Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 8, Episode 5 - Law & Order - full transcript

An attempted armored car heist leads to the prosecution of a suburban right-wing militia group that claims to be at war with the U.S. government.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it - foodval.com
---
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.

Hey, so who do
you like in the third?

Alby's Gal.

You gotta be kidding.
Her last start...

She was over-matched.
But I still lost.

Who told you to bet?

You did.



Hey, I just told
you who I liked.

Sam, Alby's Gal in the third.

When's the last time
you picked a winner?

Maryland Princess.

Get out of here.

Are you all right? Are you okay?

Oh, my God, what happened?

It was their scheduled
run. They come twice a day.

You notice anyone
casing the place?

No. I was just walking
with them, talking.

About what? The third race.

I gave them a good tip, too.
Alby's Gal. Came in 38 bucks to win.

They should have bet.

Thanks.



All this body armor, and they
forgot the bullet-proof ski mask.

The other one's on
the way to the hospital.

Tell me this hump has a wallet.

"Audentes fortuna juvat"?

"Audentes fortuna juvat."

Yeah. Jesse James and his dead
partner both have the same tattoo,

an eagle with what?

"Fortune favors the brave."

What'd you get from that guy?

A long shot. Alby's
Gal. Paid $38 to win.

He thinks the guards
should have bet.

I guess it wasn't
their lucky day.

Male, 45 to 50. No needle marks.

Drug panel was clean.
He kept himself in shape.

Thickened skin on the
index finger of the left hand.

He could have been a carpenter.

Hammer kept missing the nail?

Or a do-it-yourselfer. These
scars, from the knee to the hip,

fragments of something
hit him at fairly high velocity.

The bird house he
was building blew up?

Maybe a car accident.

Or shrapnel. See how
the skin is stretched?

Old wounds. 20, 30 years.

What about the tattoo?

Within the year.
Mid-life crisis.

Some guys get a
Harley, some get a tattoo.

And what did you get?

27-year-old boyfriend.

Good for you, Rodgers.

MAC-11s. Both of them. Take
a look at the slide mechanism.

The releases are filed down.

It's been modified
from semi to full auto.

Yeah. Our do-it-yourselfer
isn't just a carpenter.

Modifications like
that aren't hard,

if you know what you're doing.

What about the bullet that
killed the guard? Wells?

Didn't come from these guns.

The guy that got away?

The residue in the casings
indicates that all three guns

used the same
kind of ammunition.

Centerfire.
American-made, most likely.

From the proportions of
lead, barium, and antimony,

I'd say a non-standard mix.

Extra kick. Something
they cooked up at home?

Sure, depending on the home.

Yeah, but not something
you'd find in Martha Stewart.

The good news is, the
second guard's gonna make it.

And the perp in the hospital?

John Doe's still unconscious.

But Latent rolled his
prints and the DOA's.

And the third guy
disappeared into thin air.

The guy in the red windbreaker.

Not just red.

Witnesses from the
NYB, from the street,

we got fire-engine
red, cherry red.

Crimson.

So our fugitive's
windbreaker's noticeable.

Everyone's looking at the windbreaker.
They don't see anything else.

Prints taken off the DOA
and the one in a coma.

Matthew Brant, the DOA,
and our Mr. Doe is Greg Kubie.

Both guys are from
the suburbs, Hastings.

Criminal records?

Not a traffic ticket between
them, Brant was a vet.

Kubie's a cop.

Yeah. Hastings PD.

It's him.

I know this is hard.

Was your husband
having money problems?

Any trouble at work?

No.

The third man we're looking for,

do you have any idea
who that might be?

Other wives, how do they react?

Everyone reacts
in a different...

Have any of the other
wives called you sadists?

My husband was a good man.

Two or three times a
week, at dinner time...

Mom.

His old students stopped by to
tell him how he changed their lives.

He was not a criminal. What
right did you have to kill him?

Kay?

Hey, Kay. Kay, Kay, Kay...

Easy.

If you'll excuse me.

I'm Mrs. Brant's
brother, Phil Christie.

Your sister's
having a hard time.

Is that a photo of
Matt? Do you mind?

It really is him.
It's unbelievable.

Did you know your
brother-in-law owned a gun?

That's not unusual up here.

A MAC-11?

Do you know a guy
named Greg Kubie?

Yeah, once or twice a year, he
sat in on a poker game we got going.

Was your brother-in-law tight with
anyone in particular besides Kubie?

This is a friendly community.
Matt had a lot of friends.

Any of them with eagle tattoos?

Your brother-in-law and
Kubie had the same tattoo.

It's the first I heard of it.

Two days ago, I was
having breakfast with him.

Today, they tell
me he's murdered

because he's trying
to rob an armored car.

He wasn't murdered. The guard he
was robbing shot him in self-defense.

Matt was one of the most
decent men I have ever known.

I'm gonna go check on
my sister. Excuse me.

That was Profaci.

Nothing at Kubie's place
except for three-day-old pizza.

Brant and Kubie
had the same tattoo.

You want to give me odds
the third guy has one, too?

How many tattoo parlors can
there be in a town this size?

Yeah, 10-12 guys, right,
came in maybe last March, April,

eagle tattoos with
something in Latin.

All at the same time?

Three together.

Then, a couple of guys three
weeks later ask for the same design,

the next week,
two guys. Like that.

You keep a record?

They came in with a picture,
something from a computer thing.

Did they tell you what it
was for? A club or a gang?

It's not my business to ask.

Here. One of them paid by check.

Thomas Robbins.

The tattoos? A gag.

A few of us got drunk
one night, made a bet.

