Law & Order (1990) s15e07 Episode Script

Gov Love

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.
(GASPS) Mark! Let's take a walk.
I'm not gonna risk losing my job to go smoke some bowl.
They're not paying us.
(BOTH GIGGLING) Oh, a rowboat.
Come on.
If you get me wet, I'll kill you.
Don't worry about it.
Alison, get the police.
Couple of volunteers ducked out of the party to smoke some grass.
They get ready to set sail, and voila.
What was going on here? A Democratic fund-raising lunch.
FONTANA: It's funny how most of the party of the people blew outta here before we could get their statements.
DILL: Yeah, I'm guessing the vic stepped out for a smoke, somebodyjumped her.
Well, I doubt she was mugged.
Look at the size of that rock on her ring finger.
It looks like she was skewered with an ice pick.
Check to see if the bartenders are missing one.
OFFICER: Sure thing.
Anybody know who she is? Peggy Riordan.
Wife of the Governor of Connecticut.
Well, this should be interesting.
How many people did you have here? About 180.
Most of the guests were political contributors.
And did Mrs.
Riordan come with her husband? (WHISPERS) Thank you.
She came alone.
She must have had security? She told us she wasn't bringing any.
Did she seem like she was enjoying herself? I was very busy.
We have a dedicated group of volunteers to make sure that our guests are well cared-for.
Will you please excuse me? Dedicated, right.
I saw Mrs.
Riordan come in around 12:30.
Was she with anyone? Uh, I don't think so.
But there was this black woman, though.
And on the way into the party, the two of them got into an argument.
And this woman, was she a guest? Um, she wasn't dressed right.
What'd she look like? Uh, 5'10", 5'11", short hair They were going at it pretty good.
The woman had something silver in her hand, maybe a cell phone.
And Mrs.
Riordan had to push her out of the way in order to get into the party.
And where did this woman go? She went the other way.
Into the park.
The bartenders use bag ice.
No ice picks.
Let's talk to the M.
She was stabbed once.
Ice pick punctured the sternum, into the left ventricle.
Surgical accuracy.
Yeah, or dumb luck.
Latent picked up the weapon for prints.
How much force would it take the suspect to drive that thing through her chest? What, to punch through her sternum like that? Yeah.
He was no One of our witnesses said she had words with a Jane Doe before the party.
Oh, yeah? Well, a decent-sized woman could definitely get the job done.
(CELL PHONE RINGING) Hello? Blood alcohol? Legally intoxicated.
So it wouldn't take that much to get her off guard? Mmm-mmm.
All right, we'll be right there.
Governorjust arrived.
We know this must be very hard for you, Governor.
(STAMMERING) This is just unbelievable.
Nineteen years.
Let us know if there's anything we can do.
Has your Commissioner been informed? He was notified immediately.
So my wife is murdered in Central Park in broad daylight and he's not here? I'm running this investigation, sir.
And everything that can be done is being done.
Have you or your wife received any threats lately, through the mail or on the telephone? Not that I know, no.
Roben? I've heard nothing from our Threat Assessment team.
Well, we heard that she was being harassed as she was going into the luncheon.
By a reporter? What makes you say that? MICHAEL: We get it all the time.
This isn't the time to talk politics.
Governor Riordan has a very long trip back to Hartford.
Oh, pardon me, Governor, sir? What's your hurry? I have two children who just lost their mother.
I expect some answers soon, Lieutenant.
We'll do our best, sir.
Thank you.
Governor's aide got a little touchy when that reporter thing came up.
You think our perp could be a reporter? Well, one of the witnesses we talked to said the woman that confronted her had something silver in her hand, which could have been a tape recorder.
But why would a local reporter be interested in the wife of the Governor of Connecticut? Well, maybe she wasn't a local reporter.
You get Tri-State Ten, right? Yeah.
It's out of White Plains.
And they cover the New York metropolitan area.
Which includes Connecticut.
As you can imagine, it's been a very hectic day.
If you guys maybe wanna make an appointment.
appointment? We don't make appointments.
