Law & Order (1990) s22e03 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.
Call you later?
That's OK.
It was fun, but
Hey, what's happening? What's happening?
What's going on?
Someone's shooting down there! Leave!
Help me. Someone, please help me!
Try not to move.
I don't know.
This should help with the bleeding.
- Am I gonna die?
- No.
Help will be here soon.
Can you tell me what happened?
This man, he pointed his gun at people,
and he just kept pulling
the trigger over and over.
It really hurts. Please help me.
Hey, over here!
I got this.
You're gonna be OK.
I'm applying pressure.
- Hold it right there, sir.
- Whoa!
Oh, right.
Nolan Price, Manhattan DA's office.
How many?
At least seven.
One of them was just a young kid.
No, I'm here.
I'm here already.
It's a nightmare.
It's an absolute nightmare.
It looks like a hate crime.
According to the ME,
all seven DOA appear
to be East or Southeast Asian.
And the injured?
I'm not sure.
Numbers are still coming in.
There's at least 11 are critical.
But yeah, from what I'm told,
most of them are Asian.
So all the shell casings
were 9-millimeter,
so I'm guessing
the shooter was using a TEC-9.
- Anyone get a look at the guy?
- Not a good look.
He was wearing a mask,
but multiple witnesses said
that he was short, medium build,
white male, wearing a baseball cap,
and had a camouflage gym bag with him.
Did they see a label
or any brand in particular?
No, but they said
one of the straps was broken.
That's good.
It gives us something to work with.
Hopefully, one of these cameras works.
Hold it right there.
Zoom in on the bag.
That strap definitely
looks broken to me.
All right, keep rolling.
Let's see where he goes.
Where the hell is he?
Not sure. He didn't go up the stairs.
He's probably still in the station.
Frank, it's me.
Copy. We're on it.
Check it out.
That's blood, but there
were no vics down here.
And there, that's a spent shell casing.
Looks like he fired one off
right before he ran down the tunnel.
We're at marker IRT-44.
Have units cover Spring Street.
Have sector cars cover
all emergency exits.
Cosgrove, Shaw, I just got
off the phone with dispatch.
He didn't make it to the next station.
He's got to still be in here somewhere.
That gate should be locked.
He didn't just stumble on this gate.
Where the hell did he get a key?
He must have taken it off someone,
a conductor or a worker.
That, or he is a transit worker.
Where the hell did he go?
Back into the melting pot.
Hey, Lieutenant.
I think I found something.
Cameras picked up a man,
masked, wearing a gray hoodie,
carrying a camouflage bag
over by Canal Street.
Do we know where he goes?
Northbound on Baxter.
And here on the northeast
corner of Columbus Park,
he removes his sweatshirt,
tosses it in a trash can.
Call CSU right away.
- I already did.
- Did they find it?
It's on its way to the lab
for DNA analysis.
20 minutes later, cameras
picked him up on Front Street.
And this is definitely the same bag.
It means he's headed toward the docks,
probably trying to board a ferry.
That's what I thought, but then watch.
He turns right on Fletcher.
That's where I lose him.
I used to walk a beat
in that neighborhood.
I'm pretty sure I know where he went.
This is a person of interest.
He was involved in
a subway shooting this morning.
I can't really see his face.
But maybe you recognize
the body type or the gym bag.
One of the straps is broken.
We think he might have come in here,
possibly to buy a weapon
A gun, a knife, a machete.
Maybe he's looking to buy some ammo.
Well, I don't know if it's the same guy,
but somebody did come in
with a green gym bag.
Only they weren't looking to buy ammo.
They were looking to sell it.
He sold you his ammunition?
No, he tried.
- What caliber?
- 9-millimeter.
Said he had 50 boxes.
Told him take a hike.
Are you sure about that? 'Cause
now would be the time to come clean.
I run a legit shop.
I'm not out there
buying ammo off the street.
All right. Good to know.
So you don't mind if we look around?
Be my guest.
Hey, buddy.
Can we ask you some questions?
Hey, where are you going?
I don't know anything.
