Law & Order (1990) s02e05 Episode Script

God Bless the Child

Narrator: In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups the police who investigate crime, and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.
These are their stories.
Please, missus, call the doctor.
Cora, her temperature is down.
- She's not getting better.
- Waking her won't help.
A doctor, an ambulance, 911 you have to do something.
You're being crazy.
I want you to get your things.
My husband will send you a check.
Help! Police! Help! Help! Help! Please! Stop! Officer: What do you want, honey? - Mrs.
Driscoll? - Yes.
I'm Officer Barton, this is Officer Giordano.
Your housekeeper says you may have an emergency.
Amado tends to overreact.
Do you mind? Could we come in and take a peek at your daughter? That really isn't necessary.
We'll just be in and out.
Excuse me, ma'am.
She's been a little feverish.
Lady, this kid can't breathe! - Giordano: 27 Charlie to Central K.
- Dispatch: Go ahead, Charlie.
Did you call it in? Policy is firm.
Only the chief resident me can call the cops on parents.
Listen, is this kid going to make it? Strep, fever 105-plus.
What kind of parent doesn't know that's life-threatening? On the record, the hospital's gonna make a formal child abuse complaint? Yes.
You can't do this.
I want to take my daughter home.
Driscoll, this is Dr.
Fisher, the chief resident.
She won't authorize a trache.
And if I don't sign an authorization you can't treat her.
This is Sergeant Cerreta and Detective Logan.
More policemen? You're not leaving us any choice.
You seem like a reasonable woman.
You want to tell us what the problem is? Your husband here tonight, ma'am? No, he's in Boston on business.
You understand, if the hospital files a formal complaint, you could find yourself in jail.
You can't force me to let you operate.
Are you serious? These people are trying to save your daughter's life.
Right now I am more concerned about her soul.
Driscoll, let us help Dinah You can't help her.
We don't believe in modern medicine.
- You don't believe in it? - Our religion forbids it.
Nurse on P.
A: Code Blue.
ER Pediatrics.
Code Blue.
ER Pediatrics.
Fisher: Excuse me, miss, step back.
Let's get her in treatment We need a 1/1,000 solution I.
Push, now.
Nurse: Failure.
Baumann: Let's get a central line in here.
Who's the pharmacist? - Nurse: Now! Now! - Baumann: Let's go with 18 watts per second.
- Nurse: Level off.
- Dr.
Fisher: Take the mask off.
Still no pulse.
She wasn't that sick! She wasn't that sick.
So? You want to send it to Social Services? It's your call.
The most we can get her for is endangering the welfare of a child.
No, no what we get her for is manslaughter.
Whoa, Mike.
Slow down.
We don't get her for anything, you don't prove she knew the kid was seriously ill.
The housekeeper what's her name? Amado.
She damn well knew the kid was sick enough to get two cops.
That'll put the parents away for sure.
She was fired.
She'll say anything.
Getting fired, you think that's a reason to lie about the kid? - Do you believe this? - Hey, what I think, what you think, what he thinks don't mean diddly-squat, because in court she's not a credible witness.
"Credible"? The kid died! Well, well, what's this? Honeymoon over? When you finish debating her state of mind, why don't you go ask her? And see what you can find out about this religion "Church of All Saints.
" Beautiful child.
Cerreta: You worked for the Driscolls, what, three months? Mm-hmm.
They loved that child.
It was an aura.
It radiated from them.
You never saw people who loved a child so much.
- When did she get sick? - Mrs.
Amado: Monday morning.
When I came in, she already had a fever.
Driscoll, she wasn't worried.
She said she was praying for her.
But you were worried? My kids, they get sick, I pray for their souls.
Their bodies, I get a doctor Oberon Guzman.
I called him and told him the fever keeps going up.
Did you tell Mrs.
Driscoll that? And she told me that sometimes kids just had to get sicker before the Lord heard their prayers.
You want me to visit a sick child when the parent won't call? Logan: When the child's dying? Yes, I do.
