Law & Order (1990) s14e22 Episode Script


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.
The most important thing is to stay calm.
Easy for you to say.
If I screw up, someone could die.
Eighty-six percent of incomings are nonemergencies.
This call is being recorded.
Help! Help! I need help! What? My wife isn't breathing.
I'm sorry, sir.
I can't understand.
Please Please send ambulance! His accent.
I can't understand his accent.
Sir, where are you? Uh, wait Jay Jay and Staple Jay and Staple! Sir, listen to me.
Stay with your wife.
We have an ambulance on the way.
Tamiko, please.
! Couple ofJapanese tourists got shot and robbed.
Wife took one in the face.
Husband tried to wrestle the guy for the gun, got blasted in the arm.
You get a description of the perp? Black male, between 20 and 30.
That's it? Height, weight? He was rambling in Japanese.
He's in shock.
Yeah, I would be too.
What'd the shooter make off with? Wife's purse, cash and jewelry.
Where'd it go down? Over there.
On the way? Should be here any minute.
I found a couple of casings.
Looks like a.
If we get lucky, maybe we'll find the slugs.
We might find the one that winged the husband.
The other's still in the wife's skull.
No exit wound.
That'll wreck your vacation.
The bullet entered her right cheek at point-blank range, just below the eye, then ricocheted around the brain.
Is she gonna make it? The damage is extensive.
We'll know more the next few days.
What about her husband's condition? Bullet went through his upper arm.
Just missed the brachial artery.
He should be okay.
Lucky guy.
Any chance we could speak to him? Keep it brief.
I'll get you the room number.
You'll contact us if Mrs.
Yoshida comes out of it? Frankly, that's a big "if.
" Tamiko wanted to see Ground Zero, so we went there first.
I don't know how, but suddenly we are lost.
We stop to look at map I'm sorry.
Yoshida, I know this is difficult for you, but we need you to tell us exactly what happened.
Street was empty.
Suddenly, a man comes over.
He ask, what time is it? I look at my watch I look up.
I see he is pointing gun.
Can you describe him? Black man.
Black hat.
What kind ofhat? Soft, you pull down.
Like a stocking cap? And, uh, baggy, black, like clothes you wear to exercise.
Can you say how tall he was? About two meter.
Like you.
So what happened after he pulled the gun? I give him money, but he said he wanted her necklace.
Tamiko, her English is no good.
She was confused.
Her brain freeze.
I told her I told her to give it to him, but she couldn't remove Uh, the clasp? I see his face getting very mad.
Then bang! Tamiko fall.
He pull the necklace off.
So much blood everywhere.
I tried to take the gun.
We fight, then bang! My arm, here, hurt so much.
Then he ran away.
Did you see where? I don't know.
There was a van.
I think a red van.
I was holding Tamiko to see if she was breathing.
Then I hear him drive off.
My wife was always afraid to come to United States.
So many guns, so much violence.
I told her she could not live like a flower in a bubble.
I told her New York was great city.
A great city.
The husband's a club owner in Tokyo.
Wife's a model.
Apparently they're fairly well known over there.
They here on business? Mm-mmm.
It was the wife's first time.
They decided to pay a visit to Ground Zero, got lost on the way back to the hotel.
Welcome to the Big Apple.
She had a little over a grand in her purse.
Nice clothes, expensive jewelry.
Invitation for a robbery.
What do we have so far? Well, we got a sketch artist to work up a description with the husband.
It's kinda vague.
The husband was in shock.
Well, circulate it citywide.
We're pulling files on similar M.
's with that general description.
What about that red van? Any make or model? No specifics.
And there were no other witnesses? It's a commercial district, downtown on a Sunday.
The place ain't exactly hoppin'.
Makes you wonder what the perp was doing there.
You think that he followed them? Innocent tourist gunned down in the street? That's shades of Miami in the '90s.
I remember that.
What, like,12 tourists got killed in a single year? Let's hope the press doesn't run with that ball.
Well, if he was trolling for tourists, maybe someone saw him along the way.
