Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 5, Episode 17 - Law & Order - full transcript

Did a struggling contractor intentionally blow up the building he was working on, or was he the intended target of the explosion?

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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.

"Oh, Morris, how much
trouble can one little dog be?"

Did she ever walk you
once? When, June?

It's gotta be 20 below. What's
the matter, your pipe frozen?

Come on, another dog
did it. You could do it, too.

Thank you.


I didn't see anybody. I was cleaning up
my dog's crap, the whole place blew up.

We found the baggie over there.
You think Forensics wants it?

No. What about my dog?

She ran away. She's
afraid of loud noises.

Then she's living in the wrong
town, pal. Keep an eye out for his dog.

Maybe a homeless guy
lit a fire. It's a cold night.

Hell of a can of Sterno. Not if
he put it on top of a propane tank.

We're trying to reach
the construction company,

see what kind of
flammables they had around.

Nobody's answering the night number.
So what, we just sit around here all night?

Hey, why don't you arson
guys build us a campfire,

and we'll toast
some marshmallows?

We're tracking the seat of the explosion.
When the site cools, we start sifting.

Now, you keep your guys
from messing up the scene.

LOGAN: Lennie! Over here.

It's a kid.

Where'd they find him? Up there.

Hey, did you see his face? It must
have been smashed by a girder.

Did he say anything? He was
crying. He's lucky they heard him.

Let's hope he
keeps rolling sevens.

Four hours in surgery.
What can they be doing?

Mrs. Cuneo, I know this isn't
easy, but do you have any idea

what your son was doing
on that construction site?

I work all night. Subway
token booth. I tell him to stay in.

Well, was there any
problems with Robbie

in terms of lighting
fires, anything like that?

Robbie's never been any trouble.

BRISCOE: He have any friends
who might get in trouble? Gangs?

He's only 12 years old. They
start pretty young these days.

You want to know what he was doing
on that building? Mountain climbing.

I took him to the Adirondacks last
summer. He met some college kids,

they showed him how to use
ropes, harnesses, carabiners.

Took him up a stone
face. He was crazy for it.

He was climbing that building?

Closest thing there is
in this city to a mountain.

Mrs. Cuneo? Yeah.

I'm sorry.

This is preliminary, but that
explosion was no accident.

Nitroglycerine, sodium
nitrate, ammonium oxalate.

Straight dynamite. Yes.

What, are you talking chemistry
courses in your spare time?

What spare time?

I had a case once, back
before you were born.

Guy tried to bomb his wife,
he wound up blowing up the cat.

This guy knew what he was doing.

The dynamite was positioned
at support beams and tie girders,

and then tamped with
cement bags to center the blast.

Blow the beams, blow the building. At
least our man was considerate enough

to aim the collapse on to the back
of the lot, not out into the street.

Yeah, well, we're gonna give him a good
citizenship award as soon as we catch him.

What did he use for ignition?

Detonating cord, blasting caps
coordinated by a kitchen timer.

The kind you can
buy in any dime store.

Yeah, the guy set the alarm
and just went for a stroll.

Where did the dynamite
come from? On site?

No, it was a renovation
job, so there was no blasting.

Someone could have
carried it in in a shopping bag.

Construction. You got 50 suspects
before you do your first interview.

Rotten building inspectors, mobbed-up
haulers, protection racket enforcers,

insurance scams.

We're thinking about dropping
in on the building owner,

seeing if his policy's up to
date. Don't let me keep you.

It was built as a mercantile center
in the 1880s. Wonderful architecture.

The idea was to gut it and
partition the floors into small suites

around a central reception area.

And everything was
partitioning smoothly? Oh, sure.

Once I'd convinced the
city I wasn't disturbing

any ancient Indian
burial grounds,

and the Landmarks Commission I
wasn't destroying any sacred moldings,

and the environmental people...
And your insurance was all in order?


So you'll be
collecting how much?

$4.8 million. And it's the worst
thing that's ever happened to me.

Oh, sounds like you had
a pretty nice life so far.

That money just makes
up what I'm out of pocket.

I had that building 90% leased
to an ad agency and a publisher.

That was money in the
bank for the next 20 years.

You still own the
property, correct? Yes.

Until the dead boy's mother
sues me for negligence.

Mr. Gaston, it's somebody's
fault that boy is dead.

Yes, I know, but it's not mine.

The site was under the control of
the general contractor, Buzz Palley.

I'm supposed to be
doing an inventory,

the bomb squad cops won't even let
me on the site to get to my office trailer.

