Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 11, Episode 22 - Law & Order - full transcript

When a masked student opens fire on classmates, killing four and wounding eleven, Detectives Briscoe and Green soon discover the unsettling fact that more than one student fits the profile of a youth heading toward committing such violence. The urgency of the investigation compounds when an e-mail threat of more murders is received by the student council president. Former assistant prosecutor Jamie Ross returns as a defense attorney trying to spare her troubled client from life in prison.

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.

It was a horror show. According
to her mother, I give Jodi a B,

I not only ruin her life,
I spoil a perfect 4.0

and her chances of
getting into Princeton.

That kid has no chance
of getting into Princeton.

None. Zero.
She's a drone.

You tell her mother that.

So what are you going to do?

The honorable thing.
Change it to an A.


Oh, my God.


BOY: Get down!


A couple of the kids
said he was small.

Others said he was average.

He ran out through the
kitchen into the street.

He was dressed in black.

Uh, looked like one of those,
you know, in the movies.

Ninjas, right.

Is there any chance
anybody recognized him?

He had a stocking or
something covering his face.

Okay, thanks.
We'll be in touch.

Crouching tiger,
hidden student.

ED: We got three dead,
12 wounded,

including one critical.
Head shot.

We probably won't have much luck
with prints on the shell casings.

The kid gets away.

You ever hear of that
happening before?

No. They either shoot
themselves or they surrender

or somebody tackles them
when they stop to reload.

No heroes at George Mason High.

These are city kids.
They know better.

Yeah, Green.

Oh, okay. Thanks.

Head shot died
en route to the hospital.

That's four dead.

You ever see one of these mass
shootings in a big city school?

People move into the city to get
away from crimes like this.

GIRL: I was just talking
to my friend.

BRISCOE: Who's that?


And I looked up,
and there he was.

He was just standing there,

like he was waiting for someone
to notice him or something.

Like some kind of weak-ass ninja, right?
Then I started to laugh.

You started to laugh?

I mean, he looked
completely wack.

I'm like,
"What is this, Halloween?"

And then he pulled out the gun.

He just started shooting,
and I froze,

and then it's like
there's this weird pause.

No one knows what's happening.

And finally people
start screaming,

and then he reloads,
he starts shooting again.

Was he targeting anybody,
could you tell?

Like zeroing in on any
individuals, groups?

I don't know.

I couldn't help it
I saw this ninja,

and then Howard
just popped into my mind.

Why did he pop into your head?

I don't know. Howard was always a
little obsessed with that stuff.

You know, guns,
kung fu, all that.

I even heard him say something
about Columbine once.

Really? What'd he say?

Just that those guys were
stupid for killing themselves.

Was Howard at school today?

No. But you know, after,

like after I thought about it,
it just didn't make sense.

How come?

Howard's black.

Yeah, it's the same story
with me,

except this one girl came up
with a name, Howard Earl.

I sent a unit over to his apartment,
just in case she's right.

What's going on over here?

No, no, no, he's got the whole thing.
It's definitely prime time.

Just tell me how high I can go for
an exclusive window, all right?

Hey, excuse you.

The auction's over, kid.

We're detectives.
This is evidence.

What's your name?
Kevin Miller.

You got this on videotape?

Yeah, I got it all.

Look, when can I get
my tape back?

Oh, don't worry, these vultures'll
still want it anytime. Trust me.

I don't care about the money.

Yeah, right.

This could be my big break.

What are you talking about?

I want to be
in the news business.

No comment.


BOY: He's got a gun!
Get down! Get down!


He's reloading.



No one's going to be
able to ID him.

Ed's got a candidate.

Yeah. Howard Earl.
He's black.

Classmate says that he's
small, he has an attitude,

he's obsessed with guns and he
even talked about Columbine.

What are you doing
to locate him?

Well, we got uniforms on his
building, at the pizza place,

and a couple of other neighborhood
hangouts where he lives.

Find out whatever you can
about him.

Spotty attendance,
failing grades,

suspended three times
in the last year.