My malpractice insurance is already 20 times my rent.
I do not go to any child against their parents' wishes.
Did Mrs.
Amado describe the girl's symptoms? Sore throat, high fever, trouble breathing.
A second-year medical student could have made an educated guess it was strep throat.
Do you consider that major? Untreated? It could lead to rheumatic fever, heart disease, death.
So, a parent refusing treatment Would have to be stupid, blind, or negligent.
Or very religious.
Our sect is descended from the Swiss Brethren, like the Amish or the Hutterites.
Except that you don't use doctors.
We've been around for 300 years, long before modern medicine.
Hold on.
You use electricity, central heating.
You were around long before them, too.
Detective, do I really have to defend my religious beliefs to the police? Are you arresting Ted and Nancy? Have they been in your church long? Many years.
They were members when we were out in Hanover, New Jersey.
They're devout people.
The loss of their daughter was terrible.
But it is God's will.
Most of us don't mind a little help from antibiotics.
But some of us do.
Did the Driscolls talk to you while Dinah was sick? Ted and Nancy never believed that their daughter was sick enough to die.
All you have to do is talk to them to know that.
It's not that simple.
These people aren't "Moonies.
" You go to confession? You take communion? They believe as strongly as you do.
That's crap! How can you compare these wackos to "Wackos"? A lot of non-Catholics believe it's "wacko" for priests not to marry.
A lot of non-fundamentalists believe it's "wacko" to take the Bible literally.
To the Driscolls, losing this kid's soul is worse than losing her life.
Except we're investigating the death of a little girl, not a soul.
The church doesn't make exceptions.
The rules are God's, not ours.
We don't pollute our bodies.
We don't smoke, we don't use medicine and we don't use doctors.
So if you're having a heart attack, you don't call an ambulance? Is that so difficult for you to accept? Excuse me, Mrs.
Driscoll, we have to ask.
Did you consider calling a doctor? I should have prayed harder.
Maybe it's our fault.
It's faith.
That's what religion is.
You call that religion? Neglecting a dying child? Now, you see, I call that irresponsible.
Mike? Sorry.
We're used to it.
Is that all? There's just one thing.
You were gone Wednesday and Thursday? I had no choice.
Look, we talked three or four times a day.
Dinah's fever was down, Nancy thought she was better.
Our prayers were working.
At any time, over the five or six days, did you get any help for Dinah? Of course we did.
Sharon Barlow, she's a church medical practitioner.
Cerreta: Do you have any medical training any chemistry, biology, first-aid, anything? Church training.
Spiritual healing.
So, then you're what, a kind of nurse? You think I don't know what's going on here, Detective? Your job is to prosecute our church.
If you believed what we believe, you'd understand.
We are trying to find out what you believe.
Help us out.
We treat the sick with prayer.
We tried everything to lower her fever.
We prayed, cold baths, we fed her, we used rubbing alcohol.
When we ran out, we called the drugstore for more.
- Drugstore? - Which one? I think I have the receipt.
Tax deduction, huh? What'd those people do? It was rubbing alcohol, man, not speed.
Hey, look, you remember them or what? Oh, yeah.
Guy opens the door, he's holding a kid.
Two ladies they're picking at each other.
All right, so what did they look like? This old lady, she's telling the mom, "Pray harder, the kid will get better, believe in God," that kind of stuff.
Start again.
Praying or fighting? Fighting, man.
Father tells them to keep it down, gives the kid to the old lady, and he pays me.
- But you kept listening? - I couldn't help it.
The elevator was busted so I had to take the stairs.
Now, the apartment door is still open.
Then, the woman, the young one, she jets by me.
Man: You think I see everybody who comes and goes? How long you been on this door, Mike? 31 years.
You know what time every man, woman and child in here pees.
Thursday, 10:00, Mrs.
She ran by crying, face all puffy.
Look, their kid's dead.
They don't need more trouble.
Did you see which way she went? Coffee shop on the corner.