Oh, 'cause we haven't
asked you a question yet, so
I meant I didn't see that guy
you were just talking about.
You realize the guy you didn't see,
the one that we're looking for,
shot up a subway this morning,
killed seven people?
Yes, I do.
You interact with him?
Yes or no?
I didn't know who he was.
I swear to God, I was just looking
to make a quick score, you know?
Ammo's been selling
at a premium these days.
He was offering to sell it real cheap.
So you bought it off him.
That's what you're saying.
Not yet.
I was gonna do it on my lunch break.
Is that our guy?
Definitely the same bag.
NYPD, don't move!
Why did you make me run?
I got ammo,
water bottles
Where are the guns?
Guns? I don't have any guns.
Picture of a little girl.
Who's this girl?
- How the hell do I know?
- What's this girl's name?
I'm telling you, I don't know.
It's not my bag.
I told you I didn't shoot anyone.
- I don't even have a gun.
- So you just happened to be
walking around lower Manhattan
with 50 boxes of live ammo
a few hours after a subway massacre?
Man, do yourself a favor and tell us
exactly where you found that gym bag.
I found it on the street.
It was just laying there.
Where? What street, Aaron?
Maybe there's something I could sell.
- I got a drug problem.
- Answer his question.
Where exactly did you find the gym bag?
- In a dumpster.
- A dumpster?
I don't know the name of the street.
OK, here's what's gonna happen.
Take a look at this map.
You're gonna tell me
exactly where you were this morning.
Rossi's story checks out.
There's the racist son
of a bitch dumping the gym bag,
and here's Aaron Rossi
picking up the bag.
Facial recognition give you anything?
He never took off the mask.
Great, so we're nowhere.
How are you holding up, Violet?
I'm just sick of all the hate.
I get it.
Hey, I found eight schools
in the neighborhood
that use that uniform the little girl
in the photo was wearing,
so let's find her fast.
Before he does.
Hi, Lacey. I'm Kate.
She can't hear you.
Oh, well, did we call
for an interpreter?
- Yes, we did.
- Great.
Do you prefer to sign?
Your mom, she's gonna
be here soon, sweetie.
But I just need to ask you
a few questions, OK?
This picture.
Does that man look familiar to you?
I know that the picture
is really blurry,
but this is really important.
Have you ever seen that man before?
You know, your school, the people there,
they didn't even know
your father's name.
Can you tell me his name?
Can you tell me where he lives?
Where he works?
Can you tell me what he looks like?
His hair color? Or is he tall?
"You told me my mom
was gonna be here soon."
Yes, yes, yes, yes.
Your mom is
She's on her way right now.
Where's Lacey? Where's my daughter?
Hey, it's OK. She's fine. She's safe.
She's with the lieutenant.
What the hell happened?
No one will tell me anything.
We're investigating
the shooting that happened
in the Canal Street Station
this morning.
Your daughter's photo was found
in the shooter's gym bag.
What? Lacey's photo was in his gym bag?
- Why?
- We don't know.
Hoping you can help us with that.
You recognize this man?
I can barely see the guy's face.
Yeah, I get that, but is
there anything familiar at all?
I want a lawyer.
You're entitled to one,
but this is not that.
I'm just trying to figure out
what's happening here, OK?
Your daughter's photo was
in the suspect's gym bag.
- Do you know him?
- Like I said, I want a lawyer.
Lady, seven people
were killed this morning
because of their race,
and you're pulling this?
What we know is she's married, one kid.
No priors.
Guy named Michael Farrell.
The girl is hungry. She wants pizza.
No, no, sausage.
- How do you know how to
- My son's deaf.
They're both scared.
She thinks her father could
be involved in the shooting.
Nah, I checked.
Michael Farrell is a metalworker.
He's been at the factory
since 7:30 this morning.
He hasn't left yet.
"Because we both know
John is really, really mean."
John? Who the hell is John?
I thought the father's name was Michael.
Husband's name is Michael.
It doesn't mean it's the girl's father.
DNA results are back
from the gray sweatshirt.
