Law & Order (1990) s08e13 Episode Script


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.
You ain't got no J.
Come on.
What you want? Oh! I'm just warming up! Hey, Ms.
G, check this out! You want in? Slam dunk.
Hey, you want to impress me, next time you get a job, show up five minutes before your shift and not five minutes after.
Their clock was fast, just like me.
The world is fast, Robert.
Sometimes you gotta run to keep up.
(SCOFFS) Anyway, check this What? Check this now, Jordan, Jordan goes for the three.
He shoots.
He misses! Come on, man.
I made that! (sun FIRING) (PEOPLE EXCLAIMING) ROBERT: Call 911.
Somebody! Anybody in the neighborhood have a beef with Ms.
Gaylin? No one mess with Ms.
You got a problem? She'd sit with you long as it takes.
Like little Lee, when his mama had the swollen ankles, she straightened out what they needed to get the prescription, you know.
I think it was a drive-by.
A drive-by? Why, you hear a car? Mmm-hmm.
All right.
You didn't hear a car? (CHATTERING OVER POLICE RADIO) She walked on water.
And nobody saw anything.
Somebody that popular, maybe one of the other social workers was jealous.
I don't know.
One of the kids thought he heard a car.
Let's tell the uni's that are doing the canvassing.
You in charge? Detective Briscoe, Detective Curtis.
Doug Gaylin, Jennifer's father.
I got a call.
What do we know so far? Well, so far, not too much, unfortunately.
Jennifer worked for three years in that center.
After graduate school, she had offers to teach at Columbia and Hunter.
She chose Harlem.
She ever talk about anyone who was giving her trouble? You're looking for a motive? A white woman murdered in a black neighborhood.
Doesn't make it a race crime.
Come on, Detective, she wasn't robbed.
They just shot her.
I tried to protect her.
Even set her up in one of my own buildings.
The last time you saw your daughter? Last Sunday.
Her apartment.
Just the two of you? She got a phone call.
Took it in the other room.
It didn't last very long.
She came back, she was white as a sheet.
She say what it was about? CURTIS: So, she organized these things, huh? Harlem AIDS walk, winter coat drive for the homeless.
Lot of good causes.
Every week she put up some new notices.
Do you have a list of her clients? Official, yeah.
But it won't help you.
Unofficial people were in and out all the time.
There was never a problem until three or four days ago.
One of her favorites came in.
She didn't want to see him.
Randy Johnson.
What do you mean, "one of her favorites"? Jennifer would walk down the hall, trailing five, six kids, a real posse.
Pied Piper, huh? So what was he? The kid who got left behind? Jennifer helped Randy get a job with the PAL.
Had a crush on her, I think.
Serious? Too serious.
He must have become a nuisance for her to avoid him like that.
She'd make you want to do better.
Make you want to please her.
Maybe you tried too hard.
We heard she didn't want to talk to you down at the center.
You tried to call her.
Who says? People said she was trying to avoid you.
The afternoon she was killed, you want to tell us where you were? Hey, man, I was just trying to help her.
What was she doing, Randy? (SIGHS) Two weeks ago, Saturday night, I was up on Dyckman, hanging out, then this car pulls up.
It's a white Audi.
I didn't see the guy driving, but the passenger door opens up and out comes Ms.
What was she doing up there? What're any white folks doing up there? Copping drugs.
You sure? Codeine.
A lot of kids using it for a party drug, a sex drug, what I mean.
You know, people ain't just one thing.
It's all there in the tox report.
I spend my day in a crisis center, I might need some medication, too.
Mixed with acetaminophen, prescription.
Well, at least you don't wake up with a headache.
Liver damage.
Especially if you drink.
Yeah, given the state of her liver, she must have been gobbling them down like cashews.
Sex drug, huh? Second gunshot was to her crotch.
You located her playmate? The guy driving the Audi? We searched her place.
And went through her address book.
So far, no luck.
Any other evidence the girl liked to party? Well, judging by what we found in her apartment, reading Vogue was about as racy as she got.
Maybe that's what someone wants you to think.
