Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 16, Episode 6 - Law & Order - full transcript

A nurse is accused of performing illegal sterilizations on troubled teens without their knowledge, which resulted in the death of one of her patients.

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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.

Damn, Mo, hurry your ass up.

You sure we're
not gonna get busted?

Man, stop crying,
you sound like a girl.

I ain't no girl.

Well, you ain't no man,
you never got no play.

You neither. Did so.

Denise, Marisela, Rashel.

I tapped all them shorties.

Yeah, right!

Took them home to show them
my nine mil, and yo...

Hold on.

Where's the dude?

Hey, yo. Yo, Calvin!

What's that?


Hey. You all right?

Yo, what do we do?

Victim got a name yet?

From the vendor's license on
the cart, Samuel Register, 68.

Looks like multiple
stab wounds to the chest.

He's pretty fresh.

Maybe two hours,
around 6:00, 6:30.

How many times he been stabbed?

Nine obvious wounds. Might find
more when we get him on the table.

No wallet, no money.
Robbery gone bad?

No, if he were stabbed once or
twice, that would be a robbery.

Nine times?

That's personal.

Forty-eight years.

And he still called me
his beautiful bride.

I know this is hard,
Mrs. Register,

but did your husband
have any problems?

Maybe he owed somebody?

Sam was a good man.

He didn't drink or... Or gamble.

He helped people.

So you can't think of anyone
that would want to hurt him?

There were people who thought
maybe Sam was too good.

Which people exactly?

People around here.

"Somebody has to stop them from
acting like fools." he'd say.

If he saw a boy with
his pants hanging low,

he'd tell the boy to pull
his damn pants up.

If he saw them breaking
windows, breaking the law,

he would call the police!

Do you have any names?

I mean, any of those people

that may have had a grudge
against your husband?

Their names are all
made-up anyhow.

Just walk around the block
and take your pick!

Excuse me.


Okay, we're on our way.

Ah, well, thank you for your time, Mrs.

We'll be in contact, all right?

A black girl. I was out
here when she ran past.

She had blood on her shirt.

What time was this?

Mmm, about 6:45. Okay?

No, no, no, it's not
okay, wait a minute.

We got some questions
about this girl.

Have you ever seen her
around here before?

I don't remember. We got a
lot of customers in here.

All right, how about we just stand
out here until you do remember?

What if she has friends?

What if they come and smash up my store?
Will you be here then?

We'll order extra
patrols for you,

we'll have our people
keep an eye out for you.

Now come on!

She has been here before.

I had to run her off for
shoplifting a couple of times.

Do you know her name?

Oh, she has a baby,
a little girl.

She came in once
or twice with Lillie Sands.

A regular customer. Please
don't tell her we sent you.

It sounds like Traci,
my granddaughter.

What did she do now?

Has she been in trouble before?

Since she learned how to walk.

She was living here
after she had her baby.

But not anymore.

I don't allow drugs in my house.

Is that Traci's kid?

No, this is my other

And this beautiful little boy
here came from my niece.

They both live here with you?

Young women in my family

have made babies
they can't care for.

Some for drugs,
one was sent to Iraq.

So they give them to me

because they know
I'll raise them properly.

But Traci's child
is still with her.

I wanted to care for Kesha.

Traci wouldn't allow it.

Do you know where she lives?

We need to ask her
a couple questions.

I don't care how handsome you think
you are, young man, don't lie to me.

I know how this goes.

I mean you no
disrespect, ma'am, uh,

but we do need to find Traci.
It's important.

She's with her
dope addict mother.

Jefferson Gardens,
tower six, first floor.

Althea Sands,
the mother of Traci Sands?

I don't have no
money for no bail.

Y our daughter hasn't been
arrested, ma' am, we 'gust want...

Well, she ain't here.

Please, ma'am,
you don't wanna do that.

What's this about?

We're just looking for Traci.

You can look all you want,
but she ain't here.

Well, do you know
where we can find her?

Who knows?

