Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 20, Episode 16 - Law & Order - full transcript

Cutter is forced to play hardball with his mentor after her Innocence Project group gets his guilty verdict in a murder trial set aside, but is he ready to handle the unexpected consequences of his actions?

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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.

Suspect's inside the apartment.

Neighbors confirmed.

Cedric Stuber, lives
with his mother, third floor.

This is the gentleman
that called in the tip.

I recognized the guy
from the police sketch.

I followed him here, called 911.

He's the killer.
All right, stay here.


What is it?

We just have a few
questions to ask you, ma'am.

Quit yelling in the hallway.

Mrs. Stuber?

Yeah. What do you want?

We'd like to speak
to your son, Cedric.

He didn't do nothing.


Hands up!

Let him go!

My baby! My baby!


Get her out of here!

Come on, let's go!

That's him, that's
the gay basher.

Why'd you kill him?
Do you hate gays?

I'm bleeding.

We'll take care of you
down at the station.

Or you can ask one of these
gentlemen for a Band-Aid.



Where were you
last Tuesday night?

Home with my mom.

What did the two of you do?

I don't know, watch TV.

Which channel?

I don't know. Surfing.

You remember this guy?

That, I got nothing
to do with that.

So, you do know
what this is about?

Yeah, I watch the news.

That guy you killed, his partner
got a real good look at you.

How'd it go down? The
victim say something?

Things got out of hand?

I didn't kill no gay dude.

It's beneath you, huh?

Straight guys never have a
problem with two girls together.

It's kind of hot.

But two guys...

It's the ass thing, right?

Does that skeeve
you, Cedric? Hmm?

Imagining what two
guys do together?

The ins, the outs,
what goes where?

Doesn't bother me.

Okay, maybe he likes it.

Is that it?

Maybe that's why
you were downtown,

looking for a little taste.

Something on the down-low?


You like a nice ass
on a man, Cedric?

Just shut up! You shut up!

I ain't no fag!

Stuber's our guy. Access to the
weapon, shaky alibi, the hoodie.

CSU just couldn't
find physical evidence.

So the case hangs on the ID.

Mr. Sorrentino,
how are you doing?

Every time I come down
here it's like reliving that night,

so I hope we're not
wasting our time.

You're not wasting
your time today.

Take a few extra
minutes, if you need.

No, I recognize him.

Number three.

You sure?

I'm positive. That's
the man who killed Alan.

I'll never forget that face.

Charge Mr. Stuber with murder.

Thank you, Mr. Sorrentino.

I'll walk you out. I'll be
gone for a few hours.

You charging him on one ID?

The gay community must have
the D.A.'s office by the balls.

See you in court, Mr. Gilman.

Thanks. I know you're
doing everything you can.

The accelerator machine's down.

They got a technician
working on it.

How long?

She couldn't tell me.

All these people ahead of
me. I can't take this kind of time.

You can and you will, baby.

Let me get you
some new magazines.


That your husband?


He's nice.


You're lucky to have
somebody wait with you.

Well, I haven't seen you
before. It's your first time?

Yeah. Radiation
newbie, that's me.

My oncologist says that
radiation is the last chance.

That if this doesn't work,
then they can't operate.

That's what they say.

Like, the treatment
burns you up inside,

melts everything together.

Radiation is strong
because it has to be.

That's why it works.

So you keep thinking about that,

the X-rays
destroying the cancer.



You're a tough girl.

Thanks. I can tell.

My husband has been attacked.

There's blood everywhere.

It was a white kid in
a yellow sweatshirt.

He had some kind of razor.

Help us! Alan is
bleeding to death!

That's you on the tape?


Please tell us what happened to
you and Alan Camden that night.

We were walking
home from a party.

We were holding hands.

A man on the street
saw us, and he spit.

And he said, "What are
you looking at, fags?"

Do you see that
man in the courtroom?


The defendant.

Then what happened?

Alan yelled back.