Her father owns the building? He'd have a key, wouldn't he? What time did Mr.
Gaylin get the news about his daughter? And where was he? His office, on 56th.
How long you think it usually takes to get from midtown to the center that time of day? About half hour? Something like that.
You didn't get to the center until 2:30.
What took you so long? I'll let Mr.
Gaylin know you're here.
Your job, Mr.
Gaylin pay you enough? Enough for what? Enough to go to jail for obstruction of justice? We made a stop first.
His daughter's place? He come out carrying anything? A duffel bag.
I took a few things.
Silver baby cup, some of her poems.
CURTIS: You mind if we take a look? Nothing important.
BRISCOE: Then you won't have any objection to our going through it all? People misinterpret things.
Like we might misinterpret your reluctance.
People will forget all the good she did and just remember the scandal.
And if her murder had something to do with drugs When I first heard Jennie had been murdered, I thought I'd do anything to find out who killed her.
After I cleaned out her apartment, I'm not so sure I want to know who.
Or why.
CURTIS: Codeine, percocet, dilaudid.
BRISCOE: She should've been a chemist instead of a social worker.
Or a cop.
Sex toys from A to Z.
Everything you can't imagine.
They're all wearing masks.
You find out your daughter's been murdered, you go to her apartment Which means you know something.
Or suspect something.
And while you're looking around, you find this stuff.
When you think of your daughter, you think of her, what? Six years old on a swing? The Pleasure Quest.
Fantasies and role-playing, Lafayette and Great Jones Street.
I've never been there.
I swear on a stack.
(CHUCKLES) Everything we do is legal.
Closer to theater than to prostitution.
Oh, somehow I don't think people come here when Cats is sold out.
Before you condemn what we do, maybe you should try it out.
I see enough degradation on the job.
Okay, about Jennifer Gaylin? I learned her real name when I saw her picture in the papers.
She come here often? She wasn't hardcore, but she wasn't a tourist either.
A weekend player.
She come here alone? I'm not a social worker or a priest, Detective, but I do have a confidential relationship with the people who come here.
Otherwise Otherwise, it could be a little embarrassing.
We come around here at playtime and start questioning your clients about Jennifer's death.
And what makes you think what happened to her had anything to do with her harmless hobby? What makes you think it didn't? She used to come in with her partner, that newscaster, what's his name, uh, Stu Steiner.
He wanted to get into a threesome.
She wasn't interested.
That guy got a little out of control.
We had to throw him out.
We don't like violence.
(SCOFFS) Steiner doesn't show up on TV, that's how I figure he's sick or out of town.
You don't see him around the building? Maybe 6:00, 6:30 in the morning, he drives up.
In a white Audi? Yeah.
He's going to bed when I'm hosing down the sidewalk.
So when's the last time you saw him? Here? A week ago, maybe two.
On the evening news? Three days ago.
You ever see him with her? Now and then.
Wanna open it up? You smoke cigars? Yeah.
Light one.
Always wear clean underwear, you never know when you might be in an accident.
Here it is.
Three days ago.
Last time anybody came to see him.
What's that say? Jane Wilson? Wilton? You remember what she looked like? She was tall.
Dark hair.
Blue dress.
Well, maybe it was a blue dress.
I wasn't paying attention.
In 4:15, out 4:45.
Hey, whatever they were doing, they didn't waste any time on foreplay.
Guess what we found in Stu's cupboard? I bet it isn't Jurassic Park.
CURTIS: The one in high heels, that's Jennifer Gaylin.
VAN BUREN: A social worker with the emphasis on "social.
" The other woman could be the brunette the doorman saw.
I guess the one in the middle is Steiner.
Be nice to find her.
It's not Gaylin's place or Steiner's.
That sign outside the window Chelsea Piers.
Find someone who remembers their trigonometry.
FULLER: We needed two reference points visible through the window.
We used the upper northeast corner of the sign and the top of this driving range post.
We project our line in this direction and we get a plan view.
And that would narrow it down to about, what? Then you did a section view, right? The sign is 63 feet off the ground, the post is 96.
