Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 3, Episode 2 - Law & Order - full transcript

Detectives Cerreta and Logan investigate a shooting where Marcus Tate is killed at a town hall meeting of the African-American Congress. The suspected shooter is described as a white male but no one seems to have seen anything more. The investigation leads them to Mitchell Koblin, who is married though separated from his African-American wife, Sandra Koblin, who works for the ACA. The bullet that killed Tate is of no forensic value but one of his bodyguards was definitely shot by Koblin's gun. The ACA is a radical organization though Tate was moderating his message against whites and Jews. That Koblin is Jewish creates a tense atmosphere in the communities and ADA Stone needs to act quickly to prevent violence in the streets.

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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.

The jury in Los Angeles

delivered us a clear message.

Black people are on their own.

No justice,

except for what
we do for ourselves.

No prosperity,



except what we create
with our own hands.

Well, I'm here to tell you
that I welcome that message

because we, as a people,
are not without resources.

The Jews did for their own.

The Koreans do for their own.

Now is the time

to do for our own.

Anger is a force for change.

But not if it blinds us.

The road ahead is
filled with distractions.

Hate for the white
man is a distraction.

And we are better than that.

And I... I am here to tell you,

believe me,
brothers and sisters,



we will have the last word.

Marcus!

Stand back. Stand back.

Marcus, lift up your hand.

Police! Move! Get
out of the way! Move!

Push the door! Push the door!

So, what happened?

Tate caught two in the chest.

His people took
him to St. Luke's.

This guy who ran away. Did
you get a good look at him?

The shooter? White, dark
hair. His gun was a .38.

You see him use it on Tate?

I didn't see him shoot.

Talk to anybody who did?

No, sir.

Then we're just assuming.

Where was I? Where
the hell were you?

If you cops had
been on the stick,

Marcus would still
be alive right now.

I wouldn't know about that,
but if you'd answer my question.

I was watching the side
door, like I was supposed to,

and all I seen was this white...

Coming at me with a gun.

Then what'd you do?

I went for my steel, but
the sucker got me first.

I'll need your
weapon for ballistics.

Check his permit. Yes, sir.

Instead of harassing my ass, why
don't you go after the white dude

that killed Marcus?

Excuse me.

Eight bodyguards, eight guns.

Once the shooting started, all
the youngbloods got in on the act.

The bomb was an
M60 in the trash can.

Just loud enough
to make a diversion.

It worked. I haven't found anybody
who saw the actual shooting.

The suspect's described
as tall, short, fat,

thin, dark hair, blonde hair.

One thing everybody agrees
on: white, white, very white.

Tells you something.

Yeah, summer's here.

We wanted to
coordinate with you before

we released any information.

Dr. Reid, police.

Doctor, you worked
on Marcus Tate?

Two chest wounds.
Time of death: 11:37.

You recover any slugs for us?

No. One was a
through-and-through.

The other one
lodged near the spine.

Real pinball.
Hit all the vitals.

Where's the body now?
Upstairs, sixth floor.

Did you post security guards?

Tate came with his own posse.

Terrific.

Mrs. Tate's wishes...

She's with the body in room 602.

So, is it okay to
release the information?

Yeah, go ahead.
You start the riot.

Is Mrs. Tate in there?

We'd like to talk to her.

You people aren't welcomed here.

We don't need an
invitation, my friend.

Maybe if you just
told her we're here.

Why don't you bring a black
cop down here to talk to us?

Sorry, but we're as
good as you're gonna get.

They want to talk to
Satima, Mr. Books.

I'm sorry, gentlemen.

Mrs. Tate is in no condition
to speak with anyone.

Are you a relative, Mr. Books?

No, I'm the Executive Director

for the African-American Congress
and in-house legal counsel.

Good. Then you know we have to
talk to all witnesses as soon as possible.

She's in no condition
to speak with anyone.

Now I assure you,
it would be simpler

if you can find someone
that he can talk to.

The last time I looked, the
badge only came in two colors:

silver and gold.

And that means, one way or
another, he is gonna talk to us.

Mike.

