Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 3, Episode 20 - Law & Order - full transcript

A teenage Romanian immigrant kills his father, a cruel former Romanian secret police officer, after his father kills his own brother. The boy's defense attorney offers a "cultural insanity" defense.

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.

Man, that toilet didn't
even have a guest list.

Well, those other people got in.

Yeah, you come
in a limo, you get in.

So, uh, we try the Milk Bar.

I think I did the doorman.

Well, that's who he said he was.

Whoever did it was in a hurry.

Left his wallet.
Name's Nicolas Iliescu.

Lives on 28th St.

What'd they kill him
with, a cheese grater?

Dragged on the
pavement. High speed.

Hit and run?

Hit someone accidentally,

you don't need to shoot
them twice in the head.

We got some witnesses?


You girls see what happened?

This car just came
out of nowhere

with this guy
draggin' alongside.

Came from where?

There. Wrong way up 13th.

It tore down here
and kept going.

Did you get a look
at who was driving?

White? Black? Male? Female?


How about the car?

I don't know cars. I
mean, it wasn't real new.

Was it a two-door
or a four-door?

Light? Dark?

Don't know.

I'm gonna give you my card.

If you remember anything,
I want you to call me, okay?

What do you got?


Could be the mob.

Could be a carjacking.

Could be a hack
who didn't like his tip.

"Glass fragments from the
accident site inconclusive.

"Autopsy shows two close
contact entry wounds to the head.

"A 9-millimeter slug found
at the base of the skull."

Lands and grooves
make it a Beretta 92.

Any ballistics match
on the computer?

So with hot water and a
shoe, we could make soup.

Okay. D.M.V. shows
our Mr. Iliescu owned

an '88 Pontiac
Bonneville, burgundy.

It's hardly a color
worth dying for.

The wife is due at the
morgue in 15 minutes.

Let's see what she knows.

My family and I left
Hungary 30 years ago.

We wanted to get
away of oppression.

Nicolas and I left
Bucharest 10 years ago

to get away of the violence.

You said he was
working late on the books.

Did he ever call?

Yes, around, uh, 12:30.

Leon doesn't sleep
well. He answered.

I... I was too
tired to talk to him.

All right, all right.

What did your father say, Leon?

He's not my father,
he's my uncle.

He said he was on his way home.

Just take a minute, all right?

It's a mistake.

Sometimes you
read about mistakes.

I'm afraid it's not, ma'am.

We found your
husband's ID on the body.


I'm sorry.

Car's been found.
Lower East Side.

Piranhas leave more.

Piranhas don't need a
daily C-note for crack.

Were you able to I.D.
the car that did this?

The paint pyrogram matched
a white acrylic enamel.

Very widely used.

The trunk was hit
pretty high, huh?

Yeah. Probably a truck or a van.

It hits him.

Before he even has a chance
to get out and check the damage,

the bad guy comes
in the passenger side,

and Mr. Iliescu is looking at
the business end of a Beretta.

Bang bang.

Autopsy says one
was a clear-through.

We found the slug up here.

It was right there.
We sent it to ballistics.


So he pushes Nick's
body out of the car

and he drives
off with his prize.

Yeah. Problem is,

Nick gets caught in the seatbelt

and dragged for half a block.

That's a lot of
trouble, for what?

Blue Book, this is $2,000,
minus a fencer's discount.

Hey, people get knocked
off for subway change.

Maybe the guys
who stripped the car

know how it got into that alley.


Those seats have to be
in a chop shop somewhere.

Yeah, all right.

Well, thanks, anyway.

Auto Crimes gave us a list

of auto parts
dealers with priors.

Must be over 400 auto
body shops in New York.

Any that didn't make the list?

Pontiac Bonneville, '88.

Yeah. No, no, not the 1-120s,
the 40-90s with the armrest.

No? Thank you.

Yeah, I'm looking for a
1988 Pontiac Bonneville.

Grey velour, driver's
side front bucket seats.

Yeah, model 40-90 with armrests.

Is that too much to ask?

Well, how about the seats?

You do?