Well, right now your trailer is under
about eight feet of rubble, Mr. Palley.

Great. I got nothing to do for
a while. What can I do for you?

Do you have any idea who might
have wanted to shut you down?

Who didn't? Unions are screaming
bloody murder from day one.

I manage to put up
buildings without them.

It's the only way I can
ever make a low bid.

Well, dynamite's kind of a
drastic way to settle a labor dispute.

They're picketing,
boycotting, blocking the gate.

Well, that's part
of the drill, isn't it?

A week ago Thursday, just after quitting
time, three shots come out of nowhere.

Two through my trailer,
one into a cement bag.

And you think it was union
people? The picket line went dumb,

but I figure it was one
of them or Calvin Tiller.

king of the blacks.

He screams about jobs for minorities
until you pay him off to go away.

And you didn't pay?

There wasn't enough room
in my bid to cover extortion.


The man send you boys
to see me? LOGAN: Yeah.

He told me to ask you personally about
an incident on Church Street last night.

May I see your
identification, please?

You wanna check my teeth now?

You see this, people?
CROWD: Yeah.

The black man tries to get
ahead and here come the police.

Mr. Tiller, we have to ask
you a couple of questions.

Yeah, well, I'm a little busy right
now trying to get some justice

for the community from the
B&C construction company.

Yeah. That's right.

We're trying to get a little justice
for a boy who was killed last night.

You here to arrest me?


Yeah, well, then if you want to
see me, make an appointment.


MAN 1: That's it.
MAN 2: That's right.

Mr. Palley and I couldn't
come to an understanding,

so I moved on to a greener
pasture. LOGAN: You walked away?

What about "justice for the community"?
Justice is like everything else.

It's negotiable.

In other words, you
negotiate a payoff for yourself,

and to hell with the
brothers on the line.

Look, I spread it around.
My people are happy.

But you weren't happy, were you, Calvin?
'Cause Buzz Palley wouldn't ante up.

So I moved on.

So maybe you wanted to
say a dramatic goodbye?

Look, I shut them down, not
blow them up. It's a nice living.

Why take a chance on
messing up a good thing?

Maybe Palley
just pissed you off.

I never make the mistake of getting
emotional about my work, Detective.

All Palley did was confuse
me. My price is very reasonable.

But he wouldn't even talk.

Some alibi. "I'm not an
arsonist, I'm an extortionist."

It plays for now.
Yeah, union time.

Not tonight.

Palley goes non-union to save a buck,
and it comes out of the workers' hide.

You can't live on the wage,
anymore. Somebody took the work.

The desperate and the stupid.

They each do three
or four different jobs.

No work rules. Safety
codes out the window.

No wonder the damn
building fell down.

The building fell down
because somebody dynamited it.

Probably some scab
carpenter filling in for a mason

who confused
explosives with mortar.

Look, why don't you save
the speeches for Labor Day?

I'll give you a short one. My men
build buildings. They don't blow them up.

They just fire warning shots.
Nobody got arrested for that.

We're gonna take another
look. You take another look,

you're not gonna find zip.

Mr. Stevens, your men
did push that job a little hard.

If anything, they
were restrained.

Palley's the one that's
been playing hardball.

He nearly ran over three
pickets with a cement truck.

Never a dull moment at that work site.
What was the picket captain's name?

Roy Beggs. He's in the
shape-up hall down there.

Palley didn't give us the
jobs, that's bad enough.

But he didn't give
us any respect.

Oh, come on, what do you want him to do,
send milk and cookies to your picket line?

We maybe get a little too
close to the gate one day.

He has to gun a truck at us?

Barney Collins breaks
his elbow diving for cover.

Something like that, you're
gonna want to retaliate, right?

Hey, I went to see
Palley. Firm but polite.

He said the next time he aimed
a truck at us, he wouldn't miss.

We were a bunch of losers, on and on.
He practically dared us to shut him down.

And did you? We didn't have to.

Palley got fired off the only other
job he had going two weeks ago.

This one was headed
for the crapper, too.

You notice how Palley
antagonizes everybody?

I mean, these guys, Tiller...

Stupid. Unless
he's got an agenda.

Let's go talk to the
guy that fired him.

I fell in love with Palley 's bid. I
should have taken another look at Palley.

Why? He get his pliers
mixed up with his wrenches?

No, he got my money
mixed up with his. Oops.

He's non-union, so I
expect some hassles.