He always had a short fuse.

The man pulled out a box
cutter and attacked Alan,

blood spurting everywhere.

I tried to get in between them.

But he had sliced Alan's neck.

Alan fell, bleeding.

And what did Mr. Stuber do then?

He looked at me, and he said,

"Keep your mouth shut,
faggot, or you'll be next."

Thank you.

I'm sorry for your loss, sir.

What time were you and your
partner walking home from the party?

A little after 10:00.

And Alan was more than
my partner. We were married.

Of course.

So it was dark out.
Had you been drinking?

No. I don't drink.

How about drugs?

Objection, relevance.

People's 12, the
victim's tox report.

Alan Camden had
methamphetamine and marijuana

in his system
when he was killed.

I'm trying to determine if the
witness was also under the influence.

I'll allow it.

I had one or two hits off a
joint. I don't do hard drugs.

When you picked my
client out of the lineup,

how much time had
passed since the attack?

Two weeks.

Two weeks after the fact, you
were able to recall a total stranger

whom you had seen
for a matter of seconds

on a dark night when
you were high on pot?

Yes. I'm sure it was him.

I'm sure you believe that.

Nothing further.

Cedric's a good boy.

He works, driving a truck.

He pays rent, buys groceries.

Where was Cedric the night
of January 12th, around 10:00?

Home with me, on the couch.

We were watching TV.

Have you ever known your son to make
any anti-homosexual remarks, Mrs. Stuber?

Absolutely not. He
wasn't raised that way.

Nothing further.

What television program were
you watching that night, Mrs. Stuber?

A reality show.
Project Designer.

You and Cedric were
watching this program together?

That's right.

Well, let me ask you
something, Mrs. Stuber.

Do you consider yourself a
good role model for your son?

Yes, I do.

Cedric listens to you, he shares
your ethics and your morals?

Yes. I taught him well.

Project Designer. What
kind of show is that?

It's a contest, about
fashion design.

I watch it because I like
to make my own dresses.

A lot of the contestants
are gay, aren't they?

I suppose so.

So your son likes watching
gay fashion designers,

on the couch, with his mom.

Some people might
consider that a little girly.

He only watches
it because I like it.

Well, have you ever considered
the possibility that he likes it?


That he enjoys watching gay men?

That's not true.

He enjoys watching them
and fantasizing about them.

He's not one of
them. He's not a sissy.

My boy's not gay. How dare you?

That's disgusting.

Like you said, Mrs. Stuber,
you taught your son well.

Nothing further.

On the count of Murder in the
Second Degree, how do you find?

We find the defendant guilty.

The defendant is
remanded for sentencing.

Thank you, Mr. Cutter, for Alan.

I can't help thinking maybe
somehow he's more at peace now.

We both are.

Request for interviews
from Out magazine,

The Advocate,

and I've been invited to speak

at the next LAGLA convention.

I hear they have
the best parties.

Hold up on the

The Hudson University
Innocence Coalition

is taking on Cedric
Stuber's defense.

They've just filed a motion
to set aside the verdict.

Within hours of
Stuber's conviction?

Apparently they found new evidence
they're claiming we overlooked

in our overzealous
rush to judgment.

And guess who signed the motion.

Emily Ryan.

The head of the
Innocence Coalition.

My old law professor

and mentor.

Guess she's not
done schooling you.

After the verdict, a
concerned citizen called

Mr. Stuber's attorney
with new evidence.

The attorney contacted
us to help file an appeal.

And we felt compelled
to act immediately.

This citizen claimed
what, exactly?

Come on, Mike. I made
you earn every grade.

I won't give you a preview of
our case so you can eviscerate it.

We'll need the
name of that witness.

Of course. Lisa?

Sylvia Corgan. I'll get
you her contact information.

Well, thank you for your
time, Professor Ryan.

Emily, please.

And don't take this
as a personal attack.

I know that we're both
only interested in justice.