Wait a second, are you sure?

Because I called you
the day before yesterday,

and you didn't have any.

Just came in? I'm interested.

I'm gonna be right
down. Thank you.

What have you got?

Morrie's Auto Wreckers,
107 East Fourth St.

They also fit the
'86 and '87 models.

Here, they're right over here.

Came in this morning.

Bring the vehicle in,
I'll install them cheap.

How much to wipe off the blood?

Blood? Come on.

That's, uh, ice
cream or ketchup, uh.

They had kids.

Those kids would be orphans.

Hey, the car was
stripped last night

eight blocks from
here. The owner's dead.

I knew you were blue
the minute you walked in.

Be my guest. Take them.

I'm gonna want some
names. Who'd you buy it from?

I don't send these
guys Christmas cards.

The deal's strictly
cash for parts.

Listen, you start
poking around here

or your deal's gonna be

making license plates
for cigarette money.

I don't know their names.

They only come
in a couple of times.

I worked on one
guy's van. Long hair.

All right, come on, what else?

You know, scars, tattoos, what?

The other guy, uh,

leather jacket with, uh,
safety pins and studs.

On the back, says "No Bozo Jam."

♪ Any situation ♪

♪ Jump, you know
what I'm saying, boys ♪

♪ Don't tell me what
you call your foursome ♪

♪ That's your label,
you know what I mean ♪

♪ You're emotionally unstable,
all you do is watch cable ♪

♪ Your papa was a
loser, a stone-cold loser ♪

♪ At least he never
kissed ass ♪♪

I can hear it in my fillings.

Doesn't anybody
jitterbug anymore?

Hey, what's a guy do to
get served around here?

Put a hole in his nose?

Miss, you ever hear
of No Bozo Jam?

This is the Dog and Razor Club.

You like loser groups,

try Tuesday amateur
night at Shriek.

Uh, maybe from
some, uh, earlier gig?

Here's their flier.

Great. Where do we find them?

Oh, yeah.

You know, Ronda used
to play sets with them.

Where's Ronda?

On percussion at The Hole.


You know, I don't want it around

that I played with No Bozo,

because things are
happenin' for me.

We'll try to keep it
out of Rolling Stone.

Two super dysfunctionals.

They, uh, give a new
meaning to the word clueless.

We want names.

What about the guy who
wears the leather jacket?

Skank. Wayne
Jeffers, the lead singer.

Then there was, um...

I... I don't... I don't
remember. He played bass.

Any idea where we can find them?

Uh, if they haven't
won the lotto,

they're squattin' in
the Belmont Building

over on Avenue D and Sixth.

That's the same block
as where we found the car.

Get your hands behind your head!

Lace the fingers together!
Spread your legs apart!

Don't even think about it.

Wayne Jeffers,
you're under arrest.

What about the equipment?

You're travelin' light.

No, he's not.
9-millimeter Beretta.

Look, I told you. The
car was just there.

We took what we
could. End of story.

After you killed
Nicolas Iliescu.

I found the gun on the
front seat, passenger side.

You found the gun
on the front seat

and you didn't see his brains
splattered all over the dashboard?

Yeah, yeah, I saw
the blood and the meat.

It's a tough neighborhood.

Someone ditched the car.
What do you want from me?

We stripped the car seats and
the cassette decks for money,

but we didn't kill anyone.

Oh, sure. And where
did you get this?

Come on, Skank, you can't
be as dumb as your haircut!

We found this in
your pants pocket!

It was under the seat.

I thought it might be
good for something.

Yeah, like grand larceny,

which we're gonna add to
the theft and murder charge.

How many times I gotta tell you?

We didn't kill anybody.
We just needed some cash.

Slugs in the vic's
skull match the Beretta.

His are the only prints on it.

If I was gonna kill a guy,

you think I'd do it
for a Bonneville?

I think you'd do
it for a shoelace.

Your buddy's prints
are on the gun.

My guess is

right now he's in the
other room rollin' on you.

That's a lie!

I told you, we was performing.

Let's try a little
remedial math, Skank.

