The Outer Limits (1995) s02e22 Episode Script

The Sentence

1 ( buzzer sounding ) What are you looking at? I'll kill you! No! Sarah, are you all right? Why did you leave me in there so long? It's hard to believe, but it's only been a few seconds, But, ,, No, It felt so real, For all perceptible intents and purposes, it was real, and therein, Mr, And madam senators, lies the future of our penal system, ( control voice ) There is nothing wrong with your television, Do not attempt to adjust the picture, We are now controlling the transmission, We control the horizontal, and the vertical, We can deluge you with a thousand channels or expand one single image to crystal clarity, ,, And beyond, We can shape your vision to anything our imagination can conceive, For the next hour, we will control all that you see and hear, ( ) You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the deepest inner mind to The Outer Limits, Crime and punishment An age-old dilemma, Man has long sought a solution to society's ills, but at what point does the punishment itself become a crime? That is why senator Walston was able to ride in tandem with the subject, but only up to 17 seconds, But it felt so much longer! Exactly, The subject's only been in this program for a few hours, but in his mind, he's serving the 25th year of his life sentence, SBR adjusts the brain's cognitive sense of time, The total effect allows the subject to experience many years within a single hour, And what if senator Walston had ridden in tandem longer than 17 seconds? It hardly seems like enough time The simulation would adapt to her brain's neural net, She would have to stay for the rest of the subject's run, A life sentence, Yes, Because the time compression experienced by the person riding in tandem, 17 seconds represents a much longer period of time, more than enough time to disengage from the program, Uh-huh, So, for the prisoner, there really is no hope of parole, Yes, but consider the alternative, Compared to what convicts encounter in today's correctional facilities, with the new tougher crime laws going into effect, diminished appeal and parole options, our prisons are becoming increasingly overcrowded, inhumane, completely bereft of reformational value, Bereft? There have been some advances during my watch, doctor, Holographic psychology, compu-nutrition, the bill for the electro-stim security system I introduced in Congress last year, Well, shocking prisoners into submission hardly constitutes a step forward, senator, Is that so? By which I mean, my sensory bypass rehabilitation program incorporates both penalty and reform conditioning for a fraction of your current prison budget, Billions less, Senator, you must consider, while these people are paying their debt to society, society is falling further into debt, With SBR, repeat offenders of violent crimes will become virtually non-existent, If you'll excuse me, the program's complete, Keep a good distance from the subject, Cool-down takes several seconds, Cool-down? Exit takes several seconds for the program to disengage and the brain's sensory perception to return to normal, This is a common response, When the subject realizes that he's been given a second chance, that his whole life is in front of him, an emotive outburst often follows, You can take the subject, My God, What happens to him now? He'll be remanded to a halfway house for observation, But we have a 95% success rate for rehabilitation covering a group of inmates of 200, Eventually that man will re-enter society as a productive, taxpaying citizen, He is a new man, They seem impressed, What do you think? Senator Meade is a hard sell, but I heard them talking about SBR going online nationally as early as next year, Well, why wouldn't they back it? Pilot program's achieved too high a success rate even for senator Meade to ignore, I think I did it! Congratulations, I mean, we did it, No, no, no, it was your vision, Yeah, at the start, but you've been a big part of this, In fact, ,, Dana, without you Ah! There you are, Nasty habit, Jack, Dr, Elwin, I'd like to hear more about this project from you, Oh, um, I think that Dr, Henson is better qualified, Oh, you two are a team, aren't you? Please, the next subject is being brought in, I didn't do it, I said, let me go! Does this happen often? Well, this particular subject doesn't fit our usual profile, I'm innocent! Please, please, let me go, Mostly we have repeat offenders, hardened criminals, Usually we see a great deal of bravado in here, Not this time, A few hours, he'll be a new man, Jack, are you sure we should proceed? His anxiety will put his vital signs outside the perimeters, He'll be calm in a moment, Begin sentence, I didn't do anything wrong, Will he be put in the same prison as the last convict? ( Jack ) The computer creates each individual experience from the subject's own mind, No! No! Don't! It assesses what stimuli will be the most