Five foot six? Brunette? Which one of the four million you have in mind? She might've been crying.
The food here, no wonder.
Elaine! Tuesday night, 10:00, you see a brunette in here crying? - What'd she do? - Did you wait on her? I tried to get her to eat something to stop crying.
No sale.
Only coffee three cups.
Spiked with bourbon.
Freedom of religion? That gives you the right to commit homicide? The penal law allows a single affirmative defense to endangering the welfare of a child - spiritual healing by an organized religion.
- That's in the law? In '73, Congress passed a child abuse bill.
$85 million to the states.
ATW regulations said any state without a spiritual healing exemption didn't get money.
This is unbelievable.
In New York? And 43 other states.
But the law says, "endangering.
" These people let the kid die.
To convict on manslaughter? Couple of steps first, convince the jury not to apply the spiritual healing defense to homicide.
Convince them? Hell, the judge will just tell them not to.
You know juries.
They'll do whatever they think is right.
Next, prove the parents didn't believe prayer would work.
Forget that.
No matter what we think of their religion, it's obvious they believed in it and they believed their kid wasn't sick enough to die.
If we could prove it, then we could prove the manslaughter.
Show they recklessly caused the death.
So we gotta show they didn't believe in prayer and they knew the kid could die? Looks like Mom believed in bourbon more than she did prayer.
I thought they didn't drink? People like this, they start wondering if prayer's gonna do the trick.
What happens? I'll bet you they're not the only ones ever called God and got his answering machine.
If she was upset enough to break church law on drinking, maybe she had doubts about spiritual healing.
How are we going to prove that? Subpoena her mind? Maybe she talked to some of the other church members.
Logan: So maybe we do get a subpoena for the church membership list.
"Your Honor, forget the First Amendment, we want a subpoena.
" I wouldn't bet the ranch on that one.
You don't get some information on these people how religious they are, what goes on in that church you don't have a case.
What did that minister say? They had all been out in New Jersey? Hanover.
Let's go check out that town.
If they had any doubts about prayer working, they're guilty.
Yeah, I know.
I know.
It's nice and easy for you and Robinette and Cragen.
What the hell does that mean? You don't have kids.
Look, the adult world is divided into two groups the ones who have kids and the ones who don't.
You can't understand what a parent feels.
And I will guarantee you one thing, they loved that kid.
And if? And if they had any doubts about prayer working and we can prove it, I'll be the first guy out with my cuffs.
Personally? I don't trust a man who never drinks.
But these All Saints people must have been 40, 50 of them they were good neighbors.
They all moved out, right? Everyone knew they weren't gonna stay.
When they came, they didn't buy houses, they only rented.
They used an old farmhouse as a church.
Work, commuting.
The city, Newark, Princeton.
It tells you they're not gonna put down roots.
Listen, Driscoll husband and wife.
Ring any bells? Nah, but I'm brain dead.
Chief, you got a newspaper in this town? Yeah, "Hanover Union.
" The county weekly.
It's right down the street.
City cops? Lt'll make their month.
"Mabel Gardner, 96, found dead in her living room.
" Body wasn't discovered for three days.
The milkman did it.
Makes you want to move, doesn't it? Anymore of this, and I'm gonna be brain dead.
"Baby died at home.
" Daniel Driscoll.
Six years ago.
Two years old.
The Driscolls wanted a headstone.
We have a park-type cemetery plaques level with the grass.
It's a neater look, easier maintenance.
It says here the boy died of influenza.
Anybody do an autopsy? Nobody thought anything was wrong.
"Died at home.
" Says the boy is also "survived by an aunt" Eleanor Harding.
She owns the stationery store in town.
I thought everybody from the church moved into the city.
Everybody except Eleanor.
"Never showing doubt, never showing fear.
God's will is supreme.
" And if you don't believe that, you're a sinner.
Another life, it's behind me.
But there must be reasons why you didn't move with your brother? Okay, I'll give you one.