Once for bringing a
concealed weapon to school.

A weapon?
A box cutter.

Did he use it?

No, but he brandished it
in the lunch room.

We get the impression
that he's not very popular,

that other kids pick on him.

Detectives, we have 3,000
students enrolled in this school

from every walk of life.

All I can tell you is he's not involved
in any extra-curricular activities.

No sports,
no after-school.

Did anybody reach his parents?

No father listed.

He lives with his grandmother
at the address they gave you.

Well, where's his mother?


For what?

Aggravated assault.

Guy's name is Lonnie Nolan. Claims
he saw Earl a few hours ago.

Mr. Nolan, where was it
you saw Earl?

Coming out of the deli
over on Broadway Terrace.

ED: You sure it was him?

Am I sure?

His mother and me used to run together
back in the day till she went crazy.



Cut this other bitch.
Coked up out of her head.

Next thing I know,
there's all this blood.

Familiar family saga.

What was Earl wearing?

Black sweatshirt, maybe
dark pants, black bandana.

Would you call it in?

What's Howard done?

We're not sure yet,
Mr. Nolan.

Listen, man, I ain't gonna lie
to you, that boy scares me.

I see him coming,
I just cross the street.

I've been thinking a lot
about this Earl thing,

and it just doesn't
track for me.

Since when do
these things ever track?

Well, it's just a black kid doing
a school shooting like this

doesn't fit the profile.

Drugs, sneakers,
gangs, that I'll buy.

But a black kid
shooting up a lunch room?

Maybe we've finally
reached full equality.

Well, did he talk about his plans to anyone?
Brag about them?

If he did, we didn't find 'em.

So we've got a 16-year-old
kid boiling with rage,

planning this fantastic
revenge scenario,

and he doesn't talk to anyone.

We got another sighting.

this is a sit-down only

so bring the grandmother along,

and make sure both of them
know what his rights are.

How you doing?

Kid fitting that description went
in that building 20 minutes ago.

Figured I better wait
for you guys.

Thanks, Officer.
Good job.

This is him!

I hate when they do that.

I got him! Get the car!
Cut him off!




Come here.
Come here!

All right, all right.
You okay?

I'm good.
Ripped the new suit.

We got company.

I see 'em.

Come on, move 'em back, Officer.
Come on, out of the way.

Come on, you heard him.

Watch your head.

BRISCOE: One of my ex-wives called
this morning to bust my chops.

Which one?
I forget.

God, he really does look
like he's eight years old.

I thought you were just
going to talk to this boy.

The kid had other plans.

Where's his grandmother?

She refused to come down.

Yeah, she's probably
scared out of her wits.

Hey, how were we
supposed to know

there was gonna be a photographer
staking out the scene?

Well, the kid that told you about
him obviously told the press.

It was only a matter of time
before they tracked him down.

Has he even had breakfast yet?

He won't eat.

And he said he won't talk
until his lawyer shows up.

When is that supposed to be?

Well, well, well,
what have we here?

Conspiracy to obstruct justice?

Speak of the devil.

ED: You're representing
Howard Earl?

I am.

And I plan to bring a multi-million
dollar suit against the city,

the NYPD, and the
three of you as individuals

just as soon as
this case is dismissed.

Your client ran, Ms. Adams.

Maybe it had something to do with
black kids being afraid of cops

and that y'all don't look
exactly like the Prize Patrol.

Okay, just do
what you gotta do.

Should've checked
his alibi, officers.

He was with his grandmother.

My grandmother'd swear
I was the Pope

if she thought it'd
get me out of trouble.

They were visiting Howard's
mother up at Bedford Hills

at the time of the shootings.

He was literally
under lock and key.

I'll have the prison
fax you the sign-in sheet.

I'd like to get
my client now, please.

I'm taking him out
to breakfast.

BRISCOE: We're checking on anybody
who was absent yesterday.

I understand. What
kind of gun was used?

A 9mm. Why?

Nobody got a look at the
shooter's face, right? Right.

