Law & Order (1990) s10e20 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.
There ought to be a law, nobody under 18 sits in first class.
Especially the red-eye.
That little boy was so cute.
He didn't spill his apple juice in your lap.
I'm still sticky.
I'm gonna take a shower.
You sure your sister doesn't mind letting us use her loft? Why should she mind? She's halfway to London.
Meryl! Victim's Lucy Young.
It's her place.
This woman was loaded.
Upstairs neighbor said she lived alone.
Parents are both deceased.
No boyfriend they can remember.
She bled through to the apartment downstairs? Her hands were severed at the wrists.
ED: Where are they? Under the coffee table.
Rings are still on the fingers.
The knife matches the set in the kitchen.
Masking tape on her mouth, her own kitchen knives The guy didn't bring his own tools.
Beside the cutting there's blunt-force trauma to the back of her head.
Let me guess, he used the blender.
Whatever he used, it fractured her skull.
I make time of death around midnight.
ED: Lenny.
Blood imprint on the table.
Waffle pattern.
Looks like it could be the grip of a gun.
What about witnesses? Still canvassing.
Building manager any help? He got here before we did.
He found a can of pepper spray just inside the building.
Starts with a push-in off the street, she tries to ward him off with the pepper spray.
I guess he overreacted.
HOWARD: Lucy was like most of our neighbors.
We'd say "hi" to each other, but that's about it.
But she'd always warm up when I was with the baby.
ED: What did she do for a living? Some kind of fund-raiser work for charities, I think.
When was the last time you saw her? Yesterday morning.
I was on my way to work, and she was trying to catch a cab.
What about you? A few days ago.
What about last night? Either of you notice anything out of the ordinary? I came home about 7:00, and Beth and I never left the house.
ED: Mrs.
Miller? There was something a little before 9:00.
Howard was in the shower and I was trying to get the baby to sleep.
The buzzer rang and a man asked for Lucy.
Don't tell me you buzzed him in.
I didn't.
I just told him she lived in six.
He sounded like he knew her.
He just had the wrong floor.
Detectives, we got a witness up the block.
I was coming back from my parents' place.
It was around 10:30, and a guy was sitting on the steps over there at the loading dock.
What did he look like? He was white, he had dark hair, I would say about 40.
I would recognize him if I saw him again.
You ever notice him around here before? No.
I do see people sleeping there all the time, but this guy wasn't homeless.
It might have been one of your neighbors just out for some fresh air.
I don't think so.
He looked like he was waiting for someone.
BRISCOE: You read his mind? No.
He gave me the once-over when I walked by.
Maybe he thought I was someone else.
A clear view of the victim's front door.
Somebody left some garbage.
(KNOCKING ON DOOR) Hey, we ain't open yet.
Yeah, you are.
Who cleans up out here? Me.
How often do you sweep up? Every night before we close up.
So this garbage wasn't out here when you went home last night? No, sir.
Your company have a night watchman? Not for a couple of years.
All right, thanks.
"Drug Hut.
" Receipt? Empty.
Let's bag it off for prints.
Our witness is in with the sketch artist and as soon as the composite's done, we'll circulate it with the local Drug Huts.
We have a psycho on our hands? Well, the guy didn't just stumble onto Lucy Young.
He knew her name and where she lived.
Said she put up a fight, too.
Navy blue fibers underneath her fingernails.
Well, that corroborates your witness.
Also says that she was knocked out cold by something with a distinct, hard edge, an inch or two in length, then her wrists were cut.
Yeah, there was a waffle pattern similar to a gun handle imprinted in the blood on the coffee table.
Sexual assault? No.
No evidence of penetration, no fluids.
No rape, no robbery? Why not just shoot her and be done with it? ED: Too much noise? Or a big score to settle.
We got the names of some of her friends from her Palm Pilot.
Check 'em out.
I was Lucy's roommate at Vassar.
About the closest friend she had.
Young have any enemies? Do you think she was killed by somebody she knew? Well, the way she was killed, Ms.
Fadden, it's a possibility.
What do you mean? Her hands were severed.
Are you all right? I've known Lucy 15 years.