I had information about Jon
Sorrentino, the victim's husband.

I thought someone should know.

He has another boyfriend.

How do you know that?

I had a house on the market
in the Pines, Fire Island.

My buyer, Ted Wilson, said
before he made a final decision

he wanted his associate to
come by and see the place.

So, a month ago he brings
over his so-called associate.

It was Jon Sorrentino.


They were kissing, when
they thought I wasn't looking.

I didn't think anything
of it at the time.

When did you think
something of it?

When I saw the paper
here with his picture in it,

I realized I'd seen him before.

His husband gets brutally murdered, then
two days later he's kissing another man?


The real estate
agent's a busybody.

But you did buy a house
with Jon Sorrentino?

As a rental property.
He's a client.

I did a design consultation for him
on his Adirondacks house a year ago,

the house he owned with Alan.

So you and Jon aren't involved.

Only as business partners.

Then why did the real estate
agent tell us you were kissing him?

I was consoling a friend who
had suffered an unimaginable loss.

Two gay men can be
affectionate without it being sexual.

Just like you two.

Don't play cute
with us, Mr. Wilson.

When the police look into this,

what else are they
going to find out about

your relationship
with Mr. Sorrentino?


We weren't together then.

But things developed.
We're a couple now.

Then why the charade?

Jon knew how it would look.

We thought it was
better to keep it quiet.

Jon Sorrentino is listed as co-owner
of the Fire Island Pines house.

Went into contract three
days after the murder.

Well, it could be legit. Ted Wilson
says they didn't start a relationship

until after Alan died.

Which Sorrentino didn't mention.

A one-witness case, we
need to make sure this witness

didn't have his own motive.

It doesn't change the fact

that Sorrentino picked
Stuber out of the lineup.

Somebody took a picture of
Stuber when we arrested him

and posted it that day
on a gay-rights blog.

Sorrentino could've seen it
before he came in for the lineup.

Let's subpoena the blog and find
out if Sorrentino visited the website.

We should also find out if he was involved
with Ted Wilson before Alan's murder.

According to his phone records,
he called Ted a few times.

And then there's this,

a series of calls, two months
ago, to Holt, Levy and Trachtenberg.

Divorce lawyers.

Alan and I had a bad week.

We were fighting,
he was using drugs.

So you wanted to get a divorce?

I wanted to know my options.

We were married in Massachusetts,
where gay marriage is legal.

But we live in New
York, where it's not.

So we couldn't
get divorced here.

Ah, so you were
stuck in the marriage.

Till death do you part.

What? No.

I just didn't want to
be married anymore.

Was this before or after you
got involved with Ted Wilson?


I should have
told you about that.

We were trying to be discreet,
because I thought it would look bad.

Guess what? It looks bad.

You want to get rid of your husband,
a few weeks later he winds up dead.

Alan was killed
by Cedric Stuber.

He was yelling gay epithets.

This was a hate crime.

Okay. Anything else you
wanted to be discreet about?


I wanted out of the marriage,

but I did not kill my husband.

Either Jon was telling the truth and
his husband was gay-bashed to death...

Or he's lying.

Right. He found someone to kill his
husband and pass it off as gay bashing.

That doesn't explain his
ID'ing Stuber at the lineup.

Or he did see Stuber's
photo on the blog.

Not to mention, you told him he
wouldn't be wasting his time at the lineup.

I doubt that had any influence.

You hope it didn't. That
was a dumb thing to say.

And Emily Ryan's
going to jump all over it.

Make sure you
prosecuted the right man.

Okay, is there any evidence Sorrentino
visited the blog before the lineup?

Well, there's a hit
from an IP address

that we traced back to a
hedge fund where he works.

That doesn't mean anything.
There's 30 people in that office.

Mike, the Innocence Coalition's
going to make it mean something.

Mr. Sorrentino's
credibility is undermined

by his silence about
his marital troubles,

and his ID of
Mr. Stuber was tainted

when Mr. Cutter stated

that he wouldn't be wasting
his time viewing this lineup.