We'll retrace their steps first thing in the morning.
I heard about those poorJapanese tourists.
It's a damn shame.
This the guy? Yeah.
Witness described him as between 20 and 30 years old.
You say that he might be local? 'Cause I'm out on the streets every day with Perry here, and the face doesn't ring a bell.
The crime took place right over there, Sunday morning, around 11:00 a.
Oh, 11:00 a.
On Sunday morning I was uptown having Perry groomed.
Thanks, anyway.
Good luck.
Let me guess.
You got a full description and the dude's license plate.
They're closed on Sundays.
But the manager told me there's a building maintenance company a couple of blocks from here.
Guess what they drive.
Red vans? We do maintenance and renovation.
Mostly office buildings.
Weekends are our busiest time.
We're looking for a black driver between 20 and 30 years old.
He would've got on the road around 11:00 a.
Sunday morning.
What's this all about? A couple of tourists were shot near here.
Yeah, I heard about that.
One of them described the assailant as a black man driving a red van.
So you think it's one of my men.
You're crazy.
Look, man, we're just running down the leads we got right now.
I got guys been with this outfit goin' on 10 years, never had no trouble with any of'em.
Then you won't mind if we go inside and ask a few questions.
I loaded up, left here around 11:00 a.
You didn't happen to notice an Asian couple a few blocks north of here, did you? My stop was in Brooklyn.
Headed south from here on the West Side Highway.
What'd you say your name was? Carlisle Davis.
Carlisle Davis.
What time did you leave? I'm not sure.
They were having trouble loading the driver in front of me.
Held me up a few minutes.
Says you clocked out of the loading dock at 11:20.
Gentlemen, appreciate your time.
Uh, the driver ahead of you that they were having trouble with what was his name? Tom Walker.
I don't see his card here.
We got him out of the dock okay.
But he called in later with engine trouble.
Says he left at 11:07.
Where was he headed? The Bronx.
Right time, right direction.
I heard the siren behind me.
I just figured it was a speedin' thing.
I don't know anything about a shootin'.
A speeding thing? Jerk in a Lexus cut me off on Hudson.
He must have been doing 90.
And where were you headed? To the Bronx.
Some bank building.
But you never made it.
Had engine trouble along the way.
Gee, it sounds like it just wasn't your day.
Stopped at a garage over on 10th.
West 40s.
All right.
We need a name.
It was one of those chain places.
You got a receipt? Yeah, I think so.
But, uh "But, uh" what? You misplaced it? Come on, Tom.
If you're gonna lie, at least be a little creative.
I'm not lying.
Then give us the name of the garage.
We'll call over there and confirm your story.
I didn't have engine trouble.
I been working double shifts for three weeks.
I needed to take a little personal time.
So you lied to your boss.
It was my lady's birthday.
I went over there to drop off her present.
Really? What'd you get her? Vacuum cleaner.
And they say romance is dead.
Hey, I asked her what she want.
That's what she said.
All right.
We need her name and a number.
Does my boss have to know about this? Your boss is the least of your problems now.
And all this time I been buying my girl jewelry and lingerie.
Anybody stupid enough to buy their girlfriend a vacuum cleaner for her birthday Listen, the hospital pronounced Tamiko Yoshida 30 minutes ago.
Well, we're gonna go try the girlfriend to see if Walker's story holds up.
That can wait.
Right now we've got a suspect who fits the description driving a red van two blocks from the crime scene.
Let's put him in a lineup, see if Mr.
Yoshida can I.
And, Ed, make sure to give Mr.
Yoshida condolences from the city of New York.
This is Akiko Shindo.
She's writing an article about Tamiko for the Tokyo Sun.
Sorry to interrupt.
Not at all.
I was just leaving.
It's a big story in Japan.
My wife was very popular.
Sir, my partner and I would like to express condolences on behalf of the city of New York.
We're really sorry for your loss.
Just find the man who did this.
Actually, that's the reason we're here.
We have a suspect in custody.
Already you found the man who shot my wife? We'd like you to come down to the station to see if you can identify him.