We'll be in touch, Mr. Books.

The body mustn't be
moved till the ME gets here.

I read papers, I know their
politics, and they're freaking racists.

We're talking
damage control, Mike.

So they say "fetch,"
and we bark and run?

No.

We don't go parading
around in hoods, either.

Here's some bedtime
reading. I bet you didn't know

the Jews were responsible for
the crack epidemic up in Harlem.

The AAC's not
exactly mainstream.

Mainstream enough to
elect three councilmen.

As long as their
grandstanding doesn't interfere,

I don't care how we
get their cooperation.

Get me something more than
"suspect described as a white male."

Okay. The patrolman
saw a white male with a .38.

One of Tate's men was shot in
the leg by a white male with a .38.

Ballistics?

We can't match that bullet
with anything found in Tate.

This is getting
better every minute.

Did anybody actually
see Tate getting shot?

Tate's wife was
there. Bodyguards.

But unless Phil and I
change our racial persuasion,

nobody's talking to us.

AAC is up on Lenox, right?

I'll talk to Malone in the 28, see
if he can't kick open a few doors.

AAC. May I help you?

I was just ahead of
Marcus... Six, eight feet.

Where was the man with the gun?

Just inside the entrance hall.

So you were watching him?

Just keeping an eye out.

Was he the only
white face in there?

There's always a few
white faces at the rallies.

Mostly protestors. But if they
just want to come in and listen

then we don't pay them
any particular attention.

Got it.

All right, there
was an explosion.

What did you do?

I turned toward Marcus, then I saw
a white face come out of the crowd.

How close was he?

About 10 feet to my left.

He had the gun
out, he shot Marcus.

Two shots, then he booked.

I tried to grab him, but
the crowd was crazy.

I saw him shoot Harlans,
then he was gone.

What did this guy look like?

Brown hair. About 35, 40.

You ever seen him before?

Hey, I don't know. All
you white boys look alike.

Um, ahem.

This is a very emotional
time for us, Detective.

Do you have anything
on this man? Ballistics?

Only the slug from
Mr. Harlans' leg.

The slug from
Mr. Tate was unusable.

He had eight bodyguards.

Expecting company?

Marcus didn't fear
any man. Only God.

The guards were my idea.

Pretty fatalistic for a lawyer.

I was a... a punk with a do-rag when
Marcus pulled me out of the gutter.

This man saved my life.

If it were up to me, he would have
been wearing a bulletproof vest.

Sounds like not everybody
was in his fan club.

When you speak your
mind, you incite controversy.

We get threatened all the time:

KKK, Aryan Nation,
Sons of Abraham.

Well, I guess what goes
around comes around.

It took Malcolm 25
years to gain respect.

I figure 10 for Marcus Tate,
but his message will get through

and the AAC will be
stronger for his martyrdom.

If you had just
heard his speech.

He wanted to work with
the white community.

And now they've killed him.

His reputation...

Marcus was pragmatic.

The acquittals in LA,

the looting and
the self-destruction.

He realized that an outsider
cannot invoke change.

And the night of the shooting?

Yes.

He finished his speech. Roland
said the side alley was blocked,

so we were going
to use the front door.

You were with your husband?

Walking right behind him.

There was an
explosion, then shots.

Did you see the man
who shot your husband?

He was standing there,
holding a gun, staring.

People were pointing at him.

Do you have any idea who this
man could have been? Mmm-mmm.

But I'll never forget that face.

A lone gunman.
High-profile target.

You don't just get up one
day, go shoot a public figure.

You stalk him.

Look for a chink in his armor.

If white-boy got close to Tate this
time, maybe he's been there before,

and maybe somebody
might have seen him.

Or taken his picture. After
all, Tate makes for good copy.

I'll tell you what, next time
I'm gonna buy stock in Kodak.

These guys must burn 10 rolls
for every picture they run. Ah-huh.

You got something?

The beard. Here, look.
Is this the same guy?

Let me see something. Come here.

Look. Look at this.

How's that?

Is that better? And right there?

They could be triplets.

Or just bad lighting.

One way to find out.

