Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 3, Episode 15 - Law & Order - full transcript

Detectives Briscoe and Logan investigate the murder of Dawn Bryan. The young African-American woman once had a bright future ahead of her. She was a good student and was even voted most likely to succeed. It seems to have all come tumbling down when she got cooked on crack. She was shot with a .45 caliber gun and their first suspect is her supplier and sometime live-in boyfriend who hoes by the street name of Skate. The dead woman's family are devastated by the loss of their daughter but they feel they lost her long ago when she became hooked on drugs. When the evidence points to a family member as the likely culprit, ADA Stone and DA Adam Schiff both feel a good deal of sympathy. Paul Robinette however doesn't think anyone should have leniency and pushes for a grand jury indictment.

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.

??[music playing
on car stereo]

We'd like to help,
but you have to help, too.

You want evidence?
You're the cops.

Do we gotta
get our own guns?

They're dealing crack,

they've been dealing,
they gonna deal tomorrow.

You don't clean them out,

ain't gonna be nobody
left to complain.

We had surveillance
on the building, ma'am.

We can't go busting
in to apartments
without probable cause.

[Car honking]

[Woman chattering]

Where you get
your drugs, sucker?

Ain't nobody home.

Yeah, inside you. Where?

1-D, in the front.

[People chattering]

Is he probable cause?


How's your shoulder?

??[rap music playing]

[Car honking]

[Door banging open]


[Bottle clinking]

[Car honks]

heard that shot.

No, not in this building.

They get under the bed,
hope nothing comes
through the window.

Look, they don't
want trouble.

Enough trouble
to get rid of dealers.

Now, look, O'Brien,
knock on every door.

[Woman chattering on radio]

Drug dealers have
terrible manners.

Yeah, they're not big
on charm school.

She get those bruises
when she fell?

Not unless somebody threw
her down and jumped on her.

I'd guess 36 hours.

First the foreplay,

smacked her in the face,
couple of belts to the arm.

Then he shoots her
in the chest.

From the looks of her,

I'd say she's done
more drugs than food.

A.45. Confident guy.
Only one shot.

Dried blood.

She must have moved around
after she was hit.

Where'd you
find the shell?


Well, she's in there,
there's no blood in between.

She stumble around
and not lose a drop?

Oh, well, maybe
this blood isn't hers.

You get two gold stars.

[People chattering]

Drug deal gone bad.

How many drug addicts
in this city?

Do I take the quiz
after class?

Six hundred thousand,
give or take a few.

How many of them
are high school heroes?

The dead girl.

"Dawn Bryan.

Adam Clayton Powell
High School, class of '83."

"Most likely to succeed."

The place was fine
till she moved in.

Park Avenue.

I wasrt stepping
on needles.

She moved in,

she didn't look too good,
but she had nice stuff.

That rug?

Said she went the whole way
to Brooklyn, got it at Sears.

If she had nice stuff
it's hard to see it now.

Sold it on the street
couple of weeks ago.

Raising cash
for her boyfriend.

She gets him five,
six months ago,

lets him deal
out of her apartment.

Scum was here yesterday,
about 6:00.

Bet she owed him money.

You see him?
You know his name?

Don't know
I'd recognize him.

Me neither.

You call her family?

Not yet.

Uptown, 83rd.

Her mom used to
bring her food.

She wouldn't eat.


We don't know
about her friends.

We... we didn't
see her much.

She liked people.

She trusted everybody.

She had a good heart.

Ma'am, your daughter's
neighbors said
you visited her.

She mention being
involved with anybody?

I believe in Heaven.

I mean,

I try to.

I believe
she's with God.

I want to believe it.


Come on, lie down.

[Door closing]

To my mother,
Dawn will always be
queen of the prom.

Well, you don't sound
quite so admiring.

I was there.

Tried to get her
into rehab.

Offered to pay for it.

Next day she hits
on my mom. $500.

She stole
my mom's wedding ring.

This boyfriend of hers.

Uh, it wasrt, uh,
wasrt about romance?

She said
he was clean.

Wouldrt introduce me.