You're obviously seeing them through the window from a slightly lower elevation, so it's gotta be this building here.
So you're hitting at about 40 or It's real easy to be off a story or two, but I'd say, yeah.
You're talking about the fourth or fifth floor.
How'd you know that? (PEOPLE CHATTERING) Oh! Sorry, it must be a mistake.
Oh! You must be looking for my daughter, Debbie.
She's throwing me a birthday party.
Can I help you? (CLEARING THROAT) Yeah, we'd like to ask you a few questions about Jennifer Gaylin and Stu Steiner.
Who? We brought along a party tape.
Maybe your mother's friends would like to look at it.
We can't talk in here.
I knew them from around the scene, not very well.
If this is what you do with strangers, what do you do with friends? Everyone has a hobby.
How did you meet Jennifer and Steiner? Mutual friends.
I partied with them twice.
And the main feature? That was the first time.
We didn't tape the second.
What, you got shy all of a sudden? Just more of the same.
We saw you getting some pretty rough treatment from two people who ended up dead.
I didn't have anything to do with that.
A witness saw a tall brunette at Steiner's place the day of the murder.
I wasn't even in town last week.
Anyway, I never saw them again after the second time.
I wasn't a success with them.
Could've fooled us.
Stu was going through the motions.
His real passion was other men.
Van Buren called Quantico to check for leads through ViCAP.
Now, they had three other cases with similar enough MOs.
Same caliber gun, knife and torture before killing, mutilation of genitals.
All the victims were active in the alternative lifestyle scene.
San Francisco, Aspen, Chicago.
Worked his way east.
Yeah, maybe he was coming back home.
He kills men, kills women, prefers a knife, although a gun will do in a pinch.
No signs of forced entry.
In a couple of places, Chicago, San Francisco, he really made himself at home, ate a sandwich, drank a diet soda before splitting.
Picked up any cash that was laying around, left the credit cards.
Pacific Heights, Beekman Place, East Belleview, fancy addresses.
Jennifer's wasn't too shabby, either.
So all our victims are Caucasian, rich and unmarried.
And educated.
Kinderly graduated Dartmouth in '88.
Dorsett, University of Pennsylvania, '86.
Jennifer Gaylin, Smith, also '88.
Ivy League.
Yeah, so when they called out in pain, they had the right accents.
So let's assume our killer travels in the same circles.
Where's Jennifer's address book? It's here.
And Steiner's.
What do you got? Abrams? Nope.
This one starts with "artist," Spencer Lee.
Call San Francisco, Aspen, Chicago.
Ask them to fax us any address books they got off the victims.
We get a match, maybe we get our killer.
I just got a call from the captain handling the case in Chicago.
He wants to know what we got, if we're holding out on him.
Well, we got the same phone number in three different address books.
Chuck T.
in Kinderly's, San Francisco, Eddie in Densch's, Aspen, and Charles in Steiner's.
And the number belongs to Charles Thatcher, 353 West Broadway.
(CLATTERING) Don't shoot, don't kill me, please! CURTIS: No one's gonna kill you.
Come on.
Step out of there.
Let's go.
Stand up.
You got a permit for this putter? I thought you were somebody else.
CURTIS: Take a seat.
What, somebody who knew Stu Steiner and Jennifer Gaylin? I thought I was next.
CURTIS: What do you mean, "next"? When I read the papers, I knew it had to be Eddie Chandler.
Who else? I knew Kinderly.
I knew Densch.
I knew Eddie knew them.
What made you think he was coming after you? He called me.
He, um, said he wanted money.
He said he'd call back today.
I was scared to death.
Why didn't you call the police? You gotta be kidding.
And everybody at work see my face in a story about kinky sex murders? No.
It's better than seeing your dead body.
Okay, if Eddie shows up, give us a call.
Don't go, please.
What do you need? I knew Eddie when he first came to New York, before he got into the whole S&M crowd.
I took care of him.
If you felt like your life was in danger, why didn't you just leave town? I walk out the door, maybe he's across the street, watching? He follows me.
I go to Aspen, he kills me in Aspen.