Right now? I was making arrangements for my wife's We know this is a bad time for you, but I'm sorry, but, uh, it's all happening so fast.
We can give you a ride if you like.
I'll go with you now.
So, you recognize anybody there, Mr.
Yoshida? I don't want to make mistake.
We don't want you to make a mistake either, so take your time.
Very confusing.
Angle was different.
Everybody turn to the left.
I'm not sure.
I'm not so good with faces.
It all happened so fast.
Now turn to the right.
I'm sorry.
I cannot be sure.
Well, the lineup just went down in flames.
Walker's story checks out.
He's not our guy.
Cut him loose.
Councilman Murphy's on line two.
He says he'll wait.
I got everyone from the Neighborhood Watch to the mayor breathing down my neck.
His Honor's involved? The story was picked up by the national press, CNN.
The problem is if it isn't Walker, we're staring at a blank wall.
Then fill in the damn blanks.
It's gotta be something somewhere.
This guy Walker didn't he mention something about a car speeding on Hudson? A sedan.
We're looking for a red van.
The husband said he saw the perp drive off in it.
"There was a van.
I think a red van.
I was holding Tamiko to see if she was breathing, and I hear him drive off.
" "I hear him drive off.
" Well, then he didn't actually see the guy get in the van? Yes? Thank you.
So, this speeding car you thinking perp or witness? Either would do at this point.
Japanese ministry just issued a travelers' advisory.
"In light of recent criminal violence, "the ministry urges allJapanese citizens to defer all nonessential travel to New York, New York, U.
" The crime scene's here.
The Lexus speeds by Walker on Hudson, heading north towards The Holland Tunnel.
It's three blocks away.
Now with Sunday morning traffic, he could be in Jersey in minutes.
The tunnel has security cams.
You said Holland Tunnel, right? Yeah.
Sunday morning between 11:10 and 11:20.
Jersey-bound Lexus.
Here's the tunnel.
We don't have video at that location, but I can give you still images.
Whatever you got.
How many cars you think we gotta look through here? Sunday morning, Two hundred? Two hundred? Hey, you're lucky it wasn't rush hour.
So, Mr.
Ito, we understand you own a Lexus.
That's right.
Did you take the car into Manhattan this past Sunday? No, we stayed home.
Did anybody else drive the car? Our grandson borrowed it.
We don't use the car a lot.
Sometimes Bobby borrows it.
When did he bring it back to you? Monday.
He even took it to the car wash.
Is this your grandson? Looks like he's running out of room for those tattoos.
To the younger generation, it's fashionable.
Body art.
Did your grandson drive the car into Manhattan? He went to Trenton, not Manhattan.
I don't understand why you are asking all these questions.
This is just a routine follow-up to a stolen car, but since you've cleared everything up, we're gonna be on our way.
Thank you very much.
Thank you.
So, you wanna tell me what the bum's rush was all about? You check out the tats on the grandson? Yeah, the grandma said that's body art.
That's yakuza insignia.
Yakuza? Yeah, Japanese gangsters.
Yeah, I know what yakuza are.
But how does a kid from New Jersey get hooked up with them? In the '80s, they had a foothold in Hawaii selling crystal meth and guns.
Then they got into gambling and prostitution in Vegas and California.
Over the past few years, they've built up a small presence here on the East Coast.
Did you ever have any run-ins with them when you were with the gang unit? Uh-uh.
They were pretty much under the radar back then.
And we can connect Bobby Ito to yakuza how? Take a look at his sheet.
Robbery, assault, narcotics, possession.
His last bust was a drug deal in '02.
He was collared along with two known yakuza members from Japan.
And where is young Mr.
Ito now? His super says that he hasn't been in his apartment since Sunday.
We have a detail staking out his place.
Japanese victims, Japanese gang member speeding away from the scene.
It'd have to be an awfully big coincidence.
We're still working on the details, but Mr.
Yoshida's nightclub in Tokyo it's in the Ginza district, which is yakuza territory.