There's two of you, but
there's only one deal.

Now, who's gonna get
the deal, you or him?

Their alibi sings,
even if they can't.

Uh, from midnight to 6:00 a.m.,

Moe and Larry were
poppin' eardrums

at a club called
Dreck. 150 witnesses.

Who would've thought these
clowns were tellin' the truth?

Hey, you're lookin' for a patsy,

what could be better than
dumpin' the car and weapon

in the middle of Junkieville?

Yeah. The first vulture that comes
along gets booked for murder.

The first vulture
without an alibi

gets locked in a cage
for a very long time.

These guys are smart.

Well, but maybe
they weren't so tidy.

Righteous brother
number one claims

he found this in the car.

Mr. Brian Hollingsworth.

What, you think he was in a
hurry to get out and dropped it?

So much for leaving
home without it.

Check him out.

Last week we came in low bid

on office space for
a midtown law firm.

Architect's dream.

Bought a round of Stoli
at P.J.'s to celebrate

and I paid for it with this.

Yeah, well, your
name is also on this.

That's my old number. I
had to cancel that card.

Someone charged
$7,000 in merchandise.

They said someone
had gotten my number

and made a phony card.

Have you ever heard of
Iliescu Antique Furniture Store?

Yes. My wife and I
bought a credenza,

a French provincial,

only our decorator said
it was actually Hungarian.

And you bought it
with a credit card?

No, they wouldn't take cards.

I had to pay by check.

I don't... I don't
see the connection.

Nicolas Iliescu, the
owner, was murdered

and this card was
found in his car.

Well, I'm not in any
kind of danger, am I?

So he bought the credenza
from the guy who fakes his card?


But how did he fake
the card without seein' it?

You know, I bought a
jacket two weeks ago,

but my card was loaded,
so I wrote him a check.

And you know what else?

You had to give
two forms of I.D.

Your driver's license
and your credit card.

So we checked the bank that
issued Hollingsworth's credit card.

In the last six months,

they had a dozen customers
complain of fraudulent charges.

And of those 12,

four of them bought
furniture from Iliescu's store.

All by check,

and they all gave
him two forms of I.D.,

one of which was a credit card.

So Iliescu copies the
number, prints up a phony card,

and runs up a tab all over town.

What, you figure
the murder's related?

Successful at one felony,
why not branch out?

Could be he had a partner
and one of them got greedy.

Okay, talk to his wife.

Five years ago,

we went back to
Europe for eight weeks.

We sublet the apartment.

Nickie wanted to declare
the income on our taxes.

I said, "Who is gonna know?"

He says, "I will."

So there is no way
Nickie was involved in this.

I know...

I knew him.

Did he gamble,

or did he have
any other hobbies?

He worked. He
came home. That's all.

Ma'am, we do know

the crime originated
in your store.

Well, it was Nickie's store,
but other people worked there.

Mrs. Iliescu,

if you'd give us
your permission,

uh, we can look
around the store.

Nickie's brother,
Alex, should be there.

Just tell him I
said it was okay.

It was much easier for
the police in my country.

Here, the police need
things like warrants.

Well, we don't need one
when the owner consents.

Ah, Karen.

She's doing very well now,
under the circumstances.

You worked for Nick for
a long time, didn't you?


You know, I was
like you in my country.

A policeman.

Now I fix chairs
for my baby brother.

Detective, there's
a safe back here.

Sometimes we are paid in cash.

You mind?

Tommy, open the safe
for these gentlemen.

Tommy's a hard
worker, an honest man,

something else you don't
find many of back home.

Yeah, there's not
many here either.

You really think
Nick was involved

with this, uh,
credit card thing?

Do you?

Well, sometimes
business wasn't so great.

See what I mean?

What are these,
corporate ledgers?

You're the cop.

We checked the signatures

on the time cards
in Iliescu's store.


That Jerry down the hall?

He'll tell you a man's fingerprint
will divulge his entire personality

You ask me, that's
a bunch of crap.

Signature, that's a
horse of a different color.

We just want to know
if any of these match.

