Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 4, Episode 10 - Law & Order - full transcript

After a business owner is shot and killed, suspicion falls on his Russian mail order bride and the man she is having an affair with.

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.

On a school night, she did that?

What am I gonna do?

Don't let her out.

Well, she says if I lock
her in the bedroom...

she's going out the window.

You ever seen those
clubs they go to?

Fifteen years old.

Your hell years
are just beginning.

2:30. Cooper's already in?

Not on a Wednesday, he ain't.

Hey, Billy? Cooper?

Hey, Coop.

Oh, man...

What the hell
happened in here? Coop!


Oh, man...

Look at that.

Practically singed
the buttons off.

Couple of feet away at the most.

Yeah, two in the
chest at close range.

Somebody wasn't
taking any chances.

Cooper, William. 56.

Owned the place.

Jimmied open.

Some crackhead didn't
expect to find anybody home.

Right. So they struggled,
and the crackhead shot him.

I hope Officer Kenney isn't taking
the Sergeant's Exam real soon.

Tough going on the
spatial relations test.

I'm good at geometry.


Well, you got an
overturned file cabinet here...

lot of papers on the floor...

but nothing much in the middle.

So, what did they
do, have a fight...

take a break for a snack...

and then switch to
the other side here?

Then, when the bell
rang at the end of

round one, they walked
into the back office.

I guess maybe
there was no fight.

It's worth thinking about.

Outside. CSU thinks
he used it to pry the door.

Oh, let me see that.

I love it.

He breaks in, shoots the guy...

then he goes outside
and breaks in again.

Guy was in a hurry.

In the back alley.

Gets better by the minute.

Kills for petty cash,
tosses a $500 gun.

Get this to Forensics.

Any other brilliant
theories, let us know.

You keep pictures around
of your daughter like that?

It's not his daughter.

Unless he's into incest.

Mister and Missus.

Who? I mean, who
would kill William?

Well, did your husband have
any problems with his employees?

I mean, anyone who
was angry at him?

Why did he go down there?

People work for him.
Why does he do it himself?

What about friends?

Could he have possibly
gone to see a friend?

I know of no one like this.

I don't know William's friends.

Maybe if we could see
his phone list, datebook...

I look for this, okay?

We were going to have our
second anniversary soon.

I came here to be safe...

they kill my husband.

Well, Mrs. Cooper, I'm
sorry to do this to you...

but I'm going to have to ask
you where you were last night.


Mrs. Cooper...

I understand.

In Moscow, they ask where were
you, it's certain you'll next go to jail.

No, no, we're not arresting you.

Now, please, just tell
us where you were.

I was home.

Like always.
Waiting for William.

Okay. Were you home all night?

Yes... Well, no.

I went out...

to get pastry...

for his breakfast.

I can bake for him, but he
likes it better from the market.

I told him, "For God's sake,
don't go down there alone."

The dumb son of a bitch.

Phil, he's dead. Getting
angry isn't going to help.

You saw Irina? She's okay?

Poor broad.

You know, she was the best
thing ever happened to him.

Vacation in Russia.

We all think he's nuts, till
he comes back with her.

Well, she said...

he had some paperwork.

Yeah, weekend orders.

We're restaurant trade.

I could've done them tonight.

It'll be like Grand Central Station
down there, getting ready for the rush.

Well, then he must've had some
reason for going there last night.

Well, him and Irina had plans
tonight, for their anniversary.

What are you asking?
Why he was there?

It was a break-in, right?

You were close to
Mr. Cooper, weren't you?

Close enough.

Mr. Guardino...

this is a murder investigation.

You think Billy wasn't clean?

The meat business has an odor all
its own, not always from the cattle.

Billy was the guy who stood
against the wall at the junior prom.

Forget enemies, the
guy didn't have friends.

Mr. Excitement.

Did he happen to own a gun?

Yeah. A Browning.

He kept it next
to his desk. Why?

Fifteen million hand guns, most
of them don't stray far from home.

Killed with his own
gun. Big surprise.

No employees with yellow
sheets or O.C. connections...

no prints on the gun
or the screwdriver.

And a phony struggle.

The shooter knew him,
or knew he was there.

Or not.

Someone shows up, doesn't
look threatening, he lets them in.

