs Anderson.
It looks pro forma.
Two weeks at the outside.
It'd make my life a lot simpler.
As a lifelong Democrat, I should do
my best to delay your appointment.
But, in the spirit of bipartisanship,
I don't have any problem with a change.
Excuse me, my prostate's shot.
Sitting on my ass too many years.
- Want a ride?
- No, thanks.
- Morty?
- Yeah?
I need some investigative help.
I can't do this one by myself.
We're a bit short-handed right now.
I know, but I've gotta find
a material witness.
Could this witness be a figment
of your client's imagination?
I don't know.
- Do you want a beer?
- Yeah, please.
- You think you could live without him?
- Yes, but my client can't.
I'll see if I can find you some money
for a private investigator.
- What if a witness doesn't materialize?
- Then it's a basic dog-and-pony show.
Circumstantial evidence.
We'll be dead in a week.
- Who's prosecuting?
- Some guy named Charlie Stella.
He's real hot shit in Baltimore. Wants
to be a senator after he's president.
Listen, Kath
Prosecution owes me a few.
How would you feel about
plea-bargaining to cut your losses?
My client has nothing to lose.
Motion to dismiss for
failure to properly Mirandize, -
for illegal search and seizure,-
- for insufficient evidence.
It's a waste of paper.
I don't
I don't know what I'm doing any more.
I don't have a life.
Last time I went to the movies
was a year ago.
The only time I listen to music
is in my car. I don't date.
I'd like to have a child,
but I don't even have a boyfriend.
I spend all my time
with murderers and rapists.
- And I actually like them.
- Well, it grows on you.
I don't think I can do it any more.
You know, I'm tired.
I'm really tired.
I've been thinking about
private practice.
If I'm gonna go crazy,
I might as well get paid for it.
You have stayed around
longer than most.
Why do you stay?
I don't know.
Same thing as you, I guess.
For the sake of the one poor bastard
who didn't do it.
Plus I look fat
in a three-piece suit.
You? Never.
- Are you coming?
- No, I've gotta finish.
All righty. Thanks for the beer.
Excuse me,
where do I report for jury duty?
Third floor.
- I need to be excused. Who do I talk to?
- Jurors' Excuse Officer.
Everybody's got a title.
What's a good excuse?
- Ever been called before?
- Last year. I was too busy to serve.
Second time you're called,
you gotta serve. It's the law.
I'm sure
something can be worked out.
I don't like your chances.
- Dennis Kirkham?
- Here.
- Kathryn Conrad?
- Here.
Everett Bennett, private investigator.
I hear you're looking for somebody.
You. Either be seated
in the gallery or leave now.
- This isn't a bus station, Miss Riley.
- I'm sorry, Your Honor.
- Lee Ron Davis?
- Here.
- Shelley Boylen?
- Here.
- Doris McCloud?
- Here.
Ladies and gentlemen.
As the defendant, Mr. Anderson,
has a hearing and speech impairment, -
- the court has provided him
with assistance.
As a juror, you will be asked
to disregard this disability -
- unless it is shown to have
a direct bearing on the case.
Mr. Stella? Whenever you're ready.
Thank you, Your Honor.
Good morning.
I'm Charlie Stella,
an assistant United States attorney.
I'll be asking some questions
about your backgrounds -
- which may reflect on your ability
to sit as fair and impartial jurors.
Mr. Davis, as a loan officer, -
- is it your responsibility
to handle foreclosures?
It's part of my job.
How do you feel about that? It must be
hard, putting people out of their homes.
It doesn't trouble me. A person
should be responsible for his debts.
Thank you very much for coming.
You're excused.
How do you feel about
capital punishment, Mr. Sanger?
Objection. Mr. Stella knows that
capital punishment isn't an option.
Mr. Sanger's opinion isn't germane.
I'll determine what's germane.
It's misleading. My client is not
facing the death penalty, -
- much less has he been convicted of
any crime. We resent the implication.
Don't bring a rope
unless you intend to use it.
Would Your Honor please instruct
the prospective jurors?
The death penalty is not an option
in the District of Columbia.
Although some of us feel
it should be.
We thank Your Honor
for his consideration.
Will you please answer, Mr. Sanger?
- The punishment should fit the crime.
- Thank you, Mr. Sanger.
Good morning, Mr. Sanger.
You've stated that you are
a congressional adviser.
Is that another word for lobbyist?
