Law & Order (1990) s01e09 Episode Script


In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups- the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.
These are their stories.
wake up, sleepyheads.
Vamos, ninos.
Line up for your cookies and O.
Here you go.
Oh, boy.
Dierdre? wake up, sweetie.
Didi? Come on, Didi.
Naptime's over.
Dierdre, is something wrong? I'm sorry, Ms.
Oh, my God! I'm sorry.
I told them this would happen.
I told them.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.
How is she? Vitals are there but they're flattening out.
Excuse me, let's go.
I knew this was going to happen.
You her teacher? well, what did happen, Ms? Perez.
An accident.
That's what happened.
An accident? Then why did you call the police? what's going on? Ms.
Perez kindly take control of your classroom.
Are you the principal? Dr.
May I see some identification? was the girl injured in the school, Dr.
Babcock? Absolutely not.
She was assaulted by her- Miss Perez.
She can be rather trigger-happy.
Max: Have the parents been notified? I called them, but there was no one home.
They both work I believe.
I'll need the names and address.
Of course.
In my office.
what the hell's going on here? I told Babcock about Didi.
And he shined you on? She's dying, isn't she? Ah, an upscale crib.
They both work.
I hope the elevator works.
Ripperton, Casals, Miyamoto, Schwartz.
Just your "huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
" Yeah, at three grand a month.
Lowenstein, 1-B.
Thank God it's on the ground floor.
Lowenstein? we need to speak to Carla Lowenstein.
It's an emergency.
what kind? what kind? Medical.
Babcock tried to phone you.
Yeah, well, I need my rest.
Are you- are you Didi's mother? Yeah, what's the matter? we want to know if there was anything wrong with Dierdre this morning.
This morning? Yes.
Before school? I'm sorry, I don't knowwhat you mean.
Perhaps we could come in and talk? No, I really would rather you didn't.
Logan: All right, hold it.
Time out.
Lady, listen to us.
Your daughter may be losing consciousness.
what are you, brain dead yourself? Oh, well I fell.
we're not talking about you.
we're talking about your daughter- Dierdre.
Maybe I was holding it when I fell.
I don't remember.
Where's your husband, Mrs.
Lowenstein? Out of town.
why don't you come with us? I'm sure Dierdre would want her mother to be with her right now.
I can't.
Ezra's not well.
I have to watch it.
At this stage, it looks like an acute insult to the brain stem.
The CAT scan will tell us more.
Doctor, when you say acute - I mean traumatic.
Let me ask you- could it have been caused by a fall? Yeah, a fall from a third story window, maybe.
We need a volunteer with a wheelchair to Admitting.
Man: Hey, I'm just their neighbor, I- You never noticed? How about an occasional glance from your box seat at the rear window.
Give me a break.
Do I look like a peeper to you, huh? Uh-huh.
Okay, Dick Tracy.
How do I see through the drawn shades, huh? You look enough to know that they're drawn.
You must see something.
Now, let me reiterate, gentlemen.
Perez is prone to excitability.
It's a cultural thing.
Instead of running off half-cocked to call the police she should have followed the school district guidelines.
which are? which are to report her suspicions to the school nurse.
If the nurse finds evidence of abuse, she comes to me.
If I find the situation warrants it, I'll notify the Department of Juvenile Services.
By which time, the kid's in a coma.
So some guidelines.
why don't you stick to police work, Detective? why don't you stop trying to cover your ass, Mr.
Babcock? Mike, Mike, take it easy.
He's never recovered from the nuns- a cultural thing.
Now, Doc, let me tell you about our guidelines, okay? when someone, anyone- even a high-strung Puerto Rican lady, comprende? - thinks a child is being beaten, that person is supposed to report it to the authorities.
And if the authorities don't act, they leave themselves open to all sorts of repercussions.
Am I making sense to you? Uh Did Ms.
Perez ever tell you that Didi Lowenstein might be an abused child? Yes.
She did.
When? Several times.
Beginning in September.
Did you do anything about it? Of course.
I notified the juvenile services.
Oh, then why this hush-hush routine? Because these days, there's always danger of a witch-hunt.