I can't imagine her mixed-up with anybody capable of that.
Her neighbors said she worked with charities.
She was a charity.
Her father left her millions of dollars.
Who'd she give her money to? Actors, artists, musicians.
The further out of the mainstream, the better.
Any of these charity types giving her any trouble? She was having problems with an artist that she helped out.
I overheard a phone call, and Lucy was in tears.
ED: She say any more about it? All I know is, it was about money.
Who would know the whole story? Arnie Fields, Lucy's business manager.
I never had a client who was murdered.
Her friend said she was having some problems with an artist.
Well, I know she bought a piece of sculpture recently.
From where? Uh Here.
(GRUNTING) A check for $25,000 payable to Erica Yelin.
Mind if I take a look? This Yelin an artist? I think so.
A check made to cash for a hundred grand, on the 3rd.
What was that about? That kind of money changes hands a week before a murder, we need to look into it.
The money was for Paul Radford, the art dealer.
The Radford Gallery? He's not one of her charity cases.
Well, I assumed Lucy bought some more art.
Why with cash? She would've given him a check for appraisal purposes, like she did with Yelin.
She never told me what it was for.
Lucy intended our affairs to be confidential.
Unfortunately, she's not here to confirm that.
Where were you Tuesday night, Mr.
Radford, around midnight? At my gallery, paying bills, answering some letters.
Alone? Yes.
You don't seriously think I was involved in this horror show? She gave you a hundred thousand dollars and you won't tell us why.
Lucy backed a number of up-and-coming artists with that money.
Why'd she need you? I was her talent scout.
So, she just handed you a wad of cash with no strings attached? Take a look around, Detective.
Most of this art was given to me by artists I discovered and nurtured.
Lucy wanted to be a part of the magic.
The money was a small price to pay.
Show us your paperwork, we'll let you get back to your magic.
I don't feel comfortable with that.
Maybe you'd be more comfortable at the precinct.
I'm sure you understand.
These were cash incentives.
As in undeclared income? We're looking for a murderer, not a bunch of tax cheats.
I'm sorry, I don't think you speak for the IRS.
I'll have to refer you to my lawyer.
Radford doesn't strike me as a guy who'd get his silk robe bloody.
If he's just a talent scout, why is he scared of the IRS? So what? She pepper sprays a guy she knows? Maybe the artist she bought the sculpture from was one of these up-and-comers.
Paul Radford is an arrogant bastard, but he's good at what he does.
If your work needs exposure, he's the man.
Your work looks pretty exposed already.
That's what Lucy liked about it.
I'm gonna miss her.
Well, I'm sure Radford can find you another patron.
Well, to tell you the truth, Paul's not a big fan.
We read that he showed your work at his gallery on Long Island City last year.
That was Lucy's doing.
That gallery is a launching pad, and I'd been trying to get in there for a long time, but Paul kept dissing me.
How did Ms.
Young manage to change his mind? All I know is Lucy was impressed with my work, said she'd talk to Paul.
And two weeks later, I was in a group show there.
Sounds like some money changed hands.
Well, if it did, it couldn't have been too much.
Why do you say that? I was supposed to have a solo show at Paul's gallery in Chelsea next month, but I got a call from Lucy this past weekend.
Paul backed out.
Well, Sam, it takes six weeks, you know that.
It takes six It takes six weeks to do that.
What the hell is going on? We're gonna take a little ride, to finish our discussion.
There is nothing to discuss.
You took Lucy Young's money and stiffed her.
She gave you a hundred grand to exhibit Erica Yelin's show at your Chelsea gallery.
You took the money and you ran out.
Close the door, please.
What happened, Mr.
Radford? She threaten to expose you? Maybe you lopped off her hands to make it look like some psycho.
You have vivid imaginations.
Erica's show was canceled because her work isn't selling.
Lucy even had to buy one of her pieces.
And the money she paid me was to support a show this summer.
A water colorist named Harvey Cornell.
Why didn't you tell us that before? I had to protect my reputation.
I hold myself out as a neutral arbiter of talent.
Instead of a hustler for sale to the highest bidder.