When do you expect
to see her next?

She ain't been around since
your people took the baby.

She just up and left.

Wait, Child Services
took the baby, Kesha?

Yeah, two weeks ago.

That little girl's welfare was
supposed to pay the damn bills.

You need a license
to drive a car,

but they'll let
anybody have kids.

Yeah, you gotta be
17 for the car.

You know what? Let's go to ACS,

find out what's
going on with Kesha.

And her loving mother.

Traci Sands. One of the kids
I was trying to protect

until she became one of the
parents I had to investigate.

Traci was abused?

Physically, emotionally,

So, what happened with Kesha?

Two years of complaints
from neighbors.

Such as?

Slapping the baby,
slamming her into a wall,

cuts and bruises on her
arms, face and legs.

We finally get a court order to
remove Kesha, when this happens.

Oh, boy.

Our witness heard screams,

looked in the window and saw Traci
pouring boiling water on her.

Apparently, she was
crying too much.

Look at the witness.

Sam Register.

Nice guy. I'm sure
he'd be willing to...

He's dead.

Look, Traci wasn't at
her mother's house,

she wasn't at her grandmother's.

You have any idea
where we can find her?

She was with her boyfriend when
we served her a court order.

Thug wannabe named Paz.

He's got a record.

Police! Police! On the floor!
On the floor!

Yo, yo, yo! Come on!
On the floor!

Stop! No!

Stop! Kick his ass!
Kick his ass!

Shut up! Get off me!

Stop! Get off me.
I'm gonna kill you!

- Get your ass up!
- Get off me!

We're taking you down, too.
I'm gonna kill you!

Get up, get up! Get up!
Get off me!

Hey, yo! I need
some water, please!

Yo, police! On the other
side of that glass!

Possession collar at age nine.

Theft at 10,
intent to distribute,

four assault charges,

Doesn't leave
much time for homework,

but that doesn't
prove she's the killer.

She had bloody clothes at Paz's apartment.
They're at the crime lab.

Will you look at this, huh?


I expect to be reimbursed.

One pissed off little girl.

She's a 'Mead up crack head.

You go call your tailor,
and I'll take the interview.

Hey! You guys just gonna
leave me here all night?

I need some water!

I'm dying in here!

Here's the problem, Traci.

We've got a witness who
puts you at the scene.

We found the victim's wallet
in your boyfriend's place.

Then why aren't you
sweating him?

Because we found blood
on your clothes.

First of the month, welfare day,

but you didn't get
a check, did you?

All because Sam the donut man

called Child Services after you.

So? I don't need that check.

And I can always
have another baby.

You know, the blood on your clothes
was a type match to the victim,

so I figure

you got about a minute to convince
me you're worth the help,

or I'm gonna send your baby-making
behind to Sing Sing for life.

I ain't afraid of you.


You should be.

Abuse your own blood,
an innocent little girl.

Shut up! And then when
someone finally stops you,

you kill him. Ls that what
you want the jury to hear?

That old rat had it coming!

But I didn't touch him.



L think it's time
you made a statement.

Get me a lawyer.

DNA confirms the blood match.

Traci Sands is
definitely our girl.

I'll try her as an adult,
she'll get 25 years.

And come out worse
than she is now.

She blew her last chance when
she murdered Sam Register.

Van Buren.

Yes, we were just discussing...


How did this happen?

Well, find out and call me back.

Nobody touched her. I swear.

She say anything
about being sick?

She just complained
a lot, about everything.

I thought she was faking,

but then she wouldn't
get up this morning.

Then you figured out
she wasn't faking it.

All we have at this time
is the initial report.

Some form of anemia.

Yes, natural causes.

Well, as soon as we know more,
DCPI will be issuing a statement.

Yeah, all right.

LA's already opened a case.

They wanna talk to everyone.

Oh, man, she was fine
when we dropped her off.

She asked for a glass of
water, and we're supposed

to recognize that
as death throes?

Just be ready for the questions.