You could destroy the reputation of the parents.
we have to be very circumspect about these accusations.
I understand.
Luckily, we don't.
Let's go, Mike.
There it is.
Babcock initiated the report.
And we received it on September 22nd.
Not much of a report.
what did you do with it? we filed it.
As required by law.
You didn't follow it up? Not yet.
we fully intend to.
It's an active file, as required- Logan: I know! As required by law! Sounds like, "I was just following orders.
" How many other kids on this active file, Ms.
Dobrinski? This is just the city, Detective Logan.
Last I heard, there was something like in the state of New York.
we kind of have our hands full.
I gotta go.
where the hell have you been? Don't take it out on me, Max.
Domestic Violence Unit? They dropped by last month.
No one around but her and the kids.
She had a good head start on a shiner.
Swinging door? Mugger.
Said she got it in front of her building.
And her husband was out of town again.
what is this guy, a beer salesman? He's a shrink.
A shrink? Let's go see if the doctor's in yet.
Logan: Just hold your psycho-babble to a minimum, lady.
I got a question I want to ask.
Are you in charge of this ape? My cross to bear.
we're trying to get a business address for Dr.
You know, Jacob Lowenstein.
He's one of your people.
Used to be.
what happened? There was- there were some problems.
Of what nature, Ms.
Rawlings? I'm not at liberty to discuss this.
For nowwe just have to find him.
His child is sick.
Didi? He I understand that he sometimes does some consulting work out of the Graybar Building.
Lowenstein? End of the hall.
Good, very good.
Doctor Lowenstein? we're in the middle of a session here! Yeah I can see that.
who are you? what do you want here? It's about Didi.
She's sick.
we thought you'd like to know.
You can't hold this guy forever.
You're gonna have to charge him with something.
That bottle of cocaine we found, he's going spastic trying to tap dance around that one.
what are you talking about? what's going on? You know the law.
It's an invalid search.
You've got no warrant.
You've got no probable cause.
You've got nothing here! Lowenstein: I don't knowwhat you're talking about.
That's it.
No! No! No! And you don't have a right to- you have no right- Max: Is something the matter, Doc? He's trying to sandbag me! He's trying to railroad me into something that I don't know anything about.
You're trying to tell me you were totally unaware of your daughter's condition? That's right.
why is that? why is that? I was a little out of it.
we thought it was out of town.
what, did Carla tell you that? Look, I have to tell her something.
She's unbelievably jealous.
If I'm working late at the office she assumes that I'm getting carpet-burned with the cleaning lady, my secretary, anybody.
Doesn't matter.
Aren't you? Aren't I what? Please, that was therapy.
For her or for you? For her! In Reichian therapy, the patient has to- Really get to know the therapist, hmm? How about those legs of hers, huh? who was it? James M.
Cain- "She looked so good, I wanted to hit her with a hammer.
" Hey, it was only a figure of speech.
Is that what happened to Didi? what are you talking about? what? You think I hit Didi? I'm dealing with an irrational person.
I'm trying to keep everything together.
By giving her a slap once in a while to keep her in line? Max.
Oh, no, my son is with her! My son is with her.
we'll take care of it.
I was there at lunchtime.
She never even mentioned that Didi was hurt.
I have to get out of here.
Hey, hey! wait a minute! She's gonna do a number on him! I'm afraid of what she's gonna do! Now can we hold the guy? Maybe you better bring in Mrs.
Lowenstein too, huh? Mrs.
Lowenstein: Stop doing that with your eyes.
Keep doing that with your eyes- they'll stay stuck like that for the rest of your life! Didn't I warn you?! You hear me?! You're gonna learn, mister.
You are going to learn if it's the last thing I do! Come here! Come on! Logan: Open this door! Open now! I'm gonna teach you a lesson you'll never forget! Come on, you have to learn! You have to learn! Mommy! what are you doing? That's not yours! That's not his! God Almighty! He's gotta learn! I know.
I know.
I know.
Max: She seems to be improving.
It's an involuntary reaction.
It's a sign of deep cerebral damage.
Dierdre didn't just hit her head, Carla.