Yeah, the wife wouldn't look too
threatening wrapped in one of those furs.

Come on, man. She said she was
a student in Russia, not an actress.

Hey, I can cry
at a traffic ticket.

I mean, two cops. She
could work up some tears.

You know, the
back security door...

of her apartment building
leads directly to the street.

Now, she could have gone out
without the doorman ever seeing.

Wives always shoot husbands?

Do you happen to have a motive?

He's 56, she's 26. He's
rich, she's gorgeous.

I gotta be a genius?

How rich was he? Do we
know what he was worth?

Bloomingdale's was $2,000 a
month, up until three months ago.

Then it just stops short.

Like maybe he cut
up her charge card?

Not for lack of cash.

$190,000 in a money market.

Would you kill for that?

If you can live on
$6,000 a year in interest.

Two years ago...

$10,000 to the Russian-American
Friendship League.

He must've really loved
her mother country.

Russian-America... We got that.

That $10,000 wasn't
out of generosity.

Magda, age 20.

Svetlana, 22...

and looking for a considerate
American gentleman.

All that's missing is
the appliance section.

This is a Sears
catalogue for wives.


A week at the Hotel Metropol,
met with several women...

fell for Irina.

The first Mrs. Cooper.

How about you fellas?

You still cheek-by-jowl
with your blushing brides?

Two priors, no conviction.

You run a lovely business.

Cooper wanted what a lot of guys
want, and bitch they aren't getting.

Hot meals and no migraines
when you blow in her ear.

What about Irina?

I guess all she cared about
was the bulge in his wallet, huh?

How do girls like her feel
after they get their citizenship?

When you're on your first coffee break,
Ivan and Boris are on their third vodkas.

Cooper would look
good to you, too.

Maybe it isn't
love, but what is?

Whatever it is, you're not
gonna find it in a catalogue.

So Cooper wanted a wife
and didn't know how to do it.

Who are you to
smile down your nose?

Who, me?

I'm the kind of guy who thinks
you don't buy women like groceries.

About the citizenship papers.

When does Mrs. Cooper get hers?

Normally two years. Irina
had another eight weeks.

How easy is it?

All right, I'll wait.

Buys his wife from a catalogue.

Whatever happened to
long stems and chocolates?

Hey, the guy was
a middle-aged nerd.

You gotta feel sorry for him.

I feel sorry for her.

What, two lonely people in the
night? Wait till you get to be 55.

I don't care how lonely he was.

Hey, you want to hang out with
someone, you want to get to know them...

you talk to them, maybe
they come home with you.

You don't have to buy some
desperate kid from Russia.

Excuse me, Robert Redford.


All right. Thanks, Eddie.

Boy, the INS really
believes in marriage.

You get divorced before two
years, you don't get to salute the flag.

And if you're still married when
your sponsor stops a bullet?

Then they call it special circumstances,
and Irina gets her papers without Billy.

All right, it's only a motive if he
was getting divorced, which he wasn't.


Look, the marriage
broker said...

that Cooper stayed in touch
with another couple he arranged.

You're new here, maybe you talk to
other people in the same boat, huh?

Come on. I'll drive.

It's been at least a year.

This Cooper fellow, he was...

pardon me, not so big in
the socializing department.

How about the wife?

Well, we really didn't
know her that well.

Irina and Billy nice people.

Very nice, very happy. Like me.

I give her whatever she
wants, so she's happy.

Well, Mr. Berman...

your wife just said how
happy the Coopers were.

You just said you hadn't
talked to them in a year.

So how would she know?

What's this about?

Mrs. Berman...

did Irina have any
problems at home?

Irina, she wants to
be out of the house.

She wanted a separation?

No, to be out.

To have, you know, own life.

She gets job to have own money.

William is not happy.

So, the hot meals and the housework
weren't quite enough for her?

My wife made a friend.

I didn't like Cooper.

I wouldn't have
him in for cocktails.

Irina is some kind
of lab technician.

I'll get you her number.

Irene worked three
afternoons a week.

I told her to take
a few days off.

Irene? I guess she was more
American here than at home.

She does excellent work.

I don't know how you judge
people, but that's enough for me.

Her husband must use a
different kind of yardstick.