So, what's up?

Oh, the M.E.'s ready for us.
She wants you to come, too.


I'm ruling her death
a possible homicide.

Based on what?


Immediate cause of death
was severe hemolytic anemia.

Genetic testing showed she had
a sickle syndrome disease.

As in sickle cell anemia?

Sickle syndrome. It's
related, but less serious.

Almost never fatal.

Either way, it's a disease.

Mmm-hmm. Autopsy revealed
heavy scarring in her uterus.

And this.


She was on birth control.

This isn't your average IUD.

These pockets were designed
to carry a drug,

something called benecrine, which
popped up on her tox screen.

PDR lists it as
a cheap anti-malarial,

but in developing countries, benecrine
is also used as a sterility drug

delivered by IUD.

Somebody sterilized her.

And benecrine causes anemia.

You give it to someone
with sickle syndrome...

And it's lethal.

Whoever sterilized Traci
Sands caused her death.

Let's find out who took care
of Traci's medical needs.

I always feared she'd
be dead before 20.

I just didn't think it
would happen like this.

Has she had any medical
procedures lately?

Not that I know of.

Anything gynecological maybe?

Not since she had her baby.

Do you know where she
received her medical help?

Everyone in the family
goes to Operation Remedy.

That's the free clinic
on Third, right?

Yeah. Good people.

Thank you, ma'am.

Talk to anyone around here,

chances are they'll
tell you the same thing.

This place, Nurse G,
saved their life.

She got me the right
meds for my diabetes,

gave me training, a job.

Nurse G?

Nurse Gloria Rhodes.

She built this clinic
up from nothing.

So she would have
treated Traci Sands?

Yes, I always
took care of Traci.

Gloria Rhodes.
You're with the police?

Ah, yes, ma'am, we are.

Have you got a minute?


A lot of confused, lost
girls come through here.

Traci needed
more help than most.

What kind of help? Medical?

psychological, you name it.

She was a troubled, angry kid

with a terrible drug problem.

Have you been able to find
out why this happened?

The paper just said anemia.

Well, the medical examiner's
still working on all that.

When was the last time
you treated her?

About six months ago.

You mind if we ask what for?

I don't suppose confidentiality
applies anymore.

Traci had gonorrhea.

Did you refer her to a doctor?

I prescribed some
antibiotics for her.

I'm a nurse practitioner,

You ever prescribe
a benecrine IUD?

For sterilization?

Those are used overseas.

We don't do that here.
It's not FDA approved.

Your clinic performs
sterilizations though?

We provide birth control.

Depo, Norplant, the pill.

And yes, we provide
referrals for surgery.

Tubal ligation.

Are you an advocate
for sterilization?

I'm an advocate for giving
young women a choice.

A chance to improve
their circumstances,

to break the cycle of waste.

That's ayes?

It's far more complicated than
just a yes or no, Detective.

These young women have such hard
lives, such limited choices.

To add children into the
equation makes no sense.

So if they ask
for help, I offer it.

But why would she risk using an
illegal drug when she can offer

a legal procedure to
anybody who wants it?

Well, maybe Traci
didn't want it.

Forgive me for asking,

but how does the nurse
put this thing in Traci

without Traci noticing it?

Well, she's 16,
maybe she thought

she was going
for a routine exam,

and if that's the case, this nurse
is guilty of a hell of a lot more

than an illegal
medical procedure.

Hey, I got something.

This is from the
Operation Remedy website,

they get major contributions from the
Center for Population and Hygiene.

Which is?
It's a medical charity.

Read this interview
by Dr. Milton Thorst.

"Fertility control is essential
to our national security."

"Without it, America
will soon be overwhelmed"

"by a flood of immigrants
and immigrant offspring,"

"causing chaos and anarchy."

Yeah, somebody needs some diversity
training, don't you think?

We tracked a serial number on the IUD
to a medical supplier in Trenton.

Why don't you guys get on that?

Popular model. I ship thousands
of these to Asia every month.

