Law & Order (1990) s08e17 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're home early, Mrs.
How was your trip? Oh, best anniversary present lever had, Michael.
Hey, Mr.
K, long flight? It's always long when you're coming home, Michael.
Send the suitcases up, would you? Yes.
Your daughter, she Oh, May hasn't gone out, has she? Not this early.
No, no.
I haven't seen her this morning.
SCOTT: What in the hell is going on in here? LENORE: May? Who are you? LENORE: May? Oh, my God.
(BOY COUGHING) All right, come on.
Get up.
Get out of here, all of you, right now.
LENORE: May? May? Andy? Mr.
I was I was just Cover yourself.
Andy, what is going on here? May had a couple of kids over.
LENORE: Oh, my God! Lenore? Lenore! (LENORE CRYING) Oh.
my Oh! Oh, my God.
It started out, you know, just a few kids.
What time? Around 8:00, 8:30.
You go to school with May? I used to.
Before I went to Williams.
I'm on spring break.
You were here with a girl, right? A date? Yeah, she's from Dalton.
I met her at the party, then we crashed.
You talk to May at the party? May was in the bedroom with somebody.
I don't know who.
They were having a bad fight.
You hear a gunshot? I didn't hang around outside the door.
I mean, with the music that loud.
Wait here.
How are the parents? Well, Mom's calling her doctor, and Dad's calling his lawyer.
Well, I got this one kid, said he heard an argument in May's bedroom.
You? No.
Some of the kids she hung out with thought she was the life of the party.
Not anymore.
What happened last night was not like her.
Up until this year, she never even went to parties.
We worried about her.
A kid needs a social life, and May was always such a loner.
Until last year, and then she just seemed to blossom.
Before you went to England There was never any talk of a party.
What about drugs? If you found any there, they were not hers or her friends'.
At least her close friends'.
CURTIS: Are you sure? Yes.
What about boyfriends? LENORE: May's crowd, they don't really date like we did.
Can you give us some names? That would be Chris Landauer.
She's in her class.
And Julia Buckley.
She's a year behind her.
Sometime after 8:00, 8:30, kids, friends, friends of friends, strangers who heard about the party started showing up.
Doorman calls up to the apartment, "Hey, are these your guests?" May wants to be popular so she says, "Sure, send them up.
" Yeah, so at some point things get out of hand.
One kid said he heard May arguing with a guy around 11:00.
Now another kid, Melinda Suarez, heard a shot maybe half an hour later.
But she thought it came from the street.
The gun from the room? A 22 caliber.
Latent's working on the prints.
Gunshot residue? Working on it.
What time did the parents find May? Six and a half hours.
None of the kids went in the room, saw the body? The door closed? It's possible.
The parents got there, there were bodies all over the place.
Sleeping, drugged, drunk.
What about these Polaroids? Well, you can get arrested for putting them on the Internet, but no shots of May.
No diary or phonebook? Working on that, too.
Now, some other people we talked to said, "May was shy, but everybody liked her.
" "Fun, not wild.
A little naive.
" If she'd been a little more streetwise Maybe she would've been killed on the street.
Latent got three sets of prints off the gun.
The girl, an unknown, and this mook, Maxwell Paris, 23, just did six months at Rikers for dealing.
CURTIS: So, how'd you end up at the party, Max? BRISCOE: Somebody decides to throw a party, they just put your name on the top of the list? What do you do, supply the party favors? Am I under arrest? BRISCOE: For what? How long were you at the party? A couple of hours.
Who'd you talk to? You talk to May? Who? CURTIS: Your hostess.
We found this gun there, Max.
It's got your prints on it.
Now, why would that be? Why would your prints be on this gun, Max? I just brought it, okay? Some kid found it in my pocket, started showing it around to people.
I tried to look for the thing later, but this blondie, she could tell you.
I was with her from the minute I walked in the door till when I left.
Blondie got a name? Well, everybody's got a name.
Cindy, I think.
All right, you recognize blondie? Yeah, yeah, that's her, that's her.
GLORIA: If my mother ever finds out that I was with that guy Tell us about the gun.
It was a gun.