We heard he didn't
want her out of the house.

If you're suggesting that...
Hey, really, that's crazy.

Excuse me. I have to
check on some blood tests.

They've become friends.

Maybe you can tell us what she's
keeping locked up in her test tube.

Cooper was here one night.

The only night she
ever worked late.

And he wanted her to come home.

Nothing major.

You were here the night her
husband stopped by, right?

Do you know why
Cooper went to Russia?

These guys want women to
clean the house, raise the kids...

and then prance around in
a teddy when they get home.

Well, Miss Farrell, are we talking
about Irina Cooper's problems or yours?

Her husband was a jerk.

Irina has a son in
Russia, six years old.

Cooper wouldn't bring him over.

Maybe she felt
she deserved better.

I deserve better
from this company.

Doesn't mean I'm
gonna kill my boss.

The lady's got a point.

Every disgruntled wife kills her husband,
they'd be lined up to Poughkeepsie.

Hey, disgruntled is when they're
picking your underwear up off the floor.

I mean, Irina travels 10,000
miles to get a new life...

and Billy boy slips a piston every
time she looks out the window.

Plus, he leaves her
kid stranded in Moscow.

Is that motive?

Well, he cut off
her charge cards.

I mean, he promised her the
dream and he gave her dreck.

And if he says "divorce,"
she goes back to Russia.

That's motive. Prove
it, I'd be convinced.


I don't know. Yeah, she
probably knew he had the gun.

I just don't see this
particular woman...

going down there, popping him...

and crying three hours
later when we walk in.

I don't see that.

Wait a minute.

Cooper was down there alone that night
because they had plans for the next night.

The night he was supposed
to go into the office.

Now, what I want to know
is, who made the plan?

Thursday night, "Irene,"
followed by a question mark.

Now, this guy made a note to
himself every time he hiccupped.

How come he didn't know
what kind of plans she had?

Does that matter?

Yeah, it matters if she
didn't have any plan.

If she was just trying to
get him down there alone.

Your husband wasn't
happy about your working.

William understands.

I have education,
I want to work.

You have a son in Russia.

Mr. Cooper didn't want
him to come over here.

Oh, no, no.

William just wanted to wait
until we have child together.

Mrs. Cooper, your
husband worked that night...

because you both made
plans for the next night, right?

Can you tell us what
those plans were?

It was William's idea.

He likes Broadway
musicals, so we had tickets.

Well, you wouldn't have gone to the
theater the night after your husband died.

So, do you happen
to have those tickets?

This is not right,
what you are doing.

You think I wanted
my husband to be shot?

You call my friends,
go where I work...

So, you don't have the tickets?

If I do not?

You think I lied to
William so I could kill him?

William would've liked to go.

Maybe you can trade
them in. Take your wife.

Thursday night. $65
apiece. Guys and Dolls.

It's possible.

The tickets keep him out
of the office Thursday...

when it's busy, get him
in when it's deserted.

Listen to what we're saying. She
didn't have the tickets, we nail her.

She did have the
tickets, we still nail her.

The only way she wins is if
she's in a sauna with six witnesses.

Mike, she did know
he was there alone.

That's right.

Oh, yeah? Well,
if she's so smart...

how come she didn't make
that phony break-in look real?

You know what I think? She reminds
you of some kind of wife you don't like.

Okay, so I'm not
crazy about her.

From what I hear, I'm not crazy
about her late husband, either.

Look, I listened to
her, I looked at her.

You can call it instinct, you
can call it whatever you want.

No way she pulled the trigger.

Maybe she had help.


I could buy she's involved.

Say she was home
when he got hit.

She went out. Maybe she
was waiting for a phone call.

Yeah. Job's done, honey.

Then she goes and meets somebody,
and they get their stories straight.

But not over the phone.

The doorman said Danish
from a Korean market.

Get a picture of the
lady. Take a stroll.

This is eight.

How many more of these
delis are we gonna do?

Wait, you don't think
this is worthwhile?

Listen, Cooper wanted her home.


Shouldn't she have already bought
the Danish and be home waiting for him?

Unless she knew he
wasn't coming home.

Thank you. Let's keep going.


The Russian fox.

I guess you know
her pretty well.