Profile's not in our system.
Do we have any idea why Jessica
Farrell is refusing to cooperate?
That's the million-dollar question.
We'd like to compel her to go
in front of the grand jury.
Listen, that way,
she might tell them
what she's refusing to tell us.
If we go that route,
we have to immunize her.
- It could backfire.
- Got a better idea?
Not at the moment, but I'm not excited
about giving someone
a free pass on a mass shooting
without more information.
The entire city is at a standstill,
waiting for us to get off
our asses to do our jobs.
What if he goes out and kills again?
You want that on your conscience?
I don't need a lecture, Frank.
I am fully aware
of what this man is capable of.
Well, her lawyer is
in interrogation room two.
Why don't you go in there and see
if you can work something out?
My client will cooperate,
but she isn't looking for immunity.
We're not concerned
with criminal liability.
- Then why won't she talk?
- Fear.
Your suspect is part
of a white supremacist group.
What if we put her
in Witness Protection?
She's got a kid and a sick parent.
Can't uproot her family.
She wants to help,
but she needs some assurances.
- She'll give us his full name?
- Yes.
Can she lead us to where he's hiding?
She believes she can.
If Jessica Farrell gives a
complete and truthful statement
and is not involved
in criminal activity,
we'll keep her identity confidential.
No one will know how you found him?
You have my word.
His name is John Nelson.
We were together for a couple of months.
I got pregnant. He split.
Date of birth?
He's 32. His birthday's in June.
He worked for the Transit Authority
up until a couple months ago.
You know what he did with Transit?
He was, like, a mechanic.
Have you ever heard him
express anti-Asian bias?
He's got this thing
against Asian people.
It's, like, totally crazy.
- He blames them for COVID.
- Hmm.
Started going up to Asian people,
telling them
they couldn't get on the train.
It's why he got fired from his job.
Are you aware
of any mental health issues?
Is being a mean, nasty son of
a bitch a mental health issue?
Do you know where he is right now?
Look, we can keep her out of it
if she gives us all the
information she has right now.
I've been on his ass for child support.
Found out he's been crashing
with a friend in Rockaway.
Have you been there recently?
I was there two days ago.
Do you believe that
he's keeping his guns there?
It's where he keeps all his crap.
John, make this easy on yourself.
Shots fired.
He's going out the back.
Throw that! Throw that gun!
You drop that gun right now!
Don't you get it, man?
I'm doing you a favor.
Put the gun down!
These people are ruining
the country our country!
You drop that gun right now,
or I swear to God,
I'll blow your head off.
They're killing innocent Americans, man!
Drop the gun now!
They need to be shipped back
to China, where they belong!
You are under arrest.
That means you're going to Rikers.
Where you belong.
Nelson was a no-show at arraignment.
I have no idea where the hell he is.
The FBI pulled him from the Tombs.
They just swooped in and took him?
Hit him with a federal
detainer and hauled him off.
The U.S. Attorney wants
to take over the prosecution.
- What?
- I can't say
I appreciate their approach,
but their interest in the case
is understandable.
- That doesn't mean
- No, I agree.
The NYPD investigated this case.
They put in the sweat.
They consoled the victims' families.
They took the heat from the press.
This happened in our city, New York.
Hell, I was there. I
I saw what this man did.
No way I'm letting this case go.
I'm on board, but there's a few
more people you'll need to convince.
You could have called,
Monica, given us a heads-up.
I apologize, Jack.
I should have given you fair warning,
but Main Justice wants us
to take over the case.
I'm sure they do,
but this is a local crime.
Doesn't mean it's not federal too.
Do you really want to do this?
Have a turf battle over jurisdiction?
Argue who's best equipped
to try this case?
Like I said,
Main Justice wants us to take the lead.
I'd like to suggest a compromise,
something I think we can both live with.
It's a little unconventional,
but it's been done before.
How would it work?
You and Ms. Maroon will be appointed
special assistant
United States attorneys.
Who calls the shots?
You'll be lead counsel.
They'll agree to this?
Why not?