Somebody must have done something to her.
where did you say Jacob was? In custody.
Don't worry, he can't hurt you.
Is he all right? I mean, nobody can- you know get to him, can they? why would anyone want to get to him? He's a very attractive man.
Did he ask for me? I really need to see him.
Max: That's up to him.
Now, Carla, try to remember, did you ever see Jacob strike either of your children? He's a very loving father.
He's beaten you.
He loves me.
we're very much in love.
Do you know that Ezra is with juvenile authorities under protective custody? How could I be expected to know anything? How are you doing? I could use some more stuff, you know.
In a little while.
I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to come back another time.
No problem.
You think she beat the kid up? I don't know.
I know she's nuts.
The way she lay there primping herself- it just made me want to puke.
She has been slapped around pretty good.
I'm not so sure she's to blame.
There are some women who provoke it.
Come on, it's true.
You think she cares diddly about those kids or anything? Huh? Everything's a mirror to her.
She holds a dying kid up to it- and all she can see is herself and how it affects her.
Now, you give her sympathy, she's gonna want to fight.
You give her a fight, she's gonna want a kiss.
Give her a kiss, and I swear to God she'll bite your tongue out! You, uh you saw this on "Oprah" or what? My mother.
She always said she was cut out for something greater than being the wife of a cop from the Lower East Side.
God, she was she was a bottomless pit.
It was always, "Give me your undivided attention!" But when the old man couldn't take it anymore and gave her a whack, then she'd turn around and whack me.
She always got this look in her eye, you know.
And then I saw it coming.
Now this witch in here- she's got that same look.
we have blood on the floor, yes.
It matches the blood on Dierdre's head, yes.
And, yes, we haven't proven anything here! How about we try to obtain a confession? we've got an ME who says there's no way it was an accident.
You want me to go beat it out of her, Mike? I'm sure he means why don't we go work Lowenstein? And that's a good idea.
I released him.
what? what? He was screaming false imprisonment on the coke bust.
No probable cause- Thanks for telling us.
Yes- Max! what? It's for you.
Yeah? Yes, Rudy.
what, did you get a new pair of binoculars? Look, sometimes- occasionally the shades are up.
Every once in a while I just happen to look out.
And do you ever happen to see anything? Two nights ago, Mommy Dearest was dancing around like a whirling dervish.
where was the little girl? She was shaking her like she was a rag doll.
And then the husband came home.
what time was that? I don't know.
I wanted to tell you, but I was afraid- what happened when Dr.
Lowenstein came in? He belted her.
The girl? No, the wife.
And then she slapped the kid.
I told you.
Didn't I tell you? Rudy: I can't believe she's not locked up.
Max: She's under observation in Bellevue.
The hell she is.
I just saw her getting out of a cab less than an hour ago.
Ain't bureaucracy great? And she had the little boy with her.
where's the boy? Logan: Hey, pal.
Carla Come on out, pal.
I'm taking you in.
Do you understand? We're gonna go for a walk.
I'm charging you with assault on Didi.
Max! Did he do this to you? Carla! You stupid cow! Carla: No! You're under arrest! Cuffs! Carla: Daddy, Pookie's scared.
Pookie doesn't want to go to jail.
You see! You see what I gotta put up with?! Come on.
we're gonna go for a walk.
You have the right to remain silent.
You have the right to an attorney.
And anything you do say may be used against you in a court of law.
$500,000 is unreal, Your Honor.
Judge: I can make it higher.
Lowenstein has made his bail because he controls all the family funds.
This woman is indigent.
In this instance, half a million dollars bail is not only excessive, it's discriminatory.
Oh? why's that? Look at this woman.
She can hardly follow the proceedings, she's been so badly beaten.
My heart bleeds.
what's your point? She needs medical attention, not jail time.
There's an infirmary at the women's prison, Your Honor.
Lowenstein's bond remains as set.
Officer, handle her with kid gloves- please.
As soon as you can, I'll need the details.
It's just that I find it hard to believe.
Robinette: Trust me.
I don't go around delivering news like this as a gag.
what about my baby? Is he all right? He's okay.
He's in a foster home until this thing gets resolved.
Oh, Ezra.