Now, we're looking for a black woman, tall, short hair, in her 30s.
Why? Don't you worry about that.
Is there anybody here that fits that description? (sums) Claudia Gaines might.
She's working on a story about the Riordan administration and their favoritism in handing out state contracts.
Gaines? Yes? I'm Detective Fontana, this is Detective Green, New York City Police Department.
We have some questions we'd like to ask you.
You mind if we do this alone, gentlemen? It's okay, Jeff.
I got it.
Yeah? So, where were you today at 12:30? I was in New York City at the Democratic Benefactors' Lunch.
And you had some words with Mrs.
Well, I'm an investigative reporter.
"Words" is what I do.
How long did you stay? I confronted her, okay? But I was in my car heading back to White Plains 15 minutes later.
And what did you confront her about? Connecticut awards public works contracts to companies with a significant minority payroll.
The list of companies that qualify is certified by the Governor.
So what's wrong with that? Well, most of the businesses on Riordan's list are owned in whole or part by Richard Kaplan.
So you're saying Kaplan's a major player up there? Hah.
Donald Trump wannabe.
And it's your contention that there's something in it for the Governor? That's what I'm trying to figure out.
By confronting Mrs.
Riordan? No, I went there to talk to Kaplan.
But when I saw Peggy Riordan there, I figured I'd take a shot.
I've known Peggy for ten years.
She was wonderful.
Such a terrible loss for the Governor.
How long has it been since you've seen her? Oh, I was at that benefit in the city yesterday.
Yeah, it was really nice of you to stick around.
Kaplan? Not now.
Well, how could I possibly help solve a New York City mugging? Who said it was a mugging? Did you spend any time with Mrs.
Riordan at the luncheon? Just to say "hello" when I came in.
ED: Hmm.
What time was that? Around 1:45 or 2:00.
Lucky for you.
You came late enough to miss Claudia Gaines.
That hack showed up? She's been hounding Governor Riordan since he was elected.
So you know about her investigation into the state construction bids? It's not an investigation, it's awitch-hunt.
I'm sorry, what does any of this have to do with Peggy's murder? Well, it's just coincidental to us that Mrs.
Riordan's death pops up in the middle of all of these irregularities.
Like I said, Detective, there are no irregularities.
Were you alone at the benefit, Mr.
Kaplan? No.
There's a woman who does public relations for me, Nicole Temple.
She was with me the whole time.
I've worked with Richard about five or six years now.
I accompany him to a lot of these political events.
He says it helps to have a woman there to break the ice.
And you run your business from your home here? Yeah, all I really need is a phone and a computer.
Keeps my overhead low.
And you met Mr.
Kaplan at the luncheon? No, no, we drove in together.
He picked me up here around noon.
ED: But you didn't get there till 2:00? Yeah, Richard had to drop off some plans for his foreman.
Oh, hmm.
Where? He's building a complex off I-95 in Bridgeport.
The opposite direction from New York City.
I told Richard we were gonna be late but he said it was really important.
And you two were together the whole time? Sure.
Richard likes me to stay right by his side.
How far is Stamford from Bridgeport? Uh, without traffic, about a half an hour.
So this guy drives an hour out of his way to drop off some paperwork? You saw the guy's office.
He's got gofers licking his stamps for him.
Well, while we're up here, would it make you happy to check out his story? Well, right now his only alibi is his PR lady.
Get in.
I've seen Mr.
Kaplan maybe twice in eight years.
He say why he was here? No.
He just asked me to go outside and keep an eye on his car.
When I got outside, I saw what he was so worried about.
Miss Temple? Ah, yeah! Damn! She was hot.
I tried to talk to her, you know? Kick a little convo? The bitch wouldn't even roll the window down.
FONTANA: How long was Kaplan in his office? Two, three minutes.
Did he leave some paperwork for your foreman? That's what he said.
But you'd have to check with Vincent.
FONTANA: Would you have Vincent's number handy? Yeah.
What's wrong? Nothing.