That's sort of like calling
a lawyer a mouthpiece, isn't it?
All right. Who are you
congressional adviser for?
Agribusiness, mostly.
The United Milk Producers.
Lobbyists are very persuasive people.
They could sell you anything.
I don't know.
It's un-American not to like milk.
- I'm allergic to milk.
- I'm sorry.
- Are you from Washington?
- No, Wisconsin.
And what brought you here?
I was a legislative aide for
my home senator, Gaylord Nelson.
- I was twenty-one
- Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Sanger. Do you have
faith in the American justice system?
It seems to work.
Do you believe a man is innocent
until proven guilty?
And you feel that the punishment
should fit the crime?
Would you turn around, Mr. Sanger?
Just turn around and face
the back of the courtroom, please.
Could you tell me
what color my hair is?
Does my hair look brown to you?
You asked me what color your hair was.
I thought you wanted the real color.
You're very observant.
But appearances can be deceiving.
And sometimes circumstances make
the truth almost impossible to find.
As jurors you will be asked
to keep an open mind,-
- to put aside your assumptions
and to look for and find that truth.
- What if I'd said black?
- I ask the questions here.
- How many challenges do I have left?
- One.
- Thank you for coming, Mr. Sanger.
- Does that mean I'm excused?
No, it doesn't.
What are you? Nobody has jury duty.
Next you're gonna tell me you vote.
Good evening, Mr. Sanger.
Mr. Everett.
- Hello, Marilyn.
- How's things, Eddie?
- What do you want to drink?
- Vodka martini, three olives.
Are you working?
The Deputy Attorney General's office.
Paul Gray. Type much?
The job doesn't require much typing.
Anyway, it's temporary.
Paul wants to groom me for management.
I wish I had a dollar
for every promise.
Just once, I wish someone would
say to me, "I can't help you out. "
- The boy wonder.
- Hi, Paul.
Let's catch up sometime.
Come on.
- How's it look, Eddie?
- It's down to the wire, sir.
- Call me if I can do anything.
- Thank you very much.
Fuck him. I call him three times
and he never returns my call.
There's Comisky.
Why don't you take another run at her?
- Grace.
- Hello, Eddie.
Are you alone?
I stayed in the office late.
Just came to catch my breath. I'm beat.
I've been up and down the hill all
day, looking for votes. Do you mind?
- Do you want a drink?
- No, it wouldn't have any effect.
I've been nursing drinks and
listening to my own voice since five.
I know the feeling.
There's a vote coming up
on a bill that I co-sponsored.
I have a knot in my stomach like a fist.
Closer the vote, tighter the fist.
Grabs me a little lower.
How close is the vote?
Well, if everything falls right,
we're still a handful short.
I never noticed that. Your eyes
are sometimes blue, sometimes green.
You're still a handful short.
- I told you, my vote's not for sale.
- I can't help myself, Grace.
But it's a lovely thought.
Nobody has mentioned my eyes
in a long time.
- There's another stop.
- How much do I owe you?
- Seven fifty.
- Here. Keep the change.
Michael, you are sewed.
His face was completely rearranged
and he spent the night in surgery.
When the police arrived,
the assailant had fled.
I need a continuance until this
Michael John Guthridge is caught.
I see no need for a continuance.
The subject was sewed a subpoena.
He's required to appear.
You've got to be joking.
There's not a chance in hell
that this man will appear.
I'm sorry, Your Honor.
I can sympathize with you.
I was a trial attorney myself.
At the mercy of witnesses.
But if we waited for every witness,
the system would grind to a halt.
It could take months to locate him.
And there's no guarantee he'll testify
or have anything to testify about.
In fairness to my client I can't present
a complete defense without this witness.
I'm sorry. Your request
for a continuance is denied.
Miss Riley?
Do not contaminate the process with
comments about this witness in court.
How can I possibly
contaminate this process?
Opening statements, Mr. Stella?
Elizabeth Rose Quinn.
She was twenty-four.
A clerk typist
at the Justice Department.
She made 17,000 dollars a year.
She was single.
She liked to play tennis.
She was a member of
the First Baptist Church in Arlington.
She wasn't very important.
Especially in a city that's full
of so many important people.
She was just a decent,
hard-working citizen.
And on the night of December 18th,
a week before Christmas, -
- Carl Wayne Anderson,
in cold blood,-
cut her throat.
I have prosecuted 43 murder cases.