She's in a lot. What'd she do?

You see her Wednesday
night, 12:00, 12:30?

She was...

She was here late once. I
don't remember the night.

Buying stuff with her
husband, lucky guy.

Yeah, 50s, a little
overweight, right?

What are you talking
about? He was in his 30s...

looks kind of like
you, but shorter.

I really need to
know which night.


Wednesday night. Some kid
spilled soda on my chemistry book.

All right, now the guy
with the Russian fox...

did you get a good look at him?

Sort of. He was...

He was hanging around outside.
Kept looking in to hurry her.

Here's my card.

I'm gonna be calling you, okay?

All right. Thanks a lot.

I was wrong. Oh?

We got enough to get a
warrant to go to her apartment?

Judge Beck'll think so.

We'll wake him
up in the morning.

I'll bring him some Danish.

I do not have a boyfriend.

Who were you with that
night, the dog-walker?

Oh, the clerk.

He always looks at me. He
wants to dream about me.

Your boyfriend was 10 feet away.

I don't think the
clerk was dreaming.

Hey, Mike.

"Submitted to Federal Insurance
Company by William Cooper.

"A bill from the
Westside Women's Clinic.

"Services for Irina Cooper.

"D and C, vacuum suction.
Outpatient elective...


It was a medical problem.

We were sorry to lose the child.

It says elective abortion.

What made you decide?

I might remember
her. I might not.

I wouldn't tell you if I did.

Come on, Doc, we know the rules.

Then you know patients have
the absolute right to confidentiality.

Yeah, that's as far
as medical records.

We don't care
about her blood test.

We just want to know
what her husband said.

Is that under patient privilege?

Doc, I'm gonna break our rules.

Now, we're not supposed to talk
about an ongoing investigation...

but would it stir your memory if I
told you that her husband's dead...

and we think she killed him?

No. Not this couple.
The guy adored her.

He'd have held her hand
through the procedure if we let him.

He was about 5'9",
in his 30s, right?

Well, I didn't notice
his height, but, yeah...

30ish, good-looking
Puerto Rican guy.

I didn't ask who the father was.

I was helping a friend.

Well, if she was about
to have a tanned...

wavy-haired baby, I'd say
you're more than friends.

What happen, her
husband find out about you?

The abortion was
his idea, wasn't it?

He didn't want to play Russian
roulette, in case the kid wasn't his.

I did a friend a favor.

Yeah, you're quite a friend.

Even went with her to buy
Danish for her husband.

I don't know what
you're talking about.

Well, let us make it
easy for you, Mr. Nunez.

You and Mrs. Cooper,
Wednesday, midnight, Third Avenue.

The night her husband was
killed, I was working here.

All night. Alone.

Well, the medical log says
you checked out at 10:15.

I have work to do.

Excuse me.

We do have a witness
who saw you with her.

No, sir.

I went out for a walk, I
came back 15 minutes later.

I must've forgotten to sign in.

Now, if there's nothing else...

You notice those lab gloves?


You don't want
to leave prints...

There's talc on those gloves.

Could've left some on the gun.

Oh, terrific. CSU
uses the same gloves.

Same kind of gloves,
yes. But are they identical?

In the garbage.

I think that means
I didn't steal them.

You probably think it's
easy, finding talc on a gun.

I had a girlfriend who loved the
stuff. Stayed on her body forever.

Yeah, I bet you never
dusted her for prints.

Never mind. I
don't want to know.

Dusting contaminates
the surface...

so we took apart
the butt casing.

Voilà, talc.

The bad news is, the talc in CSU's
gloves and Mr. Nunez's is identical.

I hope that means
there's good news.

The anti-caking agent.

Nunez's brand uses

Does the job, bad
for the environment.

CSU switched to a brand
with organic dehydroxants.

The environment's not on my
mind today. What about the gun?

Mr. Nunez's talc.

Give me two hours,
and I'll sign my name to it.

Well, the D.A.'s gonna want to
know why the boyfriend went along.

Hey, the jury takes one look
at her, it's not such a big leap.

Talc on a gun?

We'll have the parade
of the expert chemists.

A witness puts him with her
the night Cooper was killed.


Claire, the boyfriend took
her to get an abortion...

but the husband filed the insurance
claim. Is that circumstantial?