So, yakuza tries to take him out, and Yoshida fingers a fictitious black assailant as the shooter.
Which gets him off the hook.
He's certainly not gonna testify against them.
I don't think they have witness protection in Japan.
Hello? Listen, can you hold onto him if he tries to leave? We'll be right there.
All right, man, thanks.
Bobby Ito just showed up at his apartment.
Bobby Ito? New York City police.
Hey! Hey, hey! Hold it right there! Hold it! Taking a little trip somewhere? Going to visit my cousin in L.
Yeah? You got a taxi waiting for you down at the bottom of the fire escape? Hey, Ed, look at this.
That's not mine.
You guys planted it.
You know, that's really original.
I never heard that before.
You said you were home all day on Sunday.
What'd you do? Watched TV, slept.
That's funny, 'cause the cameras at the Holland Tunnel put you three blocks away from the crime scene minutes after the shooting.
It wasn't me.
I don't know who this is.
That's the woman you gunned down.
She died yesterday.
I didn't shoot anybody.
You should have made sure her husband was dead too.
Now he's gonna be able to identify you.
No, he won't, 'cause I wasn't there.
They had to wait until she was dead to dig the slug out ofher skull.
Turns out it was from a.
22 Smith & Wesson.
Same kind of gun you were trying to jump out of the window with.
Lennie, how long do you think it's gonna take before Ballistics makes a match? You know, it'd be a lot better for you if you came clean now.
Look, we know the man you shot has ties with the yakuza in Japan.
So, if they're behind this, we can tell the D.
Maybe get you a deal.
I can't talk about that.
You can't talk about it, or you don't want to talk about it? Which is it, Bobby? 'Cause there's a world of difference.
I want a lawyer.
You're making a big mistake, man.
Wouldn't be the first.
Man Speaking Japanese] [Knock On Door] Ito lawyered up.
Yakuza's got him running scared.
Look who's back in Tokyo.
New York is a jungle, and its inhabitants are animals.
I blame the gun-crazy U.
Culture for my wife's death.
The city of New York must pay.
Too bad Yoshida didn't stick around to see the guy who did it pay.
Tamiko was proud ofJapan.
This would never happen in a civilized country likeJapan.
My client's being railroaded.
The police recovered the murder weapon at his apartment.
We can put him at the scene.
I'm familiar with the evidence.
Then why did you ask for this meeting? My client has some information which I think you'll find rather interesting.
What kind of information? The kind that could get him a reduced sentence say, uh, 15 to life? We don't have time for games, Mr.
Hiroji Yoshida paid my client to murder his wife.
He contacted Mr.
Ito through a mutual friend in Tokyo.
Blame it on the husband.
I like that.
It's got a nice ring.
Especially since he's not here to contradict you.
No, it's the truth, man.
Can you prove it? Two days before the shooting, my client met Yoshida at a diner near his hotel.
They went over the details.
Yoshida gave him five grand for the job.
The police found $300 on you when you were arrested.
Where's the rest of the money? Spent it.
Did Mr.
Yoshida happen to mention why he wanted his wife dead? I didn't ask.
I just did the job.
We don't have all the particulars.
But word on the street is Yoshida owed big-time to one of the oyabun in Tokyo.
Analogous to one of the Mafia bosses.
He's into gambling, Yoshida.
How much did Yoshida owe the yakuza? A hundred million yen.
- I left my currency converter back at the office.
- A million bucks, give or take.
He's the one who got shot, right? I saw his face on the news and I was, like, "Hey, I served that guy pancakes.
" When was he here? A few days before the shooting.
I'm not usually intoJapanese guys, but he was really cute.
Not to mention a huge flirt.
It's always the married ones, right? He told you he was married? I saw him take a woman's picture out of his wallet and show it to the otherJapanese guy.
Figured it had to be his wife or girlfriend.
Either way, he was off-limits.
What did this other guy look like? Young Japanese-American guy.
Kinda scary looking, actually.
He had all these tattoos all over his arms, wall-to-wall.
What's this about, anyway? I thought the police were after a black guy.