These men were all photographed

at AAC rallies in the past year.

As you can see, they
don't all look alike.

You recognize any of them?

From these?

Yeah.

You're just going
through the motions.

Here we go again.

Darryl Gates here
to whup me good.

Mr. Cook, once we
get this guy in custody,

you can make all the
speeches you want.

Until then, just look
at the damn pictures.

This one.

He lost the beard,
but he kept the eyes.

You've seen him before?

Yeah, I think so.

I don't know who he
is, but he's been around.

Thank you, Mr. Cook.

Mrs. Tate.

We think the suspect stalked
your husband before the shooting.

Ma'am, these men
were photographed

at your husband's
speeches this past year.

Now one of them might
be the man you saw.

That's him.

That's the man with the gun.

You're absolutely sure of that?

I'm absolutely sure.

Two for two.

African Episcopal
Church, Harlem, May 7.

LaSalle Hall, downtown, May 28.

Jackson Auditorium,
Harlem, July 26.

We have photos of rallies outside
the city at the same time period.

No sign of our guy.

Oh, lucky us.

One of our approximately
eight million locals.

What do you think, about, uh,
36, 37? Somewhere in there.

The beard is trimmed, the
clothes are clean. He's middle class.

Jewish?

Tate wasn't exactly
poster boy for B'nai Brith.

Somewhere in the five boroughs,
somebody's gotta love this face.

We go public with a picture,
our guy's gone forever.

Mikey, what about this
here? What is this writing?

What's that? L-A-C?

L-A-C-R... Lacrosse?

Varsity shirt. Yeah.

R-S-T. Amherst.

Joe College.

Okay, let's go.

Say he's in his late 30s.

That would make him
what, class of '75, '76?

That is if he
actually graduated.

Is it just me, or did everybody

look like Charlie Manson then?

No, they only became criminals

after they got their
Wall Street haircut.

I got it. Gotcha.

Here.

Well, hello, Mitchell Koblin.

Class of '74. Varsity
lacrosse. debating club.

Voted most likely to join
the Weather Underground.

I bet his parents
are very proud.

Koblin. Koblin.

Koblin.

Harvey, Lawrence, Robert.

No Mitchell.

Alumni directory. Right here.

Koblin, Mitchell. 62
Gramercy Park East.

Yes, that's Mitchell.

He shaved his beard last April.

What do you want with him?

He may have been
witness to a crime.

Well, is he all right?

We haven't been
able to talk to him yet.

When's the last time
you saw your son?

My birthday, last month.

Did you talk to Sandy? His wife.

Where can we reach them now?

They live on the
Upper West Side.

1290 West End.

Does your son currently belong
to any political organizations?

What? We checked his resume.

In the '70s, he was
a little left of center.

He had some arrests for
assault and weapons violations.

Mitchell was
cleared of all that.

Wait.

What the hell do
you really want?

He was present at the
murder of Marcus Tate.

It was a rally.
Hundreds of people.

He was armed with
a .38 caliber revolver.

That's ridiculous.

You want to talk to
us, talk to our attorney.

We're gone.

I can't believe
Mitchell would do that.

I mean, he sometimes...

Mrs. Koblin, if you could just
tell us where we could find him.

Mitchell and I are divorced.
He moved out last February.

His parents didn't mention it.

He was too
embarrassed to tell them.

We were the dream couple.

You know, all the
colors bleeding into one.

Did Mitchell ever talk
to you about Tate?

Nothing. But Mitchell might not have
bought every word out of Tate's mouth.

So he killed him?

He respected Marcus, his ideas,

and he insisted I do the same.

Mitchell wanted to get me
in touch with my black roots.

Come again?

Mitchell and I...

For nine years, we shared the
same bed for different reasons.

I thought I was getting
Gramercy Park and...

Mitchell wanted Harlem?

And I obliged.

It turned him on.

It was like the blacker I
got, the more he wanted me.

It was sick.

I wanted to rub his nose
in it, so I got a job at AAC.

You worked for the
Tate organization?

Since last year,
as a bookkeeper.

It was a mistake.

Why is that?