You sure he didn't say a word?

Well, what's your point?

What about a girl? A girl
can handle a gun, right?

She transferred here
a month ago.

Colleen Jacobs. She'd been
harassed at her old school.

Her classmates there heard her
say that she'd like to kill

everybody who teased her
and then herself.

Why wasn't something
done about it?

Something was done.
They transferred her here.

So much for a desperate
cry for help.

They transferred
her here and...

She wasn't making
a good adjustment.

She's been out the whole week.

I was just about to sic
the truant officer on her.

Mrs. Jacobs, we checked
with your daughter's school.

She hasn't been there all week.

Oh, no, no, not George Mason.

No, we started her at
Catholic school last week.

Thank God, otherwise she would
have been there yesterday.

ED: The high school doesn't
seem to know about this.

Well, they obviously
don't know much, Detective.

I phoned them, I wrote them,

I told them
Colleen was leaving.

Colleen, honey, these men
are homicide detectives.

You think I did it, don't you?

You think I shot those kids.

Did you?

I wish I had.

Oh, honey, don't say that.

They're all jerks at that school.
I hate them.

You don't mean that.

But if I had done it, I wouldn't
have wussed out and worn a mask.

I would have wanted everyone
to know it was me.

Then maybe
they would've gotten it,

and they would've felt bad
for the rest of their lives.


She doesn't know what she's saying.
She's depressed.

Well, we're going to have to
check with her new school.

It happened at lunchtime, right?
The shooting?

Yeah, it was about 12:30.

Colleen was in therapy.


Excuse me.

Yeah, Green.

ED: So what do we have here?

Brian got this e-mail.

When'd you get this?

BRIAN: Couple of hours ago.

Who's it from?

Calls himself Ninja Nightmare.

BRISCOE: Why'd he
send it to you?

I don't know.

Brian's the
Student Council President.

Look. It says he's coming back
to finish what he started.

That's what got us so nervous.

Okay, we're going to try
to trace the e-mail.

In the meantime, you stay
right here with your parents.

Any candidates on the sender?

Well, we're going back to talk
to the school psychologist,

see what we can come up with.

Well, sending an e-mail afterward
is clearly learned behavior.

This case is
less than two days old,

and we've already gone through two
completely credible suspects.

True. And who knows how long
this list is going to be

once we talk to the shrink.

Ninja Nightmare?

Any ideas, Doc?

How long will it take you
to get a court order?

I can call the D.A.'s office
right now.

Forget the D.A.
What do you got?

There is a student.

I don't know
if I can break privilege.

We don't need to see the file,
Doc, we just need a name.

You realize
what's at stake here?

Of course I realize
what's at stake.

My daughter
goes to school here.

Then tell us
what we need to know.

This student,
he's really scary.

He's been kicked out of three different
private schools before he came here.

Some pretty violent episodes.

How come you didn't
tell us this before?

Well, he's relatively new. I wasn't
fully familiar with his history.

Give us the name, Doc.

Semple. Henry Semple.

You know we're taking a chance, right?

Hey, it's called hot pursuit.

I just don't want to end up on the
cover of The Post twice in one case.


Police. We're looking for Henry Semple.
Is he at home?


EDI Henry!

Lennie, he's got a gun!

(SIGHS) Well, partner, I think
you just redeemed yourself.

Docket ending 995.
"People v. Henry Semple."

"Four counts Murder
in the Second Degree,"

"11 counts
Attempted Murder Second."

I'll hear you,
Ms. Carmichael.

Your Honor,
the defendant, Henry Semple,

armed with a semi-automatic weapon
and concealing his identity,

entered the high school he
attends and without provocation

emptied his weapon
at his fellow students,

wounding 11 and killing four.

Despite his age,
the People request remand.

Judge, I'm not going
to try this case today

but the facts just
proffered by the People

will obviously
be disputed at trial.

I should add, Your Honor, that
ballistics has matched the gun

recovered from the defendant
with the murder weapon.