I lose him, he finds me.
You could go to Omaha.
Are you nuts? Who goes to Omaha? (PHONE RINGING) Hello? Yeah.
Eddie, where you been? Um Yeah.
Yeah, I got it.
Come on up.
He's on the corner.
He's coming up from the pay phone on the corner.
MAN ON RADIO: I see a white male going into the lobby.
Does he have a key? (STUTTERING) No I don't know.
(INTERCOM RINGING) Yeah? Uh, sure, sure.
Send him up.
(ELEVATOR DINGS) He didn't come up! Secure the front! I'm going out the back.
Police! Freeze! Right there! CURTIS: Edward Chandler? What do you want? What happened? Put your hands on the rail.
Spread your legs.
What's going on? I wasn't doing anything.
Yeah? What's this? .
38 Special.
Suspect What's that? You're under arrest for the murders of Jennifer Gaylin and Stu Steiner.
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
I don't know why Charlie felt threatened.
What did he say? He was afraid.
(LAUGHS) You know, Charlie always had a sort of lurid imagination.
You're sure you want to get into this? Once we were coming out of the movies, and there must have been a robbery across the street or something, a mugging, and he literally dragged me across the street to see what was going on.
But you deal mostly in murders, don't you, Detective? Two in particular, right now.
Right, um, Jennifer and Stu.
You don't have to talk to them.
I know.
Detective Curtis, is it? Read me my rights.
You have a wonderful voice, Detective, but you know that, don't you? I'm glad you like it.
Have you ever killed a man or woman? ROSS: Mr.
Eddie, like Eddie Munster.
You don't seem to be taking this very seriously.
No, I'd like to get this straightened out.
Believe me, I know it's a serious offense, carrying an unlicensed gun in this town.
(CHUCKLES) Guess that's why I panicked when I saw Detective Curtis coming after me.
You think that's why you were arrested? For unlicensed possession? I'd have gotten myself arrested a lot sooner if I'd known there were D.
's who look like you, Ms.
Remington .
38 Special's from Jennifer.
Western .
38 Special's from Stu.
All the slugs had five lands and grooves with a right twist.
Same gun.
Must have smacked Steiner in the head, too.
We got his blood and hair samples on the gun barrel.
Detective Briscoe, your partner is being very cruel to me.
The last time someone had me in cuffs, they were a lot nicer.
Where did you get the gun, Mr.
Chandler? She sounds so serious.
A friend gave it to me.
So I could protect myself when I brought new playmates home.
When I had a home.
And when was that? Uh Well, it was before I left New York the last time, I know that.
And you've had it since then? The bullets that killed both Jennifer Gaylin and Stu Steiner came from your gun.
Go get him arraigned.
It's kind of amazing, Chandler's compulsion to come on to everyone in the room.
A kind of pathological charm.
Anything a jury might respond to? (SIGHS) I don't think so.
I'd be happier if we could place him at either scene.
Wasn't there a brunette at Steiner's apartment? Yeah, and a witness saw a brunette driving away from the community center where Gaylin worked.
McCoy? So, Chandler has an accomplice? Or he likes to play dress-up.
Greenwald filed a motion to suppress the gun.
(SCOFFS) GREENWALD: My client was chased by the police and apprehended because he was running through the streets.
Running can't justify stopping an alleged suspect.
People v.
JUDGE SAMUEL: Sierra? Don't you mean People v.
Martinez, Mr.
Greenwald? Sierra, Martinez.
After 40 years, they all start to sound alike.
Your Honor, the officers were not acting solely in response to the running.
They stopped Mr.
Chandler because they believed someone matching his description was involved in a criminal activity, People v.
What exactly was the basis for this belief, Mr.
McCoy? He showed up at the apartment of a former acquaintance, Mr.
Thatcher, in an effort to extort money from him.
To borrow money from an old friend.
An old friend who felt it necessary to arm himself with a golf club.
So the guy's paranoid.
So what else is new in this farkakte town? JUDGE SAMUEL: Mr.
McCoy, if we had the police taking off after every suspicious-looking runner in this city, we'd all be in trouble.