What if it was the
boyfriend's baby?

That's reason to abort,
not to kill her husband.

Her husband probably
forced her to have the abortion.

I mean, how would you feel? Lose the
baby, sweetheart, or go back to Russia?

Meanwhile, she's got a kid
over there he won't bring over.

I'd want to kill the guy.

We're not indicting you.

Cooper divorces her, she's
on the next plane to Moscow.

You know what Immigration
thinks of green card marriages.

She could wait five
years for another chance...

Yeah. This broad's
had a taste of Zabar's.

There's no way she's gonna go back
to waiting in line for day-old borscht.

I don't know where they are now.

Unless you have some kind of
warrant, this is private property.

Excuse me.

Now you'll take me to jail.

That's right, Mrs. Cooper.

Now we will take you to jail.

Alex Nunez, Irina Cooper, you're under
arrest for the murder of William Cooper.

Okay, let's go. You have
the right to remain silent.

Anything you do say can
and will be used against you...

"Docket number 680821.

"People of the State of New York
v. Irina Cooper and Alejandro Nunez.

"Charges are murder in the second degree
and conspiracy in the second degree."

Mr. Morrison, your
client have a plea?

Not guilty.

Mr. Feldman?

Not guilty.

Life is beautiful, all God's
children are innocent.

Let's talk bail.

Your Honor, Mr. Nunez
has relatives in Puerto Rico.

The People feel
flight is a risk.

We ask both defendants
be held without bail.

Your Honor...

last time I looked, Puerto Rico was a
Commonwealth of the United States.

And, I doubt they'll be
running off to Russia.

I don't want them
running anywhere.

Mrs. Cooper isn't a citizen, she
has motive to flee, no bail for her.

$200,000 for Mr. Nunez,
cash or bond. Next.

Come on, Ben, I mean,
circumstantial isn't the word for it.

What word would you like?

Greed? Adultery?

Either of them
spells premeditation.

They also spell
"if" and "maybe."

Now, granted, you
might have a case.

These people were
caught in a terrible trap.

They're hardly
cold-blooded killers.

It was an accident.

Both of your clients conspired
to get Mr. Cooper into that office...

so Mr. Nunez could shoot him.

Was it your idea, sir?

Or did she persuade
you to do it?

She didn't persuade
me to do anything.

Is there an offer on the table?

If Mrs. Cooper
pleads to man one...

and Mr. Nunez
takes murder two...

we can talk about a
sentencing recommendation.

Plead them both
down, or no deals.

Mr. Nunez gets man
one, three-to-nine.

Mrs. Cooper doesn't serve a day.

Mr. Nunez, are you gonna take
the whole rap because you love her?

Doesn't matter what you do to
me, as long as Irina doesn't go to jail.

You're facing
25-years-to-life imprisonment.

Now, if she talked
you into doing this...

You heard him.
They're in this together.

Fine. Then they
go to trial together.


Oh, I guess you're sure
that the gun makes your case.

Yeah, it better. I wouldn't
count on your eyewitness.

You think he's bluffing?

Tom Morrison?

He couldn't bluff if he was
holding an ace-high straight flush.

The Korean grocer has no record.

He has 20/20 eyesight, and
picked Nunez out of a line-up.

He's a perfect witness. Yeah.

Trial Lesson Number
12. A perfect witness...

always has dirt under his nails.

So, what's the
argument, Counselor?

The victim buys a bride, and he treats
her like property. She has an affair.

He finds out about it, and
the fact that she's pregnant...

with God-knows-whose child.

And he forces her
to have an abortion.

He threatens to send
her back to Russia.

She tells her lover he'll be
alone at the office, take care of it.

Convict the boyfriend.

You don't prove that
they had an affair...

the mail-order bride
gets her postage back.

That won't be easy.

The doorman at Cooper's
building never saw Nunez.

Nunez lives in a brownstone
basement. His neighbors never saw Irina.

We checked credit
card receipts. No hotels.

Go through the credit cards
again. They weren't invisible.

And this affair wasn't carried
on in the back room at work.

Somebody knows something.

I told the police, if they were
having an affair, I didn't see it.

You saw them
leave together often.