FONTANA: ls there a problem? Ah, something's missing.
No big deal.
Well, what's missing? Well, when I work nights, sometimes I have to chase away the bums who come into the site looking for scrap to rip off.
I keep a scratch awl in here to carry around with me, just in case.
An awl? Yeah, it's like a screwdriver with a sharp point on the end.
Like an ice pick? This is a waste of my valuable time.
I'm gonna have my lawyers make a complaint to the Chief of Police.
Hey, how come you rich guys always have to have your lawyers do your talking for you? Okay, Mr.
So what took you so long to get to Manhattan that day? I had to drop off some plans in Bridgeport.
Does this awl look familiar? Let me refresh your memory.
Your security guard from the Bridgeport site said this went missing when you showed up on your way to the fundraiser.
And lo and behold, we found it in Mrs.
Riordan's chest.
Well, the guard you talked to was suspended four times in the last Is that why you picked his trailer to get the murder weapon from? You should be careful who you're accusing, Detective.
Oh, not those pesky lawyers again! I went there to leave some specs for Vincent Caparzo, and unless that thing has my fingerprints on it, I'm walking outta here.
Well, you know what, Mr.
Kaplan? You're absolutely right.
This is just an interview.
You're not under arrest and you're free to do as you wish.
(DOOR OPENS) Yeah, Mr.
dropped off some specs that day.
It just seems strange that your boss would drive an extra hour and walk through a muddy construction site on his way to a party.
Well, I needed those specs to start wiring the third floor.
Now, here's what doesn't make sense to us, Vince.
Kaplan has got you running cash to the Governor, but yet he does his own messenger runs for some routine paperwork? Come on.
What are you guys talking about? Look, man, we know about your little side trips to Hartford.
Wow, you guys are full of it.
Are we? Kaplan is dropping names like he's going to the electric chair in the morning, and one of them is yours.
After all I've done for him, he tells you this crap? Well, what do you do for him? Everything, from leasing his cars to pimping for him.
The guy can't even get laid on his own.
You get women for him? He needed the name of an escort service.
I told him about Les Belles Tulipes.
Ah, Les Belles Tulipes.
I wonder if an alibi's the same price as a half and half? See ya, Vince.
It's not like you think.
He considers me a friend.
Friend with privileges? He pays for my company, that's it.
And how much extra for the alibi? I wouldn't do that.
So you're sticking to the story that you and Kaplan were together during the whole party? Not a story.
Well, great.
That makes you a material witness, which means the Grand Jury requires your availability for 30 days.
You miss one morning, you're going to Rikers.
Richard Kaplan really worth all that? Okay.
I wasn't with Richard the whole time.
He left me alone for 10, 15 minutes.
Did he say where he was going? I assumed he went to the men's room.
What do you know about Kaplan and Governor Riordan? I seduced a man and took him to a hotel.
(CHUCKLES) Well, isn't that your job? (SCOFFS) The man was Richard's brother-in-law.
As far as he's concerned, I'm just a lowly CPA who married his sister.
His CPA? Well, I do the books for his company.
Well, he must think pretty highly of your work to treat you to a night with Nicole.
That night was a big mistake.
You didn't know she was a hooker? So why was your brother-in-law being so generous? Well, come on, Larry.
You're gonna have to talk to us sooner or later.
(STAMMERS) I don't know.
Maybe I should call a lawyer? Come on, man, maybe we can help you.
Or we can have this conversation in the backyard with the wife and the kids.
The State Attorney General called me in for an interview.
I keep postponing it.
I don't know what to do.
Oh! I met her in a restaurant, we had a few drinks, she takes me back to the hotel.
Two days later, Richard sends me these pictures.
Nice touch, she left her high heels on.
He said if I talk to the A.
, those pictures go to my wife.
And what doesn't he want you saying to the A.
? Well, for starters, Richard built Governor Riordan's country house for free in Litchfield.
And I cooked the books to show $840,000 in payments that don't exist.
So the Attorney General is after Riordan, too? Sure he is.