Well, a lot of your friends carry guns? No.
Look, I didn't even know he had it.
Some kid took it out of his pants pocket.
BRISCOE: And Max didn't try to stop him? Well, his pants were on the other side of the room.
(SIGHS) Okay.
BRISCOE: Were you with him the whole time? Did he go off by himself? Get a beer? Anything like that? No, I came up in the elevator with him and Well, I didn't know that he was going to the party.
We were both crashers, so Well, I don't know, he pretty much kept an eye on me the whole night.
I think he was scared I was going to run out on him or something.
Yeah, he'd lose his meal ticket.
Look, I know what goes on.
I mean, if you only saw the dweebs that I usually go out with from my school.
And this guy Max is, what, exciting? Real.
I mean, he really does stuff.
Like time in Rikers.
Look, I'm really sorry about what happened to Billy's girlfriend, but Max was with me the entire night.
Who's Billy? Billy Fields, the guy who told me about the party.
He was there with May.
Where can we find him? I don't know.
Greenwich Paper, down on 12th Street.
Ever since it happened, it's like a nightmare.
Well, you want to tell us exactly what happened? I wanted to explain it to someone.
My friend Louis said that Louis? Louis Morse.
He said that I should report it.
I was scared.
Hey, that's okay.
Something like this happens, people get scared.
I didn't know what to do, you know.
I mean, just a party.
It was just a regular party.
May planned it a while ago, when she heard her parents were going out of town.
So, what happened at the party? BILLY: I got there late, and I was just taking off my coat when Louis pulled me into May's bedroom.
And he had this gun.
I don't know where he got it.
And we were looking at it when May came in.
And she was hysterical.
She was telling us how she got this letter, and that she had AIDS.
And she was crying, and saying it wasn't fair.
I freaked.
I was like, I kept telling her, "Are you sure?" She said yes.
I thought maybe I had it, too.
(STUTTERS) She told me to put down the gun, and she picked it up, and somehow it went off.
I don't even know what happened then.
I thought I killed her.
And I was scared.
Louis and I, we just booked together.
God, I mean, I'm so sorry.
We got him in interrogation, waiting on his lawyer.
She tells him she's got AIDS, he freaks and accidentally shoots her.
You buy that story? Well, he's a mess, but his friend, Louis Morse, confirms everything.
So, there's a struggle.
Maybe he wanted to kill her because he was afraid she'd given him AIDS, and she tried to stop him? We're having the M.
check if the girl was HIV positive, and if the wound makes the boy's story possible.
Well, book Max for criminal possession of the weapon, charge Billy with murder two, and talk to May's parents.
Find out what they know about Billy.
HIV? What are you talking about? What are they talking about? We're just trying to confirm My daughter's dead, and you come here telling me she Who told you that? Mr.
Kiley, I Whoever told you that is a liar.
My daughter was not sexually active.
She was fitted for a diaphragm a little over a year ago.
She what? May was a late bloomer.
She came to me for advice, and I Why didn't you tell me this? Because she was afraid you would react the way you're reacting.
Who was she sleeping with? I didn't ask.
What is the detective looking for? Oh, he'll be finished in a minute.
Did May ever talk about getting tested for HIV? What can you tell me about her friend, Billy Fields? We met him a couple of times.
He seemed like a very sweet boy.
I didn't know he was her boyfriend.
(DOOR OPENING) Found this in one of her school books.
"May, we have to talk.
" "It's very important.
" Who's Lana? There's a Lana Madison in her chorus.
I don't think they were friends, though.
May, and this girl from Spence, Grace Leonard, and me, we all went out with the same guy.
Me, about a year and a half ago, and then Grace a year ago, and May nine, 10 months ago.
He bounced from Grace to her.
Who was the guy? I only know his street name.
Do you know where we can find him? I don't know.
I haven't seen him around lately.
Does he go to school with you? No, he's older.
Couple of years.
Do you know where he lives? No, he just hangs around the scene.
So, where did you LANA: My parents' place.
They were out.
What about May's current boyfriend? Billy? He's a shy kid.
You know, more May's speed.
Not like Twist.
I can't imagine him shooting anybody.