effective, and then builds those very situations, Sort of a custom fit, Doctor, What is that? It's the subject's heart rate, It's all over the place, We're going to stabilize him, Stimulate the adrenal medulla, I want a 50% increase in epinephrine, ( Dana ) B, P, 's still 70 over 50, Prompt the hypothalamus to stabilize blood pressure, He is dying, doctor! Get him out of there! I can't, Turn the power off, He's been in more than 17 seconds, The program is running now, Don't you have a contingency for this? This has never happened before, Unless, ,, What? He claimed he was innocent, What happens if an innocent man is put in that thing? I don't know! Have the levels stabilized? No, the same, Jack, we have to do something, Have you just endangered an innocent man's life, Henson? The program assumes guilt, My work has been based on that, Jack, we're losing him! Over my dead body, What are you doing? I'm going in, To do what? To bring him out, Once I'm in there will be plenty of time, Jack, if you can't bring him out, ,, I know, I know, I'm going to ride in tandem with Mr, izacks and talk him back into an awareness of being in a simulated reality, It might be possible to bring him off the machine without damage, Jack, are you sure? I'll be right back, Doctor, ,, Good luck, Okay, Ready, ( female voice ) The electro-stim security system will become operational in 60 seconds, Mr, Izacks, I'm innocent, I swear, Cory, can you hear me? You have to listen, This isn't really happening, You're not in prison, This wound hasn't happened, You're sitting in a laboratory in a sensory bypass program, remember? You were brought in, You said you were innocent, I am, I believe you, You just have to remember where you are, This isn't reality, Just remember, you're sitting Get away from him, He isn't real, The knife wound isn't real, I only have a few seconds Get the hell away from him! Just take my hand, Remember! You see? That happened because I know he isn't real, This isn't happening, You and I are not here, Take my hand, ,, Take it, Show me you know this isn't real, Take it, Three seconds to spare, Dr, Henson, Over here, quickly! I need an ambulance to the research center at west 3rd and march street, I can't feel anything, I think he's, ,, Do CPR, One, two, three, four, five, One, two, three, four, five, One, two, three, four, ,, It's not possible, He was all right, He took a couple of steps and then he just, ,, He collapsed, Couldn't save him, But I had him, This boy is dead, And you killed him, Dana, Dana, I did everything I could, I know, I was just thinking how this morning we were on top of the world, Now, ,, There is no way we could have anticipated this, Researching it would have been a waste of resources, A waste? Jack, a man died, Don't you feel the least bit responsible? SBR was developed for convicted criminals, Jack, you should have seen it, What did you say? You should have accounted for the possibility, Of innocence? That is the court's responsibility, Courts make mistakes, Jack, They're human, like you, ,, Like your subjects, Ah, I see, They're my subjects now, The project's all mine again, I know in my heart that the potential danger to an innocent person never crossed my mind, Did it cross yours? Are you questioning my ethics? If it was an honest mistake, no, You think I knew this could happen? Dana, you've been right beside me from the beginning, You've seen violent felons changed into functioning human beings, You've seen it countless times, How can you, of all people, raise a question of ethics? Someday SBR will be hailed as one of the great humanitarian breakthroughs of this century, Someday, I guess my name will be the only one on the Nobel prize, Jack Henson? You're under arrest for the murder of Cory izacks, What is going on? Dana! Dana! I'll call your lawyer, Jack Henson, you are charged with manslaughter and reckless endangerment of one Cory izacks, How do you plead? Not guilty, Ms, Hall, Your honor, I intend to prove That Dr, Jack Henson knowingly endangered the life of an innocent man and indeed caused his death for the purposes of self-aggrandizement, They said it had only been an hour, That's the longest hour I ever knew, What has your life been like since then? I can't sleep, Sometimes I stay awake for days, I can't work, I can't eat, But without Dr, Henson, you'd be in prison right now, Wouldn't you have rather had SBR? I'd rather be dead, I'm sorry, could you repeat that, please? I said I'd rather be dead, Dr, Henson was driven, but that was something that I admired about him, Driven to what? What was he after, in your opinion? Success of the project, To what end? Um, ,, He wanted a Nobel prize, Did you warn him not to perform the procedure with Cory izacks? Yes, I did, And what did he say? He suggested that there was nothing to worry about, That Cory izacks would soon be a new man, But he was wrong, Yes, God help him, Were you or were you not aware of the