Chen, do you mind coming down to the precinct to view a lineup? Sure.
No problem.
I'm off at 2:00.
A waitress at the diner confirmed that she saw Ito and Yoshida eating breakfast together.
She's sure it was Ito? She just picked him out of a lineup.
Independent corroboration that Ito and Yoshida met.
That's enough to prove conspiracy.
Motive? The New York City Coroner just got a request for Tamiko Yoshida's death certificate from Nippon Life Insurance in Tokyo.
They needed it to pay out the $3 million policy her husband took out on her four months before the murder.
So he could pay off his gambling debt.
Ain't love grand? Make a deal with this Ito character and get over to theJapanese consulate to talk extradition.
Isn't there a risk that they'll tip off Yoshida or leak the story to the media? Tell the consul I'm relying on his discretion.
You will excuse me if your theory is a bit difficult to digest, Mr.
Actually, it's a more than a theory at this point.
I came here to discuss the possibility of extraditing Mr.
Yoshida to the United States.
Where he will be tried for the murder of his wife.
Presumably, yes.
And this request comes personally from Mr.
Branch? Yes, it does.
I do not know how familiar you are with Japanese law.
I know when a Japanese national commits a crime overseas he can be tried in Japan.
So why go through all the trouble and expense of extradition? Because this is a circumstantial case, and Japanese courts give more weight to physical evidence than American courts.
Also, Japan has no law against merely conspiring to commit a crime.
Well, I respect your position.
And? And I am certain a satisfactory solution will be arrived upon in time.
Allow me to translate.
Yoshida's ours, and there's no way in hell we're gonna cooperate with you.
TheJapanese don't have a close relationship to the word "No.
" Problem is, if he's acquitted in Japan, the double jeopardy provision of the U.
-Japan extradition treaty prevents us from getting a shot at him when they're through.
I don't want us to have a shot at him.
I want us to have the shot.
We may not have a choice, Arthur.
Damn it! What this man did is outrageous.
He picks our city my city to murder his wife in; then he turns around and blames it on us.
I'm angry, too, but unless you have the 82nd Airborne on your payroll, I don't see how we're gonna get him.
We hoist him on his own petard.
The press.
Yoshida's a national hero in Japan.
We announce that we've apprehended his wife's killer and need him to make an I.
TheJapanese public'll be expecting him to jump on the next plane.
To honor his wife's memory.
I just love it when I get a flash of good, old-fashioned American ingenuity.
The New York City Police Department today apprehended a suspect in the shooting death ofTamiko Yoshida.
Yes, sir.
Uh, what can you tell us about the suspect? This composite sketch was based upon a description given to us by Mr.
We're withholding the name of the suspect for the time being.
! Mr.
! Yes.
What evidence do you have against him? We have physical evidence tying him to the crime, the motive of which appears to have been robbery.
But, of course, we're also very hopeful that Hiroji Yoshida, the victim's husband, as the only eyewitness, will be able to return to New York immediately to identify the suspect as the assailant.
! Mr.
! Let me take this opportunity also to say this.
The City of New York is deeply saddened by the murder of Mrs.
Yoshida, and we're very much looking forward to the return to New York of Mr.
Yoshida and hope that this will be the beginning of the redress of this grave wrong and to ensure that justice is done in this case.
Thank you all very much.
Branch, may I have a word? Of course, Lieutenant.
What can I do for you? With all due respect, sir, I find this approach troubling.
It's okay.
We're out of options.
We gotta get this guy back here to answer for what he did.
I understand that, sir.
But let me ask you something.
Have you ever been stopped for driving in the wrong neighborhood? No.
Well, I have.
And what the public just saw was another black face connected to a terrible crime.
I hear what you're saying, Lieutenant, but I really think that this will work.
The truth will come out, and everybody will know that he lied about what happened.
And if it doesn't? Well, I guess the people of New York will get a chance to weigh in on that next election.
What was your reaction when you heard police had apprehended a suspect in your wife's death? Relief.
Also sadness.