For use with benecrine?

No clue. I just ship the lUDs.

You know anything about
this drug, benecrine?

I know baseball, beer
and lUDs, buddy, that's it.


The lot with that serial number
shipped to a charity in Manhattan,

Center for Population
and Hygiene. Yeah.

We support 25 free clinics
in nine states.

Operation Remedy is one of our
greatest success stories.

For advancing the
cause of sterilization?

Dr. Thorst's comments are
sometimes taken out of context.

The only cause we advance is
providing safe, free medical care

to those who need it most.

Excuse me, where is this?


In addition to our work
here, we sponsor teams

in the poorest areas
of developing countries,

providing essential
health services.

Such as?

Uh, vaccinations,
basic medicine, dental care.

Fertility control?

Contraception and sterilization.

Number one request
from our female patients.

Do you use benecrine?

Benecrine is a single
procedure, no surgery.

Complications are rare.

And it's cheap.

About one dollar per patient.

That ought to help stop
the flood of immigrants.

Detective, the maternal mortality rate
in these countries is staggering.

600,000 women die every year.

For them, birth control
is life-saving.

Do you know a nurse
named Gloria Rhodes?

Of course.

Every year she does a two-week
mission with Population Hygiene.

Doing benecrine sterilizations?

They don't admit it, but...

Traci's IUD came from a lot
used in Cambodia last year,

where Rhodes was
"serving the disadvantaged".

Well, looks like she
brought home a souvenir.

My guess would be more than one.

Get her in here.

I'm sorry, Detectives, but
I'm afraid you're confused.

Oh, you think so?

I told you before, I haven't
treated Traci in six months.

You can check my
records at the clinic.

We did better than that.

We checked Traci's belongings.


We're guessing that Traci
had gonorrhea again.

These were prescribed by you, Miss
Rhodes, 10 days before her death.

Which means
that you just lied to us.

My prescription pad went missing.
Traci must have stolen it.

Yeah. We stopped
by her pharmacy.

Now that's not her
handwriting, is it?

Oh, come on, you tried to
help Traci and she died.

It's as simple as that,
isn't it?

Now this is pretty much over,

you better tell us
your side of the story.

L think I'd like
to call my lawyer.

From a legal standpoint, I don't
think we have enough to charge her.

Excuse me?

Without proof she knew
about Traci's sickle syndrome,

it's malpractice, but I'm not
sure there's a criminal case.

She burned and scarred
the uterus of a young girl

with a drug that
caused her death.

Arrest her.

We'll find the right charge.

Gloria Rhodes,
you're under arrest

in connection with
the death of Traci Sands.

You have the
right to remain silent.

Anything you do say
can and will be used

against you in a court of law.

You have the right
to an attorney...

Ms. Borgia?

Paul Robinette.

Ah, I hear you used to
have my office.

You were probably
still in high school.

Tell Jack McCoy hello for me.

I will.

Docket number 41899.

People v. Gloria Rhodes. On the charge
of manslaughter, second degree.

How do you plead, Ms. Rhodes?

We shouldn't even
be here, Your Honor.

My client performed a
simple medical procedure

with regrettable complications.

Mr. Robinette.

Not guilty, Your Honor.

Bail, Ms. Borgia?

The People request
remand, Your Honor.

The Defendant travels extensively
outside the country,

and she has wealthy contacts
who might help her flee.

My client is a trusted professional
and lifelong resident of New York.

Who sterilized a 16-year-old girl
with an unapproved procedure.

All right, the press
has heard you both.

Bail is set at 200,000,

and Ms. Rhodes will
surrender her passport.

A white nurse used
a forbidden drug

to sterilize a poor black girl

who happened to have sickle
syndrome, and the young lady died.

Am I missing anything here?

That's pretty much it.

Except that the girl who died

was the primary suspect
in a murder investigation,

had a rap sheet from
here to Hartford,

and recently had
her child taken away

because she threw a pot
of boiling water on her.