Sounds like you don't like Twist.
Yeah, well No, like three weeks after we broke up, I ran into him at a party, and he told me he had AIDS, so I probably had it, and then he laughed.
And I thought it was a sick joke.
He was just trying to get back at me for dumping him.
But two weeks ago, I had to go get tested for VD, and I found out Twist wasn't joking.
I'm sorry.
What do you guys say? "Can't do the time, don't do the crime?" That's what it feels like.
You know, like I'm some sort of criminal.
You getting help? Yeah, I got a good doctor.
At least my parents say he's good, and now they get to congratulate themselves on being understanding.
(SIGHS) This Twist, would Grace know where we can find him? I tried to contact Grace, too, to tell her, but she already knew.
She died.
Last month.
Look, Twist is a jerk.
Hey, he even bragged about infecting as many girls as he can.
Taking us all with him.
confirmed that May was HIV positive, and the angle of the wound makes the boy's story possible.
We've got the kid's statement.
Confirmation from the witness? Yes.
He saw the fight.
I talked to Billy's lawyer.
What do we know about the boy? CURTIS: By all reports, a good kid, good student.
So, we're not talking a hard case here.
It sounds like it happened the way he said.
Freaked out, the gun went off.
I'm inclined to make the deal.
We close the books on Billy.
I wish they were all this easy.
What about this other guy, Twist? VAN BUREN: What about him? He's purposely infecting women to kill them.
BRISCOE: He bragged about it.
Said he was going to take as many girls with him as he could.
Well, isn't this something we should hand off to the Health Department? LT, he's dangerous.
VAN BUREN: I don't know.
CURTIS: It's at least attempted murder.
And what? We get him to plead down to man two? It's a stretch.
I vote with Curtis.
It appears we have a good kid who accidentally killed his girlfriend, and maybe a bad one who's deliberately infecting women.
Well, pick him up.
We'll worry about how to keep him later.
Start with the clinic where the girl got tested.
MALLON: We get a list of sexual encounters from everyone who tests positive for HIV.
We contact these people, we urge them to get tested.
We get from them their list of sexual encounters, and so on.
Well, Lana Madison told us she got tested here.
This is the letter you sent her.
We're hoping you traced the guy who infected her.
The records are confidential.
Hey, we got somebody out there who's infecting these people on purpose.
All right.
I can tell you in the past three months, half a dozen girls who tested positive gave overlapping contacts.
One guy? We found out he tested positive about a year and a half ago.
We're gonna need his name.
The rules make no exceptions.
Listen, while we're standing here talking, he could be out infecting somebody else.
If half the time, money and effort you're spending trying to find this guy went into sex education We work for the Police Department, not the School Department.
And I work for the Health Department, which does not disclose confidential information.
Excuse me.
We can't get this kid's name from the Health Department.
So, we can't get him off the street.
He'll keep spreading the disease.
This kind of thing makes judges very nervous.
We're dealing with a Constitutional issue here.
The right to privacy.
What about the right to life? The city health codes are pretty specific about confidentiality.
So, you're saying what? We back off and let this guy spread death as quickly as he can get those kids to kick up their heels? (SIGHS) Okay, I'll file a motion.
Look, we're all in agreement here.
This is a crime.
I sure hope so.
People v.
The defendant was compelled to undergo an AIDS blood test.
The People are not asking a suspect to take a test.
They're asking us to release the test results on a third party.
The issues of privacy are the same.
In Rodriguez, the defendant was charged with sexual assault.
The victim moved to determine her attacker's HIV status for her own peace of mind.
Ross seeks to turn Rodriguez on its head.
Your Honor, if we don't get this man off the street, he will infect more women, and we can't get him off the street if we don't know who he is.
VESSAS: There's a larger consideration here, Judge.
The need for secrecy to encourage those people who may be infected to get tested, and for those people who are infected to seek treatment.
If the D.
can force disclosure, people infected with HIV are going to avoid the city Health Department like the plague.
Ross, if I order these records unsealed, won't I send the AIDS community a message that confidentiality is out the window? The People's need for this information is limited.
We're not asking for all records to be unsealed.