Seven, eight years ago, I flew with Ted and Nancy up to Albany for a church meeting.
We hit a thunderstorm, got struck by lightning.
The plane dropped 10,000 feet.
I was terrified.
I thought we were all dead and Ted says, "We're all in God's hands.
" And that made you stay here? Between you and me, I trusted the pilot over God.
When Daniel died, I joined a group.
We lobbied to have the spiritual healing laws repealed.
Doesn't make for family picnics.
Did you know Dinah was sick? I called Nancy I pleaded with her to go to a doctor.
You didn't call your brother? When that plane was vibrating, Nancy was scared witless, too.
Are you suggesting we neglected Daniel? Having two children die, it's a terrible tragedy.
It's also terribly long odds.
Odds? God doesn't gamble.
What about this fight you and your wife had? Our religion asks for spiritual progress, not perfection.
Would you mind telling us what it was about? Did your wife want medical help? Whatever my wife wanted, I don't have to tell you.
That's the law.
The law also says parents are responsible for their children's welfare.
I've got five.
I couldn't sit by and watch one of them die.
You have anything more you want to ask me, get a subpoena.
Ted and I had a mild disagreement.
Logan: About Dinah? Do you have children? A sick child can make you anxious.
Anxious enough to take three drinks? I thought your church didn't allow drinking.
I'm fallible.
God isn't.
Did you want to call a doctor? Did your husband stop you from that? Hello.
Yes, they're here.
I will.
I'll see you later.
My husband says that if you have any more questions, he wants you to call the Reverend Henry Morley.
Spiritual advice? No, legal.
He'll give you the name of our lawyer.
Go to the D.
? With what? We've still got nothing.
She had a couple of drinks.
Her sister-in-law thought she had enough doubts to pressure her.
Drinks? The sister-in-law thinking she might have had doubts? That's gonna convince a jury? Suppose she called a doctor? Suppose she did.
There can't be more than 4 or 5,000 in the city.
What do you think, we start with "A" and go forwards, or "Z" and work backwards? These people don't have doctors.
Who would they even know to call? How about 911? Computer printouts of every call they promised two years ago.
And last year, and this year.
- And now they promise next year.
- We'll listen to the tapes.
What's the matter, you fellas can't read? Check your logs at the precinct.
There's nothing in the logs.
At least they're short.
"Grandma fell down a flight of stairs.
" "Daddy's beating up Mommy.
" Car accident.
Boiler explosion.
Want to move to a small town in Jersey? They got a nice police chief there.
Nancy Driscoll? Ted.
Robinette: What about a jury's common sense? We can't indict him and not her.
The mother may be morally guilty, but legally she's got a good case.
She seemed to trust in God.
Paul, I'm not St.
I can't make arguments to a jury about the number of angels on the head of a pin.
But the moral issue is in the law.
She keeps her faith, doesn't call a doctor under the law she looks innocent.
Maybe she didn't keep her faith.
She ran from the apartment, she drank.
Maybe her crisis of faith drove the husband into one of his own.
If he'd finished the 911 call, the girl might be alive.
Would be.
Strep is extremely treatable.
It won't be easy getting a conviction on either one of them.
Adam: Rabbis, priests, ministers I'm debating theology with half the clergy in the city.
Tell them the case isn't about theology.
Tell them it isn't about politics either.
- Driscolls seem like decent people.
- I sympathize with them.
Because they're decent, it looks like we're putting religion on trial.
The spiritual healing law shouldn't even be on the books.
Oh, that's beautiful.
Suddenly we find ourselves in Utopia.
Politics is part of the law, my friend.
You need reminding, spend a day in Albany.
Does this mean we don't want to indict? You think we have a choice? Do you? The mother drinking, a case of impaired judgment, the father, he started to make the call.
If we walk away from it now, it looks like we never should have investigated in the first place.
Let's go with manslaughter two and endangering the welfare of a child.
But with a lesser charge, we'll never convict on manslaughter.
What's better? Half a win or none? But the logic doesn't play.