He accused me of sleeping with
every man at work, including Marcus.

What about the day
Marcus Tate was shot?

Did you see Mitchell there?

I was downstairs counting
receipts. I heard screams.

By the time I got upstairs,
everything was over.

You have any idea
where we can find him?

Last I heard, he was
teaching summer school

at I.S. 134 in the South Bronx.

Mitchell taught Current
American History.

Very up guy. The
kids used to love him.

What, did he
confiscate their guns?

He got laid off at
the end of last term.

The budget came
up short, they said.

Somebody wanted to
redecorate their offices.

I don't doubt it.
Now he substitutes.

But the guy's fried.

Sits at the front of the class thinking
what, I don't even wanna know.

You seen him this week?

No, last week. He
taught a couple of days.

You know where he's living now?

We reached him at the
Men's Athletic, downtown.

Excuse me.

No job, the wife dumped him.

Last time I got dumped, I
put my fist through a door.

This guy gets his
ya-yas out with a gun.

Mr. Koblin has been a guest since
late July, paid advance through August.

Bet he'll be checking
out sooner than that.

His key is here. He
is not in his room.

Excuse me.

There's the gymnasium.

Koblin's an ex-jock, ain't he?

Koblin.

Well, well, well.

Mitchell Koblin.

Mitchell Koblin,
you're under arrest,

for the murder of Marcus Tate.

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.

If you can't afford one,
one will be provided for you.

Do you understand these rights?

You guys are nuts!
I didn't kill anyone!

He asked you a
question, Mitchell.

Yeah... yeah, I
understand my rights.

Then shut up and lie still!

How could he possibly know
anything about this murder,

when he had
nothing to do with it?

If he was there.

I didn't hear him say he was.

We have eyewitnesses.

Who to believe? That's why
we have trials, Mr. Cerreta.

Det. Cerreta.

She put you up
to this, didn't she?

That slut's trying to frame
me! Mitch, that's enough.

You seem to be
very angry about this.

Want to tell me about it?

Are you investigating a
murder here, or a divorce?

If one leads to the other, both.

Political assassinations
as crimes of passion.

You're going to make a lot
of conspiracy buffs unhappy.

Let's just see what
we have here, okay?

Here.

What about these?

Tate's schedule and the
rally announcements, Mitchell.

What were these things
doing in your room?

Fine, we're not denying
he was at the rally.

To see his wife, nothing more.

What about this? This
is an article about Tate.

You have written here in the
margin, "typical Jew baiting."

And here, "hate-mongering crap."

Seems to me you had a
bone to pick with Mr. Tate.

And that constitutes intent?

You must be lining up suspects
from here to Plattsburgh.

You're missing the
big picture, Paul.

My guy is a patsy.

He didn't kill Tate.

Come on, Mitch.

His speeches stretching back...

One for two on ballistics.
The slug from Tate's unusable,

but the one from
the bodyguard's leg

is a conclusive match
with Koblin's .38.

The big picture
just got smaller.

"Docket Number 319167.

"People v. Mitchell M. Koblin.

"The charges are: murder
in the second degree,

"attempt to commit murder
in the second degree,

"criminal possession of a
weapon in the second degree,

and criminal possession of a
weapon in the third degree."

How does the defendant plead?

Not guilty, Your
Honor, on all counts.

Due to the highly volatile
nature of the crimes charged,

the State feels denying bail will be
in the best interest of all concerned,

including the defendant.

Civil liberties,
burden of proof,

my client hasn't been
convicted of anything.

I'm all for civil liberties. I'm also for
keeping him around to enjoy them.

So you can try him
on baseless charges?

With all due respect,
your logic escapes me.

It's you who's called upon to
provide the logic, Counselor,

and it's you who
hasn't met that burden.

The defendant will be held
without bail pending trial.

Your Honor... Counselor,

judicial discretion is a
wonderful thing. Next.

Gary Lowenthal?

Yes, sir.

His politics made a left
turn at Haight-Ashbury.

What's he doing
defending Tate's murderer?

Koblin's parents are probably
coughing up $400 an hour.