Only one order about one individual.
Which is how it starts.
If one, why not two, 10,100? Rodriguez presented unprecedented issues in this state.
In that case, the suspect had already been arrested.
In this case, we're breaking confidentiality to make an arrest.
We're in uncharted waters here.
Is there a crime here? That's what we're trying to determine.
That's why we need to talk to him.
Given both the seriousness of the consequences and the urgency of the matter, I'm inclined to lean a little on the side of protecting the health, and perhaps the life of those who are in danger of infection over a right that is not a matter of life and death.
You've got your records unsealed, Counselor.
We're looking for a kid named Twist.
Last known address, your building.
Didn't give an apartment.
That's it.
Kenny Stark, in what's-his-name's place.
A real pain in the ass.
Which apartment? I haven't seen him since, what month is this? He moved out, huh? Mmm-hmm.
We need to find him, fast.
Well, you know Village Blues, two blocks up? You can't miss it.
He used to work in the kitchen.
Yeah, he washed dishes whenever he needs the cash.
I haven't seen him for awhile.
Romeo, right? Different girl every time he comes in.
You know the type.
Gets the girls by playing the doomed artist.
And they're so dumb.
They see him shooting smack, and want to take care of him.
CURTIS: He do a lot of drugs? Not really his thing.
Just enough to convince himself that he's not middle class, and convince the girls that he's a tortured soul.
You know where he lives? Around.
Anybody who's stupid enough to take him in.
Like that kid he was with the other night.
She was putting up those flyers about that lost cat.
What, the Siamese? Manx.
Got it.
Are you here about my cat? Actually we're looking for Kenny Stark.
What for? Is he in trouble? Is he staying with you? What's he done? CURTIS: Is he here? He just went out.
BRISCOE: Where'd he go? He's in this band.
They've got this big gig coming up.
I mean, it's not definite, but this A&R guy's gonna come down and check them out, and they're going to get this big recording contract.
You should hear them.
Well, maybe we can go hear them rehearse.
Hey, it's nothing for you to worry about.
(SIGHS) East Third, 413.
Over the laundromat.
You his girl? Yeah.
Did Kenny tell you he was sick? What do you mean? Listen, don't go anyplace.
We're gonna have to talk to you, okay? We're looking for Twist.
Hey, it's okay.
I got this problem with my eyes.
See, I can't see anything but Twist.
I can't even see you.
Where is he? (GLASS CLANKING) STARK: Hey, no, baby, I don't use rubbers.
It's better bareback.
CURTIS: Police! STARK: What's going on? CURTIS: Get out of bed.
Let's go.
How the hell? Stand up.
Kenny Stark, you're under arrest for the murder of Grace Leonard, and the attempted murder of Lana Madison.
WOMAN: Twist.
You've got the right to remain silent.
Anything you do say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
"Docket number 27341.
People v.
Kenneth Stark.
" One count Murder in the Second Degree.
Four counts Attempted Murder in the Second Degree.
Stark, how do you plead? Not guilty, Your Honor.
The People request remand.
Stark is not a flight risk.
He's a threat to the community.
Stark is HIV positive So, we put everyone with AIDS in internment camps? Not everyone with AIDS, Your Honor.
Just those who deliberately infect others.
MARGINI: From the beginning of the AIDS crisis, quarantine has been consistently rejected as an option.
"The power given by statute to isolate a person" "is dependent upon his infections or contagious disease.
" Smith v.
recent applicable law is from 1947.
We're talking ancient history.
Is Mr.
Margini suggesting the court ignore precedent? Is Ms.
Ross suggesting the court ignore basic Constitutional rights? Mr.
Stark has no Constitutional right to place others at risk.
All right, Counselors, settle down.
Defendant is remanded to custody.
Think you're a little hasty? We have a serial killer on the streets.
I'm not sure prudence dictates we go slow.
We're not talking about a serial killer.
All right, a serial killer can murder what, two, three, half a dozen? Stark can infect, kill dozens, hundreds.
What he did is clearly a crime.
In a perfect world.
But in this one, under the system of laws that we have Just before he was being arrested, the police heard Stark say to a girl, "It's better bareback.
