Law & Order (1990) s04e09 Episode Script

Born Bad

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.
I've been a bad boy.
Hey, guys.
Midnight House.
A good place to stay, a meal.
Check it out.
Hola, Lola.
Como esta? Fun to say, no? How about taking a night off? No nights off for me, honey.
I'll see you at soup kitchen tomorrow.
Yeah, yeah.
Go away, Padre.
You're bad for business.
Here you go.
Father Jack.
I'm at Midnight House.
Drop on by anytime.
Father Jack, Midnight House Shelter.
Get you off the street tonight.
We got a soup kitchen tomorrow.
Come on by.
Hey, Midnight House Shelter.
You come down.
Come on by? Thanks, man.
Hey, you too, kid.
Hey, would you get a cop? For God's sakes, the kid's dying.
Get a cop, now.
I'm out here every night.
I know a lot of them.
What about this one? Greyhound pulls in every 10 minutes.
There's always a new face.
Running from worse than this, if you can imagine.
You got any kids we can talk to? Maybe they've seen him around.
Well, the regulars pass up the bed, but they come by tomorrow for food.
They don't pass up a free meal.
All right.
Can you stick around, Father? Thank you.
Looks like he had a rough night, doesn't it? Kid was beaten to a pulp.
Broken ribs, massive internal bleeding.
My guess, somebody's pretty handy with his feet.
Johnny Doe.
No wallet, no ID.
Gets off the bus from Plattsburgh, and it's welcome to the Big Apple.
No, no, he's not an import.
He's a local.
Look, student bus pass.
Working his way through school.
When I was a kid and wanted extra lunch money, I delivered groceries.
Hey, tips wouldn't buy what he had on his feet.
Air Max.
$130 a pair.
They still don't make you run fast enough.
I just said, I don't know him.
I ain't seen him.
I ain't even heard of him, all right? Well, why don't you start by looking at the picture, okay? Man, I don't know him.
Look, we don't catch this guy, next time this could be you, honey.
My tricks like little girls.
Little boys, that's a whole other kind of freak.
Give me a break, would you? 'Cause, you know, the Father here tells me you're on the corner every night.
Now a good-looking new kid on the block, I think you're gonna notice him.
Only if he's flashing jack and wants a date with me.
Other than that, I'm strictly for the girls.
Sorry you got your hopes up.
I tell the young dudes "never work solo.
" It's just not safe.
Brown rolls in from the suburbs, all buttoned down.
Once he gets your little butt in the saddle, he cuts loose.
This is what happens.
This kid get your warning? I don't know him from Eve, and, baby, Lewis knows everybody.
I'll tell you this, though.
Looks like he was in the rough trade.
Specialty acts need management, huh? Got that right.
So you got a name for me, Lewis? Honey, if they're cruising for a bruising, they work for Mr.
Sounds like you got his beeper number.
Not this child.
Pain pays, but see where it gets you.
Thank heaven for little boys Check it out, check it out.
Check it out, Manhole.
Check it out, man.
Manhole, check it out, sir.
Man No cover charge for the men in blue.
We're not here for the show.
You know a Mr.
Clyde? He's the man, right there.
Check it out.
Hey, sir, don't be shy.
Come on in.
Kid's not old enough to be in here.
I'm not old enough to be in here.
We're looking for Clyde.
Mike, don't touch anything.
Hey, I'm all paid up at the precinct.
I'm not laughing, Clyde.
What do you want from me? I run a legitimate business for patrons of the dance.
Any of your patrons dance on this kid's face? Oh, shucks.
The party got out of hand.
Let me know where to send flowers.
Hey, clown just for laughs, we're gonna lock you up for child prostitution.
And you won't last five minutes.
They'll be sending flowers to you, cowboy.
Hey, I deal only with consenting adults.
What, do you check their driver's license? Matter of fact, yeah.
You know different? Take a nice, long look.
I never seen him.
I told you before, I don't handle that end of the business.
It ain't worth the trouble.