And I was hopir that,
you know,
maybe he was married,

and she was just

That wasrt the reason.

I saw him comir
out of Dawrs place.


She called him Skate.

I never got his real name.


That's all you got?
Some guy's street name?

Listen, do I look
like a magician?

I'll just pull his name
out of my ear?

Excuse me, Mike,
I didn't shoot the girl.


I don't know.

You know, you see these
crackheads on the street,

you just tend to forget
that they werert always...

This girl is...

Anyway, look, I called the 19,
I called the 31.

They got Slinky, they got
Silky, they got Sidewise,
they got no Skate.

Our books,
we got Slap, we got Slider,
we got Snowball. No Skate.

Our luck, good thing
we're not at the trotters.

We'd be losing
our cojones.

There's no usable prints in
the place other than hers.

Now, six outgoing phone calls
in the last five days

before she was hit.

Four for pizza,
two for movie times.

Okay, so you got
a witness who says

Skate was there
the night she was killed.

You got another one says
he was her dealer.

Why don't you make a sign:
"Skate," in big letters,

walk up and down First Avenue,
see if anybody waves.

[Phone ringing]

[Dog barking]

Guy in the red hat?
Angel Suarez.

Used to be my pipeline.

Let's turn on the water,
see what flows out.

He won't take money.

Wants his nose powdered.

You gonna hold the straw?

Crack house.

Come on, let's take a run.

[People chattering]

[Woman coughing]

Don't rattle your chain.
We're just visiting.

[Car honking]

Angel, my man.

Hey, man,
you gonna fix me up?

Come here,
we want to ask you something.

What's up?
You gonna fix me up?

We're looking
for my cousin.

His name is Skate.

He your cousin, brother?

Your people been sleeping
in strange beds.

You got stuff?
Maybe I heard of him.

No, no stuff.

No stuff,
no cousin.

You gonna take me in?

Ain't gonna
help you find him.

You're playing the wrong game,

Lennie, line 'em up.

I'm gonna turn around.

Here's what I'm gonna say:
Everybody goes in but you.

Every time you're around,
we bust them.

Then you get
your stuff from nobody.

My ass.
You can't pull that.

What, are you joking?
Your ass!

[Briscoe chattering]

Tell me about Skate.

You don't believe me?

call Legal Aid,

tell them to meet you
down at Central Booking.

Everybody goes in.

Everybody but Angel.

He takes a walk
to testify against you.

Hey, man. Easy.


Name's Jonas Stark.

[Angel sniffing]

Skate took somebody down
for a stash.

He owes plenty.
He's scared.

He's wearir eyes
on his shoes.

You won't find him
at his place.

Try 1868 Lex.

Name on the mailbox:
Keisha White.

It's the girlfriend's place.

I ain't seen the guy
in a couple of days.

Maybe he's out of
town on vacation.

Yeah, a weekend
in the Bahamas.

So, what about the girlfriend?

Two, three days ago,

I seen her go in there
with a six-pack.

There's no answer here.

I'm gonna have to call
someone to smash it in.

Hey, you... you guys tell me
it's okay, I open it up.

Yeah, it's called
exigent circumstances.

A felon in flight.
Go ahead, open it.


[Latch opening]

[People chattering]

??[music playing]


What's happenir?

What's goir on?

You all cops
or somethir?

No. We're here to tell you
that you won the lottery.

Is that Skate?

Yeah, uh-huh.

Hello, Skate.
Friend of yours sent us.

Lady named Dawn.

Only dawn I know
is before sunrise.


You gotta have
a warrant to be in here.

Warrant this!

Where's your appointment book
for Tuesday night?

You ain't gonna find
no drugs here.

Uh-huh. How about
we pump your belly?

Tuesday, Skate.

Tell him, Keisha.

Uh, we been here
since July.

[Siren wailing]

I'll bet you lost
the permit to this gun.

I bet you find it
in my wallet.

Registered State of New York,
target permit.

Oh, yeah?

How about a bigger
caliber gun, Jonas?

Like a.45?

I handle business,
not guns.