potential danger of putting an innocent person through the simulation? I have told you, my concern was with the penal system, not with the judicial system, Answer the question, doctor, Yes, the thought crossed my mind, All right? There, I admit that much, But not the repercussions, I had no idea what would happen, All I knew was that it was an unexplored aspect of the research, Yet you proceeded, Look, it's not that difficult to comprehend, SBR is the answer to our society's problems, It is revolutionary, And sometimes in a revolution, you lose lives, Do you have any idea how many lives we're losing in our prisons today? There was an accident, one accident, compared to all the good it can do, Anybody can see I didn't murder Cory izacks, It was a mistake! And if it weren't for an error in the court's judgment, it never would have happened, It's not my fault, Dr, Henson, Before I read the jury's verdict, do you have anything to add in your defense? No, your honor, Very well, Dr, Jack Henson, I find you guilty as charged, No, Justice, Dr, Henson, would be better served if I could sentence you to your own machine, But 20 years is all the law will allow, So be it, with no possibility of parole, Dismissed, You have to appeal, This isn't right, Senator, are you coming to the press conference? No, ,,You took a ride on that thing, You can tell them what it was like, Dr, Elwin and I are heading down to that torture chamber right now to dismantle it, Dana, no, Don't let them, Dana, Dana, help me, please, Dana, we've got to appeal, ( buzzer ) ( female voice ) Please place personal items in the bin, including all clothing, accessories, currency, Retain visual or hearing aids, Thank you, Please continue to station four, Do not venture beyond the blue line on the floor or you will be penalized, Please continue to cell 14653, ( buzzer ) ( inmates jeering ) ( inmate ) Let's play doctor! I repeat, please continue to cell 14653, ( buzzer ) Please enter the cell, Thank you, ( door locking ) Please, don't do this, Shut up! I hear you like to torture cons, That's not true, Shut up! Want to try again? Come on, say something, I've been hearing about your little experiments for a while now, I know people that got friends that did time in your chair and they got sent back here, I got to tell you, you ain't going to be too popular around here, It's not what you think, Shut up! Lights out in 10 seconds, Lights out in 5 seconds, I hope you're in for a long time, 'cause I'm not finished with you yet, ( laughing ) ( inmate ) Sleep while you can, Henson, You don't got long to live, I'm going to tear that smirk off your face, Who are you? You treated my brother like an animal, ,, Put him through hell, then you killed him, ,, And you're going to pay for that, I didn't I got myself put into this cell so I could have the pleasure of doing to you what you did to Cory, I-I tried to save him, Don't sleep, Henson, Don't ever shut your eyes, because I'll be there waiting, Waiting, Waiting, ( buzzer) Please follow the walkway in single file, For your portion, please press 1, Large portions today are 2 and 7, For your portion, please press 1, We're sorry, Port number 1 is empty, For an alternative, please press 3, For second helpings, press 4, For dessert, press 8, For beverages, press 9, ( chuckling ) ( buzzer ) Jogging is one of the best forms of cardiovascular exercise available, Please stand on the treadmill, Calculating, Maximum heart rate for your age and size is 195 beats per minute, Optimal training zone is 166, 166,, ,No, no, Hey, no, That's too fast, Cigarette smoking diminishes lung capacity, Refrain from smoking, Do not allow fingers to cross the midline of your body, Keep your arms at a 94-degree angle, This is, ,, No, this is too fast, Would you slow this down? This is too fast, Stop! To prevent injury, make sure your heel strike is well below your center of gravity, Keep breathing fluid and relaxed, ( inmate ) I'm going to hurt you bad, Jack, I'm just waiting for the right time, ( laughing ) I'm Dr, Glass, You must be Jack, Dr, Henson, Dr, Henson, yes, Well, how are you adjusting? Adjusting? The prison system is a joke, There's no reform here, I've only managed to retrieve about half of my meals, They malfunction more often than they work, It's all these cutbacks, I don't know how much more they can cut, To whom do I complain? You're the first person I've seen who talks to me, I'll see the machines are looked at, You have to eat It's ridiculous, Thank you, Would you also alert someone to the fact that the man in the cell next to me is the brother of Cory izacks, He intends to kill me, The brother of your victim? Not my victim I didn't kill anyone, This man thinks I did, We don't have Cory izacks' brother in here, What do you mean? I handle all the prisoners on your block and he's not here, Who? I don't know who he is, but every night since I've arrived here, he's kept me awake, You just hear his