The Governor lives out of Richard's pocket.
From rigging contract bids to giving Richard's squeeze a job.
Wait, Nicole works for the Governor? No, not Nicole.
Well, what's this other woman's name? Oh, it's not a woman.
I never dreamed I'd be in public service.
I have a B.
in Art History from Vassar.
That's a big leap to Deputy Commissioner of Transportation.
You study a lot of traffic patterns at Vassar, did you? It was a hard adjustment at first, but I'm finally making headway here.
How long have you been with Mr.
Kaplan? About three years.
Were you two together later that day? Yes.
You notice anything unusual about him? He was obviously pretty shaken up about what happened at the party.
But you were here at work that day, Mr.
Bradley? Yes.
Someone in your office can verify that? I did leave for a business lunch.
In Hartford? In Litchfield.
Doesn't the Governor have a home up there? I don't really know.
Listen, we need the names and addresses of where you were and who you were with.
It was very crowded.
I doubt they'd remember us there.
Maybe you'll get lucky.
My lunch meeting was with Governor Riordan.
So you think Riordan's on the down-low? Well, that's not the first time that happened.
You know, come to think of it, the Governor did give off a certain vibe.
Oh, please.
Do you remember how well-dressed he was? (LAUG HS) Like you? If I'm not mistaken, he was wearing a John Varvatos sweater and Helmut Lang slacks.
Now, I know it's not scientific, but Look, I appreciate the fashion lesson, Fontana, but I ain't buying it.
Just hear me out.
If there is a love triangle How does Peggy Riordan's murder fit in? All three of them lied through their teeth.
And there's your scientific proof.
Get Devin Bradley in here.
See what shakes out when you rattle him.
My relationship with the Governor is strictly professional.
Uh-uh, don't.
Don't treat us like we're idiots, Devin.
I think I want to call Richard.
He can't help you now.
We caught you lying! But I Which means you're going in! I'm the one who hasn't done anything.
Then you need to start worrying about yourself and not who you think you need to protect! Devin.
Have a seat.
If you're as innocent as you say you are, we'll help you get through this mess with some dignity.
But if you jerk us around, we're gonna take that very personally, and then all bets are off.
Three months ago, the Governor and I had a meeting about a highway project I recommended.
He asked me out for a drink.
I knew what he wanted.
But I didn't wanna lose my job.
Was it just that one time? It's been going on ever since then.
You're saying all this time, you were sexually harassed? Whatever you wanna call it.
Then Mrs.
Riordan found us alone in his office.
I knew I had to tell Richard.
Kaplan must have been pretty pissed off about that.
It was pretty bad.
But he was more upset with the Governor.
Why, because he was hitting on you? Because the Governor would have to resign if his wife went public.
Well, she never got a chance to do that, did she? Richard said he would take care of it.
I wasn't sure what he meant.
When I came home from Litchfield Wednesday, after Governor Riordan got the call, Richard told me.
He told me that he killed Peggy at the party.
"Docket number 49451.
"People v.
Richard Kapfan.
Charge of Murder in the Second Degree.
" How does Mr.
Kaplan plead? LAWYER: Not guilty.
We're asking you to remand the defendant, Your Honor.
Kaplan's unlimited resources make him a flight risk.
We have a very strong case, which includes a confession.
We received no notice that our client made admissions.
They were made to a civilian.
No notice is required.
Tell me about this confession, Ms.
The defendant admitted the murder to his boyfriend, a man named Devin Bradley.
And Mr.
Bradley had nothing to do with this incident? Not exactly.
He was having an affair with the victim's husband, the Governor of Connecticut.
(PEOPLE CHATTERING) MAN: Quiet! Quiet! SERENA: The defendant's business (GAVEL POUNDING) The defendant's business depended on favorable consideration from the Governor.
Riordan was poised to expose her husband's affair and jeopardize his political career.
JUDGE GOLDBERG: Bail is set at $5 million.
Kaplan will surrender his passport.
Well, I hear the cow-pies have hit the fan in Connecticut.