We're waiting for concrete so
we could build a retaining wall

before we do our blasting.

Job involved demolition? Some.

Did Palley have
access to the dynamite?

He was the GC.
He had all the keys.

So, anyway, I pay for
materials as they're ordered.

So I pay for the concrete.
It never shows up.

Palley said the union workers
at the yard wouldn't load it.

And meanwhile, Palley has your
money? No. He's got my concrete.

I called the yard. It's non-union.
They loaded the concrete,

but Palley delivered it to the
job he's doing with Gaston.

Palley's stealing from you to
buy materials for his other job?

That's it.

You know the babe in the woods act doesn't
quite go with the Armani suit, Mr. Gaston.

Don't you check out the finances
of the contractors you hire?

I wasn't building the World
Trade Center, Detective.

Palley said he could handle
it. I took him at his word.

You'd be very popular at
our weekly poker games.

His bid was low. Sometimes
contractors take on a break-even job

just to amortize
their equipment.

Let's pretend Palley was
having a money problem.

Now he comes to you and he
says he can't afford to finish the job.

Do you give him more
money? We had a contract.

He does the job at the
agreed-upon price, or I sue him.

Even if it puts him out of
business? That's his problem.

You had a contract?

Well, there was a standard
force majeure clause.

Contract's void if the job
shuts down by war, tidal wave,

terrorist violence,
act of god... Bombing?

Yes. Job's over. And
Palley's off the hook?

So I'm having a little
cash-flow problem, so what?

You've got more than a little
problem, Mr. Palley. We looked.

You've been bouncing
checks from here to Bronxville.

Your bank cut off
your line of credit.

What are you people, the
police or the IRS? What is this?

If you couldn't afford to
finish Gaston's renovation,

that gave you a hell of a reason
to make the place go boom.

LOGAN: Right on
Robbie Cuneo's head.

That kid was 12
years old, Palley.

You could have picked up the dynamite
easy from that job you got fired from.

There's a lot of
dynamite around.

Look, that explosion
put me out of business.

No, Mr. Palley. It saved
you from bankruptcy.

No, no. No what?

When that job exploded, I was 48
hours away from getting $2 million.

More than enough
to finish in the black.

What were you expecting,
a visit from the tooth fairy?

I was expecting an investor
in my construction company.

I returned from China last night.
This is first I heard of the explosion.

Well, Mr. Palley says you were
planning on investing with him?

Is this part of a
criminal investigation?

No, just a background
check. It's off the record.

I am from Hong Kong.

We will be reuniting
with China in two years.

My family is exploring investment
opportunities in several countries.

And one of them was
Mr. Palley's construction company?

It was a possibility. Mr. Palley
and I had several dinners together

before I went out to China to
investigate another possibility.

A plastic toy factory in Fujian.

Yeah, well, he says the
deal was set. Does he?

When a company needs an
investment to expand, that's good.

When a company needs an
investment to survive, that's not good.

We heard Palley was belly-up.

I took his books with
me to study on the flight.

By the time we reached cruising altitude,
I knew we would be investing elsewhere.

Did Palley know this?
I called from the plane.

I left a message with
his wife, Christine.

No, I'm not Mrs. Palley.
I'm Buzz's sister, not his wife.

Well, this is the address he
gave us. Is Mrs. Palley here?

Buzz isn't married.

He's been camping on our couch ever
since that explosion ruined his trailer.

He was living on the construction
site? Oh, just for a little while.

So, he doesn't have his own apartment?
He was looking for a new place.

Well, his old place, did
he move out because

he was having
trouble paying the rent?

No, nothing like that. Look,
Buzz isn't here right now.

Well, we know all about
his money problems, Mrs...

Lyttle. It was just
a temporary thing.

Buzz has got a new contract
he's very excited about.

He's at the Buildings
Department right now.

Now what? I'm trying to
get this paperwork through

before the clerks take
another coffee break.

Those for the new job? Yes. I'm
still in business. Is that a crime?

It is if you freed yourself up for the
new job by blowing up the old one.

I told you. I was expecting...
And we talked to Mr. Kee.

Did you know he's back from China?
Then I assume he told you we had a deal.

Actually, he said to
send regards to your wife.

Did you get married and
forget to tell your sister?

I wined and dined Mr. Kee a few
times. My girlfriend came along.

Your girlfriend? Chris Chappel.

I told Kee she was my wife.

Chinese, they like to do
business with a stable family man.

LOGAN: So where'd you meet
Palley? On a job? CHRIS: Yeah.