Well, look for yourself.

See the "y" at the end of Tommy?

The angle of the upstroke
and how it's cut short?

Now look at the "y" in O'Malley.


You get that close at the track,

you retire early.

So you're saying that
Tommy Zanescu forged these?

Looks like it.

Give me a full exemplar,
I'll know for sure.


Hey, we can pick him
up now on grand theft.

And what, squeeze him
till he confesses to murder?

Forensics says

that Iliescu's car was
rammed by a truck.

Furniture stores
make deliveries.

Are you kidding me?

These guys are slave drivers.

Me and Julio, sometimes
up to 10 deliveries a day.

That's why I eat
so healthy, guys.

A slice with some sausage is
one of your three basic food groups.

Hey, you and Julio,
they don't make you

lug pianos uptown on your backs.

Do me a favor. Don't give
them any ideas, all right?

To save a buck, these
guys'll probably ditch the truck.

What kind of truck, Hector?

Ford. White.

Anybody, uh, fix
the bumper lately?

Hey, I haven't even
seen it in a couple of days.

Tommy took it, um, last Tuesday.

And he never brought it back?

Hey, do me a favor. You find it,

I'm in no rush, all right.
Know what I mean?

O'Malley, Hollingsworth,
Ford, Cohen.

I don't know these people.

That's funny,

'cause you ran up over
$80,000 on their cards.

I don't see my client's
name anywhere.

Our handwriting expert tells us

that he signed
every one of those.

Handwriting expert? What's next?

Maybe you want to read his palm?

Or how about some tea leaves?

I hear they're very
good for telling the future.

Hey, you want to
know the future?

Try 25 years in Attica.

Hey, I don't know what F. Lee
Yahoo here told you, Tommy,

but we got you for
forgery and grand larceny

and that adds up to a
lot of years all by itself.

And then when you
add murder two...

You cannot tie me to any murder.

The delivery man told
us you took the truck.

It's only a matter of
time until we find it

and if we find any paint

from Nick's car on the bumper...

Oh, wait a minute,
wait a minute, Lennie.

Let Mr. Forrelli
here explain it to him.

That's what you're
paying him for, right?

We know there were two.

Just tell us who the
other person was.

Maybe we can work
something out here.

I don't know if they
give out gold stars

for loyalty in your country,

but over here, all you get
is a set of striped pajamas

and the word "schmo"
stamped on your forehead.

The world's not as big
as you think it is, Tommy.

We're gonna find your partner.

The question you
have to ask yourself,

will he be this loyal to you?

You have authority to deal?

We have the D.A.'s ear.


Nick's brother?

Nick found out.

He searched the store,
found the forged cards...

And you killed Nick

to keep him from
going to the police?

I thought we were just
going to get the cards back.

I never thought he'd
kill his own brother.

Where's the truck?

In a rent-a-garage
on Corona, 108th St.

You sure this is okay?

The guy gave us
the key, didn't he?

You know, I thought
something was wrong.

Guy has a business in Manhattan.

Why does he want
a garage in Queens?

White Ford van!

Those two guys,
a guy could tell.

You know what I mean.

Yeah, thanks.


I wonder if he reported
that to his insurance agent.

Burgundy paint.

Just like his
brother's Bonneville.

What's Romanian for
"You're under arrest"?

This is a mistake.

Sounds just like English.

Alex Iliescu,
you're under arrest

for the murder
of Nicolas Iliescu.

You have the right
to remain silent.

Anything you say can be used

against you in a court of law...

"Docket number 651328.

"People v. Alexei
Iliescu on the charge

"of murder in the second degree,

"robbery in the first degree,

and scheme to defraud
in the first degree."

How does the defendant plead?

I plead not guilty
to all counts.

And the State's
response to Mr. Iliescu's

sweeping declaration
of innocence?

As a Romanian national, we feel

Mr. Iliescu represents
a strong risk of flight.

We ask he be held without bail.

That's the message you send
to the emerging democracies?

Bail is set at $500,000.