Judge Goldberg didn't leave me much choice but to lay the whole thing out for her.
Is Devin Bradley standing by his statement? He's scheduled in the Grand Jury on Friday.
No qualms about testifying against his boyfriend? He realizes he's in over his head.
He wants to do the right thing and get on with his life.
I hope there's more to our case than this young man.
Motive, opportunity.
How about a murder weapon? We can establish that the awl used to kill Mrs.
Riordan was missing from a construction site that Kaplan visited on the day of the murder.
But, according to the manufacturers, they sold 10,000 of these things.
The confession's still the linchpin.
And we need to go into the Governor's bedroom to make it all fit together.
That'll be a pretty sight.
I'd like to talk to the Governor, Arthur.
Make sure he'll play ball with us.
You got your work cut out for you, Jack.
Any way you look at it, we're taking down his Administration.
Well, that's quite a tall tale that Devin Bradley is telling.
I've been happily married for 19 years.
He swore to it before a Grand Jury, sir.
People swear to many things.
And Richard Kaplan has enough dirt on Bradley to rip his heart out during a cross-examination.
Bradley's not our only witness.
Kaplan's CPA has a paper trail proving Kaplan built your house on the cuff.
You have quite the nerve to walk into my office, attack my family and impugn my integrity.
Let's drop the pretense, Governor.
Right now, there are three scandals hanging over your head.
Three, is it? Rigging bids for Kaplan.
Sexual harassment of your Deputy Commissioner of Transportation.
And the fact that you cheated on your wife.
With a man.
Excuse me, four.
And you might very well survive all of them.
But I doubt you'd survive a murder indictment.
What are you talking about? Richard Kaplan murdered your wife.
You had as much to gain by that as he did.
Is Governor Riordan a target of your investigation? If he stonewalls our investigation, we'll have to assume he conspired with Kaplan.
Or at the very least put him up to it.
You'll have a war on your hands! Listen to me, Mr.
I had nothing to do with Peggy's murder.
Then put aside the bravado, Governor, and help me convict the man who killed your wife.
I'm not the monster you think I am, Mr.
(sums) Now, you may find this hard to understand, but I loved Peggy.
She was my family and my friend, and we raised two wonderful children.
On top of losing her, you realize that this will cost me my job.
Yes, I do, Governor.
My constituents deserve a governor who is not distracted by personal affairs.
The death of my wife, the rumors that surround that tragic event, have had an adverse impact on my ability to perform the duties of this office.
Therefore, effective immediately, I resign the office of the Governor of the State of Connecticut.
Thank you.
REPORTERS: (CLAMORING) Governor! Personal reasons.
The all-purpose "mea culpa.
" You didn't expect him to come out of the closet? He won't have any choice in the courtroom.
Some part of me feels sorry for him.
Why? He's a corrupt politician.
I don't know, he did a lot of good for the state.
He put suburban property tax money into urban schools, he created a medical safety net for the elderly.
He shouldn't be hitting on his subordinates.
Especially the lover of the man he was taking bribes from.
He had to hide his sexual orientation to accomplish his goals.
Sexual orientation is not a license to be dishonest.
See you in the morning.
I met Richard Kaplan after I was elected to the state legislature.
I sponsored a bill which gave incentives to contractors with significant minority workforces.
Richard owned several companies that qualified, and we became political allies and friends.
How much business did his companies do with the State of Connecticut? Last year, his companies received over $20 million in state contracts.
And he'd just bid on a $35 million public works project in Danbury.
Did you meet a man named Devin Bradley during your term? Richard introduced me to Devin about a year ago.
He mentioned that Devin was looking for a new job, so I recommended him to my Commissioner of Transportation, who hired him last summer.
What was your relationship with Mr.
Bradley? Very limited.
He would attend monthly Transportation meetings.
But, um, shortly before my wife was killed, we began having an affair.
Did your wife know about this? Not at first.
But, uh, one night Peggy arrived unexpectedly at the office and found us together.
What happened? Peggy was shocked.