Museums take secret commissions when pieces they're exhibiting are sold.
Remember the Sensation exhibit that caused the big stir at the Brooklyn Museum? Charles Saatchi gave them money, they exhibited art he owned.
Nice scam.
His art goes up in value and he gets a write off.
It's the way of my world, Detective.
I left here around 9:00 on Tuesday night.
Was Mr.
Radford still here? He stayed to write some checks and take care of some paperwork.
Anybody who can verify what time he left? I don't think so.
But I'm pretty sure he was here 'cause the next day he handed me a big stack of bills and letters to run to the post office.
Lennie, take a look.
Who painted this? An artist named Mark Vee.
He just had a show here.
It's called Perfect Woman #3.
Look, Ma, no hands.
And no mouth.
A woman this perfect had to be painted by a man.
Mark Vee, one of Art Digest's painters to watch in the new millennium.
What's his connection to Lucy Young? Well, according to Paul Radford, she backed him to the tune of 20 grand a year.
Anything beyond a professional relationship? Not that anybody knows about.
Guy's got a couple of old dope busts in Pittsburgh, and one obscenity conviction in Cincinnati.
Over this stuff? He went through a religious phase, dipping holy images into bodily fluids.
Ugh! I'm glad he moved on.
Any beefs between him and Lucy Young? Not that we've heard of.
Well, let's see what this Mr.
Vee has to say for himself.
Too bad about Lucy.
Sorry for your loss.
Twenty grand buys a lot of paint thinner.
Lucy meant more to me than money.
Yeah? How so? She believed in my work.
She must've had a strong stomach.
My art revolts you.
You know, Ms.
Young's hands were cut off.
I didn't know.
Remarkable coincidence, don't you think? You mean my painting? It's definitely misogynistic.
Whatever you say.
How about you say where you were the night Ms.
Young was killed.
You're investigating me? The killing resembles your painting.
I was with a reporter.
We were at Waterloo.
(SIGHS) And the reporter's name? Betsy Braun.
From Pitch magazine.
I was at the bar with Mark from 11:00 to about 2:00.
He's a fascinating man.
You like the stuff he paints? To tell you the truth, no.
But my editor does.
How's that work? She signs your paycheck, so you write him good reviews? This is more of a personality piece.
He's controversial.
A lot of people are offended by Mark's work.
Anybody you're aware of? You know, there was a guy at the opening who was harassing some of the guests.
What do you mean, harassing? Well, he was saying things like they should be ashamed for supporting Mark.
They asked him to leave.
I followed him out and tried to talk to him.
Thought it'd be good stuff for my article.
Does he look anything like this? A lot.
Did you get his name? He wouldn't give it to me.
But I think he's from Brooklyn.
Why? He had a bad haircut? He was bitching about wasting an hour and a half on the L train.
Thank you.
Hour and a half on the L train, you'd wind up in Canarsie.
Well, let's see how many Drug Huts they got out there.
Take a look, he may have been in Tuesday night, bought something small.
I was here then, but I don't recognize him.
We are gonna need your credit card receipts for that night.
Let's check with the pharmacist.
Why, figure our guy came in to pick up something for his nerves? Guy lives in the neighborhood, he's gotta get sick sooner or later.
What can I do for you? You recognize him from the neighborhood? Yeah, Claritin.
Ten milligrams, five refills.
How about a name and address? I'll get it from our records.
SARAH: Hey, did 3G call you here? Larry likes to play opera at night, and they've been complaining about the noise.
We're not here about opera, ma'am.
Uh, this is Larry's apartment.
Uh, would you mind seeing if he's home? Sure.
Larry? It's Sarah.
The police are here.
Uh, thanks.
We'll take it from here.
Larry Brunig? Uh, yes? I'm Detective Green.
This is my partner, Detective Briscoe.
BRISCOE: Where were you last Tuesday night? Why? It's been a long day.
Can we do this without a whole lot of conversation? Well, I left work around 5:30.
Got here at little after 6:30.
You went straight home from the subway? I stopped at the Drug Hut first.
And then? Stayed home.
You know a woman named Lucy Young? No.
How about Mark Vee? No.