You knew Irina was getting an abortion.
Why did she ask Mr. Nunez to go with her?

She needed moral
support. Wouldn't you?

If I needed moral support, I'd probably
ask somebody I cared very deeply for.

You're not stupid.

A good-looking guy, a beautiful
woman with an older husband.

Alex Nunez saw what he
wanted, and he went for it.

If you don't testify,
he gets away with it.

You've got some nerve.

Where'd you go to school? Radcliff?
Vassar? One of those places?

Alex worked his way
through City College.

He's no gold digger.
He is not like that.

I'm not questioning his
motive, only the result.

Look, Alex wanted to help her. He
was going to pay to bring her son over.

All Cooper wanted was a housekeeper
during the day and a hooker at night.

You make me testify...

you won't get what you need.

We can make them look guilty.

They'll also look sympathetic.

They also killed her husband.

The men on the jury
won't be weeping for her.

The women will.

And any witness we use
makes Cooper look bad.

He did buy a bride.

Sympathy is not
our only problem.

It's whose version of
the truth the jury'll believe.

Now, if they agree with us...

that Nunez killed Cooper...

"I only went there to talk
with him. He pulled a gun...

"we struggled. I didn't
intend to kill him."

Maybe that was
part of the truth.

If they had said
that in the first place.

But they wrecked the
office after the killing...

make it look like a burglary.
And how did Nunez know...

that Cooper would be there?

They can sell it as coincidence.

Irina Cooper could walk. So?

Call Stan Feldman.

If I say it was Alex?


It wasn't his fault.

Whose fault was it, Mrs. Cooper?

It's nobody's.

Mrs. Cooper.

Mrs. Cooper.

You lied.

You cheated on your husband.

You arranged to
have him in his office.

What do you think a
jury will do with that?


took me from Russia.

I loved him for that.

He was not a bad man.


very simple.

He was like... He
was like a child.

Irina. No!

I say nothing about Alex!

He was giving Irina
a tour of the office,

right after she came over.

He took the gun out
and he showed it to her.

How did Mrs. Cooper
respond to the gun?

She talked about some Russian
gun a Tokev, Tokarev, something.

And she said it
was just as nice...

and that she'd used
it in the Russian Army.

Thank you. Your witness.

Mr. Guardino...

you testified that Mr. Cooper
liked to brag about his gun.

What did you mean?

He waved it at just about
everybody who came in the place.

He told them he took
lessons, he was a good shot.

So, many people
knew he had the gun.

Anybody could have come
in and shot him, is that right?

Objection. Calls for a
conclusion. Sustained.

Mr. Guardino...

was your boss well-liked?

I wouldn't say he
was well-liked, no.

Billy, Mr. Cooper, didn't
do real good with people.

He said that's
what he had me for.

Isn't it true that no one in
all the nearby businesses...

had a decent word
to say for him?

That he'd angered many of
them by being rude and hostile?

Yeah, you could
say that was true.

And isn't it also true...

that several employees quit...

because they felt Mr. Cooper
had cheated them on their hours?

Yeah, they did.

What a surprise he got shot.

Thank you. No more questions.

I knew where they were
going. It doesn't prove anything.

That her lover went with her to an
abortion, that doesn't prove anything?

She needed company. So,
they were having an affair.

I didn't say that.

Your Honor, permission to
treat the witness as hostile.

You may do so.

Miss Farrell...

did Mr. Nunez...

give Mrs. Cooper
presents at the office?

Didn't he give her a silver
compact from Tiffany's?

And didn't you, in
fact, select it for him...

and watch him charge
it to his credit card?

How would you know that?

The salesperson remembers you.

Now, did what I just
describe in fact happen?


Were these presents given
as a friend or as a lover?

Weren't they, in fact,
more than friends?

I guess they were.

Now, Miss Farrell, didn't
you dislike William Cooper?

He was a bully.
Nobody liked him.

But didn't you advise Mrs.
Cooper and encourage her...

to have her affair
with Mr. Nunez?

Well, I told her
that... Told her what?

That American women...

don't have to put up with
the likes of William Cooper?

I only wanted to help her. I
didn't know this would end up...

With her husband dead?

You don't understand!

What is it that we do not
understand, Miss Farrell?