It's always a horror, always senseless.
But of all those murder cases -
- this is the most horrible,
the most senseless, the most indefensible.
For nine dollars.
Nine dollars.
Nine dollars. That's all she had.
Is this what we've become?
Is the value of human life so cheap?
Elizabeth worked late that night.
It was cold. She was tired
and anxious to get home.
She took the bus to the parking lot
where her car was.
That's as far as she got.
We will show that Anderson had been
in that parking lot, breaking into cars.
He had been sleeping
in Elizabeth's car.
And a parking-lot attendant
had chased him away.
But he had come back.
And when he saw Elizabeth
alone and defenseless, -
- he beat her, dragged her down
to the river and killed her.
This isn't the eleven o'clock news.
We can't just shake our heads,
go to bed and forget about it.
We have a responsibility
to Elizabeth Rose Quinn.
She is, after all, too important.
Miss Riley?
Carl Wayne Anderson is not a decent,
hard-working citizen.
He is not a shining example
of the American dream.
Carl Anderson is
the American nightmare.
He's one of the nameless,
faceless derelicts -
- that wander through the streets
of our country by the thousands.
We step over them in doorways.
We cross the street -
- in order to avoid having to
come in contact with one of them.
We look at them with a mixture
of pity, contempt and fear.
And we choose not to see that
under their ragged, filthy clothes -
- is a frightened, lost human being,
just like you and me.
Carl Anderson was a soldier in Vietnam.
Not a hero, just a dog soldier -
- who believed in
and fought for his country.
And when he tried to regain his -
- identity and self-respect
in a veterans hospital,-
- he contracted spinal meningitis,
became deaf, -
- and suffered
a traumatic speech loss.
Carl Anderson lived in a world
where nine dollars -
- could mean the difference between
eating and starving to death.
They weren't supposed to vote
until next week.
They were ready to adjourn.
The leadership called for the vote.
- What's the count?
- The right yes puts us over the top.
No comment.
You lucked out. Her chairman must
have persuaded Comisky to vote yes.
- That must have been it, Congressman.
- Give me a call.
Nice job, Eddie.
- Could you describe what you found?
- She had been attacked from behind.
Her throat cut laterally across
the larynx and the carotid artery -
from left to right.
- What kind of instrument caused this?
- A very thin, straight blade.
A razor. A knife.
I'm showing you what's been marked as
government exhibit one.
Have you seen this knife before?
Yes. I was asked to do
a forensic examination of it.
And what were your conclusions?
The width and sharpness of the blade
were consistent with the wound.
- I move exhibit one in evidence.
- Without objection.
Your witness.
Before Miss Riley cross-examines,
we'll take a fifteen minute recess.
You're excused, Doctor.
Excuse me, Your Honor. May I have
another look at that photograph?
Objection. This has become
ghoulish beyond purpose.
The juror is entitled to a thorough
examination of the evidence. Overruled.
Thank you.
The jury is not to discuss
this case with anyone.
Okay, let's go.
Miss Riley? There was a call for you.
He didn't leave a name, only a number.
Okay. Thanks.
- Hello?
- This is Kathleen Riley.
Do you know if your client
is right- or left-handed?
Excuse me?
Do you know if Carl is
right- or left-handed?
Who is this?
- I noticed something. Did you?
- I said, who is this?
Dr Koleena, you examined
Carl Anderson's knife, didn't you?
- Yes, I did.
- What did you find?
Some rust, a partial hair follicle
and microscopic traces of human tissue.
And did you compare the tissue taken off
of his knife with Elizabeth Quinn's?
- Yes.
- And what were your findings?
They were inconclusive.
- Could you please speak up?
- They weren't conclusive.
They weren't conclusive.
So what you're saying is that -
- you have no direct evidence
that Carl Anderson's knife -
- was used to murder
Elizabeth Rose Quinn.
No bone fragments, no tissue samples,
no traces of her blood.
The knife had recently
been wiped clean.
Didn't you just say you found rust and
a hair follicle and some tissue on it?
- So was it wiped clean or wasn't it?
- It's more complicated than that.
No, it's not more complicated.
It was either cleaned or it wasn't.
Objection. Miss Riley is making this
sound like a cooking class.
Excuse me?
Objection sustained. Dispense with
your characterizations, Mr. Stella.
My apologies to the court
and to counsel.