If they win, they get the credit.
If they lose
I shoulder the blame.
Which means me.
Yeah, let's do it.
There's a catch.
The deal is predicated on your
agreeing to ask for the death penalty.
I'm not sure I can set
my personal beliefs aside.
Your personal beliefs
are not part of the equation.
If you don't want to go down that road,
if you're not willing
to follow the federal statutes
and DOJ mandate,
just say so.
I'll hand the damn case
back to the U.S. Attorney.
How are you doing?
Haven't seen you since
Our law school reunion.
Nolan and I volunteered for
the Innocence Project together.
We used to fight like hell
to keep people off death row.
Are you really doing this?
You're going for the death penalty?
- Under the law.
- The law?
We're talking about the death penalty.
Next time, tell your client
not to kill
seven innocent Asian Americans.
Before you walk away
in a righteous huff,
I'm gonna need the name
of your confidential informant.
See what I mean
about that righteous huff?
It's a simple discovery request.
Simple but outrageous.
The defense is asking us
to disclose the identity
of our confidential informant.
I'll hear you, Ms. Rankin.
The prosecution's entire case
is built on a house of cards.
Their so-called "confidential informant"
provided the information that
led to the defendant's capture
and the seizure of a gun.
The gun was analyzed
and determined to be the murder weapon.
And it was obtained
with a lawful search warrant.
Not necessarily.
It could be fruit of the poisonous tree.
We have a right to challenge the basis
of the informant's knowledge.
We want to test their credibility
and assess whether or not
the information was reliable.
Frankly, we don't know
if this person even exists.
Your Honor, that is a baseless
and defamatory accusation.
It wouldn't be the first time
NYPD made up an informant.
This is nothing more
than a thinly veiled attempt
to intimidate our informant
and expose them to danger.
The defendant is a killer.
He's part of a network
of white supremacists.
OK, not so simple.
The defense has raised
a legitimate concern,
and this is a capital case.
I'm granting the defendant's motion.
You're ordering me to reveal
the informant's identity?
Disclose their name
or I'm dismissing the case.
We promised Jessica we'd protect her.
We can't just renege on that.
Judge doesn't see it that way, Nolan.
It's a dangerous precedent,
forcing confidential informants
to testify in open court,
reveal their identity.
It's hard enough to get witnesses
to come forward these days.
You're absolutely right,
but once again
I know, I know. The judge doesn't care.
So what do we do, appeal the ruling?
We could, but we'll lose.
So just roll over?
Throw Jessica to the wolves?
There is a way out.
Offer Nelson a plea.
A plea?
He killed seven people.
If we take the death penalty
off the table, maybe they'll bite.
Jessica doesn't need to testify,
Nelson does life in prison,
and you won't have
to live with the fact
No, no, no, no. Don't do that.
Excuse me?
This is not about my beliefs
or me having to live with my choices.
Jack made a deal with the U.S. Attorney.
We can't walk that back.
Like it or not, under federal law,
Nelson qualifies for a death sentence.
Then Jessica Farrell needs to testify.
- You're a liar.
- The judge left me no choice.
You promised.
You said no one would know my name.
Now my face is all over the Internet.
And what about my daughter?
She has to grow up with everyone knowing
her father is a racist killer?
I apologize.
We all want the same thing
To keep John Nelson off the streets,
to punish him for what he did.
I'm not gonna do it.
your testimony is mandatory.
I don't care.
You're under subpoena.
If you don't cooperate voluntarily,
you will be arrested.
I'll be arrested?
Is this some kind of joke?
I'm sorry, but it's the law.
It's the law?
That's how you guys justify all
your lies and manipulations.
You just blame it on the damn law.
Ms. Farrell, could you
tell the members of the jury
how you know the defendant?
I just do.
I don't remember where we met.
Were you two involved romantically?
Not how I'd describe it.
Do you have a child together?
Objection. Relevance.
I'm trying to establish
her basis of knowledge,
her connection to the defendant.
Can you leave my daughter
the hell out of this?
Let's keep moving.