Yes, of course.
what baby were you referring to? Your husband? Is that who you're thinking about at a time like this? So it's resolved.
what do you mean? Didi's gone.
It's over.
I'd like to get some rest.
Carla, this is very serious.
I know that! I'm accused of murdering my own daughter, isn't that it? Yes.
Yes, you are.
we have a witness who saw you roughing Dierdre up that night.
Only you and your husband know which of you hit her.
Maybe you didn't hit her.
Maybe your husband- Nobody hit Didi.
Pushed her down.
Maybe she wouldn't stop crying so he picker her up and he- He picked her up And then he threw her? Then he laid hands on it.
what do you mean? To fix it.
To make it better.
Jacob says that healing is a matter of adjusting your mind to God's will.
what a pleasant surprise.
On Didi Lowenstein, did you find evidence of sexual abuse? No.
Did you look? No.
why not? 'Cause nobody told me to.
Somebody just did! Judge: Your point, Ms.
Green? Your Honor, Carla Lowenstein was battered almost to death by Mr.
Redding's client.
To try them together would be a terrible injustice.
Since we're not in open court, could we dispense with the feminist rhetoric and talk bottom line? I mean, since I do agree with you on one point.
Lowenstein is innocent of murder since he did not strike Dierdre.
Therefore I would like a severance.
Stone? There has been a total disregard for the life of an innocent child- of two innocent children.
Now I'd like to ensure that history doesn't repeat itself in the Lowenstein household.
One of those two people struck a six-year-old child with enough force to stop her brain from functioning.
Neither one has been forthcoming.
And both of them know which one did it.
I think the truth will only come out is if one turns on the other.
In the case of People versus Jacob Lowenstein, indictment number 6695, the charges brought are murder in the second degree; assault in the first degree; endangering the welfare of a minor.
In the case of People versus Carla Lowenstein; indictment number 6695-A, the charges brought are murder in the second degree; assault in the first degree; endangering the welfare of a minor.
Is the defense ready? Ready, Your Honor.
Ready, Your Honor.
Are the people ready? Ready, Your Honor.
Lowenstein: Honey? Honey? Judge: Mrs.
Honey Judge: Counsel is asked to advise your client to exhibit some restraint.
She was always yanking her.
Slapping her.
She was always mad at Didi.
Yanking and slapping and pulling her hair? This convinced you that Didi was being abused, Ms.
Perez? No, no.
That's only what I saw her mother do to her.
Didi was always coming in with much more serious injuries.
Perez is not a physician.
I'll rephrase.
Perez, did you ever j see any signs of physical abuse on Didi Lowenstein? Yes.
Would you describe them? Large purple bruises on her legs and they continued under her underpants.
A black eye.
Scalded hands.
Stone: Did Didi say how she had received these injuries? She said, "Mommy said I was naughty for not finishing my dinner.
" Stone: No further questions, Your Honor.
No questions, Your Honor.
You may step down, Ms.
Bitch! She did it, Adam.
That's not my problem.
One way or another, that woman hit her daughter.
Then what is your problem? The Perez testimony destroyed her.
If Green is asking for a meeting, she's willing to make a deal.
The whole thing is unfathomable.
I feel like I'm floating face-down with a mile of black water between me and any reasonable explanation for this.
why does it have to be reasonable? There's something else going on here.
It's not her.
It's him.
There's something depraved All right, nowwhat bothers you most about this? well my own rage.
what do your guts tell you? Put 'em both in a dungeon, put 'em on a wheel, and annihilate 'em.
Can you get to him through her? I think so.
All right, then do it.
If you think that he is the greater-evil, you go for him where he's most vulnerable, and you make the deal.
It's your meeting.
Perez was a powerful, if biased witness.
I think the jury thought so.
Let's plea her down.
On what basis? The basis of her being willing to accept limited culpability, with mitigating- Mrs.
Lowenstein: I did it.
I killed Didi.
I hit her.
why? I can't remember.
She was out of her mind on cocaine, which he gave to her.
He abused her.
He abused the children.
He encouraged her to beat the little girl.
Lowenstein, why would he want you to do such a thing? He wanted me to train her.