And I suppose you have never been to the Paul Radford Gallery? No, I haven't.
Are you sure I'm the person you want to talk to? Maybe we're wrong.
Look, do you mind if I use your phone? My battery went dead.
Oh, gee, I'm sorry.
I'm waiting for a call from my doctor.
My mother's ill.
So Sorry about that.
The magazine reporter picked Brunig's DMV photo out of a six pack.
Says he was the troublemaker at Vee's opening.
Well, that's a start.
What about Lucy Young's neighbor? She couldn't make the photo.
Brunig did say he went to the Drug Hut that night.
Were his prints on the bag? Latent couldn't lift anything.
Well, see if you can tie him directly to Lucy Young.
Talk to the artist.
If Brunig made trouble at the gallery, maybe he made trouble somewhere else.
I don't remember him from my opening.
Course, I was feeling pretty good that night.
Was it public knowledge that Lucy Young was backing you? Not too many people knew about it.
Lucy didn't want to catch any flack.
Any way this guy Brunig could have gleaned it from one of the art periodicals? My girlfriend clips my reviews.
You're free to look at 'em.
I have some calls to make.
"Mark Vee has tweaked more than a few old-school noses "bravely defying the conventions of political correctness.
" Daily Ledger.
Letters to the editor.
"Artists like Mark Vee threaten our moral fiber.
"Why must philanthropists like Lucy Young "patronize the most decadent elements of our culture?" Signed? Name withheld on request.
Our newspaper receives, thousands of letters every year.
Our policy is to respect the privacy wishes of our correspondents.
Your editorial policy is not a legal privilege.
Ever hear of the First Amendment, Ms.
Carmichael? Our readers need to be able to express themselves without fear of intimidation or retribution.
There's no promise of confidentiality made by the paper, Your Honor.
Well, that's true, Mr.
These are unsolicited letters.
Carmichael is marching us down the slippery slope, Judge.
And Mr.
Ervin could be protecting the identity of a vicious murderer.
(SCOFFS) Doesn't sound like this letter was written by Hannibal Lecter.
Is this a fishing expedition or do you have a suspect? Larry Brunig.
Let me see the original letter.
If Brunig wrote it, I'll order disclosure.
I'm sorry, Ms.
Not your guy.
And I'm inclined to protect this writer's anonymity.
Judge, the paper may not print every letter it receives on a controversial subject.
Well, that's true.
Isn't it, Mr.
Ervin? Sure.
Our editor may use one letter to represent a segment of public opinion.
Are there unprinted letters on this subject? It's possible.
Well, if there are any from Larry Brunig, turn it over to the D.
ED: "Purveyors of misogynist filth like Mark Vee need to be ignored, "but those responsible for its dissemination offend "the sensibilities of good people everywhere.
"Their fate should be in a category all its own.
" No wonder they didn't print that.
It's practically a death threat.
I wrote a letter.
I didn't kill that woman.
You told us you never heard of Mark Vee or Paul Radford.
I misspoke, okay? I was home that night.
You can ask my landlady.
We will.
My partner's there right now, searching your apartment.
I'm gonna call over there, Mr.
Anything you want to say before we find out what he turned up? He won't turn up anything.
You know, they find something out there, I gotta go right to the D.
So, you and I don't have a lot of time to set things straight.
There's nothing to set straight.
Look, I'm on your side.
You think this painting didn't piss me off, too? The first time I saw it, it turned my stomach.
You're making this very hard on yourself, Mr.
We have a room full of witnesses who put you in the gallery.
What if I was there? I can imagine how you felt.
What do you think it's like being a woman and seeing this? It's disgraceful.
You know what this guy used to do? Marinate Madonnas in pig's blood.
And he calls that art.
Now, how does he get away with that? I don't know.
And Lucy Young, she's the one who made it all possible.
I told you I didn't know her.
All that money she had.
And what can people like me and you do? Write letters that they don't even publish.
You ask me, she brought it on herself.
What you did to her was Biblical justice.
An eye for an eye.
Now, you lay it out for me, and I'll see what I can do for you.
I'm getting very tired.