Are you saying they got
the wrong guy, Counselor?

The wrong kid, Your Honor.

And, no, that's not our claim.

It is our contention, however, that the
shooting was not without provocation,

and will ultimately lead
to different conclusions

than those reached
by the People.

Present in court today are
the parents of my client.

His father, Bill Semple,
is a corporate partner

for the law firm of
Whittier and Hughes

and a former attorney for the Justice
Department's Antitrust Division.

JUDGE: I appreciate his
family's here, Counselor,

but do you honestly expect
I'm sending him home?

No, Your Honor. Mr. and
Mrs. Semple are, however,

asking that their son
be committed to a private,

secure psychiatric facility
in lieu of bail.

They have offered to assume the
cost of his incarceration there,

as well as the cost of his transportation
to and from court as required.

We have buses at Rikers
to do that.

But not the medical health professionals
available at a private facility.

It's our contention
that such an environment

will assist all the parties,
including the People,

in assessing an appropriate course
of treatment for my client.

The only treatment the People
are interested in at this point

is life behind bars so
he can never do this again.

I'm sorry, Counselor, but given
the nature of these charges

I simply won't risk the safety of
any employee of a private facility.

Accordingly, the defendant
is hereby remanded

to the Department
of Correction without bail.


Why not let his parents pay the
cost of his incarceration?

Because it creates an
appearance of impropriety.

Wealthy parents getting special
consideration for their son.

I also don't think
we want the jury pool

hearing anything about a
private psychiatric hospital.

That just gives his lawyer a leg
up in the insanity defense.

So a kid who obviously
needs psychiatric treatment

doesn't get it
because no one does,

and we keep him at Rikers because
it makes our case look better.

This is a strange way
to run a candy store.

Keeping this kid out
of a psychiatric hospital

is our best shot at
keeping him off the streets.



I assume we're seeking
the maximum here.

Consecutive life terms

for a kid who's just turned 16?

Even at his age,
that's a death sentence.

Four children are dead, Nora.

We can't just send him to
bed without any dinner.

I think Abbie's right. We have
to deal with this kid severely.

Life in prison won't deter
the copycats, Jack.

Not with their
15 minutes of fame.

Well, what about the
other kids in these schools?

We want them to come forward,
but if we send a message

this is just the result
of a troubled mind

they'll try to
handle it themselves.

I watched this kid in court.

He showed absolutely
no signs of remorse.

Well, I can't ask for life without
a psychiatric evaluation.

He concealed his identity.
He fled the scene.

Those are both
pretty good indicators

that he knew the difference
between right and wrong.

There's no middle ground here.

We've got the gun.
Do we have any witnesses?

Best one's
the kid with the video.

Better get on that right away
before he sells his credibility.

Some of the kids don't want
to come in here anymore.

But not you?

I figure it comes
with the territory.

Getting shot comes
with high school?

No, I meant being an
aspiring journalist and all.

You know, I've been on CNN.

Is that so?

I'm supposed to do
a town meeting on Nightline,

but it might conflict
with a special on NBC.

Look, I'd really like
to get the tape back.

We still need it
for awhile, Kevin.

Now, I need you to think back.

If you saw anything, anything at
all, that wasn't on the tape.

Like what?

Like the kid's face.

No. No, just what's
on the video.

So where were you
when the shots rang out?

Lunch line.

And you just happened to have
a video camera with you?

Well, I just got it I try
to take it wherever I go.

And I figured,
last year in high school,

final days and all that.

I want to get my friends, make sure I
had something to remember them by.

Guess I do now, huh?

Is your son's lawyer aware
you're here, Mr. Semple?

We're not sure this attorney really
appreciates our son's situation.

What situation is that?

How is our son?

Last report,
he's doing all right.

Six of the children he shot
are still hospitalized.

I'm very sorry to hear that.

You don't believe me.

Your concern seems
a little late, that's all.

You think we knew?

You think you can look at your child
and know he's capable of this?

I think it depends on how hard
you're looking, Mrs. Semple.