Your Honor,
Mr. Iliescu struggles

to earn a living in a
small furniture store.

I appreciate his efforts

in pursuit of the
American dream,

but murder simply is
the wrong approach.

I begged Nick not to let
Alex into the business.

He could not refuse his brother.

This is how he repays Nick.

I assure you, Alex
will pay for what he did.

I read the papers, Mr. Stone.

I see how difficult it
is to convict a criminal.

I will help you.

I will testify on
behalf of the State.

But unless you have
specific evidence

relating to the crime...

My Nickie wasn't
the first he killed!

You have knowledge
of other crimes?

In Romania, Alex was
an officer in the Securitate,

the secret police.

He killed hundreds.

I understand,

but the court may
rule that inadmissible.

Now, if Leon...

Leon has nothing
to do with this.

Nickie and I kept him away.

We taught him that
here in America,

the laws mean something.

I hope we didn't taught
him wrong, Mr. Stone.

Mrs. Iliescu,
please listen to me.

In my opinion,

we have sufficient
evidence to convict Alex.

Hope you're not
making hollow promises.

Kaplan just brought
this motion to suppress

all the evidence
found in the garage.

I'm a little surprised,
Mr. Stone. No warrant.

It wasn't necessary, Your Honor.

They had consent.

From the wrong person.
You'll see on the lease

Alex Iliescu is the sole renter

of the storage garage.

Tommy Zanescu didn't
have authority to consent.

They had joint
authority, Your Honor.

I don't see any
reference to joint authority

in this lease.

Mr. Zanescu gave
the officers the keys.

So what? The janitor
probably has keys

to this office. He can't
consent to a search.

Well, even if the officers
had made a technical mistake,

under Illinois v. Rodriguez
they still could search

with a good faith
belief that Mr. Zanescu

had the apparent
authority to consent.

If Justice Rehnquist
conducted the search instead of

the New York
Police, you'd be right.

But this state
requires some inquiry

as to whether the
consenting party

controls the property.

So what should the
police have done?

Reasonable inquiry
was easily available

in a file cabinet
in the rental office

just 100 feet away.

Your Honor...

Mr. Stone, I don't
much fancy the thought

of the police searching my home

because a suspected felon

may give out keys and a say-so.

I'm declaring the truck
and all of the other evidence

found in the
garage inadmissible.

Thank you, Your
Honor. Considering

the paucity of evidence
against my client...

I'm one step ahead
of you, Mr. Kaplan.

The case against
Mr. Iliescu is dismissed.

I don't get it,
Ben. Don't you talk

to our cops? Apprise
them of the law?

They acted well

within the boundaries
of normal procedure.

They can't anticipate
the call of every judge.

We still have Tommy
Zanescu's statement.

The uncorroborated
testimony of a felon?

Feeling masochistic this week?

Judge Kleinfeldt
is not the only judge

that likes evidence
in her courtroom.

The manager of the
garage can ID Alex.



Yes, they're in my office.

Well, we're off the hook, boys.

Alex Iliescu has been called

to answer before a higher court.

These three deep
wounds to the upper back

should have been fatal.

And the rest were just for fun?

Man likes work, hard to
get him out of the office.

This guy really got into it.

Broken tip of the
blade was protruding

from where it hit his rib.

Looks like a boning knife
was the weapon of choice.

You know, he might have
took a few swings with this.

I want you to check
all the shards for prints,

blood, whatever.

It's obvious the man
was security conscious.

Whoever got in was let in.

Probably someone he knew.

Kitchen knife. Sounds domestic.

Mrs. Iliescu,

we'd like to ask
you some questions.

It's about Alex Iliescu's death.

You promised us
justice. You released him.

Aunt Karen.

Leon, call the lawyer.
He's expecting it.

Come on, Ben,

let's share a little
responsibility here.

Responsibility, Jonathan?

I didn't stab anyone.

Your life wasn't in danger

from a stone-cold
killer that you released.

He was killed in his apartment,

not breaking into her house.

Texas, Ben. The Burning Bed.

The law has held that

self-defense can be pre-emptive.

