Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 11, Episode 16 - Law & Order - full transcript

Briscoe and Green are investigating the murder of a woman. They learn she may have been dealing. They think she may have had a dispute with the guy she works for. But they don't have any evidence. But they learn that the man killed someone in the Bronx a few years ago and have overwhelming evidence. Problem is that someone has already been convicted so they have to prove that Bronx police and D.A. were wrong.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
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.

Okay, I got seven bags
sourdough and 13 baguettes.

Supposed to be 14 baguettes.

Hey, I counted 'em twice.

Look, just take three loaves
out of each bag.

Then they complain
to me that it's light.

Get out of here before
they complain you're late.

Oh, man.

The bakery workers found her when
they opened up this morning.

Around about 5:30.

Any ID?

I got some guys out looking in
the trash cans for a purse.

She's got bruises
on her neck, Lennie.

Her heel's
practically broken off.

SERGEANT: It's tough to run
from somebody in those things.

Sarge. I found this handbag
two blocks over.

Let me see that.

It matches her outfit.

Huh, just cigarettes
and a lipstick.

She could've been out late at one of
these bars or restaurants around here.

Or a party.


That looks like ecstasy.

The party's over.

Bruised neck, petechial
hemorrhages in the eyes.

You have a good,
old-fashioned strangling.

From the front or the back?

Missionary position.

His thumbs crushed her larynx.

I make time of death
between 1:00 and 2:00 a.m.

So, he's choking her
face to face.

She must've tried
to pry his hands loose.

Any skin under her nails?

No, my guess is
the perp had gloves on.

What about sexual assault?

shipshape down there.

Did you find MDMA
in her tox screen?

No ecstasy, but her blood
alcohol was up there.

Did you get a read
on stomach contents?

No, she hadn't eaten
food in awhile.

Her last meal was
a sour apple martini.

Straight up, or on the rocks?

Do we have an ID on her?

We're canvassing the
neighborhood with a photo,

but nothing so far.

Too early for
a Missing Persons report.

Well, how about prints?

She's not in the system.

Hey, it was only
a matter of time.

The lab confirmed the 25 hits
of ecstasy in her purse,

and they couldn't have all
been for recreational use.

Well, this type of
martini she was drinking...

Sour apple.

It's gonna be tough to
figure out who serves 'em

until the bars open up.

Hope you guys have some
basic black to change into.

The bartender said you were
working the lounge last night.

Yeah, 9:00 to 4:00.

Did you serve any
sour apple martinis?

Are they illegal now?

Guys, where's your
sense of humor?

We lost it about
seven bars ago.

(SIGHS) Yeah, I served
about 100 of those things.

Did you serve any to her?

What happened to her?

She was killed
a few blocks from here.

Yeah, um, I served
two or three to her,

and few to the guy
who was hitting on her.

Either one of them a regular?

I didn't recognize them.

ED: Did you see the two
of them leave together?

Yeah, maybe.

How'd they settle up,
uh, credit or cash?

His American Express Platinum.

I'll get the charge slip
from the manager.

What is this about?

You were at the Zircon
lounge two nights ago?

Uh, yeah.

Uh, maybe you'd be more comfortable
talking down at the precinct.

What do you want to know?

Who was the woman you were
with that night, Mr. Gibson?

A girl named Angela, all right.

I met her at the bar
around 11:30,

and I bought her a few drinks.

You buy anything else
beside a few drinks?

Like what?

Like ecstasy, maybe?

I get tested here, all right.

I got her cell phone number,
took a taxi home. Alone.

She had a cell phone with her?

Yeah, she went out
a few times to take calls.

I actually thought things
were going pretty well,

until she noticed some guy
come into the bar.

She gets up, she goes to the
bathroom, she never comes back.

I figured it was
an old boyfriend.

What did he look like?

Uh, about 6'1 ", 6'2", my age,
light hair, black jacket.

I think he might've
had a friend with him.

What time did you get home?

About 1:00,1:15. You can
check with my doorman.

We will.

And, uh, we're gonna need
that cell phone number.

Lennie. Here she is.
Angela Jarrell.

Nicer than the one we got.

Here's her wallet.

Well, if the perp robbed her,
all he got was her cell phone.

Have you had any problems here?

Nothing unusual.
Complaints about her music.

She's behind on her
rent a few months.

How much does she owe?

About three grand. Her father
used to send me a check

from Minnesota or someplace.

Then, about six months ago,

she started giving me cash.

That's when she fell behind.

You know how we can get in
touch with her parents?

I'm sure it's on her
rental application.

My parents couldn't make the trip.
They're in shock.

My father says he'll never
set foot in this place.