Motion granted.
The gun is suppressed.
No weapon, no opportunity.
There's got to be something else to tie this guy to the murders.
Where's Chandler been living since he blew back into town? He might've been staying with a friend.
Assuming he still has any.
(LAUGHING) Where's Eddie been staying? The time was, that would have been an easy one.
In bed with whoever was the most eligible that week.
Years ago, when he first came to New York, he was like this corn-fed Adonis, to die for.
He had this wonderful innocence.
He thought people were being nice to him because they really loved him.
But you did? (CHUCKLES) Yeah.
Nice clothes, fancy meals, expensive vacations.
Eddie never realized that everything had a price tag, even him.
Especially him.
How did you two break up? I wasn't rich enough.
Nowhere near.
But he'd still come by? Uh, up until about two years ago.
He'd get lonely.
He'd come over.
We would microwave some popcorn, and watch TV for hours.
And then he would just leave.
No kiss, no goodbye, just pick up his jacket and wander off.
For? A house in East Hampton.
I drove him there once.
Do you have a name? It was a big cape behind a picket fence on Lily Pond Lane, I think.
It was painted this God-awful blue.
God, Eddie's let himself go.
When you two were together, did you know about his past? His boyfriends? (LAUGHS) Like Eddie, I'm not fussy about beauty.
Eddie was drop-dead gorgeous, but hardly naive.
By the time I got him, he was like a waiter in a really good restaurant, helping you choose from the menu.
But he always let you know the price, in advance.
And you could afford him? You know, I was the one that first introduced Steiner to Eddie.
At my summer place.
The blue house on Lily Pond Lane.
I could give you the number.
I like the mountains.
You should try the ocean for a change.
It's wetter.
How did you and Eddie end? He started losing some of that amazing beauty.
Why stick with a nine, when you can afford a 10? Then he dropped completely out of sight.
You never heard from him? Actually, I did receive a couple of notes from him recently.
Written on, of all things, history department stationary, Hudson University.
I don't suppose he joined the faculty, do you? STEVENSON: I don't think I can help you.
Off the record? I have two grown children and an ex-wife.
She won't know we talked.
Off the record.
I first met Eddie about, oh, let me think I guess it must be three months ago now.
He was intelligent, charming, lonely.
And you enjoyed his company? Except when he drank.
Then all that charm curdled.
Eddie would rage at the people who had "discarded" him, is the word he used.
How long did he stay, Mr.
Stevenson? Three days, then he'd disappear for four or five, come back for a night, then vanish again.
I had a pair of diamond cuff links, belonged to my father.
I assumed Eddie stole them.
I can see him as a thief, but as a killer, no.
I guess I might have been next on his list.
Do you have any idea where he'd go? Uh, he said he stayed with some friends in Westchester.
I let him use my car.
Otherwise it just sits in the garage.
Is it there now? Oh, I haven't been down there in weeks.
STEVENSON: What a mess.
Looks like he just camped out down here, eating, sleeping.
Whoa! Whoa! I tell you one thing he didn't do, bathe.
Why would Eddie sleep down here? He could have been more comfortable upstairs with me.
Allow me to introduce you to our mystery brunette.
We've got Chandler's prints in the car.
He'll say Stevenson gave him a ride.
JACK: We need Stevenson to say he loaned the car to Chandler.
That connects Chandler to the wig and dress.
Which puts him at both the crime scenes.
And while you're at it, get the weapon back in.
McCoy? Notice of substitution.
Greenwald's been replaced by Neil Pressman.
That Harvard opportunist.
How did Chandler manage that? The question isn't how.
It's how come.
JACK: Professor Stevenson connects your client to the Honda, and that connects him to the dress and wig.
And before I can say "Antonin Scalia," you're arguing inevitable discovery.
We get the gun back in, and your client's going down for murder one.
PRESSMAN: That's on the theory that the victims were tortured.
JACK: Very good, Mr.
Now try guessing what offer we'll make.