Yeah, well, I think you better come along with us, while we check your references.
I'd put the kid at about 13, 14.
Time to worry about pimples and Debby from next door.
He had more pressing concerns.
Cracked ribs, punctured lung, ruptured spleen.
He was hemorrhaging from almost every organ.
How long could he walk around like that? Slow rate of seepage? A couple of hours.
Priest said he found him a little after 11:00.
Beating at 9:00, film at 11:00.
Listen, we think the kid might have been working the street.
Really? Doing what, selling newspapers? Saw no evidence of sexual activity.
No fluids, no tearing of tissue.
What about his wounds? Anything kinky? Just your normal blunt-force wounds.
Then I guess we have to let the choreographer go.
Somebody on the street had to know that kid.
I doubt he was sleeping in any alley.
How many runaways do you know eat string beans? Kid had a full belly.
Meat, potatoes, string beans, milk.
When I was his age, the only place I ever saw string beans was at home.
What about the Father's soup kitchen? No, we checked the menu.
They had soup and sandwiches three days running.
He lives at home.
His parents should have called 911 by now.
Missing Persons doesn't have anyone matching this description.
We sent photos to every precinct you know, in case the parents happened to walk in.
No hits.
It's been 48 hours.
I'm sure they would have noticed he's missing.
Unless they're the reason he's lying on a slab.
I mean, if they were smacking him around maybe they didn't care where he crawled off to die.
You said the kid had a school bus pass.
No name on it.
My kids' passes are good only on the lines that take them to school.
What was his, the Lower East Side? Yeah.
Start with the junior highs.
Look, I'm telling you, the faces, they go right by.
Well, maybe if you checked your attendance records for the past two days.
You're making a joke, right? You name the day, at least Look, lady, this one isn't coming back.
Now look at him.
Two nights ago, we found him dead on the sidewalk.
We'd like to give him a name.
I'm sorry.
We have over Maybe one of the homeroom teachers will recognize him.
So long, Mrs.
If this kid had trouble at home, I bet he was trouble at school.
Maybe in line for a little individual attention, huh? They used to send me to the guidance counselor.
John Lasky.
One of my regulars.
Not exactly the teacher's pet, huh? John got an A in energy.
Non-stop motion.
Mouth like the Grand Canyon.
Got him in trouble on a daily basis.
Off the record, the kid cracked me up.
Where'd he get his chuckles after class? I think he lived in the Alphabets with his mother and her boyfriend.
I might still have the address.
Might? You don't hear from a kid for a couple of days, you gonna throw out his records? Forty kids in a class is about all we can handle.
Johnny was transferred at the end of last year.
Hey, what can I tell you? The bitch moved out.
I don't know, two, three months ago.
And you're still carrying the torch, huh? Tori was a piece, you know? But the brat, forget about it.
I had a theory about him.
What's going on, Zack? We got company, what does it look like? Hey, Delia, you want to cover your butt, or what? I gotta go pee.
So, you were saying, about your theory? Half the reason she got strung out was 'cause of him.
Kid couldn't sit still.
Drive you nuts.
So the kid drove you nuts, and you gave both of them the boot, huh, Zack? Hey, I gotta go out of town with the band, come back, find her out of her head? How long do I gotta put up with that? Yeah.
So everybody's partying and Johnny's gonna take care of Johnny? What do I look like, the Partridge family? When they hit the road, where did they go? If I knew that, I wouldn't be stuck with her bills.
If you had to guess- I don't know.
Maybe I heard she was back in rehab.
Daybreak Village, out on the Island.
I didn't have nothing in the world, but Johnny.
Those bastards They kidnapped him.
Who did? Child Welfare.
They ripped him out of my arms and put him in foster care.
Maybe they were afraid you'd stick a needle in his arm by mistake.
I would never I would never hurt him.
Not in a million I'm here 'cause of him.
They wouldn't give him back, unless I got clean.
You know where he was living? No, why would they tell me? I'm only the mother.
I might steal him or something.
They said I was too dangerous.