That's a bad-lookir cut
you got there.

Forgot to pray yesterday.

The good Lord,
he made me slip,

hit the radiator.

I got to get
to church more.

You hit Dawrs table
while you were slappir
her around,

and then you put
a bullet in her chest.

I ain't seen
Dawn for weeks.

You said you never
even heard of her.

Jonas Stark,

you're under arrest
for the murder of Dawn Bryan.

You have the right
to remain silent.

[Phone ringing]

What, you want to leave him
at Central Booking?

I don't want him arraigned

till your witnesses shine
headlights in his face.

send it on over.

Here's a headlight.

A year ago,
that liquor store robbery
on Skate's yellow sheet.

Yeah, he did six months.

They dug a slug
out of the wall.

Same gun.
He used it before.

The slug from the robbery

matches the slug
from Dawn Bryars body.

One: You don't have the.45.

Two: There was a woman
involved in that robbery
they never found.

Three: A lawyer with
shoe polish for brains says

that woman
was Dawn Bryan,

the gun was hers,
not Skate's.

Ipso, ergo, and therefore,
Skate takes a walk.

Where did he ditch
that damn gun?


You wanna keep him?

Get your witnesses,
march them past the glass.

Identify him
as her dealer.

Put him there
the day it happened.

I didn't see him that day.
It was a couple of weeks ago.

That's okay.

Do you remember
seeing any of these men

come out of Dawn Bryars

I think maybe Number 2.


Number 2,
step forward.

There's no hurry,
Miss Lee.

We have
till Kingdom come.



You are dangerously close
to coaching her.

Once more and
this line-up is dead.

Could be Number 3.

Number 3,
step forward.

I saw him around
in the hall.

He was the one.
He sold her drugs.

Thank you, Miss Lee.

Here, let me show you out.

That doesn't even
open up the store,

let alone
give you a sale.

You can't put him there
at the time of the murder.

we have one more dance
on our card. A waltz.

And your client's
gonna be doir it
in Dannemora.

Ain't none of them.

Miss Gomez,
you barely even looked.

You wanna just
take your time?

I don't see him.
I got bad eyes.

I'm late for the dentist.
Can I go now?

Yeah. Next time you wanna
get rid of dealers,

call the Fire Department.
Go ahead.

No weapon,
no witness, no motive,

and my client
has an alibi.

Yeah, a girl so stoned

she thinks the day
is 240 hours long.

You know that waltz
my client is gonna do?

It dances him
out of here.



Jonas Stark.

That room needs
a paint job.

You need
a better suit.

And your coffee stinks,
praise the Lord.

[Door closing]

[Phone ringing]

[People chattering]

The son of a bitch
knew he'd walk.

We'll stake him out.
Round the clock.

we have no witness.

Do we have a motive?

A crack dealer
needs a motive?

Maybe he's so crazy
behind the drugs,

he kills her
just for the hell of it.

Yeah, maybe a jury
would like something
more specific.

Skate's file from Attica.

Same blood type
as on the table
in the girl's apartment.

That at least gets us
to first base.

Bottom of the ninth,
two outs, full count.

The ME says she was beat up
a couple of hours
before she was killed.

Even if you put the kid
in the room to toss her,

it doesn't prove
he pulled the trigger.

Look, this girl backed away
from her family, right?

She must have had
some friends.

She was in her second life
when time ran out.

See if somebody from
the first one kept in touch.

Her old friends?
Who cares?

This is the guy
who did it.

Why isn't
he in jail?


Or would it matter more
if she was white?

they're doing their job.

We don't have anything

linking Jonas Stark
to your sister's murder.

Now, we're hoping
maybe you know someone
who can help us.

I read in the papers
it was his gun
that killed her.

I read in the papers
people are abducted
by extraterrestrials.

Look, your mother's right.
We're doir our job.

It was the money.
Had to be.

She always needed more.

It wasrt her stealir.
The drugs made her do it.

Sure, Mom.

It was the cocaine
that stole Janine's TV,

not Dawn.

There's a friend
from high school.

I mean, most people
around Dawn,

it was like rocks
falling from the sky.