She had no idea that I was I'm gay.
I asked her to ride things out till after my term was over, but Peggy said she didn't know if she could.
What did you do? I decided to ask Richard for his advice.
What exactly did you tell him? And when? A few days before Peggy was killed, I met Richard for a drink.
And he already knew what happened.
How did Mr.
Kaplan react? He thought that there was a good chance that Peggy would go public.
He was very angry about that.
And he said if I left office, his businesses could fold.
Nothing further.
So, if your illicit, gay love affair was exposed, you would have had to resign, Governor? Yes.
That must have been a huge motive to see that your wife kept her mouth shut.
I was 100 miles away.
With my client's boyfriend? While Richard was at the same party my wife was killed.
So who's to say that you didn't hire someone other than my client to do your dirty work? Objection.
JUDGE MURPHY: Sustained.
I did not kill her.
I had nothing to do with this! But you lied to your wife of 19 years.
You lied to your good friend, Richard Kaplan.
And you lied to all four million of your constituents.
So why should these 12 strangers believe anything you say, Governor? At some point while you were having lunch in Litchfield, did Governor Riordan receive a phone call? Yes, he did.
Something terrible had happened to his wife.
He said he had to leave immediately.
What did you do, Mr.
Bradley? I got in my car and I drove to Greenwich.
That's when I heard on the radio that Mrs.
Riordan had been killed.
Where did you go? I went to Richard The Kaplans' house.
And when you got there, was Mr.
Kaplan at home? Yes.
Your Honor, I want to object.
On what grounds? Can I be heard in chambers? Please, Mr.
You really want to hear this one in chambers, YourHonoL This better be good.
I'm moving to preclude any conversation between Mr.
Bradley and my client on that night.
Which would include Mr.
Kaplan's admission that he murdered Peggy Riordan at the fundraiser! Grounds, Mr.
Pincham? Spousal communication privilege.
Richard Kaplan and Devin Bradley were married in New Paltz, New York in March.
Why didn't we know about it? A man who brings a beard to a party is not gonna wear a wedding ring from his gay lover.
They just kicked a big hole in our case.
If it's true.
Take a ride up to New Paltz.
Find out if this marriage is on the books.
I married 217 gay and lesbian couples in private ceremonies in March.
But Richard Kaplan and Devin Bradley? You want the paperwork, check downstairs with the Bureau of Records.
So this is the real deal? Town Clerk issued the marriage license, and as Mayor oi the Town oi New Pam, I'm authorized to preside over civil ceremonies.
Of men and women.
The statute doesn't say anything about gender.
This is a legitimate marriage under Article Three of the Domestic Relations Law.
I admire your creativity, Mayor Carpentino.
Have a seat.
Look, Serena.
This is going to happen on a large scale once the social conservatives in this country lose their political clout.
Canada already has gay marriage.
San Francisco, Massachusetts, Vermont.
The writing's on the wall.
Do you actually think these marriages are gonna be held up in court? Too soon to tell.
There's an injunction stopping me from performing any more.
The County Judge who issued it sits right down the street.
Judge Stojakovich will be at Andy's Luncheonette.
Little brat gets himself elected Mayor by 96 votes, thinks he can rewrite the laws of nature.
And you stopped him single-handedly.
That's what I call judicial activism.
I issued the injunction, but I didn't file the suit.
Who did? The Coalition for Family Values.
Thank the Lord somebody finally put an end to that nonsense.
Whole thing's an abomination.
I mean, marriage is the bedrock of our society.
These people are making a mockery of it.
Did your injunction affect the status of the marriages that were consummated? Don't use that word.
I can't annul a marriage that's been duly administered unless a party to it brings an action.
I wish I could undo every one of those things, but right now, it looks like those people have slipped through a loophole.
The Mayor's power to marry gay couples is in legal limbo, but the marriages he presided over in March seem to be legit.
And there's no direct legal precedent on the evidentiary issue Kaplan raised.
So it seems our only choice is to respect the privilege.
Or attack it.