Let's see, going on what my teaching assistants told me about you, you're going to take the death penalty off the table and then you're going to give my client the opportunity to rot in jail for the rest of his life without the possibility of parole, am I right? Took the words right out of my mouth.
(SCOFFS) Don't waste your sympathies on those people who died, Mr.
You mean the ones you murdered? The ones somebody murdered.
When I was a boy, I used to watch On the Town over and over.
And But Not for Me.
You know that one, Mr.
McCoy? Clark Gable is a Broadway producer.
And Miracle on 34th Street.
Oh, I thought New York was filled with colorful people, romantic people, people who lived wonderful, exciting, interesting lives.
You know what I found? Monsters.
People who preyed on the innocent, corrupted them, destroyed them.
I was 17 years old.
(SCOFFS) Do you think they carded me? Do you think they cared if I was 17,16,14? I didn't kill them, Mr.
But they killed the boy I used to be, and if they hadn't been stopped, they'd have killed other boys, other girls, as many as they could get their hands on.
Those S&M games they played, they were rehearsing what happened to them.
He's really something, isn't he? So was Ted Bundy.
You want to avoid his fate, Mr.
Chandler, you consider our offer.
PRESSMAN: Well, that's a no.
So, I guess we're going to trial.
A real trial, Mr.
Not moot court.
(CHUCKLING) Don't worry, Mr.
McCoy, I won't bump into the furniture.
Let's go.
Off the record? That's what you said.
The situation's changed.
And you want me to testify to a grand jury so my children will know I shared my bed with a serial killer? If you don't help us, there's a good chance he'll go free.
That's your problem! Without him, we can't get the gun back in.
(SIGHING) The right judge might allow my testimony of what he said.
The right brain-dead judge.
It would still be hearsay.
Unless we charge him with aiding and abetting.
ROSS: Professor Stevenson incriminated himself when he told me he lent Mr.
Chandler his car.
His admission was a statement against penal interest.
It's admissible as an exception to the hearsay rule.
It's a dodge, Your Honor.
The only reason that they charged Professor Stevenson in the first place was to get his statement in.
I guarantee you, the minute this hearing is over, they're gonna drop the charges against him.
Are you, Mr.
McCoy? Barring new information, no.
All right.
The statement's in.
Then, Your Honor, we'd like to re-examine your suppression of the gun.
I told you, Your Honor.
He's bootstrapping.
(CHUCKLING) And doing a damn good job at it.
We can now link his client to evidence, the dress and the wig that places him at two crime scenes.
That gives us grounds to search his client.
And that search would've turned up the murder weapon.
Would've? Might've.
It's not called probable discovery, it's called inevitable discovery.
People v.
Don't you get the law journal up at Harvard? People v.
Ruff in.
Covers items that likely would've been discovered in the normal course of an investigation.
And so it does.
All right, Mr.
McCoy, you got your gun back.
He cut Mr.
Steiner over some superficial, before he shot him.
JACK: And what conclusion did you draw from these injuries? I'd say they were designed to inflict maximum pain while keeping the victim alive and conscious.
Rodgers, is it fair to say that the killer deliberately caused the greatest possible suffering in his victims? Yes.
Would you say this seems like the work of a sociopath? Psychopathology isn't my field, Mr.
But it's not something that you see every day.
Thank you.
(PRESSMAN CLEARS THROAT) Eddie called me up and said he wanted money, $20,000.
He said he'd come to my apartment in two days.
Um, he said I'd better have the money.
Did you take that as a threat? Absolutely.
Thank you.
Thatcher, what made you think that Eddie Chandler threatened you? Because I know him, intimately.
When you lived together, he was preoccupied with violence, wasn't he? Yes, um, he'd rent videos with lots of gore in them.
What else did he watch? TV shows, Road Runner cartoons.
He could watch that stuff for hours.
Thank you.
He can't be going for an insanity defense.
It's too late.
There's something we're not seeing.
We're not supposed to.
Not until it comes up and bites us on the ass.
It's from Pressman.
An addition to his witness list.
US Representative Fred Maxwell.
Maxwell? I'd say you've just been bit.
Your Honor, this witness has absolutely no relevance to this case.