Maybe he'll feel differently

when we have your
sister's killer on trial.

Angela's dreamed of coming here
since she was 10 years old.


I just can't believe
this is how it ended.

Did your sister ever mention what
she was doing here, Ms. Jarrell?

Well, she called about
the auditions she went on,

the parts she never got,

some of the guys she met.

Did she ever talk about having
any trouble with any of them?


Was she working at all?

Well, my dad couldn't make ends
meet and still pay her rent,

so she took a job
at a copy place.

Where was that?

She said it was on the same
block as her apartment,

so dad didn't have to worry about
her on the subway at night.

Ms. Jarrell, there isn't any copy
place near where your sister lived.

What are you saying?

Did your sister ever mention
anything about ecstasy?

What is it,
Ms. Jarrell?

Well, Angela wanted me
to try some with her

when she came home
last Christmas.

Some guy she knew
turned her on to it.

She said it was
an unbelievable high,

that it would really
open me up.

She liked it so much, she
may have been selling it.

Can you think of anybody she might
have been in business with?

We're sorry to lay this
on you, but we...

It might help us
figure out who killed her.

I wish I could tell you,
but I really don't know.

I'm just glad
my father didn't come here.

Hey, Lou.

Looks like Angela Jarrell's
day job was dealing E.

And you think that's
what got her killed?

The spot where she was strangled
wasn't on her way home.

We figure she went there
with somebody she knew.

And that Wall Street guy's
alibi checks out.

Well, here are the IUDs
from her cell phone.

Four calls from the same number
while she was at the bar.

Yeah, I called Angela.

I was supposed
to meet her for a drink.

She never called me back.

So, did you go meet her?

I was here with
my girlfriend all night.

Wait a minute. Hold on.
Let me get this straight.

You're here with your girlfriend,
and at the same time,

you're trying to get with
Angela at 12:30 in the morning?

Four phone calls.
Sounds like you were,

uh, kind of obsessed
with meeting her.

Maybe you were trying to get
your hands on some ecstasy.

So, you know
what she was doing.

She had 25 hits on her
when she died.

Look, Angela
wasn't like you think.

I mean, she was the most incompetent
drug dealer you ever saw.

She was supposed to come
over here on her way home

and roll with us,
but she never showed up.

Do you have any idea who might have
gotten her into this, Mr. Daltrey?


Look, this might be something.

I once asked Angela
if she could, you know,

find me something more serious.

She gave me
a guy's phone number.

Do you still have the number?

I threw it away. But I
remember, his name was Taz.

We can try running it
as an AKA.


Thursday, um, no. I was
home all night. Why?

We heard you were at the
Zircon lounge in Tribeca.

We're investigating
an incident there.

No, I'm not getting around too
well since I busted my foot, so...

Do you know a woman
named Angela Jarrell?

Doesn't ring a bell, no.

How'd you hurt
yourself, Mr. Partell?

You wouldn't believe it,
I dropped a hammer on it.

Broke one of those
little bones. (CHUCKLES)

At work?

Nah. Nah.
I'm in between jobs.

I was, uh, putting
shelves up in the closet.

Mmm. When was that?

Last weekend.

What, you don't believe me?

We ran your sheet.

How'd you get your cleaning?

They deliver. Now look,
if there's nothing else...


How about somebody that can account
for your whereabouts Thursday night.

Like I said, I was here
alone, all right?

Now, if you guys got
nothing else to ask me...


She's got a broken right heel,

he's got a broken left foot.

She's got two hands
around her neck,

that's probably all
she could do.

Gibson told us the guy in the
bar was wearing a black jacket.

Did you notice the jacket
in the dry cleaner's bag?

Yeah, I noticed the receipt, too.
Parisian Dry Cleaners.

Let's find out if Partell
took that jacket in

to clean up after
a night on the town.

Um, no deliveries this week.

He picked up his
dry cleaning on the 26th.

That's two days before
the murder, Lennie.

He picked it up?

Um... "A leather jacket, two
pairs of pants, three shirts."

And how'd he manage
all that on his crutches?

He didn't have crutches.

You sure?

I couldn't find his cleaning,
he saw it on the rack,

and he walked around the counter
and took it down for me.


You lied about when
you hurt your foot, Partell.

I think possibly you may
have misunderstood me.

(CHUCKLES) Yeah, right.

So, what happened? Somebody break
off a high heel on your toe?

Hey, guys, what's the point of dragging
me down here, really, you know...

Criminal sale of a
controlled substance in '95,

gun possession in '97,
you fit the profile.

(INHALING) ls my lawyer here?

You know, once we connect you
to Angela Jarrell, it's over.

Yeah, you go right ahead,
connect me, okay.