Nothing can bring Tamiko back, but I'm glad the man who did this will pay for his crime.
Yeah, so are we.
We wanted to welcome you back personally.
We brought you a gift from the city of New York.
You like jewelry? I don't understand.
Hiroji Yoshida, you're under arrest for the murder ofTamiko Yoshida.
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.
You have the right to an attorney.
Docket ending 972.
People of the State of New York v.
Hiroji Yoshida.
Charge is murder in the first degree and conspiracy in the second degree.
How do you plead? Not guilty, ma'am.
Southerlyn? The defendant hired a hit man to shoot his wife while they were sightseeing here in Manhattan.
The People cooked up that little fantasy, Your Honor.
The truth is Mr.
And Mrs.
Yoshida were both victims of a brutal armed robbery.
The People seek remand.
The defendant is a foreign national with absolutely no ties to this jurisdiction.
He's a flight risk.
Your Honor, my client shouldn't even be in this jurisdiction.
He was lured here from Japan through fraudulent conduct on the part of the district attorney's office.
After he fled the United States.
He wasn't fleeing.
He was simply returning home to bury his wife's ashes.
Sounds like an argument between the U.
And Japanese governments.
Also sounds completely irrelevant to these proceedings.
Defendant is remanded.
No matter how you spin it, counselors, this little deception is a new low, even for your office.
I can cite case after case permitting law enforcement to use trickery to obtain confessions.
Why not to compel presence? Because you can't use trickery to do an end run around extradition treaties.
You not only duped my client, you also misled every person who viewed that so-called press conference.
I don't need a lecture on morality from you, Mr.
We're here because your client killed his wife.
I did not kill my wife.
- You paid someone else to do it.
- That is a lie.
If your case hinges on the testimony of a career criminal who cut a deal to save his own skin We have an eyewitness who can put the shooter, Bobby Ito, with Mr.
A witness? She saw them eating together at a restaurant two days before the murder.
Two men sharing a meal.
I'm sure Mr.
Yoshida has a perfectly viable explanation.
Can he also explain why he purchased a $3 million life insurance policy on his wife just a few months before her death? I, uh, obviously haven't had enough time to review all the details with my client.
I'll see you in court.
The question is, which court? Motion to change venue.
Your Honor, my client cannot possibly receive a fair trial in any of the five boroughs.
Public opinion is clearly against him.
Yoshida stages a murder, fabricates a story, blames the city, enflames public opinion, and now he raises the possible backlash as a basis for change of venue? The point is, my jury pool is made up of the very people he bad-mouthed.
Olson, where would you propose I move this case, were I so inclined? Any location other than New York City.
Upstate someplace.
Where they share Mr.
Yoshida's low opinion of New York City.
Counselor, relax.
It was just a hypothetical.
Change of venue is reserved for cases that present a bias so pervasive that it cannot be overcome in the normal process of jury selection.
Your Honor, my client is presumed innocent, and as such is entitled to an unbiased jury.
That's what voir dire is for.
Roberts, have you heard anything about this case before today? Of course.
On the news.
Based on what you've heard or read, have you formed an opinion about the facts in this case? My wife says I don't have much of an opinion about anything.
If the evidence against the defendant proved his case beyond a reasonable doubt, would you have any problem voting guilty in the jury room? Not one bit.
Thank you.
How about you, Mrs.
Nickerson? Have you read or seen anything on the news about this case? Yes, I heard about it.
Poor woman.
Nickerson, do you think you'd be able to weigh the evidence impartially and make a determination not whether Mr.
Yoshida accused a black man of killing his wife, but whether he hired a hit man to do it? Innocent until proven guilty.
But I would like to know why he accused a black man in the first place.
Thank you.
Talbot, have you followed this case in the press? Yes.
Based on what you've seen or read, have you formed an opinion about it? No.
I try not to prejudge.
Thank you.
No further questions, Your Honor.
Roberts, you said you'd heard about this case.
What did you hear, exactly? When it happened, I heard on the news that he said a black guy did it.
- How did that make you feel? - Like I was glad I was in Queens that day.