If they endangered the child enough for her to die, they're guilty of manslaughter.
Illinois, Massachusetts, Florida there isn't a DA that hasn't reached the same conclusion.
Leave both charges and do us all a favor take a plea.
Man two, lifetime probation, no jail time.
Bailiff: Indictment number 6432 The People versus Theodore Driscoll and Nancy Driscoll.
The charges are manslaughter in the second degree and endangering the welfare of a child.
Judge: Are the defendants ready to plead? Not guilty.
I'll let you know right up front, Mr.
Robinette, I don't see a big bail number here.
One of the charges is manslaughter.
Yes, I know the seriousness of the crime.
But I'm looking at the other factors.
Carpenter? We ask the defendants' release on their own recognizance.
Counselor, you know I can't do that either.
Bail is set for each defendant at 25,000.
The tenets of their church vis-a-vis doctors are well known.
The Driscolls have been members for years.
Then why did your client phone 911? One moment of weakness.
You're a Catholic, do you ever sin? That's sophistry, Lucius.
I'm not here as a Catholic.
I'm here as a lawyer.
You're prosecuting Ted Driscoll for making a phone call.
I'm prosecuting Mr.
And Mrs.
Driscoll for recklessly causing the death of their child after he violated his church's teaching.
A child who was born into their faith.
They want to martyr themselves to religion, fine, but they don't have a right to martyr their child.
Convicting them of manslaughter won't bring Dinah back.
I want sick children to have a chance at medical care.
I'd expect this kind of prosecution in Arizona, California not in the most tolerant state in the country.
Well, I wouldn't try that tolerance argument in court if I were you.
Just once, for a lark, could you bring me in on an easy case? I don't need a psychiatrist for the easy ones, Susan.
You know what kind of jury we want? 12 people with children preferably all of whom have strep throat.
Carpenter's shrink Seymour Golden.
- Who's Seymour Golden? - He gets 2,000 a day.
Compared to him, I'm a bargain.
Stone: Have you read about this case in the papers, Mr.
Madison? - Didn't see it.
- Heard about it on television? Like I say, I didn't follow it.
Do you have any strong religious beliefs? I'm a Baptist.
I believe in God.
Thank you.
A Baptist.
You think he'll sympathize with fundamentalists? He worries me.
Makes me nervous.
I think he knows the difference between church and state.
Keep him.
Guys, trust me.
No challenge.
I have two girls, six and 10.
Do you believe parents have the right to care for children according to their own customs? I do.
Knowing what you do about this case, do you think you can be impartial? I love my children so much, I can't imagine parents who don't.
In fact, I'm pregnant with our third child right now.
Thank you.
She practically announced she identifies with Mrs.
I know, but I don't think she's gonna like them watching that little girl's fever go up.
Pregnant mother she'll carry a lot of weight in the jury room.
My research shows that she is gonna go with the child and not the mother.
- No challenge.
- No challenge.
I think the government ought to keep its nose out of my life.
Nicholas, if it were contrary to your own beliefs, would you be able to accept the judge's instruction on the law? I understand the difference between my point of view and the law.
I'll do what's right.
Thank you.
He's got four kids.
He hates authority.
It's bad for us.
Peremptory challenge, Your Honor.
Four kids? What's your problem with him? It's a peremptory, Lucius.
I don't need a reason.
The tragedy of this case is the death of Dinah Driscoll, five years old.
A greater tragedy is that her death could have been prevented.
The State will prove that Dinah Driscoll was ill and in need of medical care.
We will also prove that the defendants denied her that care and knew its absence would lead to her death.
During this trial you will hear a great deal about religion.
Nobody's religious beliefs are on trial.
What is on trial here is Dinah Driscoll's death.
Did the defendants violate their parental duty? Did they recklessly lead Dinah Driscoll to her death? Dr.
Stanback, please tell the court your profession and current position.
By training, I'm an oncologist.
That's a cancer specialist.
And I'm the chairman of the New York Council on Medical Ethics.
