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

When a senator is gunned down at his daughter's wedding, McCoy pushes for a severe sentence and squares up against a formidable defense attorney - his own daughter. Price can't help but empathize with the defendant over a shared t...

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.

- Your wedding
song was terrific.

- Mm.

- Who was the singer?

- Uh, Pretenders...
Chrissie Hynde.

- Ah, right, right,
right. Chrissie Hynde.

The singer, the
short-haired lady, she...

She had a drug problem, right?

- I don't know, Dad. I
just like the song is all.

- Okay. Big smile.

- No wonder people love you.

- I detect a hint of sarcasm.

- Hmm.

- Come on, Nic. Let's
not do this, not tonight.

It's your wedding.
- Exactly.

- What's that supposed to mean?

- You just only seem happy
when the cameras are around.

- Senator, you must
be excited today.

- Every father's dream, dancing
with his lovely daughter

on her wedding night.

I couldn't be happier for Nicole

or for her wonderful
husband, Asher.

Just an amazing, amazing couple.

All right, I get
it. I'm not perfect.

But let's... let's
just have fun tonight.

♪ ♪

Daddy! Daddy!

Won't somebody help me?

- At the moment, all we know is,

the shooter was wearing
a white COVID mask.

Apparently, he was
mingling with the crowd,

bum rushed the dance floor,

shot Chandler two
times in the chest,

and then just took off running.

- What about all
the security guards?

I saw at least ten of
them when I came up.

- Talked to the head
of the team already.

They didn't see anything.

They were too focused on
securing the perimeter.

- All right, what
about the guests?

Did anybody get a look?

- Not really.

A lot of people saw him run off.

All we have now is
that he's white male,

average build, average height.

- Murder weapon was a 9 mil.

We know this because we found

two shell casings
on the dance floor.

- Great.

Even the commissioner
is getting involved.

- That's what happens when
a United States Senator

gets gunned down at his
own daughter's wedding.

♪ ♪

We're pulling as
much video as we can

and setting up a containment.

Hopefully, we can keep the
suspect inside the park.

- Right. Good.

So he shot Chandler and ran off,

but no one saw him,
tried to apprehend him?

- Yeah.

- I'll call in for more backup.

We need more boots
on the ground.

- Still no luck
ID'ing the shooter.

- But we talked to several
guests who saw him flee,

including the bride,
and they all say

he disappeared in the
northeast section of the park.

We got a level 3
mobilization in progress.

- Okay.

I'll make sure you have
all the resources you need.

- You two are gonna run point.

♪ ♪

- Hey, I think I
got something here.

- White COVID mask.

Still looks new, like
someone just dropped it.

- Yeah, it means we're
in the right place, huh?

Find it.

- Hey! Police!


- Stay where you are! K-9!

- Release! Release. Come on.

Release. Okay, okay. Come on.

- Hands. Show us your hands.

Show us your hands.
- Turn over.

- Keep your hands
where we can see them.

- What's your name?

- Jim.
- Jim what?

What's your last name?
- Bronson.

- Jim Bronson, what the
hell are you doing out here?

- I sleep here.

- Where do you sleep?

- Over there.

There's a sleeping bag
and a... a blanket.

- All right. Get up.

Just keep your hands
where we can see them.

Did you see anybody out here
running through the woods?

White guy? Maybe your height?

- I saw someone or something.

- Which way did he go?

- That way.

- I need the K-9.

- You did good.

Have somebody take
a look at that arm.


- I got a witness who saw
the suspect running west.

Repeat, running west.

- I don't know, Frank.

I think he got too
much of a jump on us.

- Maybe not. The
dog's got something.

♪ ♪

- He's in the wind now.

- Yeah.

- No, I didn't
really see anything.

I... I heard the
gunshots, but...

I tried to help my father.

I tried to stop the bleeding...

- What about the shooter? Did
you hear him say anything?

- Um, no.

I don't think so.

I was so scattered.

It was... it was my wedding.

I wanted everything to
be perfect, and then...

My father and I,
we started arguing

right before the gunshots.

We had a complicated

Hey, hey, hey.