You think that this shouldn't apply to gay marriages? It's not relevant what I believe.
I just wanna go on the record that a private conversation with your partner, gay or straight, should be kept confidential.
That's not what the law says, and that's not the legal position I'll be taking.
You're gonna argue the privilege should only apply only to heterosexual relationships? To put a murderer behind bars, yes.
Are you sure those nuns didn't get inside of your head, Jack? That has nothing to do with it.
I suggest you leave your opinion aboutsexualpofifics at the water cooler and help me win this case.
Richard Kaplan and Devin Bradley received a valid license and were legally married by the Mayor of New Paltz.
No court has upheld the legal efficacy of any of the New Paltz unions.
And no court has deemed one of the marriages invalid.
In a case of first impression, the court must look to the policy served by the privilege.
Fostering free and open communication between committed couples.
If that were so important, why have the New York courts excluded unmarried couples from claiming the privilege, no matter how long their relationship? So the opportunity to bare one's soul to a loved one in confidence is available only to married heterosexuals? Maybe the clerical privilege should be limited to Catholics? So you're saying I should construe the privilege as narrowly as possible, Mr.
McCoy? Because any evidentiary privilege frustrates the administration of justice.
When one spouse isn't allowed to testify to what the other spouse said, it hinders the search for truth.
But the parties are validly married.
I'm not about to parse the difference between a gay marriage and a straight marriage, Mr.
I'm upholding the privilege.
Bradley may not testify about any admissions the defendant may have made to him.
(POUNDS GAVEL) Can we win this case without the confession? I doubt it, Arthur.
Bradley testifying against his lover was a powerful piece of evidence.
I don't suppose Kaplan wants to cut a deal? I don't wanna offer a plea down even if there was interest.
Well, we don't have a lot of choices.
We can ask the Court of Appeals to intervene.
I doubt they'll hear a challenge to an evidentiary ruling made in the middle of a trial.
That's not how I'll frame it.
I'll ask for a declaratory judgment invalidating these gay marriages.
Every one? If that's what it takes.
What, are you making social policy now? The law's in a state of flux.
It's incumbent upon us as prosecutors to leverage that opening to obtain justice.
I don't agree with that.
It's standard operating procedure.
Before Batson came along, it was routine to try to stack your jury on the basis of race.
Until the Court of Appeals rules otherwise, we should take the position that marriage is between a man and a woman, period.
Sell your soul to the Religious Right to win the case.
Push the court to define what the law is.
Marriage is a state matter.
And I see nothing wrong with asking the highest court in New York to put an end to the confusion that's going on right now.
We'd be setting back gay rights 20 years.
Our job is to put Kaplan behind bars, not to fight the culture wars.
I don't think I'm gonna be much help to you up in Albany.
This could cost me some votes.
I've thought about that, too.
You got a better idea? (GROANS) Do what you gotta do.
I've got your back.
Isn't the position your office is taking anti-gay, if not downright homophobic? The ruling we're seeking has nothing to do with gay rights.
It's about whether a confession can be used against an accused murderer.
But isn't it true that if you win, all the gay marriages in this state will be invalidated? I don't want to speculate on how the court might rule.
What do you say to your gay constituents who are up in arms about this? Well, I would first suggest they lay down their arms.
I mean, look.
Uh, gay citizens in New York are statistically much more likely to be victims of crime.
So it's in every/body's interest to have a D.
's Office that will do everything legally possible to bring violent offenders to justice.
Thank you very much.
(REPORTERS CLAMORING) The case at bar, Your Honors, is one in which an accused murderer seeks to expand the marital privilege.
Doesn't the Equal Protection Clause require this court to apply the same evidentiary rules to both heterosexuals and homosexuals? This isn't the right to vote.
When the Domestic Relations Law was adopted, it was inconceivable to the framers that it would cover anything other than a marriage between a man and a woman.
This court should construe the law according to that intent and deem the marriages invalid.
Where the law is silent as to gender as it is here, Mr.