Have you written works on the history of medicine? Yes.
I'm the author of two books on this subject; "The Healer's Craft" and "Life Before Death.
" Please tell the Court about the place of spiritual healing in the history of medicine.
Prior to the 20th century, people were often desperate for any relief from pain and for thousands of years, naturally, people prayed.
In your expert opinion, does prayer cure disease? Objection.
He's not an expert on prayer.
But he is an expert on disease.
The witness may answer.
A virus can't hear a prayer any more than viruses respond to leeches.
For thousands of years, bacteria and viruses killed people.
Then we developed sulfa drugs and antibiotics, and people lived.
Stone: Thank you.
I'd say she had to be infected for at least a week.
What did you tell the defendant Nancy Driscoll? I said if we didn't clear Dinah's lungs and get her temperature down, she would die.
And how did Mrs.
Driscoll respond? She refused permission for us to treat her child.
Thank you.
Baumann, how long have you been practicing medicine? Three years.
Have you seen many strep infections? Emergency room, you don't see them very often.
- Most people - So you're not an expert in strep? - Please, I'm a doctor.
- Really? Are you a doctor who can swear Dinah had been infected for a week? In medicine, nothing is certain, but I know exactly Thank you.
No further questions.
What did Mrs.
Driscoll say when you suggested she get a doctor? She told me Dinah was "in God's hands.
" Tell the Court why you left the Church of All Saints.
Your Honor, her experience with the church's doctrine is relevant.
I'll allow it.
The witness may answer.
I left the church because I'd seen children die.
Thank you.
No more questions.
You were raised in the Church of All Saints, correct? Yes.
And before you left the church, did you believe in its doctrines? Isn't it true that four years before you left the church, you became ill and took antibiotics because you believed they would save your life? Yes, that's true.
Prayer clearly wasn't working.
So the real reason you left is because you didn't accept the church's doctrines for yourself.
Isn't that right? Carpenter: No further questions.
It's a winnable case.
Yeah, listen, Carpenter's ready to deal.
Take a plea while you can.
Only if they agree never to participate in spiritual healing of a kid again.
Does it matter? They don't have any children.
I don't care, Adam.
I don't want them convincing other parents to let their children die.
All right, but don't push it.
Forget man two.
Settle for endangering.
You're asking them to turn against their church.
We're offering a plea where they walk away from manslaughter.
At the expense of their religious beliefs.
Endangering the welfare of a child.
However, in this plea bargain you agree never to participate in the spiritual healing of another child.
You can imprison my body, but not my soul.
You know, when I was growing up, my parents told me about the separation of church and state.
How proud they were of their country.
Do you live in the same country I do, Mr.
Stone? Please, reconsider.
They've made their decision.
And I've made up my mind.
I'll see you in court.
I heal with prayer.
- It didn't heal Dinah.
- Her fever went down.
And she died.
Did you ever go to a doctor? - No.
- Yet you wear glasses.
I saw an optometrist.
Eyeglasses aren't cures for disease, they're aids to living.
So you believe that poor eyesight isn't a part of God's will, but letting a five-year-old die from something that can be cured like that is? I move for a mistrial.
This questioning on religion is impermissible.
Your Honor, we're within the limits.
I want this thing settled quickly.
You'll have motions in my chambers tomorrow morning at 10:00, and we'll discuss them at 1:00.
And hold down the verbiage, okay? You give me a hundred pages, I'll be very upset.
Court's adjourned.
Did I misread this? If you did, I misread it the same way.
" The Supreme Court says the truth of their religious beliefs should not be submitted to the jury.
I didn't ask Sharon Barlow whether her beliefs were true did I? No, but you did disparage them with your attitude.
My attitude's not in the transcript.
Adam: Gentlemen.
You in the clear? Carpenter's scared.
He knows where your case ends.
If we ever get there.
If we do, we're gonna lose on Nancy.
It could go the other way.
The father, they may feel sorry for.