The danger doesn't
have to be imminent.

For a battered wife
killing an abusive husband.

Alex Iliescu never
laid a hand on her.

He made her a widow.

They will also hear
how this woman

pleaded with this
prosecutor for protection.

Mrs. Iliescu, if
you were so afraid,

why didn't you call us?

You let him go.

Why should I believe
you would have helped us?

If you were so anxious
to help her then,

help her now.

Man two with a
suspended sentence.

Man two, she serves the maximum.

She'll never serve a day, Ben.

I'll see you in court.

Unless they rewrite the statute,

self-defense requires
imminent danger.

Juries deal in
equities, not statutes.

This guy killed thousands.

Shapiro will talk
the jury into thinking

the killing was
a public service.

We have a problem.
Karen Iliescu's confession

doesn't match the evidence.

What evidence?

The blood on the bottle
Alex used to defend himself

doesn't match his or Karen's.

So she confessed to a
crime she didn't commit.

She's protecting someone.

Who's left? The boy.

Call Briscoe and Logan.

When we brought Leon
back from Romania,

he lived with us like a son.

I wanted him to
have a normal life.

He deserved it.

He murdered his
father, Mrs. Iliescu.

In terms of a normal
life, he's off to a bad start.

Take into account
what his father was,

the fear his father
inspired in him.

I'm going to plead
Leon not guilty

by reason of mental defect.

Insanity? Come on, Jonathan.

Based on what?

His family, specifically Leon.

He's been haunted,

severely damaged by
a very terrifying past.

Back to Romania.

You were not there.

You haven't seen what I've seen.

And what he saw,
the jury will see.

And they'll know that Leon did

what his life in Romania
conditioned him to do.

It's cultural insanity.

No judge is gonna buy that.

Well, look, you're so sure,
make a motion to preclude.

You think he
actually has a chance

with this cultural
insanity defense?

I think he has a knack
for creating things.

There's nothing he likes better

than making new law.

But taken to the extreme,

this defense would mean

that nobody's
responsible for anything.

Yeah, and that's exactly
where the law's heading.

Something wrong, someone to sue.

That's civil law, not criminal.

You think anyone knows
the difference or cares?

Shapiro's raising the defense.

Translation, we
take it seriously.

Now, what about Liz?
She talk to the boy?

No. This afternoon.

Well, if she has any
doubts, cut a deal.

I remember my mother.

She take me to
the State Building.

She, uh, has to
see the physician,

so she, uh, leave
me with my father.

He worked for the State.

How old were you, Leon?

Um, maybe 11, 10.

The sergeant, he, uh,
take me to my father.

He was in the quadrangle
outside the cell block.

The prisoners, they were

chained together at the ankles

and they had to watch,

or the guards would beat them.

What did they have to watch?

Another prisoner on the ground.

He, uh...

The guards stand on his arms

so he cannot move.

His feet are tied to a post.

A big man,

he is beating on the soles

of the prisoner's
feet with a club.

The big man turn around.

It was my father.

How did you feel about that?

I was proud.

Proud of his brutality?

We got respect.

We live well because
of what my father did.

Every time Ceausescu
give an address,

there is my father,

the fourth man on his right.

He said when I am
grown, that would be me.

He was raised with
violence and brutality

as a fact of life.

It had to have an effect.

I wasn't exactly invited
to the Queen's tea

when I was a kid.

I didn't kill anybody, and
I don't think I'm insane.

But figuratively,

Leon was invited
to the palace ball.

He saw his father's cruelty,

and he also saw him
get rewarded for it.

He became what
his culture prescribed.

He couldn't reject
his father's life.

So Shapiro's theory is valid?

In theory, yes.

What bothers me is not
so much what Leon says,

but the way in which he says it.

He's reciting a
litany of horrors

he experienced as a youth,

but there's a weird enthusiasm

as if he's describing
the actualization

of some fantasy.

Does he have a mental defect?

I'd be able to testify that

although he may have
been traumatized as a youth,

he knew exactly
what he was doing

when he killed his father.