Look, maybe we deserve this,
I don't know.

But we came here
to talk about Henry.

What is it you want us to know?

Henry's had some problems since
we moved here from Virginia.

What kind of problems?

Nothing to suggest
anything like this.

You said in court

you wanted Henry to spend the
rest of his life in prison.

The judge will determine your
son's sentence, Mrs. Semple.

But he's only 16 years old.

He's lucky he's not
facing the death penalty.

You're the ones who sentenced that
other boy to death, aren't you?

The one who killed
that delivery man.

I told you, that kid was 18.

They can't ask for the death
penalty for Henry. He's too young.

Your husband's right. The death
penalty isn't applicable here.

Our son needs help,
do you understand?

That's why we're here.

That's why we want
to change lawyers.

Please, can't you just find
some way to help him?

We appreciate your time.

I'll have Henry's
new lawyer to get in touch.

Well, there's a woman
who's in complete denial

about what's gonna
happen to her kid.

Maybe it's the safest
place to be.


Jamie Ross. What the
hell are you doing here?


This is a surprise.
Come here.


Thank you.

How are you?

I'm good. And you?



Ah, yes.

Absolutely beautiful.

But I thought you left us
to spend more time with them.

I did. I do.

But every now and then
a case comes along

that makes me sit up
and take notice.

My appearance.

Henry Semple?

I was retained this afternoon.

You're going to
defend this kid?

You mean instead of letting them
take him out back and shoot him?

Yes, I'm going to defend him.

Come on, Jack, these shootings
are a phenomenon of children,

and yet you prosecutors are
hell-bent to try them as adults.

Pretty soon there'll be no distinction
between children and adults at all.

I assume Mr. Semple was aware
we've worked together.

Yes. He also knows there'll be no
favors coming to me because of it.


He was with the Justice
Department himself down in D.C.

Yes, we met.

Well, then you know how concerned
these parents are for their child.

What is it you want, Jamie?

Am I going to have to fight with you?
I don't want to fight with you.

I don't want to fight
with you either, Jack.

I'm here to work toward some solution
so we can both sleep at night.

Jamie, four people are dead.

Another six are
in the hospital.

The law demands your client
be held accountable.

It doesn't demand charging him as
an adult without any evaluation.

Come on. We both know what an
evaluation's gonna to show.

That the kid knew
right from wrong.

Which shouldn't be
the end of the story.

Not with the country in the middle
of an epidemic of these things.

I can only deal with
the case in front of me.

Motion to suppress
the gun, the statements,

and any other evidence
you obtained

as a result of that school
psychologist's big mouth.

I want to know if either of you
talked to anyone other than

the school psychologist who mentioned
Henry Semple as a possible suspect.

What do you want us to do, Counselor?
Verify our sources?

I think we need to remember
that when Briscoe and Green

made the decision
to pursue the lead

a threat had been made via e-mail
that the shooter was coming back.

We thought it was
pretty important.

All of us are subject to having our judgments
reviewed by the courts, Detective.

We're just trying to ascertain whether
yours can withstand scrutiny.

Did either of you consider
getting a court order first?

Yeah, we discussed it.


We both made the decision
to proceed without one.

This judge hears that, and
exigency could be out the window.

This psychologist had
a child attending that school.

I think she let her fear
for that child's safety

compromise her professional
obligations to this student.

I think there's a few
thousand other students

who'd say their lives may
have been saved by it.

So the ends justify the means?

These cops had
every reason to believe

that the sender of the
e-mail was the shooter.

The means was simply
going to the person

who most logically
could furnish an identity.

They coerced her
into violating privilege.

What if it was your daughter he'd shot?
What then?

I'd pray that
my fear for her safety

wouldn't be used
as an excuse to deprive

three hundred million Americans
of their Constitutional rights.

And what about the rights of kids not
to be shot at when they go to school?

The fact remains that if
a mental health care provider

revealed this information
about an adult patient

we wouldn't even be
having this conversation.

We would if there was exigency.