Thank you, but I don't want
the jury left with the impression -
- that Mr. Anderson cleaned his knife
to hide incriminating evidence.
Objection sustained.
- Are you through with the witness?
- Yes, Your Honor, I am.
Doctor, you're excused.
- Your Honor, one more question.
- Make up your mind, Miss Riley.
You've said that
the wound was left to right.
Correct. The entry wound was left of
median, the exit wound right of median.
- Entrance here, exit here?
- That's correct.
- Could you step down for a moment?
- Objection.
- What's the point of this?
- I need to make a clarification.
I'll overrule the objection.
Doctor, please step down.
Now, I'm right-handed, so -
- could I assume that it would be
natural for me to cut you this way?
And if I were left-handed,
that would be an unnatural motion?
Yes. You would cut right to left.
Thank you very much.
I have no further questions.
You're excused, Doctor.
- Carl?
- Objection, Your Honor!
One more stunt like that and I'll
slap you with a contempt citation.
Mr. Sanger,
don't ever do that again.
- Hey, wait a minute!
- I'm not allowed to talk to you.
- The least you could do is thank me.
- Thank you?
I should go to the judge
and have you thrown off this panel.
Nobody twisted your arm
I was just trying to help.
I didn't ask for your help.
Oh, well. You're not
the one on trial, Miss Riley.
I thought the whole idea was to find
the truth. I guess I was wrong.
Don't hustle me. Save that bullshit
for your friends up on Capitol Hill.
Well, we all know that you're just
brimming over with integrity.
Who the fuck are you
to preach to me about mine?
If you really want to help, leave me
alone. Jury tampering is a felony.
You haven't tampered with me. Yet.
And I don't intend to.
Well, you wanna win, don't you?
This is no game. A man's life is
at stake here. Of course I wanna win.
But I draw the line
at certain things.
Obviously you never draw the line.
I change it all the time.
Hey, I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
I thought you were allergic to milk.
I lied.
- Did he kill her?
- That's your problem.
We write 'em down every two hours
to see how long they've been here.
You'd be surprised how many people try
to beat you out of a couple of bucks.
That's a nine. You wrote an eight.
I mix 'em up sometimes
when I'm in a hurry, all right?
You say you've got
something to do with the trial?
I got me a subpoena. I'm supposed
to testify. You ain't no lawyer?
They should send a shitload of 'em
back to Beantown.
- It was slow that night.
- KBG 622.
There couldn't have been more than
ten, fifteen cars on the lot.
She was parked down on the end.
The white Honda?
The city's supposed to pick it up,
but they take their sweet-ass time.
So the bearded mother, the bum?
He'd been hanging around
most of the night.
I tell you, I got a case of trouble
with them people.
He's trying to find
a car that wasn't locked.
He went to sleep in that woman's car.
I ran his ratty ass out of there.
The bus dropped her off
a little after midnight.
I saw him hanging around again,-
- but it was too fucking cold
to go out and mess with him.
I remember thinking, it's kind of
strange she didn't drive right out.
But then my girl called -
- and I just forgot about her.
The bum iced her right around then.
- Did you see anybody else?
- Nobody to speak of.
We get cars in and out of here
all the time. And I slept some.
They don't pay me enough to freeze
my Jones off and stay awake too.
The list. The one with
the license-plate numbers on it?
The ones that night.
Do you have that?
Yeah, I got a copy if you want it.
You might as well keep it.
I don't know why they save this bull.
Oh shit.
How long are you gonna be?
Excuse me, ma'am?
Where did you get that?
Over there.
- Could I ask you when you found it?
- For Christmas.
- Would you sell it?
- It isn't for sale.
- I'll trade for it.
- What do you want?
Your shoes.
My shoes?
And your socks.
Thank you.
- I have to talk to you.
- I can't hear you.
I'll meet you at
the Federal Triangle Station.
I'll meet you in five minutes.
Be there.
Mr. Sanger,
I told you to stay away from me.
What are you doing here?
If I had said it was me,
you wouldn't have come, would you?
Wait just a minute, all right?
A bag lady found this
where Elizabeth was killed.
- Are you a detective now?
- I'm an amateur, I know.
But look at it. The president's
seal and signature are on it.
You can buy this
at any gift store.
Not one of these. It's solid gold.
The president gives them out as gifts.
Senators, cabinet members, big donors.
Some lobbyists.
The river is filled with this kind
of garbage. What does it prove?