And look what they did to him.
First day on the job, they dumped Johnny Lasky on my desk along with 28 other members of the Oliver Twist club.
He told me I was his sixth caseworker in 10 years.
Just what every kid needs, consistency.
They tell me a couple more years, I'll be ready to quit, too.
These kids can tear your heart in half.
Looks like the damage goes both ways.
He tested positive for heroin at birth.
Johnny never had a chance.
Well, putting him on the foster care merry-go-round didn't improve the odds.
Just because she has the right plumbing didn't make Tori Lasky fit to be a mother.
Yeah, we had the pleasure of meeting her.
Two months ago, Johnny showed up for class every shade of purple.
Don't tell me, the boyfriend used him for a drum solo.
Poor kid was too scared to say.
Anyway, Johnny went into foster care, and Tori went into rehab.
You know the rest.
Not quite.
We'd like to see the foster parents.
We put him in with Flo Bishop.
He lucked out.
She's terrific.
She knew Johnny was a hard case but she didn't mind.
She also didn't mind him being missing for three days.
I take good care of my boys.
I never even let them go out alone.
And if one of them forgets to come home, you don't report him? I was sure he would be back.
Look, I report him, they transfer him to a group home that's no better than a prison.
Well, it's better than a morgue, don't you think? I had no way of knowing.
I try to provide for these boys some kind of stability.
I thought Johnny was making real progress.
He went to a 6:00 show at the movies.
He went with two of the other boys, Chris and Andy.
On the way home, they turn around and he's gone.
Would they have any idea where he went? No.
They just said he took off.
I could guess.
I mean, usually when the boys run away they go back to their parents.
Hoping Mom and Dad get their act together.
And then in a day or two, they come back to me.
And they never run away again.
Two hours of watching Van Damme makes you hungry.
So around 8:00, you stopped for food, right? Yeah, we did.
But Johnny We go to get a slice on Dyckman and he's beamed up, like some UFO grabbed him.
How about it, Andy? He say anything to you before he left? Nothing.
He just booked like Chris said.
Maybe he got homesick.
I don't know.
No, the way Johnny told it home was what made you sick.
That guy his mom shacked up with a real jerk.
Enough of a jerk to hit Johnny? What else is new? I never laid a hand on him.
Then what, two months ago he fell in the bathtub? It was between me and Tori.
He got in the way.
Yeah, and he walked right into your fists.
It's Friday night, Zack you must've been really ticked off when the kid showed up, huh? I told you, I wasn't there.
I was doing a gig in Jersey.
Don't get us wrong.
We understand.
The little brat he got in the way of the scene with his mom.
Hey, you guys are nuts.
I ain't saying anything till I get a lawyer.
His alibi checks, if you squint.
The club manager in Bayonne said the band hit the stage at 11:00.
He can't remember what time Zack showed up.
Look, we're not ready to cut him loose.
This creep could have beat the kid and made the show.
You said he had a girlfriend? Yeah, just this side of jailbait.
She's a waitress downtown.
Check her timecard for last Friday.
I stayed home Friday night.
I was sick.
Stomach flu.
Did Zack stick around to make you chicken soup? I don't need his help to puke my guts out.
He left around 8:00.
Why don't you just ask him? You say he left around 8:00.
He didn't get to club till about 11:00.
It doesn't take three hours to get to Bayonne.
So maybe he stopped to tune his guitar.
Delia, if you're lying to protect him, that makes you an accomplice to murder.
You mean that kid? Are you out of your mind? What about these bruises on your arm? Are those hallucinations, too? Does he always talk with his fist? Johnny Lasky was at the apartment last Friday, wasn't he? Yeah.
I didn't tell Zack, 'cause he'd just get mad.
So he didn't know? About an hour after he left I heard someone at the door, like they were trying to get a key in a lock.
And I heard kids whispering.
Could you tell how many there were? I don't know, a couple.
I guess they must've heard me, 'cause I saw the one kid, Johnny, running away.
You'd seen him before? Yeah.