The e-mail indicated that
the shooter wasn't finished.

The e-mail was sent
from New Orleans.

That information was not
communicated to these detectives.

One phone call from their cell phones
is all it would have taken, Your Honor.

This is a printout from the
NYPD computer crimes section

indicating that
the e-mail was traced

almost an hour before these detectives
showed up at the Semples' home.

I'm afraid
Ms. Ross is right.

These police officers had plenty of
time to verify their information

or obtain a warrant.

Balance the interests
here, Your Honor.

We're talking about a technical
violation of the law

against freeing
a mass murderer.

What we're talking about
is doctor-patient privilege

and the Fourth Amendment.

I don't see how either can be
construed as a technicality.

And with no eyewitnesses
and no other way

for the police to come up with
Henry Semple as a suspect...

Everything seized becomes fruit of the
poisonous tree, including the gun.

Your Honor, if the law doesn't give
people the sense it can protect them,

they're going to end up
protecting themselves.

JUDGE: And judges do what
in the meantime?

Ignore the Constitution
when it suits us?

I've got no choice here.
The charges are dismissed.

The People can re-file
if you can make out a case

without the
psychologist's profile.

If we had committed him to a psych
facility in the first place,

he'd still be there
instead of out on the street.

It wouldn't be a problem
if they'd pass laws

that would allow school teachers
and mental health professionals

to release information
without a court order.

Only they haven't done it yet.

Which is why we need
a federal standard.

Which we also don't have. Based on
the merits, the court was right.

How can releasing a kid that we
know committed the crime be right?

Doesn't it concern you at all

that releasing a kid's name to
the public without a court order

creates a feeding
frenzy for suspects?

Not when someone else's
life is at stake.

Except these cops
were given three names.

One of them was dragged out of his
own neighborhood in handcuffs

because nobody bothered
to verify the facts.

The public looks to us
to maintain law and order,

not run around like chickens
with our heads chopped off.

Ms. Carmichael, car's here.

Be right there.

We're meeting with the parents
of some of the victims.

We have to tell them about the
merits of the court's decision.

So as a direct result
of the judge's decision,

we had to let him go
this morning.


You're saying this maniac
is back on the streets?

He was released
into his parents' custody.

They're the ones who couldn't
control him in the first place.

Could this bastard
go back to school?

JACK: I doubt he would.
WOMAN: But he could.


How could this judge just let him go?
How could he just do that?

The police gathered information
without a court order.

Who the hell cares
how they found out?

Everybody in here
knows he did it.

Let me tell you something.

This kid shows up anywhere near this
school, I'll take him out myself.

We came here to let you
know about this situation,

but please don't forget
we are officers of the court.

That kind of talk could get
you into a world of trouble.

What we are asking you to
do is try to remain calm

and let us do our jobs.

Our daughter Lilah was one
of the kids who was shot.

The bullet severed
her spinal cord.

They don't know
if she'll ever walk again.

Lilah never did anything to that boy.
She didn't even know him.

You can't just let him
walk away from this.

You can't just tell us that
your hands are tied by the law.

MAN: ls the D.A.'s office
even aware

that there's a rumor this kid told
other kids he was gonna do this,

and none of them
did anything about it?

I'm sick of learning things
about this case after the fact.

Hey, we talked to 52 kids who
were either in the cafeteria

or had been identified
as friends of Semple.

Nobody indicated that
there were prior threats.

Well, apparently someone knew.

The parents claim that
Semple told some kids

he was going to
shoot the place up.

Do they have any names?

Detective, I had just told them

that we had to cut Semple loose
because of your screw-up.

I wasn't about to let them knew
they knew more than we did.

Anytime you think you can do my job
better than me, just let me know.

Your job is to gather
evidence we can use in court.

Not make headlines
playing hero.

That's what you think we were doing?
Let me tell you something.

The next time you go into court

and somebody draws a gun on you,
tell me how you deal with it.

You don't like your job's requirements,
Detective, turn in your badge.