We got witnesses coming down.

If they put you in that bar...


This is Mr. Hauser,
Mr. Partell's attorney.

No more questions, gentlemen.

Aw, you sure you don't want to join
us for a few minutes, Counselor?

Is my client under arrest?

We'll let you know
after the lineup.

Do you recognize
anyone, Mr. Gibson?

Uh, can you ask number
two to come closer?

Number two,
please step forward.

He might've been one of the
guys I saw at the bar.

Uh, I'm not sure.

Thanks, Mr. Gibson.

I'm sorry.

HAUSER: I take it Mr. Partell
will be released?

For now.

How about the waitress
in the bar?

She said she don't
remember seeing Partell.

Well, the other guy
Gibson mentioned,

were there any co-defendants
on Partell's old drug cases?

We can run the arrest
numbers off his rap sheet,

see who turns up.


Yeah, me and Taz got arrested together.
I did my nine months.

You two still hang out?

Not for about a year.
We don't get along too good.

Business dispute?

I'm out of that.
I got my 9:00 to 5:00 now.

So, what's up with this?

You're too old to be
from narcotics.

We're homicide.

From the Bronx?

Why'd you say the Bronx?

No reason. ED: Just
popped into your head?


Then you're coming with us to explain
where you were Thursday night.

I was working here.

You can ask my boss.

Listen, if you want to save yourself
a ride downtown, Mr. Quintana,

I suggest you tell us why you
thought we were Bronx homicide.

Taz should've caught a body
a couple of years ago,

except he skated.

There's no homicide arrest
on his rap sheet.

I got a break coming. You
wanna buy me a coffee?

So me and Taz are in this
spot up in the Bronx, right,

the Grand Slam.

That's the dance club, up
by Yankee Stadium, right?

Yeah. So, I'm in my truck
smoking a bone, right?

Taz comes out, tells me to
drive back to the club.

Then he goes under my seat
and grabs a .25

he had stashed there
before we went in.

So, I figure he's gonna
show it to some girl, right?

I'm waiting across the street,

and I see Taz step up
on the bouncer.

Then his gun jams.

So, he kicks him
as he goes down, you know.

And I'm like, bugging out
on this, right?

Then Taz jumps back
in my truck,

and I don't' want him
in my truck, right?

So, I drop him off
in the subway.

Why are you
telling us this now?

A, Taz screwed me. B, the cops
picked up the wrong guy behind this.

Somebody else was arrested?

Two days later.
I read it in the paper.

Bouncer at the Grand Slam. Sure, I remember it.
About two years ago.

You make a collar?

Yeah, a kid named
Tony Shaeffer.

He's upstate
doing 25-to-life.

We came across a witness who says that
you guys picked up the wrong guy.

Who's this witness?

Ah, he's a former
associate of our suspect.

They used to deal
drugs together.

He's got a sheet?

Yeah, and he's got a grudge
against the shooter.

Let's go right out
and pick him up, Bobby.


This witness knew details
about the shooting.

The fact that the gun jammed
after the second round,

that the shooter kicked
the victim as he fell.

Anybody who sat through Shaeffer's
trial would know all these details.

Bobby, get the jacket.

We had two IDs.

Plus the kid shot his mouth
off to his girlfriend.

We found the murder weapon on the
tracks where he got on the subway.

Were there any prints
on the gun?

Sounds to me like your guy is

looking to screw over
his old running buddy.

ED: Shaeffer
didn't plead out?

He had priors.

An assault plead down
to a dis-con.

And he had an alibi witness.

And if I recall,
the D.A. tore her apart.

What's a matter, fellas, you don't
got enough to do in Manhattan?

Shaeffer's alibi witness
is on our way downtown.

It's a closed case.
In the Bronx.

Yeah, well, we don't have
anything on Partell in Manhattan.

So, let's just go see
what shakes out, please.

Tony was right here in this
kitchen when that man was shot,

I swear on my husband's grave.


But just because I'm his mother,
they wouldn't believe me.

The jury's going to be skeptical
about an alibi from a family member.

They made it seem
like I was lying.

And that D.A. kept asking every
little thing to trip me up.

What I had for supper,

what program I was watching when
Tony came home from the bar.

I was so nervous up there.

You can't blame yourself,
Mrs. Shaeffer.

It's all just a horrible dream.

When Tony went away,

I took some pills.

They had to pump my stomach.

Mrs. Shaeffer, I don't want
to get your hopes up,

but we talked to somebody that
says your son is innocent.

Oh, please, whoever this person
is, you have to believe it.

I'm begging you, please.

What, are you following me?

We struck out on Partell's
former co-defendants,

but one of them turned
us on to a murder that

Partell may have
committed in the Bronx.