Hey, you know, about four weeks ago someone ripped off some of our equipment.
No breaking, just entering.
Zack figured it was his ex.
We changed the locks.
No one ever thought about the kid.
Now, if she's telling the truth, it means the angels with dirty faces aren't.
Thieves who lie, color me shocked.
No, go ahead.
Anything else? All right, thanks.
Johnny's little foster brother, Chris Pollit did time at Spofford.
Now, his records are sealed but he had some months added on for bad behavior.
So let's go rattle their cages.
Come on, Chris we know you weren't eating pizza on Dyckman Street that night.
You were at the other end of town, with your friend Johnny.
Wasn't me.
We got a witness who puts you with him.
Maybe Johnny was hanging out with his Lower East Side homeboys.
Hey, Kreskin how did you know he was on the Lower East Side? You said.
Nobody said.
Well, somebody did, 'cause I heard it.
It's getting tough keeping all the lies straight, isn't it? Look, kid, we don't care about your little burglary, okay? And we don't care that you went back for seconds.
All we're interested in is what happened after you left Zack's apartment.
Yo, Brylcreem, why don't you and Captain America go blow it out your butt? I can tell when my son's lying.
You're pretty good at it.
I'll bet you put a lot over on your mom, huh? She's passed out most times.
How about Mrs.
Bishop? She easy to fool? You know, it says on your sheet you stayed with her four times in the past six years.
She must know you pretty well.
Anybody thirsty? Andy here was telling me how much he likes staying at Mrs.
Oh, yeah? That's too bad 'cause his friend Chris just finished telling us that Mrs.
Bishop fenced the sound equipment that him and his buddy Johnny stole.
Really? Yeah.
You sure? Yeah, seems Johnny was gonna rat on them and the old lady had him killed.
Murder trafficking in stolen goods delinquency of minors.
That's pretty serious stuff.
He's lying.
She don't have nothing to do with it.
He's the one.
Better get the foster mother down here.
And someone from the D.
's office.
Okay, from the beginning, Andy.
Johnny thought that if he could get up some money him and his mother could afford an apartment.
And the first time in Zack's apartment, you were with him? He still had his old key.
It was easy.
But the second time, you ran into problems.
It was a bad idea.
But Johnny he needed the money and there wasn't any left from the first score.
What, did he have holes in his pockets? It was Chris.
He was supposed to fence the stuff.
Instead, he spent it on clothes, and boots shades, junk like that.
So what happened Friday night? Well we heard someone inside, and we took off.
Then Chris blamed Johnny and they started to fight.
Chris went nuts.
I mean, I never seen him like this before and kicked the hell out of him.
He had this look in his eyes like he wasn't even there.
Then after we left he was shaking all over.
He was in his own zone.
Even I was afraid to look at him.
And, I mean, my dad used to beat me all the time but I've never seen anything like that.
Look I'm the first to admit this kid is no Andy Hardy but if he's tried as a juvenile, at least there's a hope of rehabilitation.
He brutally murdered his friend, Helen and you want me to send him to his bed without dinner? The state tried that once.
It didn't work.
If he's over 14 years of age, the presumption is he's tried as an adult.
And we both know that that presumption is rebuttable.
I'm just asking for compassion, Ben.
He's a kid, for God's sake.
So was John Lasky.
I'll see you at the hearing.
By the way, it's been assigned to Judge Kershan.
Judge Kershan? She spent at least six years as Chairman of the Bar Association Committee on Children's Rights.
It's not easy to get a case remanded to Family Court.
The burden's still on the defense.
Well, the burden just got a lot lighter for them.
So we better find out all there is to know about young Mr.
You actually expect me to help you send Chris to jail? He murdered John.
I can't imagine you wanting to protect him.
Maybe it's time somebody did.
I'd like to protect him from his mother who rented the boy out by the hour to some pervert when hooking didn't bring in enough money to pay her rent.
And how about those doctors at Bellevue that doped the boy up on Thorazine for over a year? And those three foster families, lovely people, they were.