" What? ROSS: He didn't want to use a condom.
JACK: And he told one girl he wanted to infect as many women as he could.
It's a crime, Adam.
Is it one we want to prosecute? A lot of people are gonna see this as a signal for open season on people with AIDS.
That's a political consideration, Adam.
Just possibly Constitutional.
People are dying.
We have the tools to stop it.
Let's use them.
No one gave consent to get infected.
The Health Department traces these things.
This is their responsibility.
Sure, to trace them, not to stop them.
The Health Department is not the sex police.
Besides, these kids don't even report it.
And you think that this case Could save some lives? Sure.
Well, we're not here to start a crusade.
And I'm not on a crusade.
We can't save everyone from getting shot on the street, and I know we can't save everyone who gets AIDS.
It is our job to prosecute anyone who's responsible for the death of another.
Playing into the worst kinds of prejudice.
It'll be on the front page of every newspaper.
I don't want that.
Get Stark to plead out.
Do what you have to.
(DOOR BUZZING) Anne Paulsen.
Kagan, Romero, Schoenholtz.
I'll be handling Mr.
Stark's case from here on in.
Where's Mr.
Margini? He went back to defending streetwalkers.
(STARK CHUCKLING) JACK: Your client's easily amused? That's not half as funny as the charges.
What's your interest in this case? Her weekly golf game with my mother who lives next door in Ardsley.
And a very large retainer.
I didn't notice them at the arraignment.
They're suddenly concerned? Yeah, well, we haven't seen much of each other lately.
Stark's been out of contact with his family the past couple of years.
His murder spree took all his time.
(SCOFFS) Look, do you want to tell me what happened? I can assure you, Mr.
McCoy, his parents will do everything they can to help their boy.
We're ready to offer man one.
Three-to-nine, and he names his contacts.
So you can manufacture more fake charges? So we can alert your client's victims.
Victims? We all know the charges are bogus.
His irresponsibility is sad and immoral, but it isn't a crime.
I'm moving to dismiss.
McCoy is seeking to criminalize sexual activity.
No, I'm seeking to impose criminal sanctions on a murderer.
No matter how irresponsible he may be, Mr.
Stark is not a murderer.
His weapon of choice may be unusual, but he's no less deadly than a common thief who fires a gun.
You can infer intent when a thief pulls a trigger.
Stark told one of his victims he wanted to take them with him.
Your Honor, if you allow Mr.
McCoy to prosecute people with AIDS He knowingly infected others with a deadly disease.
No warning, no protection.
It's a sustainable case, Mr.
McCoy, if you can prove intent.
I'm going to let you proceed, but I'm mindful of the sensitivity of this issue.
I won't let you turn this into a witch hunt.
If you go forward with this case, you are crucifying an entire community! We're not crucifying a community, we're prosecuting one man.
Who has AIDS! And who therefore, in the press, in the public mind Nobody has said he's gay.
You think that's going to make a difference? You know, people hear AIDS, they think gays.
The tabloids will use this case to attack anyone who's HIV positive, which Which includes Yes.
You've got to think about the effect that this is going to have! Therefore, don't prosecute a murderer who happens to be a Christian fundamentalist because people might think he represents all Christian fundamentalists.
That it? The courts don't exist in some sort of ivory tower, Adam.
All legal decisions are political.
I don't make decisions about which cases to prosecute based on fear of what the newspapers will say.
I've always supported you, Adam.
Every time you've come up for reelection, I've busted my hump for you and I have never asked for anything in return.
But if you don't back off on this one, I will bury you.
Start digging So Judge Al Hoyt found for the People.
When'd he grow a backbone? Maybe he has granddaughters.
He's what they used to call a confirmed bachelor.
Well, you got your crime.
Do you think Paulsen will consider a plea? We tried again.
She turned us down.
Establish intent.
Maybe then her client will wise up.
Establish intent.
This thing's political poison for him.
Background noise.
Ignore it.
Let's start with the victims.
Lana Madison? We have her sworn statement.
The girl in the loft? She's on board.
Stark's girlfriend, Leslie Crowell? I'll talk to her.