Excu... I'm sorry,
if you don't mind,

can we have a minute?

- Are you aware of anyone who
wanted to harm your husband?

- My husband was a senator.

Half the country loved him.

Half hated him.

- But are you aware of any
specific threats or problems?

Money issues?

- No.

- I hate to ask this, but
how about romantic issues?

- Not that I was aware of, no.

- I got here as soon as I could.

- Oh.

- I'm so sorry.

I can't believe this
really happened.

- This is Carla, my
husband's chief of staff.

- If there's
anything I can do...

- Detective Jalen Shaw.
I appreciate that.

- Doesn't feel real.
Alan was a great man.

He was going to be
president someday.

- Were you aware of
any specific threats

he was receiving?

- No.

There were lots of haters,

a lot of hollow Twitter threats,

but that's just part of the job.

- I saw Alan arguing
with one of the waiters

about an hour
before he was shot.

It didn't seem serious, but...

I just thought
I should mention it.

- Did the wife know what
the argument was about?

- Nope.

- We know the waiter
he was arguing with?

- Not yet; we're still
looking for the manager

of the catering company.

- Hey, the wedding
planner just sent over

some footage from
the videographer.

It's helpful and brutal.

the shooter's face

is obscured by a COVID mask.

- Freeze it there.
Zoom in on the shooter.

Yeah, black pants,
white shirt, red jacket.

- He's a waiter.
- Yeah. The wife was right.

Unfortunately, it was a lot
more serious than she thought.

- Find this guy ASAP.

- I didn't actually
see the shooting.

I heard the gunshots, though.

I ran over to see
what was going on.

I saw the senator on the floor
bleeding, so I called 911.

- You see anybody running away?

- More specifically,
did you see one

of your waiters running away?

- No. But why do you say that?

- One of the witnesses
said that they saw a waiter

arguing with the senator an
hour before the shooting.

- Yeah. I know.

Yeah, I was horrified, so I
fired the guy on the spot.

- And then what? He just left?

- I had security escort
him from the property.

- One last thing.

We're gonna need the
name of this smart guy.

- Yeah. We argued.

I don't regret it, either.

- What you two argue about?

- Someone say I did something?

- Did you?

- Yeah.

I yelled at him.

Got in his face.

And I pushed him.

- Anything else?

- Like what?
- Like shoot him?

Someone shot and
killed Senator Chandler

last night at the wedding,

someone that looked
like a waiter.

- No.

We got into an argument.

That's all.

- How come?

- I used to live in Columbus.

That's where Chandler lives.

I waited on him one time
about five years ago.

He was a prick.

Complained about everything

and then stiffed
me on a $2,500 tab.

So when I saw him
at the wedding,

I couldn't help myself.

- Okay, so you and Chandler
have it out finally.

Then what? What do you do?

- I went to a bar on
Sherman Ave, Dooley's Pub.

Figured I might
as well celebrate

my newfound unemployment.

- Yeah, I got it. Thanks.

Lou, waiter's alibi checks out.

He was having a Jack
and Coke at Dooley's

when Chandler was shot.
- All right.

Did you talk to the crime
lab about the COVID mask

you found in the woods?

- They pulled the DNA sample,

but they haven't
found a match yet.

- Damn.

So we're just back
to where we started,

looking for an average-sized
white guy who was a waiter.

- I think I have a lead.

I pulled all the video
near the staging area

where the catering
operations were based.

Every single car
parked in that lot

is registered to someone
working at the event,

except for one, that blue Prius.

- Did you run it?

- It comes back
to a Derek Quinn.

But here's what's interesting.

It's the only car that stays
parked in that lot overnight.

Every other car leaves
when the event ends.

- So the shooter kills Chandler,

disappears into the woods,

hides out in the city
for a little while,

then comes back the next
day to the parking lot

to pick up his Prius.

- Go check him out.

Good job.

♪ ♪

- Hey. Put your hands up.
- Ma'am.

Stay right there. Stay
right there. Don't move.

Stay right there.

- Copy. House is all
clear and secure.

All clear, sir.

- What is going on?

- Where's your husband?
- I don't know.