That's your problem, counselor.
Get some sleep, okay?
You look tired.
God is angry with the wicked.
Why did you send the black devil for me?
- Because Carl
- Carl has already been judged.
The mighty hand struck him deaf
and dumb. Only Jesus can take a soul.
I saw the angel of death.
I watched her die.
I saw her spirit leave her body.
She gave me a message
from the Almighty.
A key to the kingdom.
Dept. of Justice
The innocent shall know
the glory of heaven!
Stop it, asshole!
Oh God.
- This is probably gonna burn.
- Okay. All right.
God! Let me sit down.
If you feel you're gonna faint,
put your head between your knees.
- Will it leave a scar?
- I don't know. Could you sit still?
- It hurts, damn it.
- I'm sorry.
It shouldn't hurt that much.
Hold on, hold on.
- You got a piece of it right there.
- I know.
- It hurts, damn it!
- You're such a baby.
Yeah, yeah.
He got me, didn't he?
You're lucky that you had
your jacket and sweater on.
Yeah, I feel real lucky.
All right.
Maybe you're not as big an asshole
as I thought you were.
There, it's all better.
Good night.
I know that people have
no values today.
Psychiatrists sleep with their patients,
lawyers sleep with their clients.
Professors sleep with their students.
You know, I'm no angel.
But I'm having a really hard time
just pretending it's business as usual.
Don't make a scene.
- Are you trying to get me disbarred?
- Just listen to me.
The president gave away thirty pairs
of cufflinks as Christmas presents.
He gave a set to
Deputy Attorney General Paul Gray.
I know a girl in his office
and she told me -
- that he brought up a couple of girls
from clerical, working nights.
One of them was Elizabeth Quinn.
Are you saying that just because
she worked for him, he killed her?
- I need the cufflink.
- Fuck the cufflink.
What you're asking me to do
is absolutely illegal.
Will you let your client fry
because you wanna play by the rules?
No, I would do anything for him.
But I'm not gonna break the law.
All right.
If he did it,
I'm gonna vote guilty.
But if he's innocent,
I don't want that on my conscience.
Miss Riley,
I wanna see you in my chambers.
- Now?
- Now.
Have a seat, Miss Riley.
I saw you the other day.
I had the impression you were talking
with one of the jurors. Were you?
I'll have to take you at your word.
I'm disappointed in you, Miss Riley.
I had heard good things about you.
But your cross has been weak
and your behavior unprofessional.
Well, I'm frustrated
because I have no character witnesses -
- and I have no one to
corroborate my client's story.
And I have no material witness,
so I desperately need a continuance.
We've been through this already.
You know howl feel.
But, last night, Michael John Guthridge
contacted me. And I am convinced -
- that if he isn't the real suspect,
then he saw who is.
- You think he can identify the killer?
- Yes, I do.
Whenever defense is in trouble,
there's always a "real" suspect.
I would like to help you,-
- but I can't grant a continuance
just because your case is weak.
Your dedication is commendable,
but don't sacrifice your integrity.
Because I warn you, Miss Riley.
If I find any evidence of collusion,
- I'll have you disbarred
and charged with jury tampering.
Thank you very much for coming.
- Eddie Wonder.
- Have you a minute, sir?
"Sir"? You never showed me
respect when I was on the hill.
You weren't a "sir" then.
Good afternoon, Mr. Gray.
From where I sit,
you have to be very discreet.
Come on, Paul, discretion
was never your best position.
I hear you've taken up my slack.
You know what they say.
You can't measure a live snake.
A friend of mine
was at a party the other night.
He jogs down by the Potomac
He found this.
I remember you wearing
a pair of them at a reception.
I thought maybe
you weren't discreet enough.
I didn't want it
to come back to haunt you.
I haven't lost one that I know of,
but I appreciate your concern.
Whoever did lose it
might not want it to be found.
Asking people about it
isn't such a bright idea, Eddie.
It's a good way to make enemies.
And this is a bad place to have enemies.
You were the one who told me
that everybody's your enemy.
It just isn't very smart
to go looking for 'em.
Maybe you're right.
Eddie, let's see that again.
I'll take a look at home.
Maybe it is mine.
- You don't need it, do you?
- What am I gonna do with it?
Detective Purcell,
you've already stated -
- that homicides are usually committed
by the most obvious suspect.
That's the way it usually falls.