Pays for a lot of pro bono.

Something Koblin
knows all about.

10 years ago,
Koblin was arrested

for assaulting a cop
at a political protest.

Legal aid pled him
down to menacing.

Unfortunately his politics
matured from rocks to bullets.

If anything, the man's
politically psychotic.

His bio begins with the
SDS and ends with the JDL.

And Tate's been called an
anti-Semite for years, right?

Only he'd eased his position.

Recently he made public
overtures to the Jewish community.

Koblin had to know that.

I think we're looking
at a silver platter here.

We have witnesses,
ballistics. We don't need motive.

The service should always
include a silver spoon.

If a jury has any doubts,
motive puts them over the edge.

I'm supposed to get into a
political debate with the man?

I don't want Gary Lowenthal
tap-dancing his way into an acquittal,

and a soon-to-be
major motion picture.

Get me a motive.

Koblin's whole
world was collapsing.

He'd lost his job, he was lying
to his family about his divorce.

Murder is a hell
of a nice bandage.

A loner. An outsider.

His life was about
getting his wife back.

He worshipped her,
she worshipped Tate.

He killed Tate because
his wife dumped him?

Eliminate the competition?

A cry for attention?
Displacement?

Do unto Tate as you thought
Tate was doing unto you.

Pick your pathology.

So if we put his
ex on the stand,

she should give us all
the motive we need, right?

He was always
there, wherever I went.

It got so bad, I had to get
somebody to walk me home.

He swore he was
going to catch me.

Catch you doing what?

With Marcus.

Were you, in fact,
having an affair

with Marcus Tate, Mrs. Koblin?

Mrs. Koblin?

Yes.

Thank you.

Your witness.

Has my client ever done anything

that would indicate to
you he was a violent man?

No.

So he never hit you, or
even threatened to hit you?

No.

Did you ever hear him
threaten to kill Marcus Tate?

No.

Well, I certainly
admire his self-control.

If my wife...

Objection!

Withdrawn. Tell me, Mrs. Koblin,

to your knowledge, was
yours the only extramarital affair

Marcus Tate was engaged in?

No.

Is it possible, Mrs. Koblin

that other husbands
were not possessed

with the same
self-control as yours?

Objection.

We had just left the stage.

There was a big explosion.

Then guns, shooting everywhere.

Mr. Books screamed:

"He shot Marcus."

And I saw Koblin
holding his gun.

And what happened next?

I saw Marcus on the ground.

His mouth was full of blood.

I covered him with my body.

I rode with him to the hospital.

His head was in my lap,
his hand clenched to mine.

He never opened his eyes.

His grip never let up.

They took him into the hospital,

but I knew...

Thank you.

Just before the explosion, you
said you were leaving the auditorium.

Were you walking
beside your husband?

I was right behind him.

So before the explosion

you didn't actually see
Mr. Koblin in the hallway?

No.

You heard the gunshots,
then you fell to the ground.

Yes.

But it's true, isn't it, Mrs. Tate,
that you never actually saw

who it was that
shot your husband?

He had a gun. I saw it.

Yes, but we've heard testimony

that a lot of people
had guns that night.

Isn't it possible that
one of them shot...

Objection!

Mr. Lowenthal,

would you please
refrain from speculation?

It's true, isn't it, Mrs. Tate,

that your husband
received a lot of hate mail?

The world is
filled with racists.

So if someone disagrees with
your husband, he's a racist?

Your Honor...

I didn't say that.

Tell me, Mrs. Tate,

uh, were there black men who disagreed
with your husband's philosophies?

Uh, relevance, Your Honor?

As a matter of fact, within
your own organization

there were men who
believed Marcus Tate,

betrayed the
principles of the AAC.

Some of them,
perhaps, the same men,

who were carrying
guns that night.

People may disagree with
my husband, Mr. Lowenthal.

But there isn't one
member of the AAC

who wouldn't die for him.

Your Honor...

All right. Approach.

It's America, remember?

The defense is allowed to present
any defense it deems proper.

Proper, yes. Irrelevant, no.

An alternative
motive is irrelevant?