That's why I filed a
police report last night.

- Yes, and that's
why we're here,

because of that police report.

So if you could tell us in
your own words what's happened.

- My husband,
Derek, he's missing.

He hasn't come home.

- When's the last
time you saw him?

- Yesterday at breakfast.

- And what was
his demeanor like?

Was he acting normal?

- He was really distracted,
like he was in his own world.

I asked him what was wrong,
but he didn't respond.

He just said he had to take
a drive to New Hampshire.

Then he left.

- What's in New Hampshire?

- I have no idea.

We don't even know
anyone in New Hampshire.

- Okay.

We're gonna need to
ping Derek's cell phone.

It'll help us find
out where he is.

♪ ♪

- Phone hit off a tower
two blocks from here.

I'm sitting on the
suspect's car right now.

- I'm approaching
Nathan's on the boardwalk.

We've got a credit card hit
that he bought something there

ten minutes ago, so he's gotta
be around here somewhere.

♪ ♪

- I got somebody approaching
the suspect's vehicle

on West 10th.

Medium build, gray hoodie.

I'm in pursuit.


Show me your hands! Don't move!

Suspect headed to the boardwalk.

He's running to the
amusement park, Frank.

Move! Move!

NYPD! Move!

- Let's go! Out of the way!

- Move! NYPD!

Stop! Police! NYPD!

- Freeze! Get down
on the ground!

- Hey! Freeze!
- Let me see your hands!

- Freeze!
- Down on the ground.

- Stop where you are. NYPD.

Derek, it's over.

Show us your hands.

- Take your hands
out of your pocket.

- Both of them.

- The other hand...
Out of your pocket.

Put the gun down! Drop the gun!

Drop it!
- Drop it!

- Put the gun down!
- Drop the weapon!

Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey. Hey.

Derek, we're here because
of your wife, Elena.

We spoke to her.

She's worried about you.
She loves you very much.

Look at me.

- You talked to Elena?
- Yes.

She's very concerned
about you, Derek.

- I know why you're here.

But that bastard Chandler
got what he deserved.

He should have never
changed his vote!

We need to stop all
this gun craziness.

How many more
people have to die?

- I agree with you.

And nobody needs to
die right here tonight.


Don't make her a widow.

Just put it down.

Think of your wife.

Just put it down. Just
get... there, yeah.

Come on.

Now, back up. Put
your hands up.

Turn around.

♪ ♪

- You're under
arrest for the murder

of Senator Alan Chandler.

- At approximately 8:45
p.m. yesterday evening,

the New York Police
Department arrested a suspect

in connection with the
recent assassination

of United States
Senator Alan Chandler.

The suspect, Derek Quinn,
has been taken into custody

and is currently
awaiting arraignment

on first-degree murder charges.

- After considerable

with the U.S.
Attorney's office,

we decided to prosecute
this matter in state court.

Gun violence is a
national plague.

The only way to
effect real change

is to move past all
the political acrimony

and pass strong and effective

gun-control legislation.

The question for all of us is...

Had enough?

We can't become a place
where people settle

their political differences
at the point of a gun

or where talented and passionate

men and women avoid
public service

out of fear for their lives.

♪ ♪


- Hi.

It's good to see you, Dad.

- Yeah.

Good to see you too.

- So much for keeping
your politics a secret.

- I couldn't help it.

- I get it. Trust me.

- So what are you doing here?

- I'm representing Derek Quinn.

- Oh.

I didn't know you were
doing murder cases.

- I represent people I
think need representing.

Sometimes that includes
people charged with murder.

- I didn't mean...

- He's not the
monster you described.

- That may be.

But the evidence tells
a different story.

A much different story.

- We'll see what
the jury has to say.

Anyway, um, I just
wanted to say hi

and let you know
what's going on.

- I appreciate the heads-up.

- Of course.

If you're free, maybe we could
grab a quick coffee, catch up?

- I'd love it.

It's so good to see you again.

How's it going? How's Eric?

- He's okay.

But we're not so good.

We're back in counseling,
trying to better

understand each other.

- How's Linc?

How's he doing at Northwestern?

- He's waiting to
hear from law schools.