And we're charging this nurse
with second degree manslaughter.

Recklessly causing the death of another.
It's not a slam dunk,

but if we can prove that she
knew about the sickle syndrome

and the potential lethal interaction
with benecrine, we'll be okay.

Lot of ifs.

We could charge something less.

Reckless endangerment.

Illegal sterilization,
white nurse, black girl.

Lot of reasons not to go soft.

Stick with manslaughter.

And find somebody who can
tell you what Rhodes knew.

Nurse G is a good person.

You don't know what
it's like down there,

you don't see what
she deals with.

You mean like Traci
scalding her daughter?

Yeah, stuff like that.

So, sterilizing her, you think
Nurse G did the right thing?

Did Nurse G know about
Traci's sickle syndrome?

I don't know.

You don't recall her asking? No.

Did Traci ask to be sterilized?

I checked your rap sheet,

You're still on probation.

I know. But I'm clean now.

If you're lying to me,
I'll have to file charges,

meaning your probation
will be revoked immediately.

You'd do that? Yeah.

So please, just tell
me what you know.

Traci wasn't the first.

The assistant claims Nurse Rhodes
performed the same procedure

on several other girls.

Any of them die?

No, but some had
serious complications.

Headaches, excessive bleeding.

Rhodes blamed them
on yeast infections,

but the symptoms are
consistent with benecrine.

There any proof?

No. Rhodes isn't stupid.
She never filed any paperwork

for the exams
or the preceding visits.

But this assistant
remembers the names?

Five girls in
the last two years.

Was race a factor?

The only common thread is they all
had records of drugs and crime.

A white woman sterilizing
delinquent girls

because she judged them
unfit to reproduce? Eugenics.

Thought that ended
in Nazi Germany.

California was performing forced
sterilizations until 1964.

Have Green and Fontana
track down the other girls.

I already did. One died
of a drug overdose,

two are in prison,
one moved out of state.

And the fifth? Living in Queens.

Isabella Perez. I'm meeting
her this afternoon.

No, I'm not the same person no more.
I'm sober.

Ain't been arrested
in, like, three years.

I work nights,
I go to school, church.

That's where I met my boyfriend,
uh, my fiancé, Daryl.

We're gonna get
married next spring.

Oh, wow. Congratulations.

So, uh, Gloria Rhodes.

Ah, Nurse G.

Yeah, man, she
wouldn't hurt nobody.

She really helped
change my life around.

You know, taught me that
if I didn't respect myself,

nobody else would either.

I'm here about
an exam she gave you.

Do you remember having some
trouble about two years ago?

Yeah, I remember passing out.

Nurse G took me to the clinic,

and took real good care of me.

You know, stayed up
with me half the night.

What was the problem?

Some infection.

I had real bad cramps.
I was bleeding a lot.

Did she offer to take you
to the emergency room?

Oh, no, she knew
I didn't have no money.

But I haven't
had a problem since.

Isabella, would you be willing to
let one of our doctors examine you?

What for?

Medical exams show Isabella Perez
was sterilized using benecrine.

And had no idea
this was done to her.

Two of the other girls Savannah
mentioned said the same thing.

I'm looking into the others.

Makes it hard to believe
Traci Sands gave consent.

Sterilizing one girl's terrible.

Sterilizing five is
a mission statement.

Up the charge to murder.

Depraved indifference?

Arthur, I'm not so sure
we can get there.

You think jurors won't be
as horrified as we are?

I think the argument for eugenics
is more seductive than you imagine.

Jack, please, no sane person

is going to agree
with what she did.

In 1991, a judge ordered
an abusive mother

to go on Norplant as
a condition of her parole.

A year earlier, a Philadelphia
Enquirer editorial suggested

coerced contraception to
reduce the black underclass.

The sympathy for eugenics in
this country leads back to 1927.

Supreme Court,
Oliver Wendell Holmes...

Buck v. Bell.

Every law school in the
country mocks that decision

as a colossal
miscarriage of justice.