And the mother, religion or not, she told the doctors not to operate and she had those drinks.
By the way, Judge Kurland thinks he's William O.
Make your motion simple, or he'll never understand it.
It's a fine line, Mr.
And Mr.
Stone crossed it.
The spiritual healing defense does not give you the right to dissect her beliefs.
Judge: That's an interesting approach, Counselor.
You want your clients acquitted on the basis of their belief in spiritual healing, but you don't want that healing discussed in court? He can ask whether she believes in God's power, he cannot imply her beliefs are stupid.
Your clients aren't on trial for their beliefs, they're on trial for their actions.
Their beliefs are action.
Oh, Counselor I'm afraid that's nonsense and you know it.
No, the law allows testimony on the relevance of faith.
The jury hasn't been asked to judge the truth of that faith.
Motion for mistrial denied.
We'll resume at 2:00.
On that night, the night before their daughter died, did the Driscolls argue about treating her? Nancy said that God had "taken one child from her," she didn't think she could bear it if He took another.
And how did Mr.
Driscoll respond? I'm not sure.
They asked me to leave Dinah's room.
She Mrs.
Driscoll was upset.
After a few minutes, she came out and he followed her.
- And then what happened? - They were shouting.
Then the drugstore delivery arrived.
Nancy left the apartment.
Did Mr.
Driscoll return to the child's room? Not right away.
He went into the kitchen.
- How long was he gone? - I don't remember.
We offer into evidence People's Exhibit number 14, an emergency medical services tape recording on the Tuesday night in question.
And also an affidavit swearing that that is a copy of the EMS master.
And we request permission to play the tape.
- Judge: Granted.
- Thank you.
Recording: - Yes.
Hello? - 911 emergency.
- It's my daughter.
- What's wrong with her? - She please! - What's the problem? - She's terribly sick.
- Sir, hello? - She's burning up with fever.
- Is it going down? - No, it's not going down! - All right, this is what I need you to do.
- Nancy: You don't want this.
- Sir, you've got to stay on the line.
Sir, are you there? Do you recognize the voice on that tape? It sounds like Ted Driscoll.
Thank you.
Barlow, there are background voices and a great deal of static on that tape, are you certain that's Ted Driscoll's voice? No.
As I said, it sounds like Ted's voice.
If Mrs.
Driscoll was there when he called 911 Makes your case stronger for both of them.
Two parents, joint decision.
The housekeeper, Paul, she hasn't been in court, has she? And not talking to reporters.
Go see her tonight.
My friends they want me to make trouble for the Driscolls.
Was Mrs.
Driscoll there when Mr.
Driscoll made the call? I don't hate them.
There's something you haven't told us, isn't there? They have so much pain already.
It was Dinah.
She wanted a doctor.
The child asked for a doctor? That night, when the other lady was there, I was in Dinah's room.
Dinah says she feels "so very sick.
" Her friend Susie's mom "gets her a doctor when she's sick, why can't I get a doctor?" Mrs.
Driscoll told her, "We don't believe in doctors.
" She's a tainted witness.
It is grossly prejudicial, not to mention it's hearsay.
Two exceptions, Your Honor.
If he says, "Dying declaration by the victim of a homicide " Calm down, Counselor.
He hasn't said anything yet.
Opinion testimony by a lay witness on the emotional state of Dinah Driscoll.
"Emotional state"? You want her to testify to what the child said.
Anyway, that's no exception to hearsay.
Effect of a verbal act on the parents statement not offered for its truth.
You do want the jury to believe it's the truth? No shouting in my chamber.
I don't like it, Ben.
The child obviously can't testify.
Let's face it, it is prejudicial.
The witness is not trustworthy.
Not in my courtroom.
Would've helped to have gotten it in.
It could've gone both ways.
He said they didn't believe in doctors.
But they both made the call.
I don't know.
I think the possibility of conviction's on life support.
In the history of your church, have the attitudes toward spiritual healing ever changed? We take Biblical injunctions literally.