They ran.

Janine was the only one left
who talked to her.

??[music playing]

I worried about
getting C's in Algebra.

Dawn studied
on the subway, got A's.

How could anything
bad happen?

Well, things look
a lot different
when you're in high school.

When you're 17,
you don't know.

Well, you're not
17 anymore.

There's not too many friends
who would stick by somebody

who stole their TV set.

Well, I had to believe
she'd come out of it.

I even gave her a job.

She was late
a couple of times.

Tape deck disappeared,
petty cash.

Her brother said
you kept in touch.

She stopped by two
or three months ago.

Said she'd been robbed.

They cleaned her out.

She said she needed
money for food.

Right. Food.

[Phone ringing]

She stood in the corner,
in the dark.

Wouldrt let me
get a good look.

I went over, side of
her face was bashed in.

I gave her $100,

didn't think I'd ever
hear from her again.

Yeah, you give them money
once, they tend to come back.

Last week, I got a call
from the reception desk.

I didn't even
recognize her.

She looked like
a bag lady.

She said her boyfriend
was in trouble.


Said he owed somebody
and they'd kill him

if he didn't come up
with the cash.

And he'd kill her
if she didn't?

I didn't think...

Maybe they just
ought to legalize it.

Oh, yeah. Another half
a million crackheads.

You don't know that.
Would you take it?

Would I?

Listen, a junkie's
gonna be a junkie
whether it's legal or not.

So we should sell it
in the drug stores?

Damn straight.

No one puts a knife in
your gut to feed their habit.

Any junkies
in your family?

And if you made it illegal,

they'd cook it up
on the stove.

so write your congressman.

Hey, hey,
what about this?

The first time we saw Skate,
his head was cut, right?

Now, he was hidir
from somebody.

He owed money.

How about if they beat him up
in Dawn Bryars apartment?

And the Bryan girl, too.

So we find the guy
that was after Skate,

maybe we get a witness.

Or at least someone
who can put
the two of them together.

Yeah, the girl Skate was with
when we first picked him up.

Maybe she knows
who he was runnir from.

Keisha White.

Works in a peepshow
on 45th Street.

??[music playing]

[People chattering]

My girls don't
get into trouble.

Yeah, they're all nuns.

Most of them,
they got kids.

Talking dirty's
just a way to eat.

Go on, pick a door,
get excited.

It's on the house.

Which door is
Keisha White?

I got a Sally Brown
and a Mary Green.

Ain't got no White.

Hey, Mike, suppose
we find out one of his girls

went out with one
of the guys here.

Uh, what would he get?

Well, promoting
prostitution three,
that's a class "D" felony.

Uh, couple of months
in the slammer,

and we take
all your assets.

Okay, okay.
Booth D.

Don't take up
too much of her time.

[People chattering]

Hey, your wife's
outside with the kids,

you better drive her home.

You, outside!

Two lonely cops.

You always get
your kicks together? Kinky.

Hey, you can talk to us now,
or you can lose customers

for the rest of the day.

Skate was in trouble,

he needed money
from the Bryan girl.

Who did he need it for?

Skate don't need
no money.

He print it up
in the basement.

Yeah? We can print
your name on a warrant.

Accessory to murder.

I don't know,
all right?

Skate say he needed
some money,

but he ain't say who.

Yeah, well, they put
a dent in his forehead.

That was that
Bryan girl's fault.

Skate said the bitch
was scared, all right?

They... they came
looking for him at her house.

She gave him up,
told them he was coming.

They beat them both.

But he still
needed the money.

She said
she'd square with him.

All right, maybe
she never come through.

That would make him angry.

Angry enough
to use a gun.

Mister, Skate,
he gave me stuff

to spend time
with him, all right?

I do not get personal.

What do you mean,

You pick him up again,
you let him go again.

Paul, you don't
need a road map.

The Bryan dame
set him up to get
his brains beat in.

She didn't deliver on
some money she promised him.

I call that a motive.
What do you call it?

I call it a third-hand story
from two secondary sources.