Only trouble is, there's
another guy doing time for it.

And you think that's a mistake?

Well, it's possible.


Uh, I've seen the crying
mother routine before,

but I don't know, there's
something about this.

Well, will this help you close
the Angela Jarrell case?

Well, right now, Partell
knows we don't have squat.

So, if we keep digging
into this Bronx thing,

we might get a little leverage.

Well, keep digging. I want to
hear more than, "It's possible."

DAVIS: I'm in the club
with my two buddies.

This guy, Shaeffer, gets
kicked out by the bouncer.

Everybody hears him say he's going
to come back and mess him up.

Then as we're leaving,
we hear a couple of shots.

We look back, and the bouncer's
dead on the sidewalk,

and this Shaeffer
kicks him and runs.

Couple of days later, I
picked him out of a lineup.

All three of you guys?

Uh, Pete didn't come down.

Why not?

I guess they didn't need him.

This detective came to my house

and showed me six pictures
in a plastic holder.

A photo array.

Yeah. But the guy who shot
the bouncer wasn't in there.

This is Tony Shaeffer, the guy
your two friends identified.

Now, see,

this looks like the guy who
was kicked out of the club.

Not the guy with the gun.

And you remember all that
two years later?

All I know is,

the guy he tossed out of the club
wasn't the one who shot him.

Well, why didn't you
tell this to the detective?

I did. But once I didn't
pick out the right picture,

he didn't seem interested.

He told me he'd be in touch, and
that's the last I heard from him.

Did you tell your friends
that you thought that

they identified the wrong guy?

You know,
it all happened so fast...

I guess they saw what they saw.

Is it possible your friends
had it in for this guy?

They didn't even know him.

But, uh, I remember Dave did
say something about a reward.

Here's how it works.

An anonymous informant calls
Crime Stoppers with a tip.

If the detective working the
case thinks it might pan out,

we assign the informant
a code number.

If it leads to
a conviction, cha-ching.

What's the going rate?

Two thousand.

(CHUCKLES) Sometimes the
families want to pump it up,

but we discourage it. Too much
incentive for bad information.

Did you pay a tip on

People v. Anthony Shaeffer,
Bronx County, '99 indictment?


So much for the greedy
informant theory.

Let's take a look
at the tip sheets

for the week
following the murder.

Well, here's one,

four days after the shooting.

It's two days after
Shaeffer was arrested.

Uh, the caller identifies the
shooter at the Grand Slam

as "Taz, white male, light
hair, 30 to 35 years old."

And that's a notation
that a message was left

for a Detective Boyle
at the 56 regarding the tip.

Did the informant ever
receive a code number?

Looks like the detective
never called back.

What's this 718 number
in the margin?

Some of our newer phones
have caller ID.

Don't say where you got it. We're
not supposed to write it down.

We appreciate your
coming down, Ms. Pistone.

I still can't figure out
how you got my name.

Well, we're re-interviewing everybody who
was at the club the night of the murder,

and your name
just happened to come up.

Ms. Pistone,
this is Tony Shaeffer.

Have you seen him before?

Not that I remember.

Do you recognize
any of these men,

from the night of the shooting?

Taz, he's the one who shot
Vincent, the bouncer.

Are you sure?

Yeah, I'm sure.

My girlfriend used to work in that club.
Taz used to sell drugs there.

Look, my lawyer told you I got
nothing else to say, all right.

You're under arrest.

For what?

Oh, you got nothing on me
with that bitch.

The correct response
would be, "which murder"?

What are you talking about?

We're arresting you for the
murder of Vincent Jackson.

Be careful with
the foot, will you?

Aw, don't worry.
We're not wearing high heels.

We arrested Francis Partell

for the murder of Vincent
Jackson in the Bronx in 1998.

That's a murder
from two years ago.

What about Angela Jarrell?

Partell did it, but we can't
put him at the scene.

Do we have a motive?

Well, she was selling ecstasy,

he's got a conviction
for dealing.

We're guessing there was some

business relationship between
them that went sour.

I take it there's
no forensics evidence?

Well, our case against him on the
Bronx murder is a lot better.

It looks like those guys up there
steamrollered the wrong guy.

That's a serious allegation.

Look, the last thing I want to do
is sling mud at my own people.

Are you sure you don't want
to handle this internally?

You folks have to decide
what to do about Partell.


Hey, Abbie, you know
I wouldn't lay this on you

if we weren't pretty sure
about the Bronx.

Well, assuming you're right,
we've got two major problems.

A jury's convicted
another defendant,

and we don't have jurisdiction.

Our cops are convinced
there was a screwup.

Has anybody talked
to the Bronx?