McCoy, shouldn't we avoid such an antiquated construction? In a matter fraught with emotion and fundamental disagreement, I'd argue that judicial activism is inappropriate.
Where would we be on civil rights if the Supreme Court adopted that line of thinking? It's one thing for the highest court in the land to forge policy in a national crisis, but the Mayor of New Paltz shouldn't be leading the charge.
Societal change of that importance must be the province of our elected officials in Albany.
"A rose is a rose is a rose.
" Two people who take a vow before a public official or a cleric to share their lives is a marriage.
What about Mr.
McCoy's argument that this was surely not contemplated by the authors of the law? Well, rigidity in the face of progress is notjustice.
The rulings of this very court reflect that.
Gay partners are now allowed to adopt children, are considered family members for the purpose of rent control, have burial rights that supersede those of a parent.
Aren't you asking us to be social engineers and notjudges? When Virginia forbade blacks and whites from marrying each other, the Supreme Court held that marriage is a fundamental right for all.
The institution of marriage promotes social and economic stability.
And same-sex partners are entitled to a legal status that furthers these goals.
Even if doing so disallows a murder confession? One of the benefits of a marital relationship, one of the privileges, is the right to free and open communication.
Now, sometimes the results of this are discomforting.
But an occasional injustice is far outweighed by the overall benefit to society.
Simply put, government should stay out of love.
We thank both counsel.
Let us deliberate and we will return with a decision from the bench.
It is the opinion of this court that the marriages solemnized in New Paltz in March are hereby deemed null and void.
Gay marriage was never contemplated by the current statute.
However, we ask the State Legislature to address the inequities now faced by gay couples in this state and to craft a formalized ceremony, be it marriage, civil union, or some other alternative, to allow same-sex couples the opportunity to avail themselves of all the rights and benefits of married heterosexuals.
Three Judges dissent from this opinion.
The defense's motion to preclude Devin Bradley's testimony on the basis of spousal privilege is denied.
Bradley may testify.
(POUNDS GAVEL) JACK: Calling your attention to the day of the incident, Mr.
Bradley, you previously testified that you drove to the house you shared with Mr.
Kaplan in Greenwich? Yes.
Was Mr.
Kaplan home? Um, yes, he was.
What was his emotional state? I don't know what you mean.
What, if any, conversation did you have with him? What did he say to you, Mr.
Bradley? Mr.
Bradley? I'm not gonna answer that.
Your Honor? If you don't answer, you can be held in contempt.
I was gonna testify, Mr.
McCoy, even though it was really hard for me.
But then you went and undermined everything that I am! JUDGE: Mr.
Bradley, please, this isn't a soapbox.
BRADLEY: I don't care if I go to jail! We are not second-class citizens, Mr.
You can't treat us like that.
This is your last chance, sir.
Very well.
I find you in contempt of court.
Sergeant, put him in.
Motion for mistrial.
Can we recess for an hour, Judge? Thirty minutes.
A mistrial means nothing, Mr.
We'll try you again.
Without your key witness, Jack? Why bother? A few months in the Tombs might change Mr.
Bradley's mind.
Seems to me he was dead set on seeing this through.
So let's both leverage our risk, Mr.
I'm not pleading guilty.
You'd rather let Devin rot in jail for you? Didn't you hear him? He's not doing this for me.
At least he has some principle.
More than I can say for you.
You don't know a thing about me, Mr.
I know you murdered an innocent woman to save your business.
I know you're willing to sacrifice someone who loved you, who married you.
Devin was the one who wanted to get married.
And then he betrayed me.
If you think you're going to walk away from this free and clear, you're wrong.
There's no statute of limitations on murder.
I'll wait Devin out until hell freezes over.
And when I finally convict you, you'll do 25-to-life! What are you offering? Murder two, Too much.
How about man one? Fifteen to life, Mr.
Now or never.
You'll let Devin out? After we have this all on the record.
I'll take it.
Draft an order to Corrections to release Devin Bradley.
Congratulations, Jack.
You got everything you wanted.
It rarely works out that way.