I in no way indicated which
person he should identify.

If his witness saw a photo
of my client on a blog,

well, he would
already know who to ID.

The only hard evidence
Professor Ryan has presented

is that Jon Sorrentino's
marriage was in trouble.

It doesn't prove he
made a false identification,

nor does it
exculpate Mr. Stuber.

That is true, Ms. Ryan.

We have an additional witness
that is prepared to give testimony.

My name is Rodrigo Diaz.

I know Jon
Sorrentino pretty well.

I knew his boyfriend, Alan, too.

How is that, Mr. Diaz?

I'm their drug dealer,
or I used to be.

When was the last time
that you saw Mr. Sorrentino?

He asked to meet
me two months ago.

He said he was tired of being
married, but he couldn't get a divorce.

So he asked me if I knew anybody

that could get
rid of his problem.

Like a hit man.

Did he say why
he was asking you?

He said he wanted his
husband, Alan, dead.

I told him he was crazy.

Thank you.

Mr. Diaz, if you knew Jon
Sorrentino was soliciting a hit man,

why didn't you go to the police
after his husband was killed?

I tried. I called the
precinct on 18th Street.

You tried?

Yeah, and they put me on hold.

So I got frustrated
and I hung up.

So why come forward now?

Because it's the
right thing to do.

Oh, and it wasn't the right
thing to do a month ago,

when Mr. Stuber was
on trial for murder?

I didn't know about no trial.

Now, this student from
the Innocence Clinic,

Lisa Klein, she found me.

She heard I was
Jon and Alan's dealer,

and she asked if I knew about
any problems between them.

I said maybe I did,

and she convinced
me to tell my story.

As far as you know, did
Mr. Sorrentino hire a hit man?

No, I don't know that.

Their witness is a drug dealer
whose claims can't be verified.

I ask that the court
respect the jury's decision.

The jury made their decision
with only half the facts.

And Mr. Stuber was
denied the opportunity

to present an alternative
theory of the crime.

I agree. In light
of this new witness

and Mr. Cutter's apparent attempt
to influence the lineup identification,

I'm granting defense
counsel's motion.

The guilty verdict is set aside.

I'm ordering a new trial.

I don't know whether to be
outraged or humiliated. Or both.

Oh, nothing personal, Mike.

Now let's see if you really
did learn something from me.

Nothing personal?
That was personal.

This surprise witness, this
dope dealer, really hurt us.

If he's lying, we
need to prove it.

Is this about
salvaging your case

or finding out if Sorrentino
really had his husband killed?

I don't give a damn about anything
except putting the right people in jail.

Good. I'll get my
guys back on it.

Bad enough being
second-guessed by Emily Ryan.

It's a hell of a lot
worse if she's right.

It seemed like a
straight-up gay bashing.

Now I don't know.

Forget that Emily Ryan
was your mentor, Mike.

She's just another
defense lawyer.

A defense lawyer who
just won a retrial for a killer.

That too.

You're telling me this murderer
might walk away scot-free?

Let's take it a step at a time.

Was Rodrigo Diaz
your drug dealer?

He used to be.

Did you ever have a conversation
with him about your marital problems?

Well, I definitely told him
Alan and I weren't getting along.

Meaning, "Could you
get rid of him for me?"

Oh, my God! You think
I hired him to kill Alan?

Rodrigo swore under oath that you
asked for an introduction to a hit man.

That's a lie!

Do I need a lawyer?

If I had something to
hide, I'd make a phone call.

What else do you want to know?

Why would Rodrigo say that?

He have any kind of
grudge against you?

Alan had a really
bad meth habit.

It was one of the reasons things
weren't working out between us.

It got to the point
where I told Rodrigo

if he kept dealing to Alan,
I was going to the police.

No doubt that
would piss him off.

So why isn't he down here
answering these questions?

You can help us out with that.