She missed her son! She wanted to
bring him over, and he wouldn't let her.

He made her have an abortion!

He told her he'd divorce
her. He'd have her deported!

She didn't have any choice!

Any choice but to
kill her husband?

Was that her only choice?

Why did she have to cry?

She didn't want to say
they were having an affair.

At least Ben got
her to admit it.

That jury hears any more
about the dead Mr. Cooper...

they'll wish they'd killed him.

They can hear that he was mean
and domineering, and they can call it...

grounds for divorce...

but I won't let them accept
it as a defense for murder.

Since when do they accept
that these two murdered him?

They have to accept it
when they hear about the gun.

You better nail that boyfriend.

They're sure not gonna
believe that she put him up to it.

If they don't believe
that he did it...

any reasonable doubt...

all this crying will get
them both acquitted.

He was hanging around
outside. He was in a real hurry.

Is the man who called to
Mrs. Cooper from the street...

is he in the courtroom today?

Yes, he's right over there.

Let the record
please indicate...

that the witness pointed to
the defendant, Alejandro Nunez.

The record will so indicate.

Thank you. No further questions.


the defendant is
the man you saw?

The one I pointed to.

And he wore a suit
and tie, is that right?

That's what I said.

Can you see those three men in
suits in the back of the courtroom?

Your Honor, objection.

Counsel will approach, now.

What are you doing?
That's what I want to know.

What kind of theatrical crap
are you pulling in my courtroom?

The witness is Korean.

I want to see if he can
identify non-Asians.

What the hell are you talking
about? I have case law on point.

I hope to God you do, Tom.

I'll see you in chambers now.

Recess. We'll be
back. Don't go away.

The case is People v. Lawson.

Criminal Term, Part
48. It was last February.

The eyewitness is Japanese,
the defendant's Hispanic.

The court allowed expert testimony
on cross-racial identification.

Mainly that Japanese...

can't identify people
of other races.

And what he's doing
with it, Your Honor...

is legalized racism...
I'm sorry, but...

there's a long history...
I know the history...

A long history in the New
York courts. In Lawson...

the witness was from
Japan, Your Honor.

And in all those cases, the
witnesses were from foreign countries...

had no contact with
other ethnic groups.

My witness, however...

grew up on East 28th
Street, New York City.

That's a hair I'm not
willing to split. I'll split it.

I don't like it any more than you do,
Ben, but there's a lot of cases here.

What I won't allow is
that stunt you just pulled.

You have an expert witness?

I do, Judge. A psychologist.

Why didn't we hear about
this witness before trial?

Gee, Ben, I'm sorry.

I was a little late with
my legal research.

You knew about this weeks ago.

You warned me that this
witness would be a problem.

I don't recall that, Ben.

Off the record, please.

I can't prove this, Tom,
but I think you're lying.

Your Honor, really...
Don't play dumb with me.

You didn't want Ben to
know where you were going.

I'll let you have your witness.

One of these days you'll get
caught, you're gonna get disbarred...

and I'll be there to applaud.

Court's back in session.


was that necessary?

You better brush up on your dumb
act. You almost lost a career back there.

My obligation is to
get my client acquitted.

At any price? Set any precedent?

Relax, Ben. I don't see
any reporters around.

Think this through
with me, okay?

All blacks are to be excluded from
identifying whites, and vice versa?

That's a license for
interracial homicide.

Excuse me, Lorenzo de' Medici.

You know, who made you
the great arbiter of justice?

A Chinese guy could blow
you away and get off scot-free...

because of cross-racial

And that's the most comforting
thought I've had all day.

It's a common phenomenon.

It's not about racism.

Well, what is it
about, Dr. Holtz?

Well, we tend to see people's
faces in terms of our own race.

But facial structures
are different.

If an Asian, for example...

tried to see a Hispanic's cheekbones
as if the person were Asian...

he wouldn't make
the correct distinctions.

So, can we make this more specific?
Are there statistics in the field?

Well, my studies show that people
identifying those of another race...

make four times as many mistakes as
they do with members of their own race.

Four times as much?

That's a lot, isn't it? Eyewitness
identification is risky enough.

Cross-racial identification
simply can't be trusted.

Thank you.