- For better or worse,
it's in the genes.

- So I have a favor to ask.

I'd like to delay Derek
Quinn's arraignment

so I can have him
evaluated for competency.

- Rebecca, you know I can't.

- He's in rough shape.

- You'll have to take that
up with the prosecutor

trying the case, Nolan Price.

- Just hear me out.

- No. I can't get involved.

Talk to Price.

- You're my father,
for God's sake.

- Just one of a hundred reasons
why I can't be involved.

- I know the rules.

- Then you know we can't
discuss the case at all.

♪ ♪

- Calling docket ending in
22870, People v. Derek Quinn,

charging murder in
the first degree.

- How do you plead, Mr. Quinn?

- My client is entering
a plea of not guilty

by reason of mental
disease or defect.

- He's pleading insanity
at the arraignment?

- Mr. Quinn is suffering from
post-traumatic stress disorder,

a result of his having survived

one of the most deadly
school shootings of all time.

16 students were killed.

12 others were wounded,
including my client.

Yet Mr. Quinn was still able to
tackle and disarm the gunman.

He's a hero and a victim.

He needs our help.

- Mr. Price.

- The people request remand.

This was an act of
domestic terrorism.

The defendant was literally
holding the murder weapon

when police arrested him.

Given that penalty for
murder one is life in prison,

he's obviously a flight risk.

- He's a well-respected
member of the community

with no prior arrests.

The defendant's wife and several

of his former students
are here in the courtroom.

They support him and all
that he's been through.

I would ask the court to
impose a reasonable cash bail

so that my client can go
home and get treatment.

- He's alleged to have killed
a United States Senator.

He's remanded.

Next case.

- I looked into
Rebecca's assertions.

They're true.

- Quinn survived
a mass shooting?

- He was a history teacher
at Thatcher Academy.

He saved several students,
disarmed the shooter,

and got shot in the process.

The defense is clearly
gonna present him as a hero.

- He may have done
something heroic,

but that doesn't mean
that he gets a free pass.

Killing Senator Chandler
at his daughter's wedding,

that was an act of revenge,

not the result of
mental illness.

- There's no question he
knew right from wrong.

He found out where the senator
was going to be that night,

drove to New Hampshire
to purchase the gun,

blended in with the
crowd, and escaped.

- I agree... legally.

But morally, some may
see it differently.

It could result in
jury nullification.

- This was a political

A well-planned,

and premeditated attack on
a United States Senator.

That's murder one.

And we're not budging.

- Since your daughter is
representing the defendant,

I was wondering if, uh...

How do you wanna handle
this in terms of process?

- I love my daughter dearly.

But this is just another case,
and she's just another lawyer.

♪ ♪

- The party was in full swing.

People were dancing, drinking.

And my father, he was so happy.

And all of a sudden,
this man walks...

Right up to us and shoots him.

- Did the shooter appear
to be calm, collected?

- Very much so.

- Did it appear
that he had a plan

and that he executed that plan?

- Objection. Calls
for a conclusion.

- Sustained.

- Did the defendant aim
the gun at your father?

- Yes.

- Put his finger on
the trigger and shoot?

- Twice.

- Did both bullets hit the
intended target, your father?


- I'm showing you people's 21.

♪ ♪

Is this your wedding dress?

- Yes.

- Is this your father's blood?

- Yes.

♪ ♪

- Nothing further.

- I'm very sorry for your loss.

I can't imagine what
you went through,

what you experienced.

- Thank you.

- To witness that kind of
violence must be devastating.

- It is.

- Must take an incredible
toll on your life,

on your ability
to experience joy,

to see things clearly, right?

- That's correct.

- And it takes a
physical toll as well.

Is that right?

- Yes. I've hardly slept.

And when I do
finally fall asleep,

I often experience
night terrors.

- That must impact
your thinking,

cause confusion, irrational
thoughts, behavior.

- Objection. Relevance?

- Sustained.

- No further questions.

And again, I'm very sorry
for what you've been through.

- Any redirect, Mr. Price?

- Is it fair to say that

despite the unthinkable tragedy

and violence you experienced,

you remain in command
of your faculties?