Took him in and used the stipend for big TV screens and trips to Aruba, while the boy had barely enough to eat.
So you don't think he should be punished? I think he's been punished enough.
I lived with him.
I had dinner with him.
I got the boy ready for school.
I don't know what snapped but I do know that's not all there is to Chris.
What can you tell me about his year at Spofford? Miss Kincaid I have a toaster.
It breaks, I don't toss it into the trash can.
I call the repair man.
I'm not suggesting- Oh, I know you only have his best interests in mind.
But if Chris Pollit goes to Attica, you and I both know he's not coming out.
The judge sealed the records.
Why should I tell you anything? So he stepped in it bad.
Should I be surprised? Maybe not.
Your son did spend a year in Spofford.
A year? I guess they're right.
Parents are the last to know.
If you haven't noticed, Chris is not my problem anymore.
Was he ever? What do you think, just 'cause I didn't go to Miss Porter's I didn't love my kid? Well, the state found it necessary to take him away from you.
I left him alone for a couple of hours a day.
Some pervert downstairs gets ahold of him, that's my fault? Where's his father? Jack's in lovely downtown Attica for another 5-to-15.
Look, maybe I screwed up with Chris.
What did I know about kids? I was a kid myself.
And now you know better.
I got as much right to be a mother as anyone else.
And what right does your kid have? You got an education.
You got a job.
This is all I got.
Nobody's taking this baby away from me.
When I was 14 years old, I had a fight with Joe Dworkin.
I pushed him.
He retaliated by throwing my Spaldine down the sewer.
Kids killing kids.
You bounce around the system long enough, you grow up a lot quicker.
Meaning what? If his mother's any indication, he never had a chance.
And the system only made the problem worse.
He had four years with Florence Bishop.
She's the best the system has to offer.
It didn't make any difference.
And for all we know, this may be his first violent offense.
Well, why does our Mr.
Pollit deserve two bites at the apple? Because he's not even Okay, find a way to open the kid's file.
If his first offense was non-violent let Helen Brolin do her song and dance in Family Court.
I thought your job was putting the bad guys in jail.
I just want to make sure he goes to the right jail.
From what I've read, Chris Pollit should be riding the ferry on the river Styx.
Seems you're getting a little soft in your old age, Claire.
Seems you're getting a little callous in yours.
Hey, I'm a lawyer, not a social worker.
I represent the little buggers.
Doesn't mean I have to like them.
Tell me about youthful offender hearings.
That's where we dress them up in their Sunday best clean their fingernails and teach them to cry a lot while saying: "I didn't do it, and I swear I won't do it again.
" Can we introduce priors? An often overlooked statute requires that the judge consider all relevant factors even if they're not admissible at trial.
Even if the records are sealed? Anything goes, as long as it bears on the little angel's history and or character.
And the best part, none of it can later be used at trial.
Not even a confession.
You're awful cynical for a children's rights attorney.
I'm just being pragmatic.
"The child is father of the man.
" I gotta live in this city when these kids grow up.
Johnny and I always got along pretty good before.
I mean we never got into a fight, or anything like that.
In your own words, Chris tell us what you remember about your fight with John Lasky.
He started getting down on Mom.
You know, he called her a whore, stuff like that.
Did you tell him to stop? Yeah, me and Andy both, but he just wouldn't let it go.
So what happened then? I don't remember.
You don't remember the fight at all? I remember crying on the subway back to Miss Bishop's.
And how do you feel about that now, Chris? I wish it didn't happen.
I mean, I don't want to hurt nobody.
Young man, who is Brian North? Objection.
You know better than that, Counselor.
Answer the question, son.
He's a kid I used to know.
Didn't he cut in line in front of you at Spofford and you smashed him right in the face with your tray? He pushed me.
But didn't you kick him and keep kicking him until he was unconscious? Your Honor, when he's in a normal environment he's had no violent episodes.
Pollit why were you placed in Spofford in the first place? I was with a bunch of guys.