I'm sorry? To train her.
For later.
So we could both serve him.
will you testify to that on the stand? Mrs.
Lowenstein, intoxication is no defense for depraved indifference homicide.
However, since we feel that she was coerced- and that she was physically threatened we'll accept a plea on man one.
And Dr.
Lowenstein? Him? I'll get him for murder.
Judge: Ladies and gentlemen, I inform you now that Carla Lowenstein is no longer party to this trial.
The People versus Jacob Lowenstein will therefore proceed on its own merits.
Medical examiner:.
Yes, I recognize them.
These were taken during the autopsy of Dierdre Lowenstein.
which you performed? Yes.
Did you find evidence of sexual molestation? Yes, I did.
Have you formed i i an opinion as to the time the fatal blow was struck? Between 10:00 and 11:00 p.
From the rate at which the blood clotted and also the amount of coagulation in the wound, that would be the time.
Thank you, Doctor.
That will be all.
The people call Carla Lowenstein.
Place your left hand on the Bible and raise your right hand.
Lowenstein, do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God? I do.
Lowenstein, tell the court why you struck your daughter hard enough to kill her.
well, I was loaded, and I really didn't think I had any strength left.
why would you do such a thing? My husband.
He convinced me to.
She's out of her mind! Dr.
One more outburst and I'll have you shackled for the remainder of this trial.
Did your husband tell you why he wanted you to strike Didi? well, he said that we all needed discipline.
That he wanted Didi to grow up to be just like her mother.
He wanted her to to be the perfect wife, just like me.
I beg your pardon? He said he wanted her to be the perfect wife just like me.
He wanted her to be a perfect wife.
Did your husband ever abuse Didi sexually? Objection, Your Honor.
That has nothing to do with the night in question.
Answer the question.
well it wasn't abuse.
I mean He loved her.
He just He just had to find a way to show it.
No further questions, Your Honor.
How often did you get loaded? Not very often.
well, say ballpark.
Once a week? Three times? Five? I don't know.
You know, when I needed it.
when things just got to be too much.
Aren't you, in fact, a cocaine addict, Carla? Objection, Your Honor.
when you were loaded, Carla- weren't your children afraid of you? Stone: Objection, Your Honor.
He's leading the witness.
Carla, the neighbors all say that when you were out together as a family, Didi was always walking hand-in-hand with her father, never with you.
And they thought that very odd- that a mother should be so distant from her daughter.
well, I wanted to hold her hand, but she wouldn't let me.
Redding hurt us.
I didn't hear you knock.
That's 'cause I didn't.
If I'd have knocked, you'd have heard it.
I don't doubt that.
How come you didn't ask the right question, Stone? which is? which is, how does Dr.
Lowenstein support his cosmopolitan lifestyle? Analysts make a comfortable living, don't they? He's a witch doctor.
He couldn't give it away for free.
Rich parents? He sells cocaine.
He deals! Upper west Side intellectual artsy-tartsy, but big time.
why are you telling me this? Isn't this a conflict of interest? 'Cause ethically I'm Snow white.
I'm an officer of the court.
My client's already had her day in it.
You and I both know he made her what she is.
That's too simple.
Simple or complicated, the tip's straight up.
Besides, I felt it was my duty.
Rawlings is listed as a defense witness.
we call her, have her declared a hostile witness and pump her on the coke.
Stone: Ms.
Rawlings, this session- was this a therapy session? Of course.
Of what sort? well it was Reichian.
Yes? Dr.
Lowenstein is a well-known Reichian.
Does that mean Dr.
Lowenstein supplied you with cocaine? I don't believe this! Quiet! Answer the question, please.
Did you inhale it? we were smoking it, all right? He said it would help me get in touch with- with what, Ms.
Rawlings? with "the child within"? Did Dr.
Lowenstein also sell you cocaine? Objection, Your Honor! Absolutely irrelevant to the night in question.
Ah, but it does have relevance.
Lowenstein's drug use, his drug dealing was one of, if not the major contributing factor to the nightmare of the Lowenstein household.
And this depraved indifference led directly to Didi Lowenstein's death.