I intend to argue mitigating circumstances, Your Honor.
Prolonged exposure to excessive TV violence led to sociopathic behavior on the part of my client.
He can say Moonbeams or Twinkies made his client do it, it's still not appropriate testimony.
If I can show impact on his behavior, why not? Why not, indeed, Mr.
McCoy? I'm not going to deny Mr.
Chandler a defense.
Your Honor, Mr.
Pressman is using a political hot button to confuse the jury.
Then unconfuse them.
I'm going to allow his witness.
I've been against violence my entire life.
ADAM: I'm acquainted with your career, Congressman.
Song lyrics, movies, television shows.
You've been quite outspoken.
And now this clown, Pressman, wants me testifying in defense of a serial killer.
A damn gay serial killer into kinky sex.
Pressman's no clown.
He's a ringmaster.
And you're his star attraction.
Just get me off the hook.
Nothing I can do.
Look on the upside, if Chandler's acquitted, your movement gets its very own Willie Horton.
I'm the chairman of the National Advisory Committee on Television Violence.
PRESSMAN: And you've sponsored bills to regulate the content of primetime TV shows? Yes.
Now, isn't it true that your committee believes that there is a one-to-one correlation between watching violent acts on TV and aggressive, anti-social behavior in real life? Yes.
And isn't it true that you found among young people who've been convicted of violent acts, an alarmingly high percentage of them, we're talking somewhere in the neighborhood of 80%, spent most of their leisure time watching violent TV? Yes.
All right.
Now, this is Defense's exhibit 43, Your Honor.
It's a report by the US Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect.
Would you read the marked passage, please? "The dynamic visual image has a unique psychological effect" "that is not shared by the written or spoken word" "or still graphic image.
" Do you agree with that? Yes, sir, I do.
Your Honor, Defense's 44.
This is a copy of a speech Representative Maxwell made in Denver last year.
Again, would you read the marked passage? "I blame violent TV shows for the epidemic of violence among today's youth.
" So, aren't you by implication, comparing these TV shows to a disease? Something that causes an epidemic.
You could say that.
Well, then, if these TV shows are an equivalent to a disease, aren't the people affected by them in some sense victims? I suppose in some sense, yes.
Congressman, you don't like my client, do you? No.
And I think it would be a serious miscarriage of justice if he were not found guilty of first-degree murder.
But this issue is so important, I would rather see Mr.
Chandler go free Objection.
Your Honor, the Congressman is an expert in this area.
His testimony is relevant to the case that I'm presenting.
I'll let him finish his thought, but that's as far as I'm going to go.
Thank you, Your Honor.
I would rather see Mr.
Chandler go free if it would help stem the tide of violence and depravity overwhelming our society.
Thank you, Congressman.
Congressman, is there a difference between a correlation and a cause? How do you mean? If 80% of juvenile offenders chew gum, are we to assume that gum chewing causes crime? No.
So isn't it just as likely that these juvenile criminals watch violent TV shows because that's the kind of program they're likely to be attracted to, given their personalities? I'm not sure.
Did you watch television as a youngster? Sure.
Did you watch westerns? Gunsmoke, Have Gun - Will Travel, Bonanza.
McCoy, I've discussed this many times.
The violence on those shows had a moral context, as do violent scenes in Sophocles and Shakespeare.
I'm not arguing that we must never see a part of reality that undoubtedly exists on television or in movies.
But I am arguing images of gratuitous violence and sex debase our culture.
And you decide what is gratuitous? A civilized society can come to agree on that.
Do you believe that we are a civilized society? I believe we used to be.
And you think setting Eddie Chandler free to prove a political point would make us more civilized? PRESSMAN: Objection.
No more questions.
When I was a kid, when I came home from school, I'd turn the TV on and pretty much, I guess, watch it straight on, right through till bedtime.
PRESSMAN: What kind of shows did you watch? Cop shows.
Action shows.
The Mod Squad.
The A-Team, Starsky and Hutch.
I used to pretend I was one of the characters.
How'd that make you feel? Alive.
More intense, more real.