Your Honor, I'd move to have
Ms. Farrell declared a hostile witness.
I believe you've laid
a proper foundation.
You may proceed with leading questions.
Thank you. Did you meet
with Detectives Cosgrove and Shaw
and tell them
where the defendant was living?
You told me I'd never have to testify.
Your Honor, may the witness be ordered
to answer the question?
Ask another one.
You told detectives
that Mr. Nelson was living
in Rockaway, didn't you?
I don't recall.
You told them
he was keeping weapons there.
I don't remember saying that.
Your Honor, given
that the defendant's arrest
and the seizure
of the so-called murder weapon
were predicated on the information
provided by this witness,
I move to suppress the TEC-9.
Your motion is allowed.
Members of the jury,
you're not to consider
any mention of the gun being found
in the house
where Mr. Nelson was living.
You lost the murder weapon.
It was excluded, but
the jury isn't gonna be able
to wipe it from their memory.
The U.S. Attorney called.
They offered to send in an AUSA to help.
I don't need any help.
It might not look that way
to those watching the trial.
I have other evidence
The video, the gym bag, motive.
You asked for this case, Nolan.
I went out on a limb,
worked out a deal
so you could be lead counsel.
If Nelson walks, everyone in this city
will lose faith in our ability
to serve and protect.
We're good, Jack.
You have my word.
I don't care about your word.
I care about the verdict.
Were you on the 6 Train
at the Canal Street Station
on August 16?
Can you tell us what happened?
I was on my phone, doing the Wordle,
when all of a sudden,
I heard these loud noises.
At first, I didn't know what it was.
They were gunshots?
People started falling to the ground,
diving under their seats.
Some of us got hit.
Were you struck by the gunfire?
In my leg.
I'd probably be dead
if it wasn't for you.
Please tell the members of the jury
what happened after you were shot.
I fell to the ground.
I just remember looking
at the filthy floor.
And I saw a pool of blood forming,
and I realized it was my blood.
He was moving up the train
like he was hunting us.
I closed my eyes, and
I pretended I was dead.
The train pulled into the station,
and he stopped shooting.
The doors opened, and everybody ran out.
People were screaming and pushing.
Somehow, I managed to drag
myself onto the platform.
Do you believe you were
targeted because of your race?
Objection. Relevance.
The witness may answer.
He aimed his gun at the Asian people.
He moved past people who looked white,
and he shot at anybody
who appeared to be Asian.
This is what it's like
to live in America these days.
What do you mean by that?
I was born in this country.
Not that it should matter,
but I've lived here my entire life.
And I've seen hostility before,
but not like this.
COVID and the lies
that are being perpetuated
about its origins,
it's unleashed a hate
like I have never seen before.
Every time I leave my apartment,
I worry that someone might bash
me over the head with a rock
because of how I look.
My parents are afraid.
My my grandmother
Do you see the man who shot
you in this courtroom today?
I can't be 100% certain
because I didn't see his face,
but he looks like him
His height, his weight,
his eyes.
May the record reflect
that the witness indicated
the defendant, John Nelson.
The record shall so reflect.
Thank you. Nothing further.
The defense has no questions.
In fact, we stipulate
that this was a hate crime.
Why would she agree
that this was a hate crime?
Well, it makes our lives
a hell of a lot easier, though.
Yeah, rolling over and agreeing
to a crucial element of the offense
is not Andrea's style.
- Well
- What?
You're right.
She's agreed to the hate crime theory
because she wants to use it against us.
- How?
- They're changing their plea
to not guilty by reason of insanity,
claiming pathological bigotry
is a mental disease or defect.
Mr. Nelson blames Asian Americans
for the spread of COVID,
for the pandemic,
for pretty much
everything that followed.
So he blames people who have
never stepped foot in Asia
for all of that?
His thought process is not rational.
Dr. Thibodeau, do you believe him
to be suffering from
a mental disease or illness?
I do.
And in your professional opinion,
was he able to distinguish
between fact and fiction
on the day of the murders?
I believe he was unable to understand
the wrongful nature of his acts.