I kind of stand out
from the other guys.

Is it tough being the
only woman on the job?

I hold my own.

I don't want to be rude or anything,
but shouldn't you guys be out

trying to find out who
blew up that building?

Well, we have to be just a little
bit methodical, Miss Chappel.

We'd like to clear up a
couple of points with you.


Did you take a message for your boyfriend
from a Mr. Kee about three weeks ago?

I don't know. When?

It's kind of important. He told you
to tell Palley that their deal was off.

Is that what Mr. Kee says?

Well, do you want us to bring him over
so you can play 20 Questions with him?

Okay, I remember.

Well, did you give the
message to him? No.

What? You forgot?

I didn't want to be the one
to give him the bad news.

I figured Mr. Kee would
send him a letter or something.

You think she's lying
to protect Palley?

Well, he's not my type, but
there's no accounting for taste.

If he knew that his angel from the East
wasn't coming through with the bucks,

he might've thought he had no
choice but to blow that building.

If he didn't know, he'd hold
off until he heard from Mr. Kee.

Which brings us back to square one.
Today's topic, "Do female hardhats lie?"

No. Square one is, "Did
Palley build that bomb?"

He had access to dynamite.

Ask the bomb squad if they found
bomb-making materials in Palley's trailer.

We divided the scene into a grid.
We're still sifting, section by section.

BRISCOE: Did you get to the trailer?
Yeah, it was in the collapse zone.

A lot of the structure
landed on top of it,

including the beams
where the charges were set.

So, can you tell the difference
between what's in the trailer

and what fell on top
of the trailer? Yes.

It's a three-dimensional
grid. We measure depth.

Yeah, well, this is
where we came in.

Did you find
anything in the trailer?

What do you mean, like batteries?
Pieces of wire? Safety fuse?

Nope, just file
cabinets. Office supplies.

Plus personal
effects, right? No.

No clothes? No toilet
kit? Just office stuff.

Yeah, but Palley
lived in the trailer.

If he had anything
personal in that trailer,

he moved it out
before the explosion.

Jeez, isn't that a coincidence?

I kept most of my
stuff at my sister's

place. There wasn't
much room in the trailer.

Your sister's place is four
miles away. What'd you do?

Run there every time you
had to change your underwear?

I kept a few things with me. I
took them to the laundry that day.

Yeah, what about your toothbrush?
You take that to the laundry, too?

Half the building
is on my trailer.

My toothbrush could be mixed up with
pieces of the fifth-floor conference room.

So what about you? I
mean, you live there.

The building blows up
in the middle of the night.

Where were you?

I couldn't sleep. I
was taking a walk.

Well, that either makes you the
luckiest son of a bitch that ever lived,

or you've been lying to us
since we laid eyes on you.

I'm telling you the truth.

You told us there was nobody
at the site at night. But you were.

I couldn't tell people I
couldn't afford an apartment.

You couldn't tell us, because
then we'd know you were broke

and had a motive
to blow that building.

I couldn't tell anybody.

Word gets out I'm busted, it's
vulture time. I'm out of business.

Hey, we saw the contract for your
next job. A sweet deal on the East Side.

And all you had to do was finish
the Gaston job, solvent, to get to it.

I was gonna finish
the Gaston job fine.

Then how come you practically
begged those union guys

and Calvin Tiller to shut you down?
You can't roll over for those people.

They wouldn't do you the favor of
shutting you down, so you did it yourself.

You killed a 12-year-old boy.

How does that feel?

I want to call a lawyer now.


And that concludes the
entertainment portion of our program.

Do we let his lawyer walk him home?
There's no witness, no physical evidence.

There is motive, a pile of
circumstances, a stack of lies.

With some very
creative explanations.

Do you gain anything
from another day or two?

Not unless an eyewitness
crawls out of the rubble.

Let's see how Mr. Palley
likes Rikers Island.

Arthur Palley, you're under
arrest for arson and murder.

You got the right
to remain silent.

Anything you do say, can and will
be used against you in a court of law.

Do you understand?

PENCE: Talk about your
rush to judgment, McCoy.

What'd you do, outrun the
proverbial speeding bullet

on your way to the grand jury?

It didn't take a superhuman
effort to convince them, Mr. Pence.

Access to dynamite, financial
need, lying to the police.

To the grand jury, that
sounded like means,

motive and evidence
of a guilty conscience.

You slice it thinner than
the prosciutto at Primavera.