Have you witnessed successful examples of spiritual healing? - They're all successful.
- Even if someone dies? Someone lives, someone dies.
It is all God's will.
The soul is eternal.
Thank you, sir.
No further questions.
Reverend Morley, does your church's doctrine ever allow a doctor to be called? Only in certain extreme situations.
And Dinah Driscoll's situation was not extreme? If a mother's life is threatened in childbirth, midwives or doctors may be called.
And no other situation? No.
So if I understand you correctly, when a mother's life is in danger, a doctor can be called, but if a child's life is in danger, it's allowed to die? - Objection.
- Withdrawn.
Reverend, do you believe that all religious rituals should be protected by law? Objection.
I'll allow it.
I believe that the government should follow the Constitution and allow us freedom of religion.
So that if a church doctrine called for beating children, or allowing them to handle poisonous snakes? What if a religious ritual called for leaving children naked in the snow? - Objection! - Judge: Mr.
Your Honor, I'm through with this witness.
Carpenter: Mrs.
Driscoll, do you blame yourself for your daughter's death? I did what was right.
Maybe if I had a fuller understanding of God, Dinah would be alive.
Are you planning to have another child? Yes.
If your third child became sick, would you go to a doctor? Only if spiritual healing didn't help.
Only as a last resort.
Thank you.
No further questions.
Driscoll, we've heard testimony that the night before your daughter died you and your husband argued about treating her.
- Is that true? - We had a disagreement.
Weren't you shouting? We may have raised our voices.
Stone: And what did you disagree about? Calling a doctor.
Did Dinah want a doctor? She wanted to know why her friends had doctors and she didn't.
And did you want to summon medical help? No one's faith is perfect.
Ted helped me to recover my sense of faith in God's will.
Answer the question, Mrs.
I'm trying to, Your Honor.
I was afraid and Ted and I talked.
What did you talk about? - Mr.
Carpenter? - No objection, Your Honor.
The law does not require that the witness answer questions about her husband, Mrs.
You may answer or not.
Ted said he couldn't stand to see me so upset.
He said he wanted to call a doctor.
He started to call for help and I told him no.
He was putting his soul in danger to save Dinah's life, because of my pain! Just because of me.
Judge: To reach a guilty verdict on the charge of manslaughter in the second degree, the jury must find that the defendants recklessly caused the death of Dinah Driscoll.
As to the charge of endangering the welfare of a child, I further instruct you that the Church of All Saints is a well-established church and you may not consider the prudence of spiritual healing.
Now you may consider whether the defendants, at the time their daughter was extremely ill, sincerely believed in the legitimacy of their religion to cure illness without benefit of medical help.
He buried the distinction.
They'll think spiritual healing is a defense for manslaughter.
Why did he do it? Eight, nine other state judges frame their instructions the same way.
It practically guarantees acquittal on endangering and manslaughter.
They should acquit on endangering.
That's what the law says.
- And manslaughter? - Stone: You think they'll understand the difference? That's not what worries me.
We know that technically they're guilty of manslaughter.
But does the jury even want to make the distinction? The defendant Theodore Driscoll, on the charge of endangering the welfare of a child, how does the jury find? We find the defendant not guilty.
Judge: The defendant Nancy Driscoll, on the charge of endangering the welfare of a child, - how does the jury find? - We find the defendant not guilty.
The defendant Theodore Driscoll on the charge of manslaughter in the second degree, how does the jury find? We find the defendant guilty.
The defendant Nancy Driscoll, on the charge of manslaughter in the second degree, how does the jury find? We find the defendant guilty.
Stone: It never ceases to amaze me.
Juries? To weed through a complicated legal minefield, get bad instructions from the judge and still come up with the right verdict.
What do you think Judge Kurland will give them? My guess they won't spend a night in jail.
Then what the hell's the point? It's on the books, it got press.
Maybe next week, next month, three years from now a parent will call a doctor 'cause they remember this conviction.
And a child won't die.
That's the point.

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