You will hear a taped confession

in which Leon Iliescu describes

plunging a knife repeatedly
into his father's back.

And he doesn't say
that his act is justified.

What he does say

is that because of his
youth in a violent police state

he cannot be held
legally responsible

for his acts.

He is legally insane.

In short, Leon is saying,

"I'm not guilty.
Society made me do it."

I only ask that

when you are confronted
with this mountain

of psychoanalytic verbiage

that you keep in mind
the real victim of this crime

found on the floor
of his own apartment

with the blade of a boning knife

broken in his back,

murdered by his own son.

Only then can you determine

whether Leon is
the victim of society

or society is the
victim of Leon.

My father, God bless him,

had a little tailor shop right
down here on Church St.

When I was 5 years old,

he made me sit behind a counter

and talk to the customers.

When I was 10, he
taught me to use the press.

At 12, the sewing machine.

To him, there would be
nothing greater in this world

than to hang a sign,
"Shapiro and Son."

You will see that it was
the same for Leon Iliescu.

Only his father made him
watch public executions.

He taught him how to
use a pistol and a whip.

The only path to
success for Leon

was State-sanctioned brutality.

Then suddenly, he was
brought to this country.

His aunt and uncle
tried to salvage

the human being in him.

They taught him that

his father's way
of life was wrong.

But then his uncle was
murdered by his father,

and the State said it was okay.

And something inside
of Leon went snap.

He lived with us
the last seven years.

Please describe
anything in Leon's behavior

that would lead you to believe
that he had a mental problem.

He did not sleep well.

And that's all?

I don't want to talk about Leon.

I don't want to be here!

Did any of his teachers...

Did they complain
about his behavior?

He had trouble in school.

But I helped him.

Mrs. Iliescu, that is not
an answer to my question.

Did his teachers complain
about his behavior?

Answer the question.


And did he ever
get into any fights

in the neighborhood?


Was there anything
in his behavior

that would lead you to believe

that he needed
psychiatric treatment?


Thank you.

At what point in the seven years

that he lived with you

did Leon begin to need
help with his schoolwork?

He was a good student

until his father came
over from Romania.

Was that about the time

he started having
trouble sleeping?

Yes. He had nightmares.

His friends would call,

and he would not speak to them.

Mrs. Iliescu, you
never consulted

a psychiatrist about
Leon's condition.

Did you consult anyone?

Yes, I spoke to Father Popescu.

I begged Leon

to come with me to
church, but he refused.

He said he was cursed.

God didn't want him.

I would have done...

anything for him.

He lived with us
like our own son.

But when Alex
came, I just felt him

to... to slip away.

He speaks of

being almost constantly
at his father's side,

of witnessing interrogations

in which prisoners
were severely beaten.

He saw executions.

He also saw his father
rewarded for his actions.

he equated cruelty

with success,
achievement, and power.

And in your expert opinion,
were these acts of violence,

which he described vividly,

were they the result
of his upbringing?

His childhood
probably was traumatic,

but it did not compel
him to kill his father.

And does the defendant
suffer from any mental defect?


So in your opinion he
is not legally insane?

No, he's not.

Thank you.

Dr. Olivet.

Would you, uh, consider
psychology an exact science?

Psychological evaluation
offers a certain accuracy

within certain parameters, yes.

You described the
effect of Leon's youth

as traumatic, didn't you?

I said it was
probably traumatic.


In other words, it could
be as little or as much

as anyone in your
profession cares to make it.

No. We're not talking about
black magic, Mr. Shapiro.

The evaluation process

is based on very
specific criteria.

I see.

How many Romanians have
you evaluated in your career?


How many sons of mass murderers?

Objection, Your Honor.

We have already established

Dr. Olivet's credentials
as an expert.

I am not challenging
her expertise.

I am questioning the
basis for her opinion.

I'll allow it. Answer
the question.


So tell us, Doctor,

what in your past qualifies
you to form an opinion

about the effect
of these horrors

when you admittedly
have no experience?



It wasn't easy,
Adam, but I thought Liz

held her ground
as best she could.