Yeah, the detective assigned to the
case has washed his hands of it.

And what does this have to do
with the case we can prosecute?

Well, if we can't nail
Partell on one murder,

we'll nail him
with another one.

Since when do we second-guess
another D.A.'s office?

Jack, the evidence
is pretty solid.

And I found a way around
the jurisdictional problem.

Do you remember
our office prosecuted

that ticket scalping ring
at Yankee Stadium?

Because there's a 500-yard
exception for an adjoining county.

Well, the club where Partell shot
Jackson falls within the exception.

This could blow up
in our faces.

Before we get into
a turf war with the Bronx,

be damn sure they
convicted the wrong man.

You know what a defense
lawyer's worst nightmare is?

An innocent client?

A mother as an alibi witness.

No, thanks.

So, you did think Tony
Shaeffer was innocent?

From the day
I was assigned to the case.

So, why did you
put him on the stand?

I didn't have much of a choice.

Tony had words with
the victim that night.

Then he told his girlfriend
he did it to impress her.

I had to put him on the stand to explain
away the hole he dug for himself.

Did you ever consider a plea?

Did you ever see an innocent
man take manslaughter?

Neither have I.

So, uh, what's going on here?

We found two witnesses who ID'd a
local drug dealer as the shooter.

I had a feeling we got hosed.

Well, it's hardly enough
to challenge a jury verdict.

I still have the mother.

And there's Peter Verona.


He was at the bar. He told the police
that Shaeffer wasn't the shooter,

and he also couldn't ID
Shaeffer in a photo array.

Nobody told me about it.

What kind of problems were you
referring to, Ms. Carmichael?

Well, there was a witness
Detective Boyle interviewed

that said
Shaeffer didn't do it.

All that happened was he didn't
pick him out of the six pack.

I had two guys who did.

It wasn't in any of
your reports.

I told the A.D.A.
who prepped me.

CARMICHAEL: Did you tell him
about the anonymous tip you got?

What up?

There was a message left for
you from Crime Stoppers

two days after
you arrested Shaeffer.

Well, I never got it.

You never got it
or you ignored it?

Now, just a minute,
Ms. Carmichael.

I have to take exception
to you coming up here

and making insinuations about the
way my people do their jobs.

Look, Lieutenant, I'm just trying
to give you a heads-up here.

There are three witnesses who have
raised doubts about this arrest.

Two years later.

As far as we're concerned,
the case is closed.

Well, I'm sure the man who
killed Vincent Jackson

must be very pleased
about that.

Correct me if I'm wrong,
Ms. Carmichael,

but didn't the guy we put away
confess to his girlfriend?

Look, I think it's too bad
what happened to Tony,

but he should never have
shot that guy.

Well, maybe if you could
just take me through it.

Do I really have to? Because I'm
trying to put all that behind me.

Please, Ms. Mankowitz.

All right, that night,

I went to a club with Tony.

We were there, like, 20 minutes

when this guy gets all up in Tony's face
and he starts screaming and cursing.

Then, a bouncer came over,

grabbed Tony,
and threw him out.

And you stayed in the club?

No, I went somewhere else. I wasn't
going to let that ruin my evening.

So, when did Tony tell you
about what happened?

The next day. He came over,
we were watching the news,

and the story comes on
about the bouncer at the club,

and I'm, like,
"Oh, my God."

And Tony goes, "Well, that's
what he gets for dissing me."

And he makes two popping
sounds, like he's got a gun.

And you went to the police?

No. Do I look like
I'd rat him out?

I told my sister,
she went to the police,

and then they came
to me for a statement.

And you had no problem
giving him up?

I was breaking up
with him anyway.

Tony wasn't really my type.

What do you mean?

Well, Tony was a nice guy
and everything, but

he was kind of a wimp.

Did it ever occur to you

that he might have been bragging
about something he didn't do

in order to impress you?

What kind of idiot
would do something like that?

My mother tells me the police
are re-opening the case.

It's not that simple,
Mr. Shaeffer.

A jury's already convicted you.

The hardest thing to accept is
the fact you have confessed.

I was just trying to
get Valerie to like me.

It's the stupidest thing
lever did.

It sure was.

Up where they got me now,

everybody's got a story about how
they were framed or something.

But I did not kill
that man, Mr. McCoy.

How did the dispute get
started in the first place?

This other guy was
trying to sell me some coke.

I tell him to take a walk, and then
we started yelling at each other.

What did this man look like?

Like me. Same height,
same weight, blonde hair.

After the bouncer
took me outside,

I said, "Hey, how come
you're not throwing out"

"that drug dealer
I had a fight with?"

What did he say?