Tell me what happened and it'll all be over.
Can I get some coffee? You signed your name to this letter, so I know you're not a coward.
Black, please.
Bunch of brochures from art galleries.
Nothing on Mark Vee.
How does Brunig slog through six quarts of blood and we can't find a drop? Maybe he's not our guy.
Or he cleans up real good.
Detective, we got something on the metal detector.
Waffle grip.
My lawyer show up yet? I told him to meet you at Rikers Island.
We found out what you've been feeding your plants.
You're under arrest for the murder of Lucy Young.
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.
Can I get a better look at Number 3? Have Number 3 step forward, please.
Step forward.
Right here.
Stay there.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure that that's him.
That's the guy that was on the loading dock.
You're pretty sure? You're here to observe, Mr.
Take your time, Ms.
Well, I think that that's him.
Thank you.
We'll be in touch.
Well, I believe Mr.
Brunig will be leaving, too.
You think I'm letting him back on the street? We're arraigning him on gun possession.
Larry Brunig leads a fairly unremarkable life.
He was a proofreader at an insurance company, and his sheet's clean, not even a traffic ticket.
Somebody spike his oatmeal one morning? Apparently he had problems with the paintings the victim promoted.
It's a big leap from writing a letter to chopping off her hands.
What's he got for an alibi? Home by himself.
Prove he wasn't.
I'm sure Larry was home that night.
I remember his music being up real loud.
What time was that? Around 7:30.
My mah-jongg game was just getting started and Bev Schlenoff was complaining she couldn't hear.
It must have been pretty loud.
These walls are like paper.
So I called Larry on the phone, and he turned it off.
He's nice that way.
Once it was quiet, did you hear him leave his apartment? I wouldn't know.
Usually when he gets home from work, he's in for the night.
Not much of a social life? Not recently.
But when he moved in here, he was a different person.
Different in what way? Let me show you something, dear.
See? That's not bad.
Brunig did that? Larry couldn't make his rent one month, so he gave me this instead.
How long ago was that? Oh, five or six years ago.
Then one morning I got up and all the paintings that were in his apartment were out with the garbage.
The canvasses had been slashed.
That's a pretty big statement.
Did he ever talk to you about it? From what I could tell, he just gave up.
Larry Brunig.
He'd turn up with a new painting every three or four months.
I only sold one, to a lady in Great Neck.
She liked it because the colors matched her sofa.
You know, I saw one of his paintings.
It wasn't half bad.
I have something really nice that might interest you.
No thanks.
I'll give you a break on the price.
I'm not in the market, Mr.
All right.
Larry tried hard.
He was prolific, but the kind of work he did just wasn't selling.
I had to stop representing him.
How'd he react when you told him? Larry's not stupid.
He saw the writing on the wall, took a day job.
We parted ways on good terms.
When's the last time you spoke to him? I heard from him three years ago.
In fact, I did him a big favor.
What kind of favor? I got a call from a woman who was traveling with Larry in Spain.
Said he was having some trouble with the police and needed money.
I sent him some.
What happened? I never got the whole story.
I wired him $2,000.
Took him about a year, but Larry paid me back.
Do you remember the woman's name? It was his girlfriend.
She said she worked with Larry at some insurance company.
We went to Spain together on vacation.
I knew Larry loved art, but all he wanted to do was visit churches and museums.
You had Otto Boyd wire him some money while you were there.
What was that about? Larry's got enough problems.
You had to make the call for him, so I assume he was in jail.
If you want to know what happened, try the Barcelona police.
Do you know what he did to that woman? I know what I read in the paper.
Well, let me tell you what wasn't in the paper.
She was still alive when he cut her hands off.
Larry wouldn't do that.
He was offended by a painting she sponsored.
A woman with no hands.
A painting? Talk to me, Ms.
Larry kept going back to this one museum.
There was a painting by Salvador Dali.
He took me to see it.
It was this woman, she had no head, no hands, no feet.
I couldn't understand his fascination.
Made me think he was a little strange.
How'd the police get involved? One night, Larry called me at our hotel.
He, uh, was in jail.
They said he tried to vandalize the painting with spray paint.