And we will agree
with your logical assumption -
- that Mr. Anderson was
the most obvious suspect.
With the evidence and my experience
it was more than just an assumption.
Your experience is impressive indeed,
Detective Purcell.
But isn't it true,
in the American justice system, -
- that the police do not determine
the guilt or innocence of a man?
Yes, that's true.
And did you know, from the
Justice Department's own research, -
- at least 343 innocent people
have been convicted of capital crimes?
25 have been executed -
- and later found to be innocent.
They were obvious suspects too.
That's enough of that.
This is a cross-examination,
not an indictment of the justice system.
I am only trying to show
that the police are not infallible.
Counselor, approach the bench.
The jury will deal with the facts of
the case, not the defense's rhetoric.
Sir, would you step down, please?
Argue the merits of the case,
or I excuse the witness.
Do you understand?
What was that about a rope?
Detective, would you say we have
an abnormal amount of homeless?
Yes, I would.
I see them across from the White House
in Lafayette Square.
We've cleared most of 'em out
It just doesn't look good.
- Anywhere else?
- Yes, Union Station.
- We have a real problem there.
- Objection.
Where is the defense
going with this?
I'll let it continue. I'm interested
in seeing where she's going myself.
Thank you, Your Honor.
Now, you said Union Station.
When I take the train, I never
see any homeless people there.
You really have to look.
We've cleared most of 'em out.
So now they use
the old Railway Express building.
I'm looking for somebody.
Man, who do you want?
I'm looking for a man
He's got a tattoo on his hand.
A cross. It says "Jesus the Savior. "
You know who I'm talking about?
What's the matter?
I've asked for a delay
in the start of the proceedings.
A man found murdered
at Union Station this morning -
- has been identified as
Michael John Guthridge.
Well, Your Honor then I would
like to ask for a continuance -
- until the police can ascertain
if his murder is related to this case.
I'm inclined to agree with you.
I don't think a decision should be made
until more information is available.
I would propose we press on.
I want to give this
proper consideration.
We'll continue. I'll make my decision
known by the end of the day.
Bring in the defendant.
Call the jury.
Carl, don't!
I'm sorry, Your Honor
The defendant will remain handcuffed
during the rest of the proceedings.
- Please don't do this to me.
- Your client has done it for you.
Miss Riley,
call your first witness.
We call Dr Alan Alpert
to the stand.
Call Dr Alan Alpert.
Raise your right hand, please.
Do you swear to tell the whole truth
and nothing but the truth?
- I do.
- You may be seated.
Dr Alpert, you are a professor
of sociology, is that correct?
- What is your field of expertise?
- Transient behavior.
Excuse me, counselor.
The president has asked me
to come to the White House.
This court is adjourned
until tomorrow morning at 9.30.
Your Honor.
What about my continuance?
A juror must have left this glove.
This is where she worked.
Elizabeth Quinn's section was putting
case transcripts on computer discs.
Hey! What are you doing
on this floor?
Fourteen is secure.
I thought you could use some help.
I've already done it.
Get up to the sixteenth floor.
What did you expect?
Something was in there.
And Elizabeth Quinn found it.
And I'll find it if I have to read
through every goddamn case in 1968.
- How many cases?
- Over a hundred.
Paul Gray started out as
a federal prosecutor.
- Did he ever work here?
- I don't know.
All right, just hold on.
Morty said that Paul Gray
prosecuted here in the late sixties.
So tomorrow we go through
the cases he prosecuted first.
- Can you get home from here?
- Yeah, I just take the metro.
- I'm the other way.
- All right.
Never mind.
I've read eight cases that
Paul Gray prosecuted. Nothing unusual.
Eddie, Supreme Court Justice Lowell
was presiding judge on two of them.
When did he kill himself?
December, before Christmas.
What's the connection?
See if you can find me 287.
What are you doing here?
I had no place to go.
I had a friend of mine
check out those license numbers.
Nothing, just names.
413927: Spencer Lewis.
CAN 412: Andrea Duncan.
That's a Maryland plate.
- I know 'em all by heart.
- I don't care.
- What do you mean?
- I'm tired and I don't care.
Well, fuck you too. Good night.
I don't deserve this.
I don't owe you
or anybody anything.
I'm busting my ass for some creep
who's probably guilty.
It's not that complicated.
He needed the money,
so he killed a woman.
- What about Michael's murder?
- Another sick bastard.
- What about the files?