Yeah. The problem is
juries go with the expert

with the most
letters after his name.

And Shapiro's putting
Dr. Melvin Diener

on the stand.

A curriculum vitae
like B.F. Skinner.

The man coined the
term "cultural insanity"

in his 500-page
treatise on the subject.

And Jonathan
Shapiro's slick enough

to beat you through
a revolving door.

You actually think
a jury'll buy that?

Well, if it does, we'll
have to triple the budget

to prosecute all the
culturally-insane defendants.

But if I cut a deal
with the boy now,

it'll open the same floodgates.

The boy says he's a product
of a screwed-up culture.

Since when do we take

the statement of a
known felon as gospel?

The only way to get a
witness to discredit him

is to fly one over from Romania.

I doubt the State
will spring for that.

It may cost us only cab fare.

Tommy Zanescu
hasn't been transferred

out of Rikers yet.

In my country,

a carton of cigarettes would
get you a wool sweater.

The problem is, I don't smoke,

and I'm not cold.

We are willing to
reduce the sentence.

How much?

That depends on
what you tell us.

What do you want to hear?

Enjoy the next
15 years in jail, sir.

Hold it. I'll tell
you what I know.

Yeah, I knew Alex
back in Bucharest.

I worked with him in Securitate.

I was what you people
call his right-hand man.

Then you saw him around Leon?

Hardly ever. Alex
had no use for Leon.

He called him a mouse.

How did Leon react

when his father brought
him to the prison?

The prison? Is that
what the boy told you?

Alex wouldn't
bring him anywhere.

When he was 5 years old,

he sent him to the country
to live with servants.

When Leon asked him to
come live with him in Bucharest,

Alex shipped him off to
New York to his brother.

So Leon always hated his father?

No. He was weak and
stupid and desperate.

He'd do anything to please Alex.

What could he do?

Alex didn't want to know him.

But Leon still tried.

You know, it was him
who told us that Nicolas

was going to turn
Alex in to the police.

Alex laughed and said,

"See? You even
squeal like a mouse."

By telling Alex that Nick
was onto the credit card scam,

he was trying to buy his
way into his father's life.

He knew Alex would do
something to stop his uncle.

Which means the death of
his uncle wasn't traumatic.

It was expected.

This whole insanity
defense is a hoax.

So call Shapiro and
set up a meeting.

Zanescu is lying.

He's lying.

Um, Leon, did you
know Tommy Zanescu

when you were both in Romania?

He says he was your
father's right-hand man

in the Securitate.

He was just a chauffeur.

My father had many chauffeurs.
Others who could tell you

he wanted me to be with him,

and none of them would betray me

or my father like
this Tommy Zanescu.

Your father was not an
easy man to betray, was he?

That's right.

But your uncle?

You found it easy to
betray him, didn't you?

You went to your
father, and you told him

that your uncle was
going to turn him in.

No. Leon, tell them you didn't.

And you knew

that your father killed
betrayers, didn't you?

I didn't know he
would kill Uncle Nickie.

You knew, Leon. How could you?

He was my father!

But you loved Nickie!

Yes. I loved him.

If you had come to us,

your uncle would be alive today.

After Uncle Nickie died,

my father...

he put his arm on my shoulder.

He talked to me like a son.

Until the charges were
dismissed against him.

I went to his apartment.

He was drinking,
celebrating. He...

We talked about me
moving in with him.

But he didn't want you, did he?

He loved me.

He didn't love you, he used you.

You don't know anything.

I know he called you mouse.

Is that because you're a coward?

I wasn't afraid of him.

He was

eating sausage like

a pig.

There was a knife.

I pick it up.

He just look at me

and laugh.

He call me a snitch

and then he turn away,

like I'm nothing!

But I just keep stabbing

until he doesn't move


I'm not a coward.

Extreme emotional
disturbance, Ben.

Man one.

Leon went a long way

trying to win his father's love.

From the sound of it,
it wasn't worth winning.

They say a boy
doesn't become a man

until his father passes away.

Leon took care of
it in one fell swoop.