He said, "Don't worry."
He'd take care of him, too.

There's Partell's motive.

Before we take this
any further,

we'll need you
to take a polygraph.

I'll take 10 polygraphs
if I have to.

I'm sorry, the fact that Mr. Shaeffer
passed your polygraph exam

is not very compelling.

Especially since he had
two years to practice up.

Three witnesses dispute the version
of events put forward at the trial.

Now, that may be true,

but Mr. Einstadt
tried this case.

He assures me that the credibility
of these people is suspect.

Have you seen Partell's record?


I'm still not convinced.

Are you gonna ignore
the exculpatory evidence?

There's not nearly enough
to outweigh the verdict.

Both men fit the same
general description.

Will you at least
interview the witnesses?

We're not gonna undermine
a legitimate conviction

because a few doubts
have surfaced.

How many people does Mr. Partell have
to kill before you'll look into it?

You don't have to get
sarcastic, Mr. McCoy.

I'm asking you to investigate

the possibility that
a mistake was made.

The jury has spoken.

The system needs finality.

The system needs credibility.

I'm sorry, Mr. Robertson, I
don't understand your position.

The fancy credentials you
have on your wall downtown

don't give you the right to come
up here and question my judgment.

If you won't do something,
Mr. Robertson, we will.

We'll be indicting
Francis Partell

for committing a murder
in your jurisdiction.

"Indictment number 4520,"

"People v. Francis Partell."

"Charge is Murder
in the Second Degree."

How does he plead,
Mr. Hauser?

This doesn't even merit
a plea, Your Honor.

I'll take that as a not guilty.

The murder my client is charged
with occurred in the Bronx.

The murder occurred 488
yards from the Bronx River,

and according
to CPL 2040-4C,

both counties
have jurisdiction.

But someone's already been
convicted and sentenced

for this crime in the Bronx.

What's going on,
Ms. Carmichael?

The People have exculpatory
evidence as to the Bronx defendant

which strongly
incriminates Mr. Partell.

JUDGE: So, let me
get this straight.

The State of New York
has two men in jail

for a crime that only
one of them committed?

It's straight out
of Kafka, Judge.

Doesn't res judicata bar you from
proceeding against a second defendant?

Well, Your Honor, Mr. Partell
wasn't a party to the Bronx case,

so he can't use it to shield
himself from prosecution.

It's the same with
double jeopardy.

It's a vendetta. They can't pin
a Manhattan murder on him,

and this is the best
they've got.

Here's what I'm going to do.

I'm reserving my ruling on bail
until after an evidentiary hearing,

but if your case looks shaky,
Ms. Carmichael, I'm going to dismiss it.

The Bronx D.A. just called me.
He's furious with you two.

Well, he might want
to direct his anger

at the cops up there who screwed
up the initial investigation.

Is there misconduct involved?

Nothing willful.
Inertia, maybe.

Water running
to the lowest level.

Well, why are they so
reluctant to address this?

Beats the hell out of me.

You know, you can't do this job
and second-guess yourself.

You'd never got any sleep.

When I make a mistake,
I lose sleep.

What lets Robertson
off the hook?

I'm sure it's not easy living in
Manhattan's shadow all the time.

He's probably not very happy that it's
us dropping this on his doorstep.

I have to work with
this man, you know.

JACK: He's not working with us, Nora.
He forced our hand.

Partell's a drug dealer who kills
people for nickels and dimes.

We're convinced
he got away with murder.

I'll breathe a little easier
when you convince Judge Taylor.

we left the club,

my friends and I were
walking to our car.

Then we heard shots. We saw the bouncer
from the club on the sidewalk,

and a man with a gun
running across the street.

Was the man with the gun

the same man
you testified you saw

being thrown out of the
club earlier that night?

No, he was not.

Thank you.

Isn't it a fact that
the two friends you were with

identified someone else
as the shooter?

Yes, but I think
they were wrong.

How much did you have to drink
that night, Mr. Verona?

Well, I don't remember exactly.

But you were intoxicated?

Somewhat intoxicated, yeah.

Can you say
with absolute certainty

that my client shot
Mr. Jackson?

No, I can't.

I was outside the club
smoking a cigarette.

I saw Taz come up to Vincent
and start shooting.

What else did you observe?

After he shot him twice,

he, uh, kept trying
to shoot more,

but it looked like he ran out
of bullets or something.

So, he started kicking
Vincent on the ground.

What happened next?

After he kicked him
a few times,

he ran down the street
and got into an SUV.

Were you in the club
when the police responded

after the shooting,
Ms. Pistone?


Did you tell them that
the man you knew as Taz

was the one who
shot the bouncer?

I didn't want to get involved.