Not to mention
it doesn't nail Jonas Stark.

I'd love to argue with him.

Even if a jury
believes your junkie
and a peepshow hostess,

they're still gonna think
that whoever beat up

Skate and Dawn just
finished the job up.

Lennie, you expecting
a call from a plumber?

First Ave.
And Third Street.

Dawn Bryan apartment.
Says the place is flooded.

Some woman gave him
your name,

he found something
you might wanna see.

Look, it's not our fault.

We covered every inch
of this place.

So why didn't you
check the pipe?

Who the hell
checks a sewer pipe?

Neighbors are gonna need
air spray for a month.

Sewage is soft,
gets around a lot of
the junk in the pipe.

Put in something big,
sooner or later
it's gonna clog.

I guess that's a.45.

Shouldrt have been
left open.

[Car honking]

Wouldrt have spilled over,
just would have stopped.

You had three guys here.

What did they do
after we left, take a nap?

I didn't notice
the pipe was open.

Oh, you're telling me
it wasrt open?

Maybe. I don't know.

You know what I know?
There's a reason

you got plastic gloves
in your budget.

You just didn't want to
stick your hand
in a sewer pipe.

So, Lennie, you think
anybody's still in Forensics?

[Cop chattering
on police radio]

Four days
in raw sewage,

if that gun has prints,
I'll call Sister Maria
and make a contribution.

Almost your lucky day.

No prints,
the number's burned.

He said "almost."

He said "no prints."

On the gun.

In the stock market?

No, I keep my millions
in a trunk in the attic.

I'd buy a company
called Cosmoline.

They make
a good product.

Sewage wiped the gun clean.

Well, not clean,
but no prints.

The clip. New, covered
in Cosmoline grease.

Partial thumb,
full index,

matching the prints
they sent me.

Jonas Stark,
aka Skate.

You're beautiful.

Let's hope
they didn't lose him.


[Car honking]

[Dog barking]

Excuse me, can you tell me
where the George Washington
Bridge is?

It's in Connecticut.

Southwest corner,
he's makir house calls.

I figure he took in
$1,000 in the last hour.

[People chattering]

[Door slamming]

[Toilet flushing]


No drugs, no weapon.

All right, keep your hands
away from your body.

You got nothir!

Your prints, genius.

You left them
on the gun clip.

All right,
sing along with me, Skate.

You know the words.

You're under arrest.

You have the right
to remain silent.

Anything you do say
can and will be...

We're ready.

Someone gonna
read this charge?

Docket number...


"Docket number 6864,
People v. Jonas Stark. "

Charge is murder
in the second degree.

Miss Bell,
does your client have a plea?

Not guilty.

Back on night shift, Sally.

Legal Aid must be
understaffed again.

Tell me about your client.

Mr. Stark was a dear friend
of the victim.

He's not likely
to flee.

Mr. Stark skipped bail
last time, robbery.

This is homicide.

He might want to
miss his trial.

You have any other objections
to a substantial bail?

Well, if Your Honor
has already decided...

The Court's mind is open.
Mr. Robinette?

As Your Honor notes,

Mr. Stark's appearance record
is not encouraging.

We ask $500,000.

People's request
is granted. Next.

My client is obstinate.

Killers often are.

He won't plead.

This makes him
a two-time loser.

Mandatory nine years.

But that's a lot better
than a conviction
and 25-to-life.

He knows.
He says he didn't do it.

I'm tempted to believe him.

You have many faults, Sally.
Gullible isn't one of them.

Motive. Weapon.

A witness who'll tell
the truth on the stand.

I reminded him.
He reminded me

she didn't identify him
at the line-up.

Did you remind him his prints
are on the gun clip?

He says
it was Dawn Bryars gun.

He gave it to her
to protect herself.

I guess it wasrt
protection enough.

He has an alibi.

You can shake her
till she's a martini,

she won't change her mind.

Who cares if he
doesn't want to plead?

We got a case with balloons,
bells, and whistles.

It makes no sense.
He goes to trial,

we put a noose on
his neck, 25-to-life.

Man one is nine years.