When they confuse and
mislead a jury, yes. The fact is...

The fact is you're
attempting to blind the jury

with mere suspicion.

Do you have any direct evidence

that someone else in the hall
was responsible for the murder?

No.

Then Mr. Stone's
objection is sustained.

Remember, Counselor, contempt
is solely within my discretion.

All right.

No further questions.

I was standing
right next to Marcus.

Yeah, I heard the explosion.

I saw the bastard pull his gun.

You're referring
to the defendant?

Yeah.

I was almost face
to face with him.

So you're positive it was
Mr. Koblin who shot Marcus Tate?

I was two, three yards away.

Yeah, I saw him.

Thank you.

You were, at most, 10
feet from the defendant,

you saw him pull his gun,

you saw him shoot.

That's what I said.

One hell of a bodyguard,
aren't you, Mr. Cook?

Objection.

We can do without the
sarcasm, Counselor.

When you were face to
face with the defendant,

was that before the explosion?

Yeah.

So out of all the people
outside the auditorium,

you chose to
focus on Mr. Koblin.

Was it because he
looked suspicious?

Yeah, he did. My job
is to protect Marcus.

From suspicious-looking people,

or from suspicious-looking
white people?

Objection.

Withdrawn.

True or false, Mr. Cook:

the defendant had the only
white face in the crowd that night?

That's right.

In fact, the sole reason you focused
on Mr. Koblin was because he's white.

I said he looked suspicious.

And you're suspicious of
white men, isn't that right?

Objection.

Sustained.

So you were suspicious, and
it wasn't because he was white.

What was it, then?
Because he had curly hair?

Because he had a big nose?

They talk liberal, but they
hire us to clean their toilets.

Who are you referring to?

Are you talking about the
people who own banks?

Who own the housing
where you live?

Your Honor... Am I one
of those people, Otis?

That damn Jew killed Marcus, and all
you Jew lawyers gonna let him walk?

Mr. Cook, please sit down.

It is clear this witness
did not see the shooter.

He saw a white Jew, and
his prejudice did the rest.

It may be clear
to you, Counselor.

Now, change your line of
questioning, or have a seat.

No more questions.

Thank you, Your Honor.

You should've stopped it. The man killed
Marcus, now he seems like the victim.

The jury will see past that.

What if they don't?

That man gets off, and those
LA riots will look like a pillow fight.

And you'd endorse that?

I look for justice
inside the courtroom.

Others may not be
quite so enlightened.

No, I didn't agree with
everything Marcus said.

But I respected him,
the work he was doing.

So you did not, in fact,
go to the rally to kill him.

I went to the rally
to see my wife.

She was trying to avoid
me, but I knew she'd be there.

So I thought I'd catch her and
speak to her on the way out.

When you heard the
explosion, what did you do?

I was scared. I pulled my gun.

Then I saw Otis screaming
and pointing at me, so I ran.

And that's when you saw
the security guard, Harlans.

Aiming his gun at me.

So you shot him?

He was gonna shoot me.

Tell me, sir, why didn't you get
rid of your gun after the shooting?

Why would I?

I knew a bullet from my
gun didn't kill Marcus Tate.

No further questions.

Mr. Koblin,

why did you think it necessary
to carry a gun to the rally?

I traveled up to
Harlem by subway.

I was just being safe.

You teach in the South
Bronx, isn't that right?

I'm a substitute teacher.

And you commute by
subway, is that right? Yes.

Tell me, sir, do you carry
a gun in the classroom?

That's different.

Of course, it is. Marcus
Tate isn't likely to show up

at I.S. 134.

Objection.

Withdrawn.

Uh, Mr. Koblin, do
you love your ex-wife?

Very much.

Yet she slept with
Marcus Tate, right?

You hounded her.

I admit I was a little crazy.
Jealousy's not a crime.

You'd do anything
to get her back, right?

Not anything.

John Hinckley's a
nutcase. I'm just a little...

A little crazy.

72 hours. I thought they'd
be in and out by now.

He had our witnesses tripping
over their own testimony.

He may have confused the jury.