No further questions.


are you telling this courtroom
that, white Americans, for example...

cannot identify black Americans?

I didn't say that. I said they're
more likely to make mistakes.

Do they always make mistakes?

Well, no. Of course not.

Now, sir, this is
a police report...

about a line-up.

Do you recognize it?

Yes, Mr. Morrison
showed it to me.

Yes, would you please
read Section 3 out loud?

The line-up consisted
of six Hispanic men...

all between 5'6 " and 5'9".

The witness, Richard Kim...

picked suspect Nunez as the
man he saw with suspect Cooper.

Six men...

all the same race...

all the same height...

yet the witness, a

picked the defendant.

That's not a 1-in-4
chance, sir, that's 1-in-6.

And he picked the only person...

personally connected...

to both the victim...

and the co-defendant.

Is that a coincidence?


statistically, I mean,
one could argue...

the witness simply
made a mistake.

Yes, but couldn't one argue that
he is a normal American citizen...

who is able to recognize
his fellow citizens...

and he picked the right man?

Yes. Fine. Thank you.

Quick, lock the doors. Somebody
might walk in with a case we can win.

Come on, Adam.

The jury didn't buy it.
Cross-racial identification?

I wouldn't count your chickens.
Your omelet just hit the fan.

We still have motive.
They were having an affair.

Lots of women have affairs.
They don't kill their husbands.

You could hear "not guilty" twice.
We should be looking for a deal.

I think they'll
convict on Nunez.

And Miss Moscow will be
out winning beauty contests.

Maybe not. What if I...

drop the murder charge on her...

and only go with conspiracy?

You're gonna do what?

Stan, let's be honest. I know that
Mrs. Cooper could walk on murder two.

You know that with only the
lower charge, they'll convict.


If they convict, guaranteed, she gets
out of prison, she goes back to Russia.

Unless she turns on Mr. Nunez.


If she does, she
doesn't get deported.


Why do I get the feeling you've
already talked to Immigration?

3-to-9 is better than 8-to-25.

If she's convicted,
we'll fight for the max.

Meet me at Rikers in two hours.

My client won't leave her cell.

She's not interested.

Did you tell her what would
happen if she was convicted?

The truth? I don't think she
cares, one way or the other.

Not that I believe in such things,
but I think she loves Mr. Nunez.

Excuse me.

Maybe he doesn't
love her quite as much.

But then maybe he does.

We say nothing.

Mr. Nunez feels differently.

Irina, listen... No, you're
not going to prison.

Irina, you could
both go to prison.

I did it.

You can't blame her. Alex...

not another word.

Did you do it alone?

Who told you that Mr. Cooper
would be in his office?

Can we get an
offer on the table?

Mr. Nunez pleads to
man one, he does the max.

Mrs. Cooper,
accessory, 3-to-9...

she does not get deported.

Stop it!

Listen to the lawyer.
Don't tell them anything!

Irina, if we lose,
you go to jail.

You want to go back?

Why did we do this?

So you could stay, so
you could have your son.

You talk too much!
I talk too much?

You don't get it.

They look at me, they see a
greedy spic! They look at you...

they see a whore.

You see this beautiful woman?

You know how dumb she is?

She didn't know that going
out with a Puerto Rican...

was supposed to be
such a lousy catch.

Tell them, Irina. Tell them!


William treats me like a cow.

I am a woman.

He promised me he would
bring my son, and then he said no.

I do not want to fall
in love with Alex...

but I do.

William sees us at work.

He knows. He said I
must have an abortion.

He doesn't want Alex's child.

We didn't know what to do.

We didn't know if it was mine...

and he wanted to get rid of it.


like it was some dirty shirt.

And then...

he said maybe I'm
going back to Russia.

And he said it again,
and again, and again.

I told Alex he would be there.

I begged him.

I said, stick it out just two
more months, then let her go.

You're saying you
didn't plan to kill him?

You did wear plastic gloves.


I knew I could
do it, if he said no.

Irina told me where the gun was.

I just didn't want
her to go back.

She comes from Russia, ends up
in a cell at Bedford for three years.

Nunez wanted to save her, he ends
up killing a guy, and goes away for 15.

I think she might wait for him.

She came for the American
dream, waited all her life for it.

Maybe she'll wait for him.