He knows
it's a slam-dunk.

Why doesn't he
offer to plead?

Because he's stupid,

suffers brain damage
from all those drugs.

He pled to Robbery Three
a year ago.

We had one witness,
no weapon.

A lousy case.

He didn't want to
risk a jury.

And this time
he wants to risk it?

Anyone else,
they'd plead faster

than we can
speed-dial Rikers.

Well, maybe
this Skate character

thinks his alibi
will save him.

Or maybe
he didn't do it.

I only like
surprises at parties.

Before we go to trial,

walk through this
with the cops.

[Phone ringing]

Hope comes in
small packages.

Yeah? My parents never even
had that much hope for me.

You save your stuff
from high school, Paul?

My mother still has
my report cards.

What's that?

Jewelry box?

Square notches.
Safe-deposit box.

She's hittir
everybody for money.

Why would she need one?

"Broderick, Bronson,
Broom, Bryson."

No Dawn Bryan?

I'm afraid not.


Box C-503.

Oh, Mary Tillar,
I know her.

Been banking here
for years.

Lovely old woman.

George, it says here
Mrs. Tillar was just in.

Couple or
three weeks ago.

She had a lady with her,

she said
it was her granddaughter.

The girl needed help.

From her grandmother?
From a doctor.

That girl had been
stomped on.

I ask what happened,
Mrs. Tillar says car accident.

Car with two fists
made out of brass.

Did you pay attention to
everything, or just the lady?

Mrs. Tillar
take anything with her?

A big envelope.

Not like she wanted to.

I think she wanted to
be anyplace but here.

[Car honking]

Oh, no.
No, I didn't go for Dawn.

She just walked me
to the bank.

You happened to be on the way
to your safe-deposit box?

It's a habit. My late
husband got me into it.

I sometimes just
check my papers.

Assistant District Attorney.

Your mother
must be very proud.

The people at the bank
remember you took
something with you.

My grandson Lucian,

he's thinkir
he might be a lawyer.

You told the clerk at the bank
Dawn had been in
a car accident?

Yes, I...

I guess
her problem caused it.

What happened to that girl?

Young people,
so many temptations.

You can't keep 'em
safe now.

Dawn wanted money from you.

My bonds.
American Light and Power.

They're for
my grandchildren.

I use them
for the income.

My husband bought them.

Mrs. Tillar,
what did Dawn tell you?

Why did you go
to the bank?


She had a gun.

She aimed it at me.

I felt so bad for her.

You expect guns
on the street now.

My own grandbaby.

[Door opening]

Grandma, I'm sorry.

Why are you
hassling my mother-in-law?

You didn't tell us
your daughter was here
the day she was killed.

What difference
does it make?

We need to check everything.

You don't got to
check anything.

You know
who killed my Dawn.

You ought to be
putting him away

for the rest of his life.

Now, you get out of here
and leave this lady alone.

She aimed the gun
at her grandmother.

Stark was
telling the truth.

It was his gun,
but he gave it to Dawn Bryan.

Okay, so she had a gun.

Anyone could have
shot her with it.

Only someone
who had access to it.

Paul, are you takir a walk
or are you leadir somewhere?

Why was Fred Bryan
so angry today?

The Post reported
it was Stark's gun
that killed Dawn Bryan.

When the cops
talked to Lucian Bryan,
he mentioned it.

He wanted to know why
they couldn't put Stark away.

I guess you're about
to tell me

how that gun
got into a sewer pipe.

A theory.
For what it's won'th.

CSU says maybe
the pipe was capped
the day of the murder.

Who'd have the tools
to open a closed pipe?

And who'd know the pipe
would overflow if
you put a gun in it?

A plumber?

A maintenance man.

Fred Bryan has his own
maintenance business.

He read in the papers
it was Stark's gun.

Two days later,
the pipe overflows.

Fred Bryan planted the gun
so the cops would find it.

How did the gun
get into his hands
in the first place?

Let's hope
you're wrong about this.

These people are being
canonized for their suffering.

You're telling me
this man killed his daughter.

I don't like the idea
any more than you do, Adam.