And for the next four days, you
didn't contact the police?

I was kind of scared at first
because he's a drug dealer.

But I... I felt guilty about it,
so I called Crime Stoppers.

Let's see, you didn't go
to the local precinct.

You didn't leave your name

so the police could
use you as a witness,

but you did call to collect
the reward that was offered?

That's not why.

Nothing further.

JACK: Why did it
take you two years

to come forward with this
information, Mr. Quintana?

Taz used to be a friend of mine.
I didn't want to jam him up.

Did that change?

We had a little disagreement
about some drugs we bought.

Is that why
you're accusing him now?

I'm accusing him
because it's true.

You have a felony conviction for
selling drugs, Mr. Quintana?


And I'm sure you've made
hundreds of sales

for which you weren't arrested?

I got a regular job now.

At the time you allegedly
saw this happen,

you had just smoked marijuana?


And I'm sure you had a few
drinks on top of that?


Was there a DJ at Grand Slam

the night you say you were
there with my client?

It was bands that night.

Which ones?

I don't remember.

Can you remember any of
the songs they played?

How am I supposed
to remember that, huh?

I go out dancing
almost every weekend.

Maybe you were just
too high to remember.

This is nothing more than
payback for you, isn't it?

If I wanted to snitch on Taz,

I would've done it on my own,
a long time ago.

The cops came to me.
I just told them what I saw.

It's certainly not the most
compelling case I've ever heard,

but I find the evidence
adduced at this hearing

to be sufficient as a matter of
law to sustain the indictment.

Mr. Partell is remanded.

You're going to lock up a second
man for this one crime, Judge?

Do you have any precedent that
says I can't, Mr. Hauser?

That's what I thought.

And let me tell you
something, Mr. McCoy,

I want your boss
and the Bronx D.A.

in my chambers tomorrow
at 9:30 sharp.

You know, Jack, I found your
case to be legally sufficient,

but if you think those witnesses
are going to convince a jury,

(CHUCKLES) you've been
doing this for too long.

Whether they do or not, we have an
obligation to prosecute the case.

You also have an obligation
not to make a mockery

of the criminal justice system.

In my opinion, there's only one
party here who's doing that.

Mr. Robertson refused to look
at the polygraph results,

or re-interview
the witnesses.

Where do you get off telling
me how to run my office?

I didn't come up here to he
lectured at by an assistant.

Then talk to me, John.

Mr. Shaeffer
received a fair trial.

He was convicted
by a jury in two hours.

Based on incomplete evidence.

We're not here
just to amass convictions.

With all due respect, John,
she's got a point.

What's the harm in taking
one out of the win column?

The harm is letting Ms. Lewin thumb
her nose at a legitimate verdict

rendered by the people
of my county.

So, how do we get past this
territorial pissing match?

This isn't about
territory, Harrison.

One of you is going to walk away
from this with egg on your face.

You know, right now, I could
careless about my approval rating.

Let's all keep our eye
on the ball here.

There's an innocent man
who's serving a life sentence.

ROBERTSON: You haven't
produced a scintilla of proof

that the Bronx trial was tainted
by perjury, or jury misconduct,

or any illegality
that the law recognizes.

If Ms. Lewin thinks
she can convict her defendant

in the face of
a contrary verdict,

let her go right on ahead.

Can we get him to plead guilty?

You can get anything
for the right price.

Make him an offer.

We started this war between
the boroughs to get the guy.

The whole point of the exercise

was to make him pay for murder.

The whole point of the
exercise is Tony Shaeffer.

He's doing another
man's time, Jack.

If we get Partell to admit
he killed the bouncer,

Robertson will have
to come around.

Two murders, Nora,
and we let him off easy?

I said make a deal. I didn't
say pony up the courthouse.

We're here to offer you
a deal, Mr. Partell.

Now, why would I want to make a
deal if he says I can't lose?

Is he going to do
the time for you?

You barely won the hearing.

Wait till I put on the witnesses
who testified in the Bronx.

I think I can convince a jury that
was a miscarriage of justice.


These people are not
unsophisticated, Mr. Hauser.

They watch the news.

They've seen convictions dropping
like flies all over the country.

My boss needs his guilty plea
to free an innocent man.

That puts him in a very
advantageous position.

How advantageous?

Man one.


I was thinking along
the lines of 10-to-20.

You want a plea or not,
Mr. McCoy?

I'd rather he go to trial.

That way we can max him
out when he's convicted.


And then you throw in the
Manhattan case for nothing.

Six-to-12 concurrent
for two murders?

Look, if I cop to this,

I don't want you
coming back at me with that.

Not a chance, Mr. Partell.