Those girls you said he infected? Twist isn't that kind of guy.
I mean, I know him.
You don't.
I know what he did.
You know what they said he did.
What do you know about them? One's dead from AIDS.
Another's infected.
I don't have AIDS.
You been checked out? My blood's okay.
What clinic? Leslie, this is important.
You have to get a test.
What do you care? I'll take you.
Sometimes it's easier if someone goes with you.
I went to see Twist.
In the Tombs.
My mom kicked me out of the house after my dad died.
When I met Twist, he told me he'd been waiting for me all his life.
My mom, my dad, they never even told me they loved me.
Leslie, how long have you known him? Two months.
How do you know those girls didn't get it from someone else or needles and blame it on Twist? Because, like that girl in Central Park who was screaming at him? About what? When she saw him with his arm around me, she went crazy, saying she was going to get him.
She was going to make him pay.
Because? Because she was jealous.
Maybe it was because he gave her AIDS.
Well, she didn't say anything about that.
She just said she was gonna make him pay.
And she did, didn't she? You know her name? She has light brown hair, she's 5'5 ", 5'6.
" ROSS: How long have you been sick? It's just a cold.
It's no big deal.
I don't need anybody's sympathy.
I've got enough trouble dealing with my parents.
You sure Kenny Stark gave you HIV? You can prove it? Yes.
Details? Partners? Dates? This is gonna be embarrassing.
What about meeting him in the park? Who told you about that? Is there a reason to hide it? No.
It's just Why didn't you tell the police? Because it would sound like I accused him of giving me AIDS to get back at him.
And did you? Twist gave me the disease.
(CRYING) Then he laughed.
Yeah, yeah, I want to get back at him.
I'm never gonna get married or have kids.
I mean, what's the point of staying in school or going to college? Even if we don't put Lana on the stand, Paulsen will.
Thank you.
Then she'll put Leslie on the stand.
Why did she threaten Stark? Why didn't she tell anyone about meeting him in the park? Who else could she have gotten HIV from? Reasonable doubt.
I've got reasonable doubt.
Doubt the kid is telling the truth? Doubt that a jury will ever buy it, even if she is.
We don't put Lana on the stand, the jury doesn't hear Stark's threat.
We lose half our case.
We may lose the other half.
A motion to suppress Stark's test results.
We can't prove he knew he had AIDS, we can't prove intent.
PAULSEN: It's black-letter law, Your Honor.
The doctor-patient relationship is sacrosanct.
Your Honor, Judge Kaplan has already ruled that the records can be unsealed.
I don't care what Barbara Kaplan ruled.
Go on, Ms.
Not only is that confidentiality supported by CPL 3504, the city's own Health Department rules specifically state the identity of AIDS patients must remain anonymous.
Your Honor, this report is the only record we could possibly have of one of the elements of the crime, namely, intent.
The court must put aside the fact that it takes the form of a medical report.
Well, how does this differ from any other medical communication, Mr.
McCoy? People v.
Thomas, People v.
Fonseca, People v.
Gearhardt, in all those cases, the courts ruled that the State's right to learn if a defendant had AIDS outweighed his right to privacy.
PAULSEN: Which is a basic Constitutional right.
In those cases, the crime was never in doubt.
In this case, you're trashing the principles this country was founded on.
Judge, you open this door, where does it end? Even the Gay Men's Health Crisis group has reversed its position, and come out in favor of doctors reporting HIV positives to the State Health Department.
I don't care what that group does.
The Constitutional issue is not to be lightly swept aside.
The rules of confidentiality should not have been breached.
Therefore, the report on Mr.
Stark's condition is suppressed.
PAULSEN: Your Honor, I am moving to dismiss.
Without evidence of intent, the charges can't be sustained.
We still have Lana Madison's statement about Mr.
Stark's threat.
That's hearsay from a witness who could have contracted AIDS from any number of sexual partners.
We have her entire sexual history.
Unless she's forgotten someone, or is protecting someone, or lied.
Quite right, Ms.
I'm granting your motion to dismiss, but I'm staying the order until what I assume will be Mr.
McCoy's speedy appeal to the appellate court.