Yeah, that's his special talent.

He needs only one out of 12, but I
suppose he's pushing for a mistrial.

On all four burners.

Don't fight it.

At least you'll know
his M.O. on retrial.

The facts speak for
themselves, Adam.

And Lowenthal's
two-step notwithstanding,

I think the jury will convict.

Yes?

Thanks.

Time to find out.

The first count
of the indictment:

criminal possession of a
weapon in the third degree.

How do you find?

Guilty.

Second count:

criminal possession of a
weapon in the second degree.

How do you find?

Not guilty.

On the third count:

attempt to commit murder
in the second degree.

How do you find?

Not guilty.

And the last count:

murder in the second degree.

How do you find?

Not guilty.

Will you quiet
down in this court?

Every black pseudo-politico from
Binghamton to Brighton Beach,

has been screaming for my head.

Word on the street is
"no justice, no peace."

At least the weapons charge...

The weapons charge
is a thorn in his paw.

He'll be out in
less than a year.

You talk to the jury?

The foreman said we never
connected Koblin's gun to the murder.

Otis' testimony was unreliable.

And the burden of proof
had nothing to do with it.

Lowenthal made
the trial a showcase

for black racism,
the jury bought it.

They couldn't see the
facts through their fears.

The Constitution guarantees an
impartial jury, not a jury with thick skin.

Before we start blue-penciling
the Sixth Amendment,

maybe we ought to
press the rewind button.

I want you to double-check
every word of that trial transcript.

Fifth Amendment.
Double jeopardy.

I'm not talking about
murder. Mississippi.

Three dead civil rights workers.

A Federal case.

I want to establish a
case of civil rights violation.

Maybe we can feed
the Feds a lay-up.

Lowenthal pulled one
rabbit out of his hat.

Even if we make a Federal case against
Koblin, there must be more in there.

Maybe it wasn't a rabbit.

Hey, you're not saying
that Koblin didn't shoot Tate.

Well, we're not in Simi Valley.

24 eyes in a jury sometimes see
things that adversaries overlook.

Like what?

Maybe Lowenthal was right
about trouble at the AAC.

What about the jealous husbands?

We go after everyone
whose wife slept with Tate?

We go after the person who's
conveniently evading the truth.

Koblin's ex

says that he
bothered her at work.

She had to be escorted home.

Now, if you need protection
over there, who do you ask?

A bodyguard.

Right.

Otis?

Right.

And if it was Otis,

he's gotta be lying about
not recognizing Koblin.

And it could be he's lying
about a lot more than that.

I didn't think he
was going to hit me.

I just didn't want
to be hassled.

So I asked Otis to walk me home.

Did Mitchell approach you
when you left the building?

Like the storming
of the Bastille.

They almost came to blows.

Otis and your husband?

Was it true what
Mr. Lowenthal said

about internal
dissension at the AAC?

I'm hardly a member
of the inner sanctum.

You let Koblin walk. You
screwed up. So why not?

Blame it on the niggers. They
must have done something.

Mrs. Tate, if there was
any infighting at the AAC...

There wasn't.

We have reason to believe
Otis Cook was involved.

Scrub all you want
to, Mr. Robinette.

It doesn't come off.

The fact is that
Mr. Cook lied to us.

He told police that he
didn't know Mr. Koblin.

Sandra Koblin told us that they
almost came to blows a month ago.

She has no reason to lie.

Neither do I.

She knows what happened, Adam.

But there's no way she's
gonna play show-and-tell with us.

You agree?

You were there,
Paul. You saw her.

I saw a woman protecting an
organization she believed in.

And she's protecting a
man who killed her husband.

If there's a chance that
she's covering after the fact,

then she's part of the
conspiracy. Arrest her.

A hunch is evidence?

No.

But maybe a few hours
behind bars, she'll give us some.

Let me talk to her.

We spent our lives
building the AAC.

You think I'm gonna
help you destroy it?

Am I looking at Coretta
King, or a woman scorned?

Caesar's wife should be
pure, Mr. Robinette, not Caesar.

Otis Cook may
have been involved.