Seven-and-a-half-to-15, or you
get your wish, Mr. McCoy.

(SIGHS) You have a deal.

Now, tell us
about Angela Jarrell.

There's nothing to tell.

I hired her to deal drugs for
me, and she didn't do it.

Instead she's in a bar
with some guy.

Was anybody with you?

Just some guy
that I was talking to

while I waited
for her to leave.

I followed her out to get the
money that she owed me, and, uh

she only had about 70 bucks.

So, you strangled her?

Maybe I would've just scared her
had she not broken my foot.

Either way,
she just wasn't working out.

Francis Partell pled guilty
this morning.

He gave a detailed admission about
the Vincent Jackson killing.

I hope you're happy.

I'll be very happy when you
dismiss against Tony Shaeffer.

It says here that Partell pled
guilty to the other murder.

How much time did he get?



I'm not thrilled
about it either.


How can I treat this
as a serious admission?

He said what he had to say
to get his seven-and-a-half.

You're not going to continue to
incarcerate an innocent man.

I didn't convict that man.
A jury did.

And now we know
they made a mistake.

We don't know anything,
we weren't there.

As far as I'm concerned, this does
nothing to impugn the jury verdict.


Robertson won't budge.

So, that's the end
of the line for us.

And Tony Shaeffer
stays in jail.

He can hire an attorney petition
for a writ of habeas corpus.

With what? His mother's
public assistance?

He can file pro se,
like every other prisoner.

Or I can do his writ.

What about
the precedent it sets?

I can file it
as a private citizen

if you think that
would be more prudent.

I think the public would be
hard-pressed to see the distinction.

I think the only
distinction people see

is between right and wrong.

Make sure my name
is on your brief.

One man shot and killed
Vincent Jackson in 1999.

Two men have been
convicted of that crime.

This is a situation that can't be
tolerated under the constitution.

But, Mr. McCoy, how can
we pick and choose

between two legally
rendered convictions?

Only one of those defendants is
asserting his claim of innocence.

What about those
12 people up in the Bronx?

Isn't one of the hallmarks
of our jurisprudence

the sanctity
of a jury's verdict?

Sanctity should not be
confused with infallibility.

The case books are
legion with instances

where juries reached
erroneous conclusions.

If Mr. Shaeffer were to be
re-tried in the Bronx today

with all the evidence now
available for consideration,

I submit he could not
be found guilty

beyond a reasonable doubt,
as a matter of law.

His writ should be granted.

Good afternoon, Your Honors.

Justice Scalia writes
in Hererra v. Collins

that there is no constitutional
protection for prisoners

whose sole claim of error
is actual innocence.

That is precisely
the case here.

The petitioner has alleged no
legal error in his conviction.

So, Mr. Robertson,

if in fact the petitioner is
innocent, what relief does he have?

Let me say first
that I don't believe that.

But according
to the Supreme Court,

if all he's saying is
the jury made a mistake,

he can ask the governor
for a pardon.

That is his fail-safe
in this kind of situation.

So, you're saying that
this court lacks the power

to void Mr. Shaeffer's

If this court chooses to
follow Herrera v. Collins,

which is the law
in the federal courts,

it should not entertain
the petition.

Not every problem was meant to
be solved by the judiciary.

The court should
exercise restraint

and respect the jury verdict.

Any rebuttal, Mr. McCoy?

Tony Shaeffer should not
have to argue his cause

to an elected official

whose political allegiances and
ambitions might color his judgment.

That is why
the founding fathers saw fit

to establish
an independent judiciary.

And judicial restraint does
not mean judicial cowardice.

This is a copy of
Mr. Shaeffer's daily schedule

in the general population at the
Clinton Correctional Facility.

"6:00 a.m., mandatory wake
up, 6:30, inmate count,"

"6:45, mandatory meal,"

"7:15, mandatory
vocational training,"

"11:00, inmate count,
11:15, mandatory meal..."

What's your point, Mr. McCoy?

He's had this same day now
for the last two years.

Guilty of nothing
more than stupidity.

He'll have this same day
for the next five years...

Ten years.

This same day for the
next 23 years at least,

unless this court has
the courage to admit

the system failed.

It is the opinion of this
court, with one dissent,

that a writ of habeas corpus for
Anthony Shaeffer is hereby granted.


He is hereby released
from custody,

and his conviction for
murder in the second degree

is dismissed
in the interest of justice.


I heard it was all smiles
in the Shaeffer family.

I have to admit it was nice to get
somebody out of jail for a change.

Well, I hope
that's out of your system.

Well, I hope I don't catch
a case near the Bronx.

That's, uh,
Angela Jarrell's father.

He heard an arrest had been made,
and drove in from Minnesota.