- I believe so, yes.

- You're able to distinguish
right from wrong.

- Absolutely.

- Nothing further.

♪ ♪

- Mr. Quinn, please describe

what happened to you
on April 11, 2019.

- I was talking to my class
about the Cold War, Vietnam.

And then the door to
the classroom flew open,

and a man walked in.

He was dressed in combat gear.

And he took an assault
rifle out of his gym bag.

The kids started screaming

as I rushed towards the man.

But he started shooting.

- If you could, please
tell us what happened next.

- It's hard to remember exactly.

I can...

Remember the sound of bullets

and seeing lots of blood.

It was chaos.

- Were you shot?

- In the chest.

- Were others shot as well?


11 other students and
teachers were wounded.

16 kids were killed

in my classroom

right in front of me.

All I could think about was
just getting them to safety.

It's my deepest regret.

It haunts me every
minute of every day.

- As a result, did you become
a gun-control activist?

- Yes.

Some people say if I had a gun
I could have saved my class.

It might be true. I don't know.

- What were your feelings
towards Senator Chandler?

- I thought he was a
good man, good senator.

I believed him when
he said he would vote

in favor of an important
gun-control bill.

- And when he voted against
that bill, did that upset you?

- Yes.

He was the swing vote.

I... I felt betrayed...

and scared.

So I... I drove to New
Hampshire, and I bought a gun.

And I... I went to
find Senator Chandler.

I don't know what
I was thinking.

♪ ♪

I'm sorry.

I'm so sorry.

- Nothing further.

♪ ♪

- You were angry when
you bought the weapon.

- I was desperate.

- Yeah, desperate for revenge.

- It's hard to explain.

Let's try.


Senator Chandler voted in a
way that you disapproved of,

and you decided to take
matters into your own hands.

- I wasn't thinking clearly.

- Right.

I am showing you people's 23.

Is this the gun?

Your Honor, could
we request a recess?

- Will ten minutes do?

- Tomorrow morning
would be better.

See you tomorrow at 9:00.

♪ ♪

- Hey.

What's going on?

- I just... I needed some time

to prepare some of the exhibits.

- Well, I organized the
exhibits last night.

They're all in order.

- Yeah.

- Are you okay?

- I'm fine.

I just... I wanted
to take some time...


The defendant's testimony
was compelling, and I...

I have tremendous
empathy for him.

- I bet.

You've been through
something similar.

What you saw on the subway
last year was horrific.

- It's different.

Like, this poor
bastard, he was right

in the middle of it, Sam.
The bullets were live.

The screams, the blood...
- Trauma is trauma.

There is no need to
minimize your experience.

- I appreciate your
concern, but I'm fine.

♪ ♪

- Yeah.

Yeah, I don't think...

- You sure about that?

♪ ♪

- Dr. Gold, could
you please tell us

about your medical and
academic credentials?

- I'm a psychiatrist at
Mount Sinai Medical Center

focusing on post-traumatic
stress disorder.

I've written two
books on this matter

and teach a class at
Columbia University.

- We stipulate the witnesses
is an expert in her field.

- Yes, let's move on.

- Could you describe what
your research has revealed

about survivors
of mass shootings?

- The symptoms vary, but
often the initial relief

of surviving such an event is
followed by distress, fear,

survivor guilt, and anger.

I conducted a forensic
evaluation of Mr. Quinn,

and he reported
symptoms consistent

with what I would characterize

as severe post-traumatic
stress disorder.

- Is it your opinion
that this trauma

affected my client's
cognitive functions?

- Yes.

I believe he was unable to
appreciate the wrongfulness

of his acts and unable
to comport himself

within the confines of the law.

- Thank you.

- You're basing this opinion
on the word of the accused.

Isn't that correct?

- I found no reason to
believe he was malingering.

- So you just took
him at his word.

- I'm a psychiatrist,
not a detective.

- Is he still suffering from
this mental disease or defect?

- Not at the present time, no.
- Convenient.

Are you aware that the
defendant drove from New York

to New Hampshire
to find a gun store

and then drove
from that gun store

to a wedding venue in Manhattan,

stole a waiter uniform,
and then snuck past a team

of trained security guards?