Thank you.
The defendant was organized
and rational enough
to figure out how to purchase
an assault weapon.
And he knew how to fill out
the requisite paperwork,
how to find a store that sold
the type of weapon required
to carry out such a massive
and destructive assault.
- Doesn't mean he's sane.
- He figured out
how to obtain the ammunition,
load the gun,
- hide it in a gym bag.
- I suppose.
Got himself to an area
that has a disproportionately
high concentration
of Asian Americans.
Again, doesn't mean he wasn't
suffering from mental illness.
No, it means he was
able to think clearly.
He was also able
to figure out an escape route.
- Yes.
- He even brought a key
with him so he could
unlock a gate in the tunnel.
- Yes, but
- You answered my question.
Nothing further.
Mr. Price just cut you off,
but I would like to hear
the rest of your answer.
I was going to say,
in my expert opinion,
Mr. Nelson's pathologic desire
to eliminate an entire race of people
would qualify as a delusional disorder.
I further believe that
his extreme racist beliefs
are evidence of psychosis.
So what you're saying is
my client may be
a despicable human being,
- but he's still a human being
- Objection.
And sentencing
a mentally ill person to death
is nothing short of barbaric?
Your Honor, objection.
Withdrawn. Nothing further.
Are you really trying
to execute my client?
Please, Andrea, don't do this.
- Do what?
- This.
I was feeling nostalgic last night,
so I pulled out
an old law review article.
The first sentence
went something like this:
"Capital punishment
is barbaric in theory,
"indiscriminate in practice,
"and an intolerable denial of
the fundamental civil liberties
guaranteed under the Constitution."
You wrote that, Nolan.
You did.
And now you're trying to put
a mentally ill man to death.
This isn't about me
or about some article
that I wrote 20 years ago.
It's about the law.
No, that's a cop-out.
You are choosing to do this.
Don't ask me why, but you are.
I hear the psychiatrist
was pretty effective.
I wouldn't go that far,
but Rankin knows how to put on a show.
A few of the jurors seemed intrigued.
You need to put on a show of your own.
Bring home who this man,
Nelson, really is,
that his decisions were those
of a lucid, hateful monster.
Is there another witness you can call,
perhaps an exhibit
or a piece of evidence
that can bring them back to the scene?
I think I can do one better.
You saw his escape route.
Now please take note
of where the victims were situated.
You heard that the train was packed
A variety of ethnicities and races
And yet, he was able to locate
and gun down
those who appeared to be Asian.
Kimmi Hsu testified
that she was over here
when a bullet struck her in the leg.
Nicked her femoral artery.
Almost ended her life.
And you heard evidence
that 12-year-old Jimmy Park
died right here,
clutching his baseball mitt,
after a bullet pierced
his lung, lodged in his heart.
Jimmy's 72-year-old grandmother,
Heejin, died first.
She was sitting on that bench,
right there
When three bullets hit her
in the head and chest.
According to Jimmy's father,
they were on their way
to Yankee Stadium.
Consider the planning
and the concentration
that went into this horrific crime,
the decisions and the choices
the defendant made
in order to carry out
this despicable act.
If John Nelson was really suffering
from the acute mental illness
that Dr. Thibodeau described,
there is no way in hell
he'd ever have been able
to pull off a crime
A crime of this magnitude.
We'd all like
to make sense of what happened,
chalk it up to mental illness,
but the hard truth
is that some people are just evil.
John Nelson opened fire in that subway
because he is a hateful,
evil man.
Hey, you good?
Jury's back.
Fiat iustitia, et pereat mundus.
May justice be done,
though the world perish.
Mr. Foreman,
having previously
found the defendant guilty
of seven counts of murder,
have you agreed upon a sentence?
We have.
What say you?
We sentence the defendant, John Nelson,
to death by lethal injection.
- Join me for a drink?
- Rain check.
Hey, you did a nice job.
I can't believe you actually
went through with it.
You sent a man to his death.
I did my job, just like you.
You've changed, Nolan.
Previous EpisodeNext Episode