We robbed a deli.
And you were armed, right? Isn't that true? Mr.
Pollit, isn't that true? Yes.
Your Honor, there was no money in the store and Mr.
Pollit got mad and he shot the owner with a.
This case must be special.
Judge Kershan removes nine out of ten cases to Family Court.
Three violent episodes that we know of so far.
She had no choice but to try him as an adult.
Wait until you see this.
Brolin's notice of her intent to plead Chris not guilty by reason of mental defect.
He testified that he knew what he did was wrong.
He expressed remorse.
She'll never get out of the gate with an insanity defense.
Well, she's not claiming he's insane.
She's claiming he's not responsible because he's genetically predisposed to violent behavior.
Most of his blood relations are incarcerated for violent crimes.
The sins of the father are visited upon the son? That is not a defense for murder.
Well, you say it's nurture, Brolin says it's nature.
And what's our plan? We have a conference tomorrow in chambers to see what Judge Kershan says.
Ever since Mendel, at the turn of the century scientists have seen a direct relation between genetics and human behavior.
And most of those scientists goose-stepped their way through the streets of Berlin in the I940s.
Very dramatic image, Ben, but unfortunately, misinformed.
Researchers in our own back yard have identified the XYY chromosome male as being predisposed to criminal behavior.
Are you saying this kid has an extra Y chromosome? Verified by the Tyler-Hampton Clinic.
He also has blonde hair and brown eyes.
Should we allow that as a defense for murder, as well? If there's a relation between that and aggressive anti-social behavior, yes.
There is no proof that the XYY male is predisposed to any kind of behavior, Your Honor.
Frye v.
Scientific evidence is only admissible when it is generally accepted by the scientific community.
Well, show me one scientist who doesn't accept the laws of genetics.
The Frye case says nothing about the conclusions drawn from those laws.
Richard Speck? Didn't he try this XYY chromosome defense? And the judge threw it out, Your Honor.
Yes, that's because Speck didn't have the extra Y chromosome.
No court that we know of has ever accepted this defense.
Your Honor, we can fill the courtroom with experts who'll say this is nonsense.
And we'll see if the jury believes them.
What is next, Helen, the astrological defense? Jupiter aligned with Mars, so I had to rob a bank? If it gets my client the justice he deserves, why not? You don't think people are responsible for their actions? Sure.
I read Sartre in college.
I also read Freud.
Chris Pollit's life was determined for him before he hit the age of six.
But not before he was born.
Look, Ben I present even the smallest slice of Chris's home life the jury starts bawling.
So what does that get me? Maybe a Man One conviction.
I start hitting them with genes and chromosomes, I got a shot at an acquittal.
And that's what's best for Chris? No.
What's best is transferring this to Family Court.
Helen, you had the opportunity for that.
You didn't meet the burden.
Yeah, well, it's a lot easier to confuse a jury, than it is to convince a judge.
This is dumb.
Humor me, Chris.
What would you do? I'd tell the teacher she was stupid.
Why is she stupid? Because the other kid was cheating off me, I wasn't cheating off him.
But the teacher said she saw you.
I told you, she's stupid.
Does that make you angry? If I got in trouble, sure.
And what would you do? Beat the hell out of the kid.
You think you'd try to kill him? I get mad, I don't know what I'd do.
You think that's what happened with John Lasky? I liked Johnny.
I mean he sort of cracked me up.
It's not like I wanted to kill him or anything.
He just got me mad.
There's no question he knows what he did was wrong.
He's aware of the consequences.
He feels remorse.
So he's not legally insane? The problem is, when sufficiently provoked, he loses control.
Liz, you don't think there's any validity to this XYY chromosome theory? Current thinking among geneticists is that the extra Y chromosome causes a slight increase in height.
There's no evidence of any causal connection to criminal behavior.
So all he's really got is a homicidal temper, right? There's a lot we don't know about the brain.
Liz, keep this out of the shadows.
Is he responsible for what he did? With all the scientific data available at this time yes.