- It's all bullshit!
I'm tired, okay?
I want you to go. Now.
Good night.
Ladies and gentlemen,
it's my responsibility to ensure -
- that these proceedings maintain
the highest standards of integrity.
There is the possibility that
these standards are being compromised.
To ensure this doesn't happen, -
- I will sequester the jury
for the remainder of this trial.
I remind you of your solemn oath
to remain impartial,-
to weigh the evidence, -
- and independently to render
a verdict of your conscience.
You will be made
as comfortable as possible, -
- and I thank you
for your perseverance.
Counsel, I expect you both to be
models of propriety in this proceeding.
The defense calls
Carl Wayne Anderson.
Remove Mr. Anderson's handcuffs.
Mr. Anderson's hands can be free
while he testifies.
Thank you, Your Honor.
Please raise your right hand.
Do you swear to tell the whole truth
and nothing but the truth?
For the record,
the witness indicated his assent.
You may be seated.
Please state your full name
and address.
"Carl -
Wayne -
Anderson. "
Your address?
"None. "
- We need a home address, Your Honor.
- Make it in care of me.
Without objection.
Mr. Anderson
Have you ever killed anyone?
- "Yes. "
- Why?
- "I'm not sure "
- You're not sure why?
"I was in Vietnam. I was nineteen. "
So you were a soldier. It was your job
to kill. You didn't need a reason.
Do you think you needed a reason?
"Yes. "
In fact, it upset you so much
that you had a breakdown.
You were discharged from the army
and spent six years in a hospital.
All because you were a good soldier
who needed a reason to kill.
Carl, what were your dreams?
When you were young,
what did you want to be?
"A carpenter.
And build my own house. "
Were you ever in love?
"I loved Caroline. "
Who was Caroline?
"My wife. "
Did you and Caroline
plan to have children?
- "We talked about it. "
- And what happened?
- "We were divorced. "
- Why?
"After the sickness,
I had nothing left -
to offer her. "
It's been rough.
You've had your share of problems.
You've been kicked around pretty good.
Are we supposed to
feel sorry for you?
Plenty of people have problems.
Plenty of people get kicked around.
You know the difference
between you and them?
They still have their dignity.
They don't sleep in the gutter
or eat out of garbage cans.
They don't urinate
on people's lawns.
They shower and change their clothes.
They don't feel sorry for themselves.
They get married, they have children.
They take responsibility.
They don't sleep in other people's cars
or steal nine dollars from anyone!
Did you kill Elizabeth Rose Quinn?
Your witness.
That was a wonderful performance.
The man shouldn't be on trial,
he should be given a medal.
You were discharged from the army
for psychiatric reasons?
"Yes. "
Did you beat an officer with a shovel
because he asked you to dig a trench?
- "Yes. "
- Violence seems to follow you around.
- Objection, Your Honor.
- Sustained.
Were you arrested in 1978
for assaulting a congressional aide?
"Yes. "
And were you in jail for six months
for beating a man?
"He stole my shoes. "
Did you punch your attorney
in the face
- Objection! That's privileged.
- I'll withdraw the question.
You were in the parking lot on K Street
the night of December 18th?
"Yes. "
And you did break into
Elizabeth Quinn's car?
- "It was cold. "
- Just yes or no, please.
- Your counsel has explained enough.
- Objection, Your Honor.
Could we proceed?
Did the parking-lot attendant
throw you off the lot?
"Yes. "
But you came back
just before midnight?
"Yes. "
And you attacked Elizabeth Quinn
and dragged her down to the river?
"Nu. -
You were at the Potomac River
after midnight, weren't you?
- "I was looking for wood. "
- Just yes or no, please.
"Yes. "
Elizabeth was there.
You were there.
Her purse was stolen.
You had her purse.
Her throat was cut. You had a knife.
Those are the naked facts!
Would Mr. Stella wait till the end of
the trial to make his closing argument?
Miss Riley has the gift of speech.
I'll let the facts
speak for themselves.
How did you expect us to believe
you didn't kill her?
No further questions at this time,
Your Honor.
- What do you think you're doing?
- I was her friend.
- Miss Riley.
- I'm sorry to bother you at home.
That's perfectly all right,
although highly irregular.
I know, but I have evidence, that will
at least necessitate a mistrial.
Excuse me, Matthew.
May I use your phone?
Deputy Attorney General Paul Gray,
Miss Kathleen Riley.