Now, you've got 48 hours to put something together, Mr.
(GAVEL POUNDS) McCoy, you're a nice guy, so I've been nice.
Drop this case, or I'm going to roast you in the papers.
How's Adam Schiff going to take to that? So, it went that well, huh? Yep.
Forty-eight hours to prove Stark knew he had AIDS a year ago.
To prove intent all over again.
Make the case from scratch.
Forget it.
Let the 48 hours expire.
Blame it on the judge.
Is it the idea of trying to protect people from the consequences of casual sex that offends you? Oh, I see.
I'm an old fuddy-duddy.
No, Adam, I just And I think it's politics, and I'm afraid the case will sink the election? If we had a chance, I'd tell you to go ahead, whatever happens.
But we're past that now.
Cut your losses.
I want to talk to his parents first.
Then we'll see.
Then we'll see.
We went to visit Kenneth in jail.
He still won't talk to us.
My son hasn't really been part of the family since he was 16.
Before jail, when was the last time you spoke to him? Last spring.
When did he come up here? Uh April.
The dogwood was out.
Didn't even call first.
Last spring.
That's around the time he found out he had AIDS.
Did he say anything to you about his health? He came to you because he was sick, didn't he? (CLEARS THROAT) Mr.
and Mrs.
Stark, you do understand that this isn't just about your son's welfare.
But it is my son you're asking about.
ROSS: Your son consciously infected other people.
Just how many, we don't know.
We're aware of what you're accusing him of.
He has to be stopped.
He should be off the streets.
Don't you think we've been trying for the last few years? If he came to you, if he told you about his condition You could use that to put him in jail.
We've offered to make a deal.
Isn't this something you should be talking to my lawyer, my son's lawyer about? We're willing to reduce the charges from murder to manslaughter.
Instead of going to jail for 25 years-to-life, he goes for three-to-nine.
Our son may be dead in three years.
Even if Kenny did come to us when he was sick, do you think we would help you put him in jail? My son has had problems, I know that, and he's going to die.
So will a lot of other children, if you don't help us.
You don't know that.
And you will be just as responsible for their deaths as he is.
I'm going to live after my son is gone.
I can't live knowing he died hating me.
He'll die with us, at home.
Not in jail.
I checked with the Starks' insurance company.
Mid-April, around the time he showed up at his parents' house, Mrs.
Stark called the company to see if their son was still covered under their plan.
There was a note in the file.
So, the kid comes home, tells his parents he's sick.
The HMO told Mrs.
Stark that she could put her son on the policy by paying a premium after he's had a physical.
Which Kenny can't take because it'll show he's HIV positive.
The parents knew a year ago.
But won't cooperate with us.
Because they still want to protect him.
Not enough to dig into their own pockets, get him treatment.
I checked their bank accounts, stock transactions.
There were substantial withdrawals, cash, at regular intervals.
His parents were slipping him money to get help.
We don't know that.
But Stark and his lawyer don't know we don't.
We can fold or bluff.
We talked to your parents.
We know they contacted their HMO to try to get you on their plan.
No jury will ever hear that.
They made regular cash withdrawals.
And you can't prove they've been giving it to my client.
We know you used the money to get medical help.
Funny thing about cash, McCoy.
It all looks the same.
JACK: You want me to charge his parents with obstruction? PAULSEN: What are you going to charge me with? Accessory after the fact? (LAUGHS) You're dreaming, McCoy.
None of this will fly with the appellate court.
I'll file again next year and the year after.
We'll wheel him in on a gurney.
See what the jury thinks about that.
Conference is over.
(SIGHS) We've got till the end of the day to file the appeal.
Maybe I'll have lunch first.
It's Friday.
We might get more time by being late.
My clerk told me why you're here.
Forget it.
Your Honor, if this Stark kid gets out, it's like releasing Theodore Kaczynski and giving him a bomb and a stamp.
I can understand your concern.
But an expedited appeal with a full panel? It's 4:00, Friday.
This is urgent.
You know the chances of finding four of my brethren to take the bench at this hour? Judge Hoyt's stay expires today.
Stark will be out by tomorrow morning.