Cold out there, huh?

You a cop, man?

Are you?

You look straight.

I didn't know these Chelsea
boys had any straight friends.

What can I tell you? They
said you can get molly.

Can you do 20 or not?

That's 25 apiece.

If you went to school
on the short bus, it's 500.

I need 250 up front.

There's a $50
service charge, too.


Let's take a walk.


You think I'm stupid enough
to carry my own stash, man?

You were stupid enough
to lie on the witness stand.

Is that what this is about?

Everything I said in court is
the God's honest truth, man.

Except you forgot to mention

that Jon said he was
going to dime you out

if you didn't stop
dealing to his partner.

Nobody asked me about that, man.

Tequila Chito's in Brooklyn.

Lisa at the Innocence Coalition.

So you were with
her at this tequila bar?


Is that how they
convinced you to testify?

They bought you a couple
shots of Patron Anejo?

I got nothing else to say, man.

All right, then get in.

Yeah, that's Rodrigo.
He a regular here?

He comes by when he's flush.

Did he ever come
by with a woman,

brown hair, early 20s?

Yeah, a few weeks ago. They
had a pitcher of margaritas.

This is a busy place. How come
you remember what they ordered?

About 20 minutes after they
were here, they got in an argument.

Rodrigo started to walk out,

and she came up to
me with a credit card,

asked for $100 cash back.

What'd she do with the money?

She gave it to him. They sat
down and talked some more.

Did they leave together?

No. About an hour later, she asked
me for the number of a car service.

Rodrigo came out here
by himself to wait for it.

We ran down the car
service, and the driver told us

that Rodrigo paid him
20 bucks to drive him

to an address in Prospect
Heights, a known drug location.

So Professor Ryan's student

greased the wheels of
justice with some drug money.

Are you suggesting they bought
his testimony for 80 bucks?

And a pitcher of margaritas.

If you throw in retaliation for
Jon's threat to call the cops on him,

I'd rate Rodrigo's
credibility at zero.

Rodrigo was reluctant
to get involved.

He wouldn't come
in to the clinic.

So you invited him to a bar?

I've been at the
clinic two semesters.

I've had to meet
witnesses in prisons,

in tenement hallways where
junkies are shooting dope...

Did you ply them
all with cocktails?

Rodrigo ordered the drinks.

And throw them a little
drug money on the side?

It was car fare.

Professor Ryan always said
you were on the ball, Mr. Cutter.

Frankly, I'm a bit disappointed
you'd mistake cab money for a bribe.

Did Rodrigo ever mention he
was pissed off at Jon Sorrentino

for threatening to turn
him over to the police?

I don't have to download
my interview for you.

But now you have all the facts.

You must have doubts
about his credibility.

Jon Sorrentino is
the one who lied here.

He hired somebody to kill his partner
and make it look like a gay bashing.

You're grasping at straws instead
of admitting you were wrong.

I think the
grasping's just begun.

Thank you.

What the hell's going on now?

I got a call from Emily Ryan.

You subpoenaed her
students' academic records?

One of her students
paid off a witness,

the witness who
blew up our case.

Your subpoena
covered every student

who's worked at her
clinic for the past 10 years,

their grades, their written
assignments, their email messages...

We're entitled to know if there's
a pattern to these improprieties.

Leverage is one thing.

You've declared war on the
Hudson Innocence Coalition?

Why protect people who make it
their mission to undermine our work?

I'm not arrogant enough to
believe we never make mistakes.

My doubts disappeared
when I found out their witness

was enticed to come
forward with cash and tequila.

It's easy to wax philosophical
about Emily Ryan,

but the egg's on my face, Jack.

Don't ask me to
withdraw that subpoena.

Here you go.

If she's intent on making
Diaz her star witness,

we'll find every customer he's
ever ripped off to impeach him.

That's easier said
than done, Mike.

Working on a subpoena
to Doctors Without Borders?

Oh, what can we do
for you, Professor Ryan?