You don't want justice?

I was Michelle
Perkins, 16 years old,

dreaming of becoming a sorority
sister in Alpha Rho at Vassar,

until the President
handed me a mirror.

Maybe you should
look in that mirror

before talking to
me about justice.

Whoa, whoa.

Wipe away the rhetoric

and all I see is a woman protecting
the man who killed her husband.

And I see a man manipulated
into turning on his own people.

My people aren't murderers.

Back of the bus
died a long time ago.

Words on a page.

Look into the hearts of the men

you drink coffee
with every morning.

That bus has a long way to go.

Protecting Otis won't
get you there any quicker.

I will not allow the tragedy
of my husband's death

to undermine all that I've done.

If you're right, those men will
receive justice, but on my terms.

If you withhold evidence,

the law says you're
a co-conspirator.

We do what we
have to, Mr. Robinette.

So it was Otis.

I checked the police report.

Mrs. Tate said, Roland
Books redirected them

towards the front
door of Nation Hall.

Yeah, something about the
police blocking the back alley.

I checked with the police.
There were two cars on the scene.

Both in front.

The question is, why?

Tate was moderating
his politics.

Maybe Books didn't agree.

Books lied. Otis lied.

So they'll never
make Eagle Scout.

You gotta have
proof for a conviction.

You try them, we lose, hang
my picture next to David Duke's.

No direct evidence, no trial.

So let's get Books
and Otis in here.

We have nothing to
pressure them with.

Mrs. Tate won't talk.

They don't know that.

Talk about hi-tech lynchings.

If they're paying you
by the head, Stone,

don't expect a
paycheck this week.

If that were true, Mr. Johnson,

I'd be happily out
shopping for a Rolex.

We know that your client and
Otis Cook killed Marcus Tate,

and I assure you, we'll
put them both in prison.

Marcus Tate was a beacon.

He wasn't blinded by a thousand
points of light. There was only one.

And you want it shining on you.

The mere fact that we're here means
you don't have enough to convict.

If you're looking for a
confession, Counselor,

you better clean your
bifocals. It's not coming.

Maybe not from
your side of the table.

You lied about Koblin.

Maybe I got a bad memory.

It'll buy you a couple in Attica

for perjury and obstruction.

That's just the beginning.

You're implying that my client
was somehow involved in this?

I'm saying he
pulled the trigger.

He talks to me
about Books, and...

Why don't you go
prosecute a jaywalker?

Life's tough, Otis.

It's a lot tougher
when you're stupid.

Books sold out Tate. You think
he's gonna think twice about you?

I didn't kill the man.

You can squeeze as
hard as you want, brother.

You'll get nothing.

We know that Otis lied.

He was merely putting
nails in Koblin's coffin.

The man did kill Marcus.

That's not what
the jury thought.

Otis wanted justice.
The system has seams,

he feared it. And
you proved him right.

Mitchell Koblin was acquitted

because we
couldn't link his gun.

And what if Mitchell
Koblin was black?

You think your precious jury would
have overlooked the missing bullet?

Mr. Stone, please,
I'm not ignorant.

I can see what you're doing.

It's CYA time. You
couldn't convict Koblin

so you need scapegoats,
preferably black ones.

Maybe he was acquitted
because he was innocent.

Mr. Lowenthal
painted a sexy picture,

a coup d'etat in front of hundreds
of people and a bevy of cops.

The jury bought it
because they wanted to,

because the idea
of a lone gunman

that can assassinate a
leader rocks the comfort zone.

And a conspiracy
is more palatable?

Hollywood puts out a film

based on nothing, on hearsay,

and it grosses hundreds
of millions of dollars.

Go ahead, Mr. Stone,
prosecute me.

Maybe the world will
sleep a little better for it,

but you won't get a conviction.

We both know that.

He's right. We couldn't
even get an indictment.

Maybe Books wasn't involved.

It wasn't Koblin
and it wasn't Books.

Then who?

There were a couple
of hundred people there.

The beauty of conspiracy.

Hell, blame it on the CIA.

They haven't been
fingered in years.