Have you even considered that someone
else had motive to plant that bomb?

The police investigated
Calvin Tiller, the unions.

No, this bombing wasn't
business. It was personal.

That building was made to fall on
the trailer where my client was living.

Are you rehearsing
your opening statement?

No, I'm telling you, you're about
to commit a miscarriage of justice.

Police ever question
Hank Chappel?

That figures.

I don't have time today to play
What's My Line? Who's Hank Chappel?

He's my girlfriend's husband.

Palley's girlfriend is married?
The police didn't tell us.

Don't you work here, too?

If I were Palley, I'd want to give the
jury an alternate theory of the crime.

Blame the husband. Blame
the mafia. Blame the bogeyman.

Now, sometimes the
bogeyman is guilty.

The building did fall on the
trailer where Palley was living.

We're going to look into it.

We don't even know if this guy
knew his wife was having an affair.

Should we start with
him? No. Start with the wife.

Buzz said my husband did it? He
doesn't even know about me and Buzz.

Are you sure?

Hank's the kind of guy that if he thought
I was fooling around, he'd mention it.

Oh, not shy about his feelings?

Oh, I know what
you want me to say.

Jealous, bad temper... You
got yourself a killer, right? Wrong.

You already arrested one innocent man.
What, do you want to arrest another one?

If your husband didn't do
it, all we want is to clear him.

Now, where was he
the night of the bombing?

He was home. What, all night?

I had a long day. I went to bed early.
I'm not sure what time he got home.

He works late?

If that was it, I wouldn't
have looked twice at Buzz.

No, Hank's got himself a custom-fit
stool over at a place called Barclay's.

Second from the end. Ever
since he moved here from Jersey.

What about Monday
night, two weeks ago?

Rangers played Boston
at home. He was here.

You talking about Hank?

Did he stay for the
post-game party?

Look, Hank's good people. Things
just haven't been going his way.

You mean with his wife? What
are you? Some kind of a cop?

That isn't much of a secret,
is it? How long has he known?

Everyone who's set foot in this bar
has known for the last two months.

But Hank's been calming
down about it. He tells people?

Look, you ask around, you're gonna
hear about the night he had nine 7&7s,

and he stood on the bar and
said he was gonna shoot the guy.

I seen that. Someone
did shoot at the guy.

It wasn't Hank. I know bar
talk, and that was just bar talk.

I'm telling you first.

Three days after Hank
Chappel's outburst in the bar,

the shots were fired into Palley's trailer.
Everyone assumed it was the union.

Now you assume it's Chappel?
He claimed credit in advance.

Even if he got drunk and
took a few potshots at Palley,

it doesn't mean he came
back and blew up the building.

For the past year, Chappel's been
working as a pick-and-shovel day laborer.

Before that, he was certified for
demolition work with explosives.

Suspended because
of a drinking problem.

I don't believe this.

Get a search warrant.

HANK: What the hell is going
on here? This is my apartment.

Christine, what's going on?
CLAIRE: Are you Hank Chappel?

Yeah. We're executing
a search warrant.

Please just sit over
there till we're done.

LOGAN: We're done.

.38 caliber. Hello.
How about this?

Blasting caps, detonator
cord. His license is suspended.

I guess he was
moonlighting on the side.

What are you telling me?
She was sleeping around?

Come on, Hank, we
talked to your bartender.

You told the whole world that your wife
was sharpening somebody else's pencil.

Well, okay, maybe I had a feeling
she was, but it wasn't that big a deal.

Oh, so it didn't
bother you at all?

Maybe she wasn't the only one, you
know, who's knocking one off on the side.

You were cheating,
too, Mr. Chappel?


I mean, I figured Christine
was entitled to even the score.

And taking potshots at Palley, is that
part of your forgive-and-forget philosophy?

I didn't shoot at anybody.
Mr. Chappel, the ballistics laboratory

has already matched the slugs
in Palley's trailer to your gun.

Do you want to stop
wasting our time?

I was drunk. I just
wanted to scare him.

And when he
didn't take the hint,

you thought you'd just
drop a building on his head?

I swear on a stack I
did not set no bomb.

Okay, we got two balls in the air.
Time to decide which one to catch.

Well, jealousy. Demolitions
expert. Took three shots at Palley.

And Palley? Motive and
circumstantial evidence.

Right, got it. The bomb squad matched
the detonating cord found in Hank's toolbox

to fragments found at the scene.
Well, that's not circumstantial.

I was due in Judge Friedman's
chambers eight minutes ago.