I just talked to Jack McCoy,

and he says that he's standing behind
your crusade against my students.

So when can we
expect the records?

Oh, you still have
a few more hoops

you're going to
have to jump through.

Well, we're fully prepared

for your motion to
quash our subpoena.

Didn't I teach you
about blowback, Mike?

Sometimes you open up
a door that you think is safe

and an inferno
comes roaring out.

Just remember,
this was your call.

Am I just hearing things,
or did she just threaten you?

It's just standard
defense lawyer shtick.

Don't worry about it.

The privacy of these academic
records is protected by federal law.

Mr. Cutter's subpoena is an insult
to Hudson University and its students.

These students forfeited
their right to privacy

when they chose to
intervene in a criminal case.

My clinic has freed 22 innocent men
who were doing life without parole.

How am I going to get students
to volunteer for this kind of work

if they think the government
is reading their emails,

scrutinizing their
academic records?

The D.A.'s office has no
interest in these records

other than to determine
if Ms. Ryan's students

were incentivized to
manufacture new evidence.

Now, we've already established
that a student corrupted a witness.

The student paid for car fare
and bought a couple of drinks.

Drug money and booze.

This may be the tip of
the iceberg, Your Honor.

The prosecution has made a clear
showing of impropriety, Professor Ryan.

I want to know what else is
going on over there at your clinic.

So I'll give you the
academic records, Mr. Cutter.

Not the emails.

Students who worked on
a successful exoneration

have a grade average six
points higher than one who didn't.

And are your grades
in there too, Mike?

Just because they're
being rewarded

doesn't mean they're
cooking the books.

Most of Ryan's exonerations were
based on irrefutable DNA matches.

I'm not saying that every piece of
new evidence she's uncovered is tainted.

But there's pressure on these
kids to overturn convictions,

and her tacit reward system?

It fosters a culture
of overzealousness.

And Emily? She finds the way in.

I assume you're
speaking from experience.


She knew I had nowhere
to go for the holidays.

She used to invite me to
her house for Thanksgiving,

with her husband.

Christmas dinner. And I would
have run into bullets for her.

And this is how you
repay her kindness.

The four students who
worked on Stuber's case

got letters of recommendation
to prospective employers.

And you're planning on introducing
all of this at Stuber's new trial?

Forget the retrial.

We'll move for a hearing to
see how far Ryan's students went

to manufacture a
wrongful conviction here.

Judge Braden can
reinstate the jury verdict.

Professor Ryan was always skeptical
of one-witness ID cases like this one,

especially when there was
community pressure to make an arrest.

So she had us talk to
Jon and Alan's neighbors.

One of them put us onto
their drug dealer, Rodrigo Diaz.

The first time you talked to
Mr. Diaz was in a tequila bar?

What did you expect?
He's a drug dealer.

Whom you compensated
for spending time with you.

He asked me to pay for
his drinks and car fare.

I was reimbursed by the clinic.

But after taking the cash and then
downing a pitcher of margaritas,

he revealed the new
evidence you were looking for.

He wasn't drunk enough to make
me doubt what he was saying.

And then he agreed
to testify for you,

just like any
upstanding citizen?

That's right.

Are you sure you didn't
offer him more money,

or anything else
to motivate him?

He was worried about being arrested
because he'd be admitting to selling drugs.

I told him if that happened,
the clinic would get him a lawyer.

Did you mention any of this,

the free lawyer, the car fare,
the drinks, to Professor Ryan?

Well, no.

After your work
on the Stuber case,

did Professor Ryan write
you a letter of recommendation

for a federal clerkship?

Yes, she did.

Am I the only professor to write
you a letter of recommendation?

No, I have two others.

I'm in the top 10% of my
class. I'm also on law review.

Were you motivated to
embellish Mr. Diaz' story

for a grade or a recommendation?

Absolutely not.

I was motivated to expose
the truth, to remedy an injustice.

Thank you.