Day of the murder,
Grandma called Mother at 2:07.

After she went
to the bank.

An hour later, Mother called
the father at work.

His secretary said
he left a few minutes later.

That's no mystery.

They rallied to get
Grandma's bonds.

For good reason.

Turns out the old lady
had bearer bonds.

negotiable instruments.

A drug addict
and her dealer, Adam.

They wouldn't know
a negotiable
instrument from a piano.

How are they gonna
sell those bonds?

That's right. Anything
happens to those bonds,

they can't be replaced.
No name, no record.

Grandma's money
is gone forever.

How far would the Bryans
go to get it back?

Before we even think of

charging anyone
in this family,

we wrap this so tight
no one can breathe.

Grandma calls Mother,
Mother calls Father.

Who's the weak link?

My mother was worried
about Dawn.

That's why she called me.

You called your husband.

Yes, to tell him
what happened.

He left work.
Where did he go?

Why, uh,

he had a business meeting.

Mrs. Bryan, where are
your mother's bonds?

I wouldn't know
about that.

That's hard to believe.

They were
your mother's income.

If they're in
her safe-deposit box,

we'll wonder
how you got them back.

[Cars honking]

Mrs. Bryan?

I couldn't see her
like that anymore.

It wasrt your husband.

You were in
her apartment that day.

Virginia Bryan
is not a criminal.

This is a homicide.

My wife didn't know
what she was doing.

Mr. Bryan, Mrs. Bryan,
we are not unsympathetic.

She didn't kill my sister.

Dawn wasrt there anymore.

Who put the gun
in the sewer pipe, Mr. Bryan?

You wouldn't arrest him.

He's the one
who killed her.

He's the one
who deserves to die.


[Phone ringing]

Dawn called me.

She wanted...

She told me to bring $5,000.

I pleaded with her.

I told her,
"No, you have to stop.

"Stop taking.

Stop stealing."

She screamed at me
to get the money.

She'd burn
my mother's bonds.


my father left her.

I went down there.

She held them
in front of my face

with a cigarette lighter.

She told me
to get the money.

She had to have it.

I said, "Not this time."


"No more."

Dawn said,

it would never end.

She'd steal all we had

till there was nothing left.

All these years,

she wasrt going to change.

I looked at her.

It was so hard.

Those little lines of blood

in her eyes.

Her hands full of holes.

My baby

was so pitiful.

She gave me the gun.

She begged me.


"put me out of my misery.

"Do it for me.



I gave up.

I did what she wanted.

I killed my baby.

Does charging my client
with murder serve justice?

The Bronx D.A.,
Brooklyn, Queens...

If anybody wants
this prosecuted,

they've got laryngitis.

Are we taking a poll?

we're answering the phone.

Come on, Paul.
You really want to
go to a grand jury with this?

Do we not go?

Because we're afraid
of being labeled racist?


I like to think
that I am not affected
by the color of her skin.

I'm not sure
that's possible.


it's tragic.
I can't deny the womars pain.

I can't pretend
the drug epidemic
hits everyone the same.

Nothing hits black
and white the same.

Does that mean
the law should treat
them differently?

Do I want to see the woman
go to prison? No.

But I don't see
how we can walk away from it.

Well, we got
a two-choice world.

One or the other.

If we do nothing,
what are we saying?

If no one's responsible
for Dawn Bryars death,

a black victim
doesn't matter.

Don't charge the mother,
she's a victim of society

and deserves
special treatment.

Which practically says
all blacks are victims.

No, that is not
the message we're sending.

Isn't it?

Do blacks have a special right
to kill their children?

That's not sympathy,
that's condescension.

Nobody said
she had any such right.

Maybe Dawn Bryars
life was finished.

Maybe she'd have died
of an overdose.

We'll never know.

What I do know is
she died of a gunshot.

All right.
Man two, probation.

You're forgetting
Jonas Stark.

The Bryans planted evidence.
They tried to frame
an innocent man.


I'm taking my phone
off the hook.

Go to the grand jury.