You want me to extend the stay until Monday? Unless you can find a full panel now to hear my appeal.
Enjoy your weekend.
I think you're going to have a rough Monday.
Two more days.
What's the next move? Prove Stark knew he had AIDS.
Stark's girlfriend.
Maybe he told her something about what he had.
He'd never do anything to hurt anybody.
I know that.
But I don't know.
From where I sit, he doesn't seem to care about anyone.
Not even you.
That's not true.
I mean, he told me I had to be protected.
What did he tell you? He said it wasn't about not getting pregnant, it was about That he was sick.
Did he tell you he was HIV positive? He said he was sick, and he didn't want me to get sick.
I mean, he knew we had to use a condom, but I didn't want him to.
If he was sick, whatever it was, well, it's like we were married.
"Till death do us part.
" He knew he had AIDS.
We can argue intent from that.
Not on our Murder Two.
On the woman he was about to infect when he was arrested.
Attempted murder.
Based on what the cops overheard? Mmm-hmm.
New evidence, new charge.
We're gonna give these judges a headache.
There's a cure for headaches.
Poor Leslie.
She thought she was helping him by telling us how considerate Stark was.
The only decent thing he ever did is going to sink him.
I understand the People have dismissed the top count of the indictment, Murder in the Second Degree? Yes, we're proceeding with the charge of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree.
All right.
This is a complicated case, and I'll review the circumstances.
We're well briefed on the facts.
Isn't this really a question of whether or not you can establish the defendant's intent as a matter of law? JACK: Yes, Your Honor.
And the People believe we can.
Stark told his current girlfriend that he was sick, and needed to use a condom for her protection.
And from that you infer intent? JACK: After he made that statement, he was arrested in the process of initiating the sexual act with another party.
And you know what he was thinking? The police overheard him say to this partner that he did not use condoms.
What were his exact words? "Hey, no, baby, I don't use rubbers.
It's better bareback.
" Your Honor, intention can be inferred from the act.
People v.
And this inference is to be drawn by the jury.
If the defendant gets back on the street, in the course of his lifetime, a lifetime which may be tragically short or indefinitely long, how many other women might he infect? Two dozen? 50? 100? Yes, this is a difficult case.
And, yes, it challenges the court to balance two goods.
The right to privacy, and the right of people in the most intimate act to trust that they will be safe.
The right to life.
I am not going to pass judgment on whether or not the women who had intimate relations with Mr.
Stark should have avoided them.
I'm not going to blame the victim.
But having decided, for whatever reason, to enter a liaison with Mr.
Stark, those women deserve the protection that they would have if Mr.
Stark brought to bed with him a knife or a razor or a gun.
Stark brought to bed with him something equally dangerous.
If the law can't protect those women, then we've all failed, and that's a failure that I'm not willing to concede.
All I want is the chance to get before a jury.
McCoy said, this case is a difficult one.
Difficult, first of all, because it will affect people's attitudes and behavior.
Some consequences we can predict.
Others we can't.
People may use what we say here to support the rankest kind of bias.
They may use what we say to excuse the most licentious kind of conduct.
It is difficult, second of all, because the issues before us couldn't be more serious, touching on the very Constitutional principles that framed our country.
However, this difficulty does not absolve us from passing judgment.
In fact, because it is difficult, we must pass judgment with prudence so that we neither follow nor lead society.
And though the case is a complex one, our job is simple.
To apply the law, fairly and reasonably.
Weighing the rights of the individual versus the common good, we were obliged to rule in a way that protects the benefit of the many over the interest of the few.
The People have met their burden.
The order below is set aside.
You got your reversal.
I'll feel better when your client's out of circulation for the rest of his life.
I don't know how long that's going to be.
Stark was admitted to the hospital last night with a temperature of 103.
Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia.
(SIGHS) What's your offer? Same as before.
We'll support any effort to get him into Bedford.
They have good medical facilities there.
(SIGHS) All right.
You got a deal.
I talked to Stark's parents.
Kenny's in bad shape.
He's got a week, maybe two.
Lana Madison? So far, so good.
Leslie tested negative.
You're really keeping track.
On this one, yeah.