I'll bet it did.
Thank you.
Nickerson, were you surprised to hear that Mr.
Yoshida had been arrested in this case? Surprised? I suppose so, yes.
But it wasn't the first time you'd heard about a black man being accused of a crime he didn't commit.
Unfortunately, no.
Susan Smith did the same thing.
So did that fella up in Boston.
Charles Stuart? Mmm.
Would you say you felt a bit weary? That would be a good description of how I felt, yes.
Lovell, what about you? Have you read or heard about this case? No.
Actually, I haven't.
I hate the news.
It's depressing.
But you've gathered from listening here today that Mr.
Yoshida has blamed a black man for killing his wife.
Yes, that's what it sounds like.
You said you find the news "depressing.
" Racism, violence, politicians lying.
I'd rather watch the Discovery Channel.
Thank you.
No further questions, Your Honor.
McCoy, do you have any challenges for cause? Juror Number One, Juror Number Five and Juror Number Nine.
Olson, do you have any challenges for cause? Juror Number Four, Juror Number Six and Juror Number Eight.
Your Honor, may we approach the bench? Approach.
Your Honor, the People have a reverse Batson application.
Olson has excluded all the African-American jurors seated on the panel.
And Mr.
McCoy has excluded the only Asian.
I think it was obvious to this court thatJuror Number Nine had a poor grasp of the English language.
That was the basis of my challenge.
Of course it was.
Let's discuss this in chambers.
The media has stirred up all kinds of racial resentment against Mr.
Yoshida, which I believe has necessarily influenced the impartiality of the jurors I've challenged.
In other words, these black jurors are lying when they say they can consider the evidence on the merits.
Not lying, Jack.
Kidding themselves.
The fundamental question is, can my client receive a fair trial from jurors whose prejudices have been inflamed by the media coverage of this case? Interesting point.
Is this court prepared to rule that the courts can assume a person's bias based on their skin color? No, but this court is prepared to rule that in a case where a potential juror likens the defendant to Susan Smith and another states he's glad he was in Queens that day, there's a genuine issue of whether they can be fair, regardless of their skin color.
Where does it stop? If counsel has his way, there couldn't be a single person of color on this jury.
My primary concern is not only with Batson, but with fundamental fairness.
Defense challenges for cause will stand.
I served him breakfast at a diner where I waitress.
I remember the tattoos on his arms.
Was Mr.
Ito alone? He was with Mr.
I saw Mr.
Yoshida give him a photograph of a woman.
Did you get a good look at this photograph? Close enough to see that she was a young Asian woman.
Very pretty.
Thank you, Ms.
Chen, would it be fair to say that you've waited on thousands of people in the time you've worked at the diner? Yes.
Yet all these many months later, you clearly remember Mr.
- He must have made quite an impression.
- I saw him on the news a few days later.
Have you ever met anyone who was on TV? No, I haven't.
Isn't it possible that you got mixed up, that Mr.
Yoshida's face looked familiar not from the diner, but from the extensive news coverage this case received? I don't think so.
May I remind you, Ms.
Chen, that a man's life is at stake.
Are you 100% sure that you're not mistaken? I don't think any of us can ever be 100% sure of anything.
Thank you.
No further questions.
Ito, how old were you when you first became a member of theJapanese criminal organization known as the yakuza? I was 13, after my father died.
Ito, you have tattoos covering your entire upper body.
Isn't that correct? Correct.
Body murals.
Could you show the court your forearms, please? What is the significance of these body murals? They show which clan I belong to in yakuza.
It's an old tradition.
Can you tell us the first time you had contact with Mr.
Yoshida? A yakuza in Japan called me.
He said there was a man in Tokyo who would contact me about doing a job for him.
A few weeks later, Mr.
Yoshida called me.
When did you actually meet Yoshida? At the diner.
Two days before the shooting? Right.
What was the purpose of that meeting? Mr.
Yoshida wanted me to kill his wife and make it look like a robbery.
He told me to shoot her in the head, him in the arm.
To kill her and not him.