CARMICHAEL: The guards jumped Brunig before he could get the top off the can.
Thank heavens.
As they dragged him away, Brunig shouted the museum should be closed down for hanging paintings by women-haters.
What do you get in Spain for trying to paint a painting? Well, they detained him until he paid a fine, and made the State Department invalidate his passport for travel to Spain.
It establishes a pattern of behavior and a motive.
We'll need a witness from the Barcelona Museum.
Barcelona, a headless woman, it's Surreal? "Docket number "People v.
Larry Brunig, murder in the first degree.
" Murder one? That's over-charging.
The victim's hands were severed before death.
She was killed in a cruel and wanton manner.
Murder one sounds good to me.
How's he plead? Not guilty, Your Honor.
People request remand.
My client has a steady job, a stable residence, absolutely no criminal record.
In this country.
Your Honor, he was arrested in Spain.
He tried to deface a prominent painting by Salvador Dali, which depicted a dismembered woman.
What about this, Mr.
Olson? What happened in Spain is not admissible against my client.
I'm asking Your Honor to preclude this evidence.
It's admissible at a bail argument.
I'm remanding him.
I'll refer your motion to the trial judge.
Next case.
COURT CLERK: "Docket number 367" They can't place my client at the murder scene, so they attack his character.
It's relevant to his motive.
He tired to attack a painting, not a person.
But the Barcelona incident shows that he was incited to violence by exactly the same image.
It's practically his trademark.
He had white paint.
Now they're talking about a kitchen knife.
It has no probative value.
Don't I have to weigh the possibility of prejudice, Mr.
McCoy? Exactly, Judge.
No jury can hear about Barcelona and still dispassionately weigh the evidence.
Give the jurors some credit.
They make these kinds of distinctions all the time.
Oh, I don't give them that much credit.
I'll allow the testimony to come in with a limiting instruction.
Here's what you can do with your motive.
Insanity defense? Not quite.
Extreme emotional disturbance.
The painting made me do it.
When did you first encounter the defendant, Ms.
Poster? At the opening party for Mark Vee.
He, uh, went from piece to piece muttering and shaking his head.
He'd confront the guests and challenge their opinion on the work.
A number of arguments broke out, and I had to ask him to leave.
Did you ever see Mr.
Brunig after that? He came back to the gallery four times during the Mark Vee show.
And how did he behave? Nothing like the first time.
He would just look at Perfect Woman #3 for a while and then he'd leave.
No muttering? No.
No confrontations? No.
He didn't open his mouth.
Did he appear agitated or affected by the painting in any way? Not in the least.
Nothing further.
Poster, did you ever speak to Mr.
Brunig during his subsequent visits to the gallery? No.
Just that first time.
So, unless you could read his mind, you really didn't know whether he was agitated or not.
He didn't seem upset to me.
The one time he did seem upset, you had him removed from the gallery? Right.
So it's quite possible that he was hiding his emotions in order to avoid getting thrown out? Objection.
JUDGE: Sustained.
For all you know, he was burning up inside.
Sustained! Nothing further.
OLSON: Who was your model for Perfect Woman #3, Mr.
Vee? There was no model.
It's solely a product of my imagination.
You imagine women with their body parts amputated? Yeah, I suppose I do.
But it's just fantasy.
A fantasy which you choose to share with the public.
I suppose that's one way to define art.
How do you intend people to feel when they view this? I can't predict people's emotional response to my art.
What they feel about this painting is based on their own experience.
So disgust and outrage would be valid responses? Sure, but I hope the viewer goes deeper than a visceral reaction to the work.
What do you mean by that? Anybody can look at Perfect Woman #3 and be offended.
I want to challenge their preconceptions.
You're a provocateur, Mr.
Vee, aren't you? You might say that.
You seek to arouse a reaction? The bigger the reaction, the better.
That's what the work is about.
I have nothing further.
Did you intend your work to be taken literally, Mr.
Vee? VEE: What do you mean "literally"? Did you intend this painting to promote hatred of women? I wouldn't expect any two people to experience it the same way.
You wanted to provoke discussion? Yes.