- I am.

- And you don't think that
required rational thought?

- It's possible some people
suffering extreme PTSD

can be rational one minute
and irrational the next.

Simple, everyday
situations can trigger

intense fear and anxiety,

can cause people to perceive
a threat where there is none.

A car backfires, a man looks
at you the wrong way...

PTSD is a complicated,
insidious disease.

You never know when or
why it might be triggered

or how the afflicted
person might act.

- Can't even look
me in the eye, huh?

- Excuse me?

- You're embarrassed.

- I... I have no idea
what you're talking about.

- No way in hell
you should be trying

to send Derek Quinn to prison.

He needs help.

- I know that your client has
suffered in unimaginable ways.

But I am a prosecutor,

and my job is to follow the law.

- I can see it in
your eyes, Nolan.

You know what he's been through.

You know what it feels
like to see young kids

bleeding, dying.

I read about that subway
shooting a year ago.

I know you were there.

I know what you endured.

So how the hell can you
stand here and pretend that

Derek Quinn is just another
angry liberal seeking revenge?

- What I believe is irrelevant.

The district attorney,
my boss, your father,

is firmly opposed to any kind
of leniency in this case.

♪ ♪

- I thought we talked
about this, Becca.

I can't talk about the case.

It's not appropriate.

- Derek Quinn lived in abject
fear of another mass shooting,

of seeing more innocent
children slaughtered,

so he took action.

It was wrong, of course.

But it doesn't mean he
deserves to die in prison,

and you know it.

But empathy isn't really part

of your personal
constitution, is it?

Principles before feelings?

- Your client shot a
United States Senator

in cold blood at his
daughter's wedding.

- Exactly.

It practically proves my point.

He's suffering.

- I'm sorry, but I'm done.

We can't discuss this anymore.

- You've been hiding
behind that damn line

your whole life.

♪ ♪

- Jack.

I hope you understand
I'm not trying

to usurp your authority here.

But, uh...

I agree with defense counsel.

I think we should offer a plea.

The defendant is a victim

of one of the worst
mass shootings

in the history of America.

You ask me, every damn
person on that jury

thinks he deserves some
level of compassion.

Hell, they might
even vote to acquit,

regardless of the law.

We failed him, Jack.

The system failed him.

Isn't it fair that we take
that into consideration?

I know your daughter
represents the defendant,

and you are trying hard
to protect the optics.


I think you're trying too hard.

Excuse me. Sorry. Sorry.

Do you have a minute?
- Yeah.

- I would like to offer a plea.

Man one, 15 years.

- No.

- That's... that is the
best I can do, trust me.

I had a hard time getting
approval for this offer.

- I'm sure you did.

But your boss's lack of
empathy is not my concern.

My client's trauma is.

- It is a coin toss,
Rebecca, and even if you win,

he'll spend years
in a psych ward.

- Derek Quinn is different.

- What if you're wrong?

He is... he's 42 years old.

He'll be a free man at 57.

That is still plenty
of life to live.

- Unless you have something
more reasonable to offer,

there is nothing
else to discuss.

- Wait, wait, okay.

Talk to your client.

See what he has to
say. Maybe he feels...

- I know how my client feels.

And I know how his wife feels
and how his parents feel.

And I can assure
you, none of them

is interested in 15 years.

♪ ♪

- Please rise.

Has the jury reached a verdict?

- We have, Your Honor.

On the charge of murder
in the first degree,

we find the defendant,
Derek Quinn, guilty.

♪ ♪

- Ladies and
gentlemen of the jury,

thank you for your service.

Court is adjourned.

♪ ♪

- I have a car.

Can I drop you somewhere?

- No. I'm fine.

- Maybe we could go
somewhere and talk.

You tried a good case.

You did everything you could.

- God damn you.

Why couldn't you just...

♪ ♪

- Come on.

Let's have dinner.

- Sorry. Not tonight.

Linc got accepted to
Columbia Law School.

Starts in the fall.

I'll tell him you say hi.

♪ ♪

♪ ♪