I'd like to call Emily Ryan
as the People's next witness.

Your Honor, I'm defense counsel.

Co-counsel. Mr. Gilman
can handle any questioning.

I was alluding to
attorney-client privilege.

I'll be asking about her clinic, not
her conversations with Mr. Stuber.

Please take the witness
stand, Professor Ryan.

It's customary to cover a
witness's travel expenses.

But we can't control what a
witness does with the money.

To suggest that Mr. Diaz
perjured himself for $80,

I find that preposterous.

Is it also customary to provide free
cocktails and free legal representation?

Lisa may have been
a bit oversolicitous.

I would love to have some
more experienced investigators.

Unfortunately, we don't
have those kind of resources.

So you reward the
students in your clinic

who work on
successful exonerations

with better grades and more
enthusiastic recommendations?

They have higher grades because
I assign my brightest students

to the most serious cases.

With all this at stake, how
can we know for certain

that Lisa didn't suggest
this hit man story to Mr. Diaz?

My students may
get a bit overzealous.

A lot of us are
susceptible to that.

But they don't suborn perjury.

That goes against
everything that we stand for.

All right, step down, Professor
Ryan, I've heard enough.

I'm troubled by the way
Mr. Diaz was coaxed

into coming forward
by an apparent bribe.

Without his testimony, I never would
have taken the extraordinary step

of setting aside a verdict by a
jury who weighed all the facts.

The jury did not
have all the facts.

Almost all the facts. I now find
Diaz' testimony extremely suspect.

I'm reversing my earlier decision
and reinstating the jury's conviction.

In that case, the defendant
moves to dismiss for another reason.

Judge, are you going to allow
Professor Ryan to keep taking potshots

at a legitimate jury verdict?

What's the problem
now, Professor Ryan?

The lead prosecutor's license to
practice law was obtained fraudulently.

Excuse me?

You heard me correctly, Judge.

My client's
right to a fair trial

includes the right to be prosecuted
by assistant district attorney,

and Mr. Cutter is
not an attorney at all.

I went to three
colleges in four years.

A couple of credits
slipped through the cracks.

I thought it would get sorted
out by the time I got to law school.

So you don't
actually have your BA.

I did the work, but no one
actually handed me a diploma.

I don't understand how
this affects your law license.

This oversight got perpetuated
when I applied for the New York Bar.

You represented to the Bar Overseers
that you had your undergraduate degree.


And on your résumé
to the D.A.'s office?

Damn it, Mike.

How did Emily Ryan
find out about it?

She was my faculty advisor.

I mentioned it to her
once and she told me,

"Don't worry about
it, it's a technicality."

It's now a technicality that puts every
one of your convictions in jeopardy.

Starting with the Stuber case.

Judge Braden wants
to put me under oath,

hold a hearing in his
chambers tomorrow.

I'll be joining you.

After I passed the bar exam,

I checked the qualifications
for the New York Bar.

A college degree
is not a requirement.

I do have the
required law degree,

so I believe that my license
to practice law is valid.

May I ask a few
questions, Judge?

When you were interviewed by the Bar
Examiner's Character and Fitness Committee,

did you mention any of this?


So, when you were
sworn in as an A.D.A.

and you promised
to uphold the laws,

you were essentially
committing a fraud

on the people of the
State of New York?

I object to that

The question is whether
his lapse of judgment

impinged on the
defendant's right to a fair trial.

And why Professor Ryan
waited so long to assert that it did.

I'll take the defense motion
to dismiss under advisement.

Once again, Mr. Cutter, I am very
disappointed by this turn of events.

You were 21. You made a mistake.

I just raked a law student over
the coals for having poor judgment.

Well, maybe you should
never have gone after the clinic.

I didn't have a choice.
Their witness was lying.

And you had a chance
to show up your mentor.

That had nothing to do with it.

Really? Mike.

Jack's going to fire me.

You're being
paranoid. I'd fire me.