Oliver Wendell Holmes was one of the
great judges in this country's history.

And he held that it was legal
to sterilize Carrie Buck

for being feeble-minded and
having a child out of wedlock.

He was convinced that
eugenics makes sense.

All Robinette has to do
is convince one juror

that this nurse
did the right thing.

Well, you'll have to convince
them all of the truth.

This is murder.

You have had experience
with benecrine sterilizations,

isn't that correct, Dr. Horton?

Yes. I performed the procedure
numerous times while working with

the Center for Population
and Hygiene in Cambodia.

In Cambodia?

Did you work with the defendant?

Yes, she assisted me.

She assisted you
with sterilizations?

At first. But as I learned
more about benecrine,

I refused to administer it.

After that, she performed
the procedures herself.

Why did you refuse
to administer benecrine?

It may be carcinogenic. That's why
it's not approved in the U.S.

If it's not safe enough
for Americans,

why is it okay for Cambodians?

Did you ever share these
concerns with the defendant?

Yes. But she didn't stop performing
benecrine sterilizations.

How many benecrine sterilizations did
Nurse Rhodes perform in Cambodia?

Roughly 200.

Did anyone die?

Not to my knowledge.

Have you, Dr. Horton, ever lost a patient
as a result of a benecrine sterilization?


So, in your experience,

benecrine sterilizations
are actually quite safe.

Just because no one died
doesn't mean they're safe.

Well, that's exactly
what it means, right?

Hundred of procedures,
no fatalities?

We were lucky.

Why's that?

None of our patients
had sickle syndrome.

So what you're saying is,
if a medical professional

is unaware that a patient
has sickle syndrome,

he or she would
have no basis to believe

that the procedure
is life threatening?

Yes, I...
I suppose that's right.

Thank you.

We still need someone who can
testify that Rhodes knew

about Traci's sickle syndrome.

We've been over this, Jack,
that person doesn't exist.

There are no records?

No evaluations? Notes?

I looked at every
damn paper in that clinic.

There's nothing.
So what do we do?

Hope when we call Isabella
Perez, that the jury assumes.

Nurse Rhodes asked Traci the
same questions she asked her.

Isabella's reluctant
to take the stand.

This has been
really rough on her.

She wanted to start a family.

Then she should be
even more reluctant

to see Nurse Rhodes
go unpunished.

Before the procedure,

did Nurse Rhodes ask you if
you had sickle cell anemia

or sickle syndrome?


Do you?


But she asked?


I remember 'cause nobody
asked me questions like that

before a pap smear.

Could you tell the jury what happened
after your visit to Nurse Rhodes

for a simple pelvic exam
approximately two years ago?

I got sick. I remember Nurse
Rhodes pulled something out of me.

It hurt.

I didn't see what it was.

But you were concerned
that something was wrong?

Yes, sir.

Afterwards, I even asked.

Take your time, Miss Perez.

I asked her if I
could still have babies.

And what did Nurse Rhodes say?

She just smiled at me.
She said, "You're young."

"Straighten out your life
before you worry about that."

She lied right to my face.

Did she ever explain to you why
she chose to sterilize you?

No, sir.

At the time this happened, had you
been in trouble with the law?

I had several convictions for
drug possession and solicitation.

Have you been arrested
in the last three years?

No, sir. I went through
a treatment program.

I go to college now.

Thank you, Miss Perez,
nothing further.

Convicted of solicitation.

How many times?


Have you ever had gonorrhea?


It goes to an alternate explanation
for her sterility, Your Honor.

It goes to villainizing
the witness.


But proceed with caution,
Mr. Robinette.

Miss Perez?

Have you ever had gonorrhea?

Answer the question, please.


What about chlamydia?

I don't remember.

You don't remember being
diagnosed on March 4 of...

You know, that's not
why I'm here.

Did you have chlamydia or not?

Shut your mouth! Why you
on her side, anyway, huh?

Your Honor! She did this to me!