There were hematomas on his arms, legs, chest, back, and face.
Three ribs were fractured.
Vertebrae displaced in the spinal column.
The actual cause of death was internal hemorrhaging.
Doctor, could you determine if the victim was unconscious during the beating? From the amount of cranial bleeding and bruising I would say that, no he had to be conscious at the time.
So then it is possible that John Lasky was screaming while he was being savagely beaten? Any objections, Ms.
Brolin? No, Your Honor.
Well, I can't imagine that anyone could sustain such a beating and not cry out in pain.
Thank you.
Was the victim already on the sidewalk when the severest part of the beating occurred? From the pattern of the bruising, it would appear he had to be prostrate, yes.
So there he was, Johnny Lasky lying on the sidewalk screaming in pain, and what did the defendant do? He kept on kicking.
Would you characterize this beating as savage, Doctor? Yes.
Inhuman? Yes.
Like someone not in control was doing it? Objection.
The defendant was definitely cognizant of the difference between right and wrong.
But more importantly he's able to analyze his own behavior in terms of societal norms.
Did Mr.
Pollit tell you that he heard voices telling him to kill John Lasky? No.
He's not schizophrenic.
Doctor, please tell the court what you know about the XYY male syndrome.
It arose in the '60s.
Geneticists tried to correlate the existence of an extra Y chromosome in men to aggressive, antisocial behavior.
And what became of this theory? To date, there's no proof that there's any validity to it.
Thank you.
Doctor, isn't it true that some psychiatrists believe that depression is passed on genetically? Well, it is commonly found to occur in families.
And what about schizophrenia? Yes.
So why would it be so unbelievable that we may pass on criminal behavior to our children? Because there's no scientific evidence that criminal behavior is anything but learned.
All the data supporting the XYY male syndrome was dismissed in the '70s because the pools from which the samples were taken were not sufficiently random to form cohesive scientific conclusions.
So what you're saying is that there was a problem with the methodology, not the theory.
Our lab ran karyotype tests on the defendant and there's no question that he has a second Y chromosome.
And has your lab studied the effects of this chromosomal anomaly? Certainly, and it definitely appears to occur to a higher degree in members of the prison population than in the general public.
And what does that indicate, Doctor? The extra Y chromosome relates to criminal behavior.
So, Doctor, if this behavior is genetic would you also say that it was uncontrollable? No more controllable than your height.
Thank you, Doctor.
Doctor, as I understand it you have found in the general population at large people like you and I, who have this extra Y chromosome, correct? Yes.
Are they leading productive lives? I couldn't say.
Well, then let me rephrase the question, okay? In your files, is there evidence that they exhibit aggressive, homicidal sociopathic behavior? I suppose not.
So then isn't it true that your testing hasn't even come close to proving that this chromosomal anomaly has any effect on behavior? My study is not yet completed.
You should have told the court that when you arrived.
Objection! Withdrawn.
Head of the local chapter of the White America Caucus has taken up Brolin's cause.
Letter to the editor: "It's a known fact "that genetics is the cause of violence "and feeble-mindedness in the black man.
" Do you think educated people actually buy this XYY chromosome theory? Well, no one wants to think that their society produces monsters like Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, or Chris Pollit.
Brolin paints a bad enough picture the jury convinces itself the kid can't be normal.
The defense has added Chris's mother to their witness list.
Oh, great.
Now we'll hear stories about the poor baby torturing puppies during nap time.
From the day he was born, we knew Chris was different.
Please go on, Mrs.
He never cried.
We thought maybe he was deaf or dumb.
We didn't know.
When he was four, I took one of his toys away.
He went crazy and came at me with a knife.
Where is Chris' father now? He's in Attica.
And why is he in prison? Jack attacked the mailman with a hammer.
And is he the only family member in prison? Jack's brother, Chris' uncle is serving life for murder.
Thank you, Mrs.
Pollit did you try to discipline Chris at all? Jack hit him all the time.
It didn't help.
So you just gave up on him? I used to think it was my fault but I didn't know about this gene stuff.