voice? Yes, but he's very real, believe me, I believe he's real to you, You don't understand, I hear that you need me to understand, But a boy is dead, How do you feel about that? Feel? Terrible, It was a terrible accident, I see, What do you mean, "I see"? What do you think I mean? I think you're not listening, What would you like me to hear? That I shouldn't be here, It may take time, but the first step toward change is to account for one's actions, I told you To face one's inner demons, I didn't do, ,, You're a hologram, Cutbacks, Prisoner 63994, please proceed to the visitor center, That's you, ( buzzer ) My God, Are you all right? I'm-I'm fine, You're here, I thought you'd turned your back on me, I should have come sooner, It doesn't matter, You're here now, How are you? Have you been to the SBR lab? Suppose there's not much left of it, I still have the schematics, You know where they are, You could probably start rebuilding the whole thing, I thought I'd take some time off, ,, Away from the project, Of course, Dana, it's so good to see you, I think about you so much, I think about you every day, Jack, Your appeal's been rejected, I'm sorry, The attorney was going to tell you, but I wanted you to hear from someone who cared about you, Dana, I never told you this, I was always too clumsy or too awkward, um, ,, Just don't, ,, I can get through this if I just know that, that you feel the same way about me, If I thought that, that someday you and I, ,, I wanted to tell you, It happened so fast, Who? John Meade, Senator Meade? Dana, he did this to me, I shouldn't have come, This was a mistake, I'm so sorry, Jack, Forgive me, Dana, don't do this, I'll get out of here now! I swear it! Dana! ( door closing ) For your portion, please press 1, For beverages, please press 9, For your portion, please press 1, For beverages, please press 9, ( alarm sounding ) Please return to your cell, where you will be penalized, Ah! Oh! I repeat, please return to your cell, where you will be penalized, Hello? Is anybody there? Is anybody out there? Computer, can you hear me? How long have I been in here? Guard! This is just what I was trying to change, You can't steal a man's life and expect that he won't try to get it back, I just, ,, I need one more chance, If I had one more chance, I could convince them, And I can't do that when they're out there and I'm stuck in this box! This isn't right! This isn't justice! I could have helped all those men out there, You can't treat men like animals and expect them not to behave like animals, Okay, okay, I won't try it again, I'll do what I'm told, I'll do whatever you, ,, I just don't want to be alone in here, Somebody must be listening, so, ,, Talk to me! Just let me go back to my cell, Tell me what day it is, Answer me, Thought I could change things, leave my mark on the world, I pretended I was doing it for the good of the country, but I always hoped for, ,, Thought I deserved some sort of reward for my genius, I thought of my subjects as things, objects that I was repairing, They'd be better off, And if one innocent man died, compared to all those who would be helped, we would be saved from violent crime, ,, ( inmate ) I'm going to cut you, Jack, I'm going to cut you open while you sleep, ( Jack ) What's one life compared to all that? One life, What's one life? ( buzzer ) Please proceed to the personal effects depository, ( door closing ) Jack? You all right? We were getting worried about you, Henson, It's been hours, Hours? No, no, no, calm down, Calm down, It's okay, You're at the lab, Cory, He's at the hospital, You saved him, I saved him? He's going to be fine, To be honest, that was my biggest concern about SBR, but, um, you got him out, It's not possible, Jack, you didn't make it out within 17 seconds, I tried to get you out the way you retrieved Cory, but you were already riding in tandem, There was no way of going in without experiencing the entire program, There was no trial, There was no prison, there was no, ,, No ring! It's all right, Henson, The situation with the boy was a close call, but now that we know there's a few glitches, you can address them, You've gone through it now, Who could be more of an expert? And I think we can push this thing through Congress and be expanding nationally as early as next year, You want to do what? You've convinced us, We think SBR could revolutionize the penal system as we know it, Guard, guard! Jack, calm down, it's all right, It's not all right, You're just going through cool-down, Let go of me! Dana, Dana! I was wrong! You've got to destroy it! Dana! Destroy it! Poor man, He knew he was guilty, I'm sorry? If he believed he was innocent, then the same thing that happened to Cory should have happened to him, He sentenced himself to life, ( control voice ) Sometimes it is an easy thing for a man to cry out for retribution, until he himself has walked in the footsteps of those suffering the penalty,