We will hear testimony

that Fred Bryan tampered
with physical evidence

and that Virginia Bryan acted
with the requisite intent

for manslaughter
in the first degree.

As legal advisor
to the grand jury,

I instruct you to
consider testimony

as it applies
to those crimes,

and to return
appropriate indictments.

The woman was standing
when she was shot.

Can the
Medical Examiner's office

determine how far
she was from the gun?

Based on Mrs. Bryars

using her height and
the angle of the bullet,

I would say 3 to 4 feet.

A shot at that range,

could Dawn Bryan
have survived?

Without medical attention,
not very long, no.

Thank you.

I didn't see
Dawrs parents much
after she was fired.

Was there a reason for that?

They felt my giving her money
was making it worse.

If I stopped,
she'd be forced into rehab.

Maybe that was true.

I told them that
every dollar I gave her

was one less she had
to earn as a prostitute.

Did either Mr. Or Mrs. Bryan
ever express the idea

that Dawn would
be better off dead

than a drug addict?

Not Mrs. Bryan.
She had faith.

Mr. Bryan,
he... he just ran out of faith.

He blamed himself.

He said
if she was dead

he wouldn't have to
face it every day.

I'm allowed to
make the request.

The law's very clear.

Mrs. Bryan has
a legal right to testify.

Not her son.

She's beyond caring.

You want them to
indict for man one,

I want them
to think about intent.

Let Lucian
make a statement.

has to be relevant.

Oh, where's Justice Douglas
when we need him?

You want to
debate relevance?

Relevance is what
you decide it is.

Let him make a statement.

Uh, Beverly,
excuse us a minute.

[People chattering]

She has a point.

You mean she'll fry us
for breakfast
in the headlines.

You know what they'll say.

Rush to judgment,
big question mark.

I don't wanna
look overzealous.

She didn't talk about it.

Not since Dawn
lost the scholarship,

didn't go to college.

She'd come back
from seeir Dawn

and never say anythir,

like nothir was wrong.

I remember the time
my grandfather died.

We didn't expect Dawn
to come to the cemetery,

but she showed up

in a taxi.

We went to my grandmother's.

My mom was happy
just to see Dawn eat.

She was so thin.

Wasrt until Dawn left
we noticed things missing.

A stickpin.
It was gold.

A silver dish my grandfather
brought back from the Army.

From France.
World War II.

She stole.

She hit my grandmother.

She hit my mom
with a broom.

And she always said
she was sorry later.

Mum wanted to
turn herself in,
Dad wouldn't let her.

He said Jonas Stark
ought to suffer.

He caused it.

They decided
if he went to jail,

people would be
protected from him.

It wouldn't happen to somebody
else like it happened to Dawn.

"The D.A.'s office
has shown a belated

attitude of fairness.
We congratulate them."

The editorials are back
on our side.

The blindfolded lady
has two scales,

and we should never look
like we have a finger
on one of them.

[Bell buzzing]

14 minutes.

I guess Lucian
didn't affect them.

Was this voted on
by a majority?

Yes, it was, Mr. Stone.

I have instructed you
on the law for an indictment

for manslaughter
in the first degree.

Uh, in the case of
Virginia Bryan,

you've presented
an indictment

for possession of a weapon
in the fourth degree,

a misdemeanor.

Madam Forewoman,
are you certain

a majority voted
on this indictment?

I'm very certain,
Mr. Stone.

Everyone that voted yes,

could you raise
your hands, please?

Thank you.

Where'd they raise you,
Mr. Robinette?



I never
would have guessed.

What could the law
do to my wife?

Put her in jail?

There's nothing left
for her.

She won't even
go to church.

You should have known.

You may not believe this,
but I'm truly sorry

for what happened
to your family.

But you want us
to bend the law.

And we both know
what it's like

to have one law for black
and another for white.

It was no good 50 years ago,
it's no good now.

You think
the system's gonna change?

You think
we're gonna be equal?

Call me when
your kids grow up,

tell me how
they're doing.

The system's been against us
for a long time.

Maybe right now

it's gotta bend
the other way.

[People chattering]

[Car honking]