Who knows if they'll
let me keep my license.

Well, well, a personal visit
from the District Attorney.

You know why I'm here, Emily.

That ship has already sailed.

Not necessarily.

I've seen too many
innocent men rot in prison

because of prosecutorial hubris.

Mike went after your clinic because
that's what you taught him to do.

He didn't deserve this.

I didn't deserve this. And I gave
you the opportunity to reel him in.

Then blame me.

Mike's a fine prosecutor.
He does you proud.

Do you really want to
destroy what you created?

I still have a
client to represent.

Do you believe he's innocent?

Or are you teaching Mike
Cutter another lesson?

What do you propose?

If I can bring Mike around to
man one, will Stuber make a deal?

Right. He pleads and my motion
for dismissal just goes away?

Mike's still going to have
to face the Bar Overseers.

No promises, Jack. Uh-uh.

It sounds like we both
have some convincing to do.

Stuber's a hate murderer.

He doesn't deserve man one!

I agree with you on the merits.

I see.

We need to make a
deal to cover my ass.

Well, I'm sorry, but I'd rather get
disbarred than be a part of that scenario.

Here's the scenario you
should be worried about.

Stuber gets retried,
by a real lawyer,

he walks because Emily Ryan's injected
enough doubt in the case to sway a jury,

and Judge Braden refers your
misfeasance to the First Department.

Well, I'm sorry,
Jack, but I won't do it.

Yes, you will.

If you have any hope of staying on
here, end this debacle with a plea bargain.

Always be early,

just like I taught you, Mike.

And face the door, that way
you don't get stabbed in the back.

You forced my hand.
I warned you not to.

I never thought you'd
actually come after my license.

Why? You didn't think I
could fight as dirty as you did?

You were the one
who started this, Emily.

I challenged one case.

You were the one
that made this personal.

Everything that I have worked to build,
everything that you used to believe in,

you're trying to rip it apart.

Well, you should have known
that I wasn't going to back down.

Well, you're here now, Mike.

That shows maturity. There was a
time when you couldn't accept defeat.

Judge Braden says he'll have a
ruling on our retrial motion tomorrow.

Is that really what you want,
Mr. Stuber, another trial?

I want to get out of here.

I'm innocent.

Oh, well, then there's no reason to
talk about a plea bargain, is there?

Wait a minute, Mike. Come on.

Just hear him out, Cedric.

This guy's not even a lawyer.
Can he even make a deal?

Yes, he can, Mr. Stuber.

And if you have any doubts,
I'm here for your peace of mind.

Oh, that's sweet of you.

So what do you got?

Man one. Twenty years.

Screw that.

Come on, Mike. You
can do better than that.

If he is going to blow trial,
the minimum is 15 years.

Everyone in this room knows
he won't get less than 25-to-life

after a conviction
for a hate crime.

You know what? I'm sick
of this hate crime crap.

It's not like he
was a black guy,

or a spic.

Our offer just went up to 25.

Mike... Go to trial
if you don't like it.

How about our motion for dismissal?
How about your law license?

You can have my license.

It'll free me up to testify about the hate
speech your client just spewed in here.

And after he's convicted
of murder in state court,

I'll walk across to the
U.S. Attorney's Office

and have your client prosecuted

for violating the
Matthew Shepard Act.

Hate murder against gays
is a federal offense now.

Are you ready to do back-to-back
life sentences, Mr. Stuber?

You will die in jail.

Is that true?

He'll take the 20 years
you originally offered.

It's 25 or nothing.

Now or never, Mr. Stuber.

Is this fed thing for real?

Yes, I'm afraid so.

I'll take the 25.

That guy's nuts, you know that?

Yeah, I do.

I've been reprimanded
by the Bar Overseers.

It goes in The Law
Journal tomorrow.

"but we cannot see how the
flaw in Mr. Cutter's credentials

"prejudice any of
his past convictions."

I dodged a bullet.

Did you?