JACK: Challenge people's perceptions? VEE: Yes.
Did you ever intend your work to provoke violence? Provoke violence? No.
But I can't deny this painting has violent content.
It doesn't surprise me that some people can't handle it.
Olson will depict his client as slipping into a dissociative state prior to the murder.
It sounds like you're describing some form of psychosis.
Brunig won't say his dog told him to do it, just that he acted on impulse.
Triggered by viewing the painting.
The testimony he went back to see it several times supports that position.
Nobody forced him to go back there.
The more you can show his actions to be deliberate, the less likely they'll be viewed as impulsive.
Just take him through it frame by frame.
You foresee any potholes? Well, he might claim something in his background made him vulnerable.
He flopped as an artist.
Or something more basic, from his childhood.
Maybe you'll figure it out from the gallery.
See you in the morning.
SKODA: Yeah.
I have to say, Jack, that painting disturbs me, too.
There's being disturbed and there's using it as an excuse to commit murder.
It's no better than pornography.
And what, pornography causes violence? I'm not hardcore like some feminists, but there's something to it.
There's no proven correlation between looking at smut and committing crimes.
I don't care what the numbers say.
It's more subtle.
It objectifies women.
You want to police what people think? The Supreme Court says expression can be regulated based on community standards.
Where I come form, they'd toss that thing in the barbecue pit.
That's your solution? Burn it? I'm not advocating that, but your jury might.
The defense calls Larry Brunig.
Uh, Your Honor, I see Dr.
Skoda, the People's psychiatrist, in the gallery.
He's entitled to observe.
I want him excluded from the courtroom.
JUDGE: On what grounds? The People are trying to end-run the statute.
He can't testify here.
I'm entitled to his advice before I cross.
Are you stipulating that you're not calling him on rebuttal? I haven't made that decision yet.
There you go, Judge.
There's nothing that says I can't call an expert in rebuttal.
He's trying to intimidate Mr.
How would your client be intimidated by someone he doesn't know or recognize? This was a setup.
But the bell has already rung.
Then I'll find someone else.
I'm not stopping this trial while you go shopping for a shrink.
You want Dr.
Skoda to testify? Give him the transcript of the defendant's testimony.
Now let's go.
I first read about Mark Vee's opening in a magazine.
The paintings sounded so violent, I wanted to see them for myself.
Is that when you first came into contact with Lucy Young? Yes.
Heard the show would never have gotten off the ground without her.
Did you approach her? I wanted to talk to her about the filth she was supporting.
But they asked me to leave before I had the chance.
Because you were disruptive? I just wanted to understand what it was people liked about it.
One of them called me a fascist.
Why did you seek Lucy Young out again? I never planned it.
But I found out she backed a lot of this filth.
Like what? Defilements of the Virgin Mary, sculptures made with animal feces And this? See, that is not art.
Art is about beauty and life.
Like Renoir, or Degas.
It made you angry, Larry? Yes.
So what did you do with all of this anger that was building up inside of you? I got Lucy Young's address off the Internet, so I decided to confront her.
To harm her? No.
I just wanted to tell her what a terrible thing it was to support this and what it would do to the children who saw it.
What happened when you got to the building that night? She wasn't there at first, so I decided to wait across the street.
My mind was racing.
Then when she finally turned the corner, my heart started pounding.
What did you do when she arrived? I came up to her at the door.
I told her I wanted to talk.
She said to leave her alone or she'd scream.
Then she pulled out a can of mace.
And you forced her inside with a gun? Yes.
And you hit her over the head? Yes.
She wouldn't listen to me.
And then, Larry? She was lying there All I could think about was that.
I couldn't get this picture out of my head, and the things that it made me think about were horrible.
What it made me do.
What did you do, Larry? I went to the kitchen and I got a knife and some tape I can't say it.
Please, just don't make me say it.
Nothing further.
Before you went to confront Lucy Young, you made sure to bring your gun along with you? BRUNIG: Yes.
You planned to harm her, Mr.
No! I just wanted to make her listen.
And then you laid in wait for her for an hour and a half.
I don't remember exactly how long it was.