That's right.
Did you two discuss a location for this shooting? I suggested the spot.
Sundays it's deserted, no witnesses.
Did Mr.
Yoshida say why he had chosen New York City over, say, Tokyo to kill his wife? He said that black people commit so much crime in New York the police can't keep up.
Thank you.
Nothing further.
Let's put our cards on the table, Mr.
Murder for hire.
- You could have been indicted in this case for first-degree murder.
- That's right.
But instead, you plead guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree murder.
And agreed to testify against Mr.
This isn't your first time in a courtroom, is it? No.
In fact, you have three prior criminal convictions, all involving illegal activities tied to the yakuza, a known criminal organization.
If you say so.
No, Mr.
The People of the States of New York and New Jersey say so.
Yoshida, can you tell the court who shot you and your wife? Mr.
And you're sure about this? Tamiko and I were sightseeing.
We stop to look at map, Mr.
Ito appear.
He said he had a message from Tokyo.
Then he shoot us.
Why did you tell the police a black man did it? I'm very sorry about that.
I was scared.
I know if I say it was a yakuza, they would kill me.
So you lied because you were afraid of reprisals from the yakuza? Yes.
When Mr.
Ito told you that he had a message from Tokyo, what did you understand him to mean? My nightclub in Tokyo is a big success.
Big profit.
Yakuza wanted a percentage.
I said no.
Tamiko was a warning.
Why didn't theyjust shoot you? If I was dead, I could not run the business and make money for them.
Before the morning of the shooting, had you ever seen Mr.
Ito before? Never.
Then how do you explain the testimony of the waitress? People make mistake.
She's Chinese.
Maybe she think allJapanese people look alike.
Yoshida, did you hire Bobby Ito to kill your wife? I did not.
I loved Tamiko with all my heart.
I still do.
Nothing further.
You say your nightclub in Tokyo is very profitable.
What's the state of your personal finances? I put my money back into my business.
Do you owe anyone money? The bank.
What about the yakuza? Objection.
Your wife was only 28 years old when she was murdered.
How would you describe her health? She was healthy.
Your Honor, People's exhibit 14.
This is a life insurance policy from Nippon Life that you took out four months before the murder.
Do you recognize it? Life insurance for Tamiko.
The equivalent of $3 million for a young, healthy woman? She asked for it.
She was a very successful woman.
So you didn't take out that policy to pay off a gambling debt to the yakuza? Objection! Speculation.
Yoshida, you've just admitted that you lied to the police.
Why should we believe you now? Because I am telling the truth.
I loved my wife.
You told the police a lie.
You continued to tell that lie.
You got up in front of news cameras, feigning outrage against the city of New York.
- I am telling the truth now.
- Only after being tricked into coming back from Japan.
Yakuza killed my wife as a warning to me.
That was the truth.
And now that you're being charged with murder, you're interested in the truth? Nothing further.
I guess you won't be joining us for the bar association gala tonight.
I'm hoping for a verdict.
You said that two days ago.
Olson called.
They're willing to plead to murder two.
Yeah? Well, tell him he's got a better chance of catching a bat in a fly trap.
We might have a hung jury, Arthur.
The man made a cynical and heartless decision to murder his wife for money.
The fact that he tried to exploit racial divisions makes it even more heinous.
I agree.
I have faith in this jury and the good sense of New Yorkers.
Have you reached a verdict in the death of Tamiko Yoshida? We have, Your Honor.
On the first count of the indictment, murder in the first degree, how do you find the defendant, Hiroji Yoshida? We find the defendant guilty.
And on the second count, conspiracy in the second degree, how do you find the defendant? We find the defendant guilty.
Jury is dismissed with the thanks of the court.
Short date for sentence.
Seems kind of fitting after trashing this country, Mr.
Yoshida will probably get to spend the rest of his life here.
We got the right guy, but Arthur was playing with fire.
When we arrested Yoshida, the truth came out.
You know how newspaper retractions are always on an inside page in small print? You ever wonder how many people see the front page story and miss the follow-up correction?