She took away my babies!

Straighten out my life,
bitch, for what?

Miss Perez, please.

I can't have babies!
I can't be a mother!

You gonna pay, bitch! You know that?
You gonna pay!

You're gonna pay for this!

So our key witness had a
meltdown on the stand.

Not necessarily fatal. Her emotion
might win some sympathy for Traci.

Or she scared a few jurors into
thinking Gloria Rhodes was right.

L think I need to offer a plea.

I talked to Robinette.
He'll accept man two.

It's not enough.

I know you've already condemned
her to NOW, and the NAACP,

and half of New York.

It's not about politics, Jack, I'm
outraged, like a lot of people.

Our legal system is how society vents
that outrage instead of vigilantism.

I just don't wanna see her walk.

Then don't let her.

Nurse Rhodes, why did you
perform a benecrine sterilization

on Traci Sands?

Traci was a lost, frightened young
woman with a serious drug addiction.

She'd been in trouble with
the law since she was nine.

After two abortions, she
had a baby girl, Kesha,

whom she abused terribly.

Threw boiling water on her.

So when Traci Sands came to me

after Child Services had
taken her baby, in tears,

begging me to perform
the procedure,

begging me to save her from herself,
from her own worst instincts,

I agreed.

Why did you agree?

I thought I was doing her, and her
potential unborn children, a favor.

Why benecrine specifically,

instead of tubal ligation
or Norplant?

Traci was afraid of surgery, but
she wanted it to be permanent.

Based on my experience, benecrine
was a safe alternative.

Did you ask Traci Sands
if she had sickle syndrome?


What did she say?

She said no,
that she was healthy.

Benecrine sterilization
was safe?

Are you aware that
it isn't FDA approved?

Safety isn't the only reason
the FDA withholds approval.

Did you know there are concerns
that benecrine causes cancer?

Only because the studies that
prove it doesn't are incomplete.

When did you learn that Traci
Sands had sickle syndrome?

Shortly after she passed on.

She had been
diagnosed as a child,

but those records were never
forwarded to my clinic.

She had been diagnosed
with sickle syndrome.

And yet it's your testimony

that she told you
she was healthy?


I think she wanted the procedure
so badly she was willing to lie.

After you made
it clear that benecrine

could kill a person
in her condition,

she chose to lie and put
her own life at risk?

It may not make sense to
someone like you, Mr. McCoy,

but for a girl crushed by
poverty, addiction and abuse,

it was perfectly clear.

Perfectly clear to whom?

To you?

To anyone capable of sympathy.

When you see how Traci
tortured her own daughter,

you know it should never be
allowed to happen again.

But that doesn't change the fact
that Traci asked me for help.

That it was her choice.

You think the jury believed her?

Every word.

Do we have fuel to impeach?

Of course. But we don't have
any rebuttal witnesses.

What about Traci's grandmother?

On what basis?

She told us Traci
wanted more children.

Why would somebody who wouldn't take
the pill agree to sterilization?

Track her down.

I just want to wash my hands of
this whole thing and move on.

I can subpoena you.

And make me say what?

That Traci wanted more children.

That she refused
to use contraceptives.

That she would never have
consented to being sterilized.

I just wanna put this thing behind
me, can't you understand that?

If she was my granddaughter,
I'd want answers.

I'd want the truth to come out.

But she is not
your granddaughter.

And sometimes the truth,

especially up here,
ain't so pretty.

Nurse Rhodes killed Traci.

Gloria was just trying to help.

The same with Savannah,

and everyone else
at that clinic.

What do you mean?

Those are good people

trying to do right.

You can't fault them
for what happened!

Miss Borgia?

Did you lie to me, Savannah?

What? No!

You told me Traci Sands came
to the clinic alone. She did.

Like I said, it was just Nurse
G and Traci in the exam room.

What about Lillie Sands,
her grandmother?

What about her?

How does she know you?

She comes in sometimes.

Don't lie to me, Savannah.