CARMICHAEL: Gentlemen,
if we could just

lower the level of testosterone
just a little bit.

Now, why don't we try to figure
out away to find the kids

who might have been
told beforehand.

ED: You lied, Kevin.
We asked around.

None of the kids remember you having
that camera at school before that day.

BRISCOE: You told us you had
it with you all the time.

MR. MILLER: Is that a crime?

Making a mistake about when you
take your video camera to school?

The Semple kid walked
with four dead.

You think we're not gonna
nail somebody for that?

The only thing people hate worse
than cops and lawyers, Kevin,

is the media.

Are you threatening him?

We don't have to. All we have to do
is tell everybody in that school

he knew what was gonna happen

and we just sit back and
let nature take its course.

I want your badge number.

Look, just tell us who knew
what Henry Semple was planning.

I'm calling my son a lawyer.

You can do that, Mr. Miller,
you can call a lawyer.

Nobody's gonna stop you, But
I just want to you to think

about what your son is going
to take away from today.

Four kids are dead.

Your son could have
been one of them.

So I just want you to
be sure in your heart

that you're giving him the right
advice by asking for a lawyer

rather than helping us
find the killer.

Right now, Kev.

Tell 'em who told you.

Right now, Kev.

I didn't even know
who this kid was.

Some kids gave him my number

and he called me
the night before.

He said maybe I should
bring a camera.

He said some big-ass thing was
going to happen with Henry Semple.

But I didn't know what.

The name, video boy, the name.

I thought Henry
was only joking.

ED: What did you think was going to
come out of that gun he showed you?

A flag that says "bang"?

I didn't think he'd do it.

BRISCOE: Then why call Kevin Miller
and tell him to bring his video?

ED: You knew what was going to happen, didn't you?
You wanted it to happen.

I didn't.

BRISCOE: Only you
didn't tell anybody.

Look, Paul,
four kids are dead now.

There's nothing you can
do to change that.

But if Henry goes out and
he kills somebody else,

you gonna tell us you didn't
know about it then, too?

The only reason Henry told me

was 'cause he knew I got
picked on just like he did.

You got no idea what it's like

to come to school every day and know
these kids are gonna screw with you.

That they're gonna steal your
money, mess you up in the bathroom.

Once Henry did this drawing
he was real proud of,

and these jocks
just pissed on it.

Then they made him
put it back in his backpack.

I didn't think he'd
really do it, though.

I really didn't.

You have a kid who'll say he thought
Henry wasn't serious. That's it.

JACK: And another
who made the video.

Who can't make an ID.

A jury puts the two together,
we think we have a shot.

What about when they hear
another kid told the police

that Howard Earl
was the shooter?

Or that a guidance
counselor blamed a girl

who doesn't even attend
the school anymore?

Jurors read the papers
same as we do.

They know Henry did it They know
he got off on a technicality.

If you think they're not
going to jump at a chance

to convict him this time
around you're wrong.

Somebody better remind her of her
ethical obligations as a prosecutor.

You mean the one that says I should put
someone on trial who I think is guilty?

No, the one that says
you need evidence to do it.

I just told you our evidence.

You'd go along with that?

What's our alternative, Jamie?

Make a civil commitment.

Declare Henry not competent
to stand trial,

and he goes to
a secure psychiatric facility.

So some shrink can release
him a few years from now?

No, I don't think so.

And what would be the basis
for his incompetency?

Henry has a mental defect.

He was thrown from a horse
when he was six.

He had seizures. They thought
there was brain damage.

You're joking.

We have no illusions about
our son, Ms. Carmichael.

We're just trying
to figure this out.

Well, it sounds like you're
looking for away out.

I have three other children. Good kids.
I don't want them hurt.

I also don't want Henry in Sing
Sing for the rest of his life.

Not at 16.

At least let him talk
to Skoda, Jack.

What harm is there in that?

EMIL: I hear you draw.


You any good?

Don't know.

How did you feel when
those kids urinated

on that picture you made and
stuck it in your backpack?