I'm probably
already in contempt.

Can anybody here make a
case for Palley over Chappel?

Sold. Bye.

Arrest him.

Stand up, Mr. Chappel.

Henry Chappel, you're under arrest for
arson and the murder of Richard Cuneo.

You have the right to remain
silent. Anything you say can and will...

Mr. Newbill, you're

with the Division of Safety and Health
of the New York Department of Labor,

which formerly
licensed Henry Chappel?

He had a blaster's certificate. He was
qualified to handle explosives for use

in the controlled
demolitions of structures.

And in your opinion, would someone
with Mr. Chappel's qualifications

have been able to construct and
detonate the bombs used in this demolition?

Yes. Would such a
person have been able to

detonate these bombs
in such a precise way

that the building would have
collapsed on Mr. Palley's trailer?

Yes. Thank you.

Mr. Newbill, how do people
get a blaster's certificate?

They take an exam.

How do they study for the
exam? They read books.

Books on how to set off explosives?
Those would be the most useful ones.

Isn't it possible that any adult

with sixth-grade reading skills
could have made this bomb?

If they could pass the test.

Yes. I was having an affair with
Mr. Palley. JACK: And your husband knew it?

Objection. She cannot testify
as to what someone else knew.


Mrs. Chappel, did you ever tell your
husband that you were having an affair

with Mr. Palley? Objection.

That would be a confidential
communication between a husband and wife.

So it would, Mr. McCoy.

So I don't have to answer?
JUDGE CAFFEY: You do not.

All right, Mrs. Chappel,

how long before the bombing did
you begin your affair with Mr. Palley?

About six months.

And how many nights a week did
you spend with him in his trailer?

Your Honor.

You have to answer
this one, Mrs. Chappel.

One or two. All night long?


And your husband was
at home those nights?

I suppose.

So one or two nights a week for six
months your husband waited for you at home,

but you never came?
Objection. Asked and answered.

So unless your husband
was stupid, Mrs. Chappel,

he had to know what
was going on. Objection!

Withdrawn. Nothing further.

Mr. Palley told us that he'd taken
his clothes to the laundry that day.

And what did you make
of this explanation?

Well, I thought it was
one coincidence too many.

What action did you take?

My partner and I consulted
with our supervisor

and with Assistant District Attorney
Kincaid, and we proceeded to arrest Palley.

At this point in time, did
you think you had your man?

Oh, sure, but... Are you
aware of any new evidence

that would explain
away the coincidences

that aroused your
suspicions about Mr. Palley?

No, I'm not. Thank you.

Detective Briscoe,

before you arrested Mr. Palley,

did you or anyone
else check to see if he

had in fact taken his
clothes to the laundry?


Did you find any bomb-making
materials in his possession?


Before you arrested Mr. Palley,

were you aware that his lover,
Chris Chappel, was married?

No, I wasn't.

You didn't bother to find out?

Since we already had a viable
suspect, it didn't seem pertinent.

Does it seem pertinent now?

Yes. In retrospect,
Detective Briscoe,

is it fair to say that the arrest
of Mr. Palley was premature?

I suppose so.

No more questions.

I knew about her and
Palley, but that was ending.

She and I were
working things out.

If you were working things out,
why did you fire a gun at Mr. Palley?

I didn't fire at him. If I had
I wouldn't have missed.

I'd had a few drinks. I
was letting off some steam.

So maybe you had a few
more drinks, let off more steam

and bombed that building.

Look, that was precision
demolition work, all right?

I would have had to
be cold sober to do it.

And I wasn't cold sober
very much around that time.

Mr. Chappel, did you dynamite
that building at 435 Church Street?

No. I never would. I
didn't have any reason to.

Thank you.

Mr. Chappel, what happened
to your blasting certificate?

It was suspended.

And why was that?

I showed up at a job
site after I'd been drinking.

And what happened? The
GC asked me to leave the site.

And what happened next?

We had an argument.

I hit him. He called the police.

I see.

You said when you fired your gun
at Mr. Palley, you missed on purpose.

That's right. Even though
you'd been drinking?

Right. If you could
fire a .38 caliber pistol

with precision when you'd been
drinking, why couldn't you rig dynamite?

It's not the same thing. But
you're a demolitions expert.

You could have rigged that
bomb blindfolded, couldn't you?

I don't know. I don't even
know how it was rigged.

So if it had been a simple bomb,
then you could have rigged it drunk?

Maybe. I didn't do it.