Miss Sands came in
a few days before Traci.

What for?

She was just talking to Nurse G!

About what?

Security sign-in sheets confirm
you were at the clinic

two days before
Traci was sterilized.

Yet you received
no medical services.

What did you and Gloria
Rhodes discuss, Mrs. Sands?

I can't say anything.

I can't get in trouble.


Who's gonna look after my
family if I'm not around?

Sara and Damien,

I'm all they've got.

No one else cares
if they live or die.

If you agree to testify truthfully,
I can grant you immunity.

You won't go to jail.

Understand, Mr. McCoy, that you're
not just making a deal with me.

You're making a promise to them.

Tell the truth and you
won't go to jail.

You have my word.

Traci didn't know
she was being sterilized.

But I did.

How did you know?

I talked to Nurse Rhodes.

I could see the path
Traci was on.

I couldn't get her off drugs,
couldn't stop her having sex.

I tried to get her Norplant,

but doctors wouldn't do it
without Traci's consent.

So what did you do?

I went to the clinic,
talked to Gloria Rhodes,

and she told me about benecrine.

What did you say to her?

I asked her...

Oh, God.

I asked her to make it so that
Traci could never have kids.

I had to do something.

After what she did to Kesha.

See, Traci was my mistake.

My fault.

Her mother...

I should have protected Traci.

I should have raised her.

It can't go on like this.
It has to stop somewhere.

Did you tell Nurse Rhodes
about Traci's sickle syndrome?


I was worried about it.

So I told her.

Traci was diagnosed
when she was seven.

And Gloria says she
didn't know Traci had it.

But she did know.

L told her.

Did she say that
would be a problem?

She didn't say anything.

So I asked her if she could
still give Traci the IUD.

And she told me
it would be fine.

Nothing further.

She was convincing.

Just to be safe, make sure we include
man two in the jury instructions.

I already tried.
Robinette objected.

After he said
he'd accept it as a plea?

That was then.

The People made this
political, Your Honor.

They chose to up
the ante to murder,

but now they want to hedge.

Your Honor, we have met all the
elements of reckless manslaughter.

I'm not sure you should have
it both ways, Mr. McCoy.

The law allows them to
consider all the options.

Not necessarily.

And I'm inclined to see
them pressed to respond.

When the Nazis
sent my father to Dachau,

it was because people
who knew it was wrong

didn't get mad enough
to stop it.

Much as I would like them to,

the jury shouldn't have
to believe Nurse Rhodes

is Josef Mengele to think
that she broke the law.

You're right.

I'll go with the
prosecution's recommendation.

The jury may consider man two.

Have you reached a verdict?

We have, Your Honor.

What say you?

On the first count of the indictment,
murder in the second degree,

we find the defendant,
Gloria Rhodes, not guilty.

On the second count
in the indictment,

manslaughter in
the second degree,

we find the defendant guilty.

The court thanks
the jurors for their service.

Sentencing to take place
tomorrow morning, 9:00 a.m.

We'll fight this
on appeal. It isn't over.

Far from it.

We've filed charges relating to
the other girls she sterilized.

And we're launching an
investigation to determine

the full extent
of your client's crimes.

You don't understand, Mr. McCoy.

You don't see how these girls...

These children
treat their babies.

I never meant to hurt her,
but I couldn't risk it.

The world doesn't need
another Traci Sands.

We've found evidence
that you performed

at least 20 other forced
sterilizations, Miss Rhodes.

What the world doesn't
need is you.

So Why'd you take it, Paul?

Why defend someone
like Gloria Rhodes?

I could give you reasons.

The good she's done
with the clinic,

innocent until proven guilty.

But tell me your job wouldn't be easier
if people like Traci were never born.

That the world
wouldn't be a better place.

I won't say that.

You already did.

Gloria Rhodes
isn't Josef Mengele.

Nobody wants to admit they
think she did the right thing.

But if they look for it,
you look for it,

deep down, it's there.

That deserves a defense.