Well, do you remember cleaning your fingerprints off, disposing of your bloody clothes? After I realized what I'd done, I got scared.
Hardly the actions of a man acting on emotion, Mr.
At one point in your life, you were a professional artist.
My mother taught me how to paint when I was a boy.
She was a gifted artist herself.
And then one day, you just gave up.
My paintings weren't selling.
And people like Lucy Young wouldn't help you.
That's right.
But Mark Vee was featured at a major gallery.
People were lining up to see his work.
They think they're smarter than you because they worship this crap.
That's all it is, and you know it.
Everybody here knows it.
You were a failure, Mr.
That has nothing to do with this.
You were jealous and bitter.
And that's why you kept going back there, isn't it? To wallow in your own misery! This did something to me.
Then why didn't you confront the artist instead of Lucy Young? Without her money, people wouldn't even be able to see these sick paintings.
So, to protest, you cut off a woman's hands.
Can you explain that to me, Mr.
Brunig? Lucy Young did this to me.
She made me feel this.
She put this painting in a gallery.
I had to make it stop.
Look, Jack, everything he describes about that night, the way his rage spiked, the way he killed her, it suggests a loss of self-control.
And the gun he brought along? Ultimately, he didn't shoot her.
If I could talk to Brunig alone, I'd have some better insight.
Well, you can't.
The law doesn't allow it.
Based on this cold record, nothing I could say would help you.
ADAM: Now what? We go to a verdict.
Get a second opinion.
If I put a hired gun up there, Olson'll call Skoda in rebuttal.
Then offer murder two.
I don't accept their argument.
It's better than manslaughter, Jack.
We compromise now, we're admitting art incites violence.
This is not about freedom of expression.
Isn't it? If we buy into this defense, how far behind do you think the censors will be? Here we go.
You want the government sniffing around the museums, Adam? Can't you see the little picture for a change? What do we do when the next defendant comes around and says that a book made him angry? Or a movie? That's exactly what's gonna happen if Brunig wins.
If the jury buys it, there's nothing I can do, but I won't pave the way.
A painting's not an excuse for murder.
Larry Brunig was a profoundly troubled man, isolated, tortured by his career disappointment, all of that repressed creativity burning a hole inside of him.
And then Larry saw this, and it brought to the surface all of that anger and all of that emotion.
He became obsessed with it.
It enraged him.
Now this painting, it may not enrage you and me like it enraged Larry, but under the law, you must step into his shoes and decide whether he was emotionally overcome the night he committed this horrible crime.
Now, please take a good, hard look at this.
I want you to think about what it did to Larry.
It poisoned him.
And in his mind, Lucy Young was the one that inflicted this poison on him.
Larry's mental distress was real.
And for one regrettable moment, he lost control.
Because of this.
I don't care for this painting.
It's offensive to me, and I'm not going to stand here and tell you otherwise.
But it doesn't give Larry Brunig an excuse for killing Lucy Young.
Brunig wants to use his obsession as a permission slip to commit murder.
If you go down that road, where does it end? Any person who's hypersensitive has a defense against a charge of murder.
Any bigot can plead extreme emotional disturbance.
Whether you like it or not, Mark Vee had every right to create this.
Lucy Young had every right to support it.
And Larry Brunig had every right to hate it.
If he wanted to, he could stand on a street corner and rail against it to anyone who passed by.
But he had no right to kill Lucy Young to express his opinion.
He found Mark Vee's painting insulting to women.
But he's the one who clubbed a woman's head and chopped her up in her living room.
Larry Brunig planned this crime in advance and carried it out with brutal efficiency.
His claim that he just wanted to confront Lucy Young about her patronage is belied by the fact that, on the night in question, he packed a gun.
On some level his anger may be understandable, but don't let him use it to get away with murder.
Has the jury reached a verdict? FOREPERSON: We have, Your Honor.
Will the defendant please rise? On the sole count of the indictment, murder in the first degree, how do you find? We find the defendant guilty.
I hear the First Amendment's alive and well.
For now.
It'll keep taking potshots.
And the Larry Brunigs of the world won't help.
Maybe if he hadn't stopped painting.