Do you love your wife?


So how did you feel when you thought
about her being with Buzz Palley?

I didn't think about it.

You didn't think about it
the night you fired your gun?

It didn't come to mind all those
nights your wife didn't come home?

I thought about how we
were gonna work things out.

Sure. Just as soon as Buzz Palley
got tired of having your wife in his bed.

Didn't you wish he was
dead? Of course I did!

But I didn't kill him.

No. But you tried.

JUDGE CAFFEY: Mr. Foreman,
has the jury reached a verdict?

Yes, we have, Your Honor.

On the first count of the indictment,
arson in the first degree, how do you find?

We find the defendant,
Henry Chappel, guilty.

On the second count, murder in
the second degree, how do you find?

We find the defendant,
Henry Chappel, guilty.

You wanna
celebrate with a drink?

Okay, sure. If you're buying.

Counselors. Going out to
dance on Hank Chappel's grave?

I'm sorry about the
cross-examination, Detective.

I just had to rule out
Palley as a suspect.

Hey, no problem. They pay
me plenty to look like an idiot.

It wasn't personal. I
know, but it got me thinking.

Palley says he avoided getting
killed when the bomb went off

because he was
out taking a walk.

It sounded bogus, but
coincidences do happen.

Yeah, but if he was taking a walk,
how come he never came back?

I checked the reports of all the
officers who were at the scene.

Palley showed up at 6:30
a.m., his usual starting time.

So either he walked to Paramus, or
he knew the building was gonna blow.

Because he was
the one who blew it.

Nobody noticed this before?

Nobody thought about it that
night. Palley wasn't a suspect.

He could have come
running back from his

walk and said he'd
just heard the explosion.

He didn't wanna have to tell us
that he was living in the trailer.

That would have
made him a suspect.

So he set the bomb, grabbed
his stuff and walked away?

And never looked back.

You know, in retrospect,
it does seem fair to say

that the prosecution of
Mr. Chappel was premature.

Look, this doesn't
prove anything. No.

But I don't feel
like celebrating yet.

You got a conviction. Some cop trying
to save his reputation is not evidence.

Well, we're trying to get some.

We got a wiretap on Chris
Chappel's phone all weekend.

So you think it was her and Palley?
What Briscoe said makes sense.

If Palley was telling the truth, he
would have shown up at the scene

a few minutes
after the explosion.

And Mrs. Chappel had access to
her husband's demolition supplies.

Yep, husband had to know that.

If he didn't make the bomb,

why couldn't he have pointed a finger
at his wife when you arrested him?

Denial? Love?

Maybe he was covering for
her. While he takes the fall?

This guy's better than Romeo and Juliet.
What are you getting from the wiretap?

Chris and Palley have talked three
times about dinner plans, not dynamite.

Well, that's progress.

And the surveillance
warrant expires in 14 hours.

So shake them up.

You got her number?

called, he told me to come in, Buzz.

PALLEY: Just calm down.

Why would he call? He's
got to know something.

Hank's been convicted.

Thank God, but if they
find out what happened...

Don't worry, they don't know
anything. Have a drink. I'll see you later.

That's the end of
the tape. And the

warrant. Add that to
Palley's stack of lies.

And his mystery walk to nowhere.

Arrest them.

Pardon my ignorance, but isn't my client's
husband already in jail for this crime?

Yeah, because he was framed.
PENCE: Last week you said he was guilty.

We stand corrected. Actually,
Mr. McCoy, you stand nowhere.

First, you've convicted
someone else,

which is a hell of a burden to
overcome in bringing a new charge.

Second, your tape recording
is ambiguous at best.

And finally, no jury is ever
going to hear it, anyway.

It's a joint motion to suppress.

This meeting is over.

The application for the warrant is
insufficient on its face, Your Honor.

Well, perhaps I've been at this
too long, but this looks fine to me.

A list of alleged
lies by Mr. Palley,

detonator cord found in
Mrs. Chappel's apartment...

Judge Finkel found it met the
threshold of probable cause.

It's not my place to... HARTMAN:
Begging Your Honor's pardon,

the issue is not what's included
in the District Attorney's affidavit,

but rather what's omitted.

Specifically, that another man had
already been convicted of the crime.

Is that so? The Church
Street bombing, Your Honor.

This is that case?
The history is irrelevant.

The itemized evidence was
sufficient for these defendants.

That's all that's required.

HARTMAN: Irrelevant?