Miss Riley is the public defender
in the Elizabeth Quinn trial.
Miss Quinn worked for me. I've been
following the trial with interest.
Miss Riley feels she has evidence
which will exculpate her client.
- The phone?
- There's one in the study.
Don't bother, Matthew.
Nice to meet you, Miss Riley.
What is this evidence?
Your Honor, I've behaved rashly.
I should present the evidence
properly in court.
- This is somewhat erratic, isn't it?
- Sorry, I'm under tremendous strain.
This behavior is bordering on
professional misconduct, Miss Riley.
There's a problem I have to take
care of. Thanks for a lovely evening.
- Let me show you out.
- Oh, don't bother.
This is Justice Charles F. Lowell.
For twenty years
I've lived with this burden, -
- always expecting exposure from a law
student, a legal scholar, a colleague.
Elizabeth Rose Quinn,
a clerk at the Justice Department, -
- recognized the injustice
of the decision -
- in United States vs Cook
and came to me.
More than the fear of exposure,
I've had to live with myself.
It's a terrible price to pay
for ambition.
In 1968,
while I was the presiding judge -
- on the case of United States
vs Cook in the federal court, -
- I conspired to fix the case.
I accepted a bribe.
In exchange for a seat on
the United States Circuit Court -
- I dismissed charges of vote fraud
against an influential defendant.
Miss Quinn has contacted
the others that were involved.
I leave them to their consciences.
I will make my peace
somewhere else.
I have asked Elizabeth Quinn
to make this public after my death.
This is my last small measure
of justice.
To fix a case, you need a judge
who's willing to go along.
You need a very influential defendant,
a politic defense attorney -
and a corrupt prosecutor.
United States vs Cook.
That must be a case I didn't get to.
But I'll bet that Paul Gray
was the prosecuting attorney.
You're accusing the Deputy Attorney
General of the United States of murder.
I had the federal supplement in here.
I must have left it at the courthouse.
What's going on?
Is this the Public Defenders' Office?
Is Kathleen Riley there?
She's gone over to the courthouse.
Could I take a message?
Would you?
Never mind, thank you.
It's all right.
All rise.
The court is now in session.
The honorable
Judge Matthew Bishop Helms presiding.
Please be seated.
The court calls forward the matter of
United States vs Carl Wayne Anderson.
We were gonna begin re-direct.
The defense has no re-direct.
- Mr. Gray?
- Defense called me to appear.
- I wasn't aware of any subpoena.
- I've come on my own volition.
To hear charges.
We thank the Deputy Attorney General
for his compliance.
Miss Riley, approach the bench.
Why wasn't I informed?
Defense has the prerogative
to call vital witnesses.
- Don't lecture me on the law.
- I'm sorry.
Do you have any other witnesses?
You may call your first witness.
Your Honor,
we call Your Honor to the stand.
I can't be called to the stand.
- You have knowledge vital to our case.
- Approach the bench.
- I will have you compelled to testify.
- I will find you in contempt of court.
- I cannot be compelled.
- You are not above the law!
If you persist in this,
I will call a mistrial.
Were you the federal prosecutor on
the United States vs Cook trial?
This trial is a mistrial.
And did you conspire with
District Court Judge Lowell -
- to dismiss that case
in exchange for his promotion -
- and your appointment
to the seat you now hold?
Did you wait 17 years -
- while lesser men got
appointments to a higher court?
And, when an appointment
to Circuit Court finally came,-
- did your past come to haunt you
and did you strike it down and kill it?
Did you murder Elizabeth Rose Quinn
when she approached you with your past?
Remove Miss Riley from this court!
Miss Riley, you are in contempt!
I'll have you disbarred!
Remove Miss Riley!
Was your car,
license number 6F9587,-
- in the parking lot on K Street
on the night of December 18th?
And when Elizabeth Quinn arrived
at her car, did you beat her, -
- drag her down to the river
and savagely cut her throat?
I have filed charges with the police -
- for the arrest of Matthew Bishop Helms
for murder in the first degree.
- Congratulations, Kathleen.
- Thanks.
All of a sudden
I have nothing to do.
I have to be in court in an hour.
A guy on the jury was a jeweler.
I had him check out that cufflink.
It turned out to be gold-plated.
Just garbage.
- I told you so.
- I thought you would say that.
- What can we do for an hour?
- Leave the door open.
Let's go.