The gene stuff, right? Do you believe it? Do you believe that Chris inherited his criminal behavior, and, as such, he's totally incapable of changing? Well, there's nothing I could do about it.
But if there was, you would do something about it? Sure.
How many months pregnant are you, Mrs.
Pollit? Five.
Has it ever occurred to you that you might be carrying a killer? What, do you think I want another one like him? I don't know, Mrs.
But if he is like Chris what are you going to do about it? I'm not going to kill my baby, if that's what you're saying.
You haven't thought this through at all, have you? What do you mean? If this theory is true and your infant is like Chris aren't we going to have to lock him up right away and sterilize him so he won't reproduce? Because if he is genetically criminal he can't stop.
Or why don't we just avoid the whole bloody mess and kill him right now? Enough, Counselor.
No further questions.
For me, it's always cold fried chicken before a summation.
Summation's next week.
Change of plans.
I ran out of witnesses.
I'd have bet the ranch that you'd put Chris on the stand.
Yeah, I would.
But my client thinks otherwise.
Yeah, well, maybe your client is smarter than both of us.
You know, the way I see it, I've got jurors two, five and seven.
You've got six, four, eleven.
The rest are up for grabs.
Brolin, you know what they say about counting your chickens.
Listen, Ben give me Man Two.
He stays at Spofford till he hits his 18th birthday and the rest he spends at a facility of your choice.
Helen, what's going on? If you have three jurors in your pocket, it's a sure mistrial.
I advised him against it, but Chris wants a sit down.
Tomorrow, my office, 9:00.
You want a drink? Yeah.
I just want you to understand, Chris I don't think this is in your best interests.
Don't worry, you're off the hook.
I spoke to your attorney last night, Chris and a plea at this point in the trial is unacceptable.
I don't think you get what I'm looking for.
I heard everything that went on in the courtroom, and I I just I just want it over with.
Chris, this is a mistake.
Why? I mean, you go on and on about how my genes are screwed up.
And nobody can ever fix that, can they? I'm just trying to get the jury on our side.
What, are you lying? I'm just trying to present a valid argument for your defense.
I mean, I killed him, didn't I? And I tried to kill that guy in the deli and that kid at Spofford.
I'm screwed up.
Chris, what are you trying to tell us? I want to go to jail.
You might spend the rest of your life there, Chris.
So what? I'm a freak.
You can't force the other side to play.
You put a check in the win column, and you count your blessings.
In any other circumstances, that's exactly what I'd do.
Well, why does this kid deserve such special attention? Because he's pleading for the wrong reason.
His lawyer tells him that he's born bad.
We say he's raised bad.
He buys both stories, sees his life as a dead end.
Well, maybe he knows his life better than you do.
Your job is to convict, not to rehabilitate.
He's a 14-year-old kid who gave up.
So you're doing him a favor.
If he gave up his illusions, right but he gave up hope, and I drove him to that.
Now anything might happen to that kid in prison.
Gary Gilmore, Wesley Dodd: two unrepentant killers.
Everybody wants them dead until they agree and then we turn them into folk heroes.
I had nothing to do with their fates.
You want them to start naming churches after you I'd get another profession.
Take the kid's plea, move on to the next case.
Murder Two, he serves the maximum.
Am I reading this right, Miss Brolin? It's what my client wants, Your Honor.
Do you understand the charges to which you're pleading guilty, Mr.
Pollit? Yes.
Please describe, in your own words what occurred on the night of September the 10th, of this year.
I had a fight with Johnny.
I hit him and I kicked him until he was dead.
Why did you kill him? You think I know? I get mad, I can't stop.
The result of a plea bargain usually is a reduced sentence.
Doesn't anybody listen? I killed him.
I'd do it again.
I don't want anybody's help.
Stone? Your Honor, we have agreed that the defendant be incarcerated in a juvenile facility until his 18th birthday at which point he'd be transferred to Attica.
Why? We're trying to save your life, son.
What's the point?