That the jury found someone guilty
of a felony beyond a reasonable doubt

necessarily negates the presumption
that someone else probably did it.

At a minimum, it should have
been included in the equation.

The issuing judge found the
application satisfactory, Your Honor.

Well, it doesn't satisfy
me. The tape is excluded.

We ran into some
damn good lawyering.

Without the tape, there's no
point in even going to a grand jury.


We've got a truckload of
evidence against an innocent man

and zip against the
people who did it.

In the future, if we
ever go to trial again,

maybe we ought to
know what we're doing.

The standard for conviction is
reasonable doubt, not absolute certainty.

Hank Chappel will be happy to
know that. Get the guy out of jail.

Let me get this straight. You
want me to undo a jury conviction?

The jury was wrong.

Somebody commit perjury? No.

Was evidence
wrongfully admitted? No.

Did I commit reversible
error? No, Your Honor.

Twelve reasonable
people sat in the jury box.

They listened to the evidence
which you so articulately presented

over the course of eight days. After
16 hours of thoughtful deliberation,

they decided in
their heart of hearts

that Hank Chappel deserves to
spend the rest of his life in prison.

Who are we to argue?

The problem is that
Hank Chappel is innocent.

The problem is that you changed your mind.
But you're the prosecutor, not the jury.

So what you think doesn't
count. This is absurd.

This is the American system of
justice, and I believe in it. Don't you?

You want me to
release Mr. Chappel?

Find reversible error in the trial
transcript or prove to another jury

that somebody else
committed the crime.

The only way we can
get Chappel released

is to prove his wife and
Palley committed the crime.

Which we can't do because
we convicted Chappel.

Joseph Heller
would love this one.

The cornerstone of the system is that
it is better for 10 guilty men to go free

than for one innocent
man to go to jail.

Someone should tell that
to Judge Caffey. I tried.

He believes in juries.
Well, juries make mistakes.

Then why is it that I feel like we're the
ones who've been making all the mistakes

around here lately?

Maybe we should
make another one.

That tape of Chris Chappel and
Palley... Yeah, what about it? It's dead.

What if we change our
theory of what it means?

What if Mrs. Chappel was talking about
having committed the crime not with Palley,

but with her husband.
You believe that?

If it were true, the tape would
be admissible against her.

Her husband's conviction
wouldn't hurt us, it would help us.

The fact that a husband has been convicted
of a crime increases the probable cause

that his wife was involved.

So we argue a theory we know is
wrong to convict the right person?

Who says it's wrong?

The jury that convicted
Hank Chappel says it's right.

Get Mrs. Chappel in here.

PALLEY: Hank's been
convicted. CHRIS: Thank God,

but if they find out
what happened...

Very nice, but it's been excluded.
That's because we misinterpreted it.

What happened is your client
committed the crime with her husband.

Nothing like changing
horses in mid-stream, Jack.

I'm the first one to admit
when I make a mistake.

All I have to do is
admit it to a judge,

and the jury's gonna hear
Mrs. Chappel's confession.

Oh, come on. Her statement is
open to a million interpretations.

Maybe. But we have a
corroborating witness.

You think Buzz is gonna testify?
JACK: She's not referring to Mr. Palley.

She's talking about your
husband. Remember him?

Hank won't lie about me.

Show him in.



I heard the tape.

We're going to get you out of here.
I've got a lawyer who says he'll appeal.

Christine, I'm in for 25 years
and nobody is getting me out.

You put him on the stand, Jack,
and you're suborning perjury.

A jury convicted him. As far
as I'm concerned, he's guilty.

And he certainly knows
who his accomplices are.

I'm gonna tell them
you were in it with me.

But, Hank, you know
that isn't true. True?

I know what's true

and it's...

Why did you do this to me?
Why did you do this to me?

HANK: Why?

What are you offering, Jack?

What does she have to say?

It was Buzz.

He was desperate. It was either
blow up the building or go bankrupt.

I got him the cord.


We never thought anyone
would be there. God.

And your husband?

Just off somewhere
drinking, as usual.

Arson two, man one.

Ten years.


Judge Caffey signed Hank
Chappel's release order.

And Palley 's lawyer
called. He wants to talk deal.

The hell with him.
He can do 25-to-life.

So you got the wrong man,
then you got the right one.

One for two.

My batting average
should be better than that.

You make big decisions in a hurry. Then you
press too hard. That's part of your job.

With the fringe benefit that from time to
time we convict someone who's innocent?

It could be better. We
could have the death penalty.