The way this works, Henry, is

you answer my questions,
then I talk to the D.A.

and tell them what I think
about what you said.

Can you do that?

Have a seat.

These kids at school
were pretty rough on you?

They never left me alone.

Was that what you wanted?
To be left alone?

I wanted to fit in.

Why do you think you didn't?

Don't know.

Well, you must have some idea.

When we lived in Virginia,
it was different.

There weren't so many of them.

Till my dad got this
new job in the city.

I guess they all thought
I was different.

Did you feel different?


That still didn't give 'em any
right to trash me like they did.

You think they got
what they deserved, then?

Not for me to say.

Just the same,
if you were the one to say.

I don't know.

Heard they're not making
fun of me anymore.

Heard they're even scared
I might come back.

That's sort of cool.

If you're asking me if he knew
right from wrong, no question.

If you're asking me
whether he should

spend the rest of
his life in prison,

it's a tougher call.


Because the fact remains a teenage
brain's different from an adult's.

Different how?

Still maturing, same as
the rest of the body.

Frontal lobes, parts responsible
for executive functioning,

self-control, judgment,
emotional regulation.

We all went to high school.
We all had problems.

None of us picked up a gun
and killed anyone.

I'm just saying there's some
science behind the phenomenon.

Androgen, for example,
that effects the amygdala.

Part of the brain that controls
things like fear and anger.

It's like I said. If you're asking me
if he knew right from wrong, he did.

The rest is up to you guys.

Thanks for the grub.

Sure thing.

The bottom line is,

your son was able to appreciate
the nature of his actions.

And the PET scan showed no organic
injury to the brain from any fall.

Which means what?

They're going to trial.

Unless your client wants to
save the taxpayers some money.

A roll of the dice, Jack?

Think of what's at stake.

CARMICHAEL: We'll take
our chances.

You'll take your chances?

Then what the hell happens
when they find him not guilty?


What are we all
going to do then?

I'll tell you what.

Because then he'll be out.

He'll be out and maybe
hurt other people.

Let him go to a hospital, Jack.

There's no basis for it
in the law.

An insanity plea
would be a fraud here.

And an acquittal?
What will that be?

He hurt our daughter.

Two years ago.

He broke her arm.

And now he walks
around the house...

Bill, please.

He's our son.

Yes, he's our son.

Then how can we?

How can you what,
Mr. Semple?

He'll spend the rest of his life in prison.
You realize that.

JACK: Mr. Semple?

MRS. SEMPLE: Bill...

No, please.

What choice
do I have, Patricia?

Please tell me,
what choice do I have?

Oh, sweet Jesus.

He confessed.


My son confessed to me.

JACK: Where did this
conversation take place?

MR. SEMPLE: In my son's room.

It was personal.
That was between you and me.

JUDGE: Control your client,
Ms. Ross.

JACK: What did your son
say to you, Mr. Semple?

Mr. Semple, what did
your son tell you?

I came home as soon as
my wife called me

and told me what
happened at the school.

I asked her where Henry was.

When I went into his room, he
was just sitting on his bed.

The lights weren't on, but I could
tell that he'd been crying.

JACK: What did you do?

I put my arm around him,

sat next to him.

What did he say?

That he was scared.
Scared about going to school.

Scared of what some of the
other kids might do to him?

Scared about
what he'd done to them.

Scared that he'd missed
some of the real jerks

and wouldn't get a chance to
take them out again before...

JACK: What made you finally
come forward, Mr. Semple?

Because I was scared, too.

Scared that he'll do it again.


Henry, for God sakes!

I understand from your note
the jury's reached a verdict.

We have, Your Honor.

Will the defendant please rise.

You may read the verdict.

JURY FOREWOMAN: On the first
four counts of the indictment

charging Murder
in the Second Degree,

we find the defendant
Henry Semple



I understand his father's going to
ask for leniency at the sentencing.

I doubt anything's going to save this
kid from life in prison at this point.

With what's waiting for him

it might have been kinder
to give him the needle.

Either works for me.