Did you ever get into a fight when you were a kid? Once, by accident, I hit a friend in the face and I broke his nose.
There was blood, a lot of blood.
How'd that make you feel? (LAUGHING) It gave me a rush.
Like seeing David Carradine beat the bad guys on Kung-Fu.
Did you ever see any explicit sadomasochistic acts on network television? No.
Did you ever see anybody tortured with a knife and shot in the groin on primetime television? No.
So how did you come up with the idea for torturing Stuart Steiner? Did you see it on TV? I don't know, yeah.
Yeah, I think I did.
What show? You never saw it on TV, did you? You thought it up on your own? I don't know.
And you knew you were breaking the law, didn't you? No.
And still you murdered Mr.
Steiner and Ms.
Gaylin because you thought that they deserved to die? Because you believed that they were monsters? Yeah.
No more questions.
If television didn't influence our behavior, why would advertisers spend millions of dollars every year on TV commercials? Of course, TV has an effect on us.
You watch, as I did 30 years ago, you watch the Vietnam War on TV, you are changed.
Now, Mr.
McCoy will no doubt tell you that this is a matter of freedom of speech, that this is a First Amendment issue.
It is not.
It is about what you as parents already know.
That your children are mesmerized when they watch TV.
How they copy what they see.
They act out karate fights after watching Power Rangers.
And here we have Eddie Chandler who was abused, exploited and discarded by people he thought were his friends.
Eddie Chandler, who for 30 years, was bombarded with televised fantasies of bloodshed and vengeance and cruelty that turned him into a violence junkie.
Television told him it's okay to kill.
Now, the judge will instruct you that if you find mitigating circumstances, for example, if my client acted under an irresistible compulsion to commit violence, then you can acquit him of the top count of murder one, and find him guilty of first-degree manslaughter.
I am not asking you to absolve him of all blame, just the blame that properly belongs to those who infected his mind.
Pressman is right.
This is not a First Amendment issue.
We can all agree that what we see powerfully affects us.
But that doesn't excuse us from being decent human beings or from making moral choices.
What we choose to watch and how we react is up to us.
The baby boom generation, to which Congressman Maxwell and I both belong, grew up watching hundreds of hours of violent TV.
We dressed up like Davey Crockett with his trusty rifle, Old Betsy, like Hopalong Cassidy, with his pearl-handled six-shooters.
And what was the result of all this make-believe, TV-inspired violence? We grew up to be a generation that marched against war, and preached peace, love, and flower power, and, yes, Mr.
Pressman watched the Vietnam War on TV, and how did that change him? I looked up his record.
He became a conscientious objector and a Harvard Law professor.
Dangerous guy, huh? We are creatures of free will and moral choice.
No matter what we see, read, or hear, we still make choices.
Eddie Chandler, a man who murdered and tortured two innocent people, chose evil.
Come to offer a plea? (CHUCKLING) Get a chicken salad sandwich, actually.
Three days of jury deliberations don't scare me.
I want to tell you, Jack, I admire your passion.
I wish I could say I admired your consistency.
"The founders put freedom of speech in the First Amendment" "because they understood that democracy begins" "with the most basic freedom of all," "the freedom to think what we want and to say what we think.
" You were a champion of the First Amendment, and now you're arguing for censorship.
Yeah, I wrote that.
And I still believe in the First Amendment.
And your argument in this case? I want to see if the public does, too.
On the first count of the indictment in the death of Jennifer Gaylin, murder in the second degree, how do you find? We find the defendant, Edward Chandler, guilty.
On the second count of the indictment in the death of Stuart Steiner, murder in the first degree, how do you find? We find the defendant, Edward Chandler, guilty.
Have you seen the Crimson Law Review? There's a new article by Pressman on the viability of TV violence as a defense.
Their lead-time for articles is three months.
Pressman wrote and submitted this a month before taking the Chandler case.
I guess he wanted to try out his defense on a real jury.
This was just a lab experiment for him.
He got his results, a vote for personal responsibility.
I'm afraid some other defense lawyer will take this and get a different vote.
Bedtime reading.