Answer the question.
To your personal knowledge, did Dr.
Lowenstein also sell cocaine to other patients? Objection, leading the witness! Overruled! Ms.
Rawlings, yes or no, please.
Redding: And finally, Dr.
Lowenstein, did you ever abuse Dierdre? Didi was the one ray of sunshine in my life.
I never abused her.
I used to hold her and try to protect her from Carla and- who I now realize is insane.
And even she says that I never abused her.
It's just a lot of legal semantics that's being used to twist the truth.
I loved her with all my heart.
Thank you, Doctor.
Lowenstein, do you consider yourself a good husband and father? Yes I do.
A good provider? Yes, yes, absolutely.
Shelter, food, clothing? Of course.
And cocaine? Objection, Your Honor.
where is this going? Mr.
Stone? To the heart of the matter, Your Honor.
The people contend that Dr.
Lowenstein is guilty of murder because he instigated the beating and did nothing to help his fatally injured daughter.
we've heard Mrs.
Lowenstein testify that she was loaded on cocaine.
where did she get it? Answer the question.
what is the question? Did you provide Carla Lowenstein with cocaine? I've treated many of my patients with psychomimetic drugs.
But you're not a medical doctor, are you, Doctor? You're a psychotherapist.
You have no license to prescribe medicines, and have been doing it for years, and have been illegally selling drugs to your patients.
Now this is just legal semantics, but some people think it's important! Do you consider your wife a patient? I think of my wife as a very sick person.
I try to help her.
By beating some sense into her? Objection.
Stone? Haven't you denied help to your family? No.
Didi was malnourished, Dr.
She was seen walking barefoot in February.
I buy her shoes and Carla throws them away.
would Carla also throw the food away? Didi won't eat without me.
She adores me- we hold hands.
when? when we go out walking together.
I mean, Didi gives me her hand and says, "Tighter, Daddy.
Daddy, hold me tighter.
" Yes, it was testified earlier that you and Didi would walk together, and Mrs.
Lowenstein would walk behind, is that correct? Yes.
which many experts on child abuse believe is a clear sign that the child is trying to curry favor with the abusing parent! Objection.
Judge: Is that a question, Mr.
Stone? No, Your Honor, it's not.
Do you have any more questions for the defendant, Mr.
Stone? Yes, Your Honor.
Yes, I do.
I most certainly do.
Now, Dr.
Lowenstein, you have previously testified that when you came home just before midnight Carla told you that she had hit Didi earlier that evening.
Is that correct? well, I certainly didn't think it was anything serious.
And you also testified that when you came home Didi was laying in the middle of your living room floor in her school clothes? I thought she was sleeping.
Does she usually spend the night on a parquet floor, without a blanket? Of course not.
Did you go to Didi and check to see if she was all right? I didn't feel it was necessary.
Even with a bloodstain under her head? I didn't see that.
Please, sir, I direct you to examine People's Exhibit number 37.
It is a photograph of a bloodstain on your living room floor! A bloodstain measuring A bloodstain the size of a small rug.
It was dark.
There wasn't many lights about, and So when you saw your unconscious daughter on the floor and that stain on the same floor did you pick up a phone and call 911? I already - Did you pick up a phone and call her pediatrician? You're twisting everything I say! Did you even bother to pick up Didi- or did you leave her in a pool of her own blood? As eloquent as your counsel was in your behalf, you are not the victim here, Mrs.
The victim was an innocent six-year-old girl, who couldn't defend herself.
On the count of manslaughter in the first degree, the court sentences you to seven-to-ten years in a women's correctional facility.
As for you, sir- From this seat I thought I had witnessed every degradation, every monstrosity possible, but you, Doctor, are beyond contempt.
You have helped a woman destroy herself.
You engineered the tragedy of a little girl's death.
But you took pretty good care of yourself, didn't you? Your Honor I've lost my family.
Yes, you have.
Jacob Lowenstein, having been found guilty of murder in the second degree by depraved indifference to human life this court sentences you to 25 years to life in a state penitentiary.
Baby, what's gonna happen to us now.
Pookie can't live without her Daddy.
Pookie needs you.