The next morning,
I forgot I had it.

I get out of bed. Boy,
was my wife pissed.

Who made the bet?

Tony Lapella, Al
Goodman, Matt Brant...

You know Brant well?

Since high school. A decent guy.

History teacher, basketball
coach, active in the church.

What about Greg Kubie?

Never met him. I guess he saw
the tattoo on one of my buddies.

Yeah, I guess so.

Everybody in town's
been talking about it,

and I don't know what
did or didn't happen,

but one thing I do know is, Matt
Brant couldn't hold up anyone.

And the 20 or 30 witnesses?

Mind if I use your phone?

Yeah.

So, where were you on
Tuesday at 2:00 p.m.?

A bunch of guys get a tattoo,
they got to be crooks? Is that it?

Two guys rob an armored car,
they both have the same tattoo,

we have to take that
into consideration.

Day before yesterday, 2:00 p.m.,

I was just finishing
meals-on-wheels.

Every week, same time, same day.

We're not like you
guys in New York.

Kubie just regained
consciousness.

If I wanted a
lawyer, I'd hire one.

But, Mr. Kubie...

Who have you talked
to about my case?

No one, but I still
think it's important...

Get out.

These are detectives.
I'd advise you...

Get the hell out!

You can get out, too.

Why don't we just...

I have the right
to remain silent.

Officer Kubie...

Anything I say can be used
against me in a court of law.

Look, I got nothing
to say to you.

Cops. What a pain.
He's not gonna roll easy.

Hey, that tattoo artist,
she said they came in

with a picture printed
from a computer.

I type in what we're
looking for, eagle graphics

and the motto
"Audentes fortuna juvat."

The search engine does the rest.

If it's anywhere on the
Internet, we'll get a hit.

One of these days,
you'll have to teach me

how to play
solitaire on that thing.

Bingo. This shows
us where to find it.

Let's surf the Net.

The New Sons of Liberty
homepage. It's a militia.

Maybe Jesse James and his pals

were trying to
finance a revolution.

What you're saying
is, I've got this tattoo,

it means I belong to this
group, the New Sons of Liberty?

Do you?

How about you, Detective?
Are you active in politics?

How about answering my question?

I figure you for a
disappointed Democrat,

or maybe a
disappointed Republican?

You're disappointed
in something.

It's a nice computer
you got there.

Is that where you keep
your virtual clubhouse?

You thinking of dropping
in? Maybe signing up?

Depends on the dues.
Cops get a special rate?

"Congress shall make no law
abridging the freedom of speech

"or the right of the
people to assemble,

"and to petition the government
for a redress of grievances."

I don't have to tell you
anything about my politics.

"What about Waco?

"The Feds pumped the
Davidian compound full of CS,

"which is highly
flammable, and then started

the fire which killed
women and kids."

The FBI infrared surveillance
tape made at Waco

shows flashes coming
from the FBI forces

that could have
been incendiary fire.

It's 3:00 in the morning.

That's when they come
out of the woodwork.

"It was a show of force
to scare off anyone

"who wants to fight Big Brother.

"We've got to learn
how to defend ourselves."

I'm ready. Do you know any Web
sites where I can find out more?

What are you doing?

I'm looking for the
black helicopters.

They don't come
near urban centers.

Lennie, we're in.

You got this from a chat room?

A New Sons of Liberty sub-site.

Which we found
through a chat room.

This tells you how to modify a
semi-automatic weapon to full auto

in the same way the guns used
in the robbery were modified.

Are we sure one of the New
Sons of Liberty posted it?

No, but it's a connection.

It's a stretch.

Your Honor, if I publish
a magazine article

by an anonymous author
on how to make a bomb...

You're gonna protect
your anonymous author.

But if that article
advocates using that bomb...

Can I subpoena your notes to
find out the identity of the author?

We're on very murky ground here.

This is speech protected
by the First Amendment.

With these instructions,
the New Sons of Liberty

advocate illegal use
of automatic weapons.

It's no longer free speech,
it's a verbal act. An illegal act.

I don't know. I don't like this.

My daughter just had a
baby. A girl. Two weeks ago.

I want her to have the
same freedoms I've had.

And if she becomes
an armored car guard?

Give me the paper.

I figured you'd be back.

With a warrant?

I was going to say
with stormtroopers.

Look, why don't you
make it easy on all of us

and just give us a list of
the New Sons of Liberty?

Am I under arrest? No.

Lock up when you're done.

Keep an eye on him.

The New Sons of Liberty
membership list. Twenty in all.

A nice round number.

Not enough to
start a revolution.

More than enough
to rob an armored car.

We need search warrants
for their homes and workplaces

to be executed simultaneously.

6:00 a.m.

A big show of force.

Will the department
back you up on this?

I'll get the money.

Then, I'll get the warrants.

What are you looking
for? My son is only 17!

The New Sons of Liberty
don't have an age limit.

Read the warrant. If you have any
questions, I'll be glad to answer them.

Why don't you check
out that cabinet over there.

Hey, Sergeant. Yes, sir?

Open this up.

We hit the mother
lode in the crawl space.

"A well-regulated militia being
necessary to the security of a free state,

"the right of the people to keep
and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Look at this, full autos,
AK-47s, a couple of MAS .223s,

a bunch of M16s, boxes of ammo.

Yeah. Enough guns to
take over Staten Island.

Take a picture and send
it to Charlton Heston.

Pack this stuff up. Take
everybody downtown.

Okay. Let's go now.

Cray, Lewis, March 21, 1965.
Private, New Sons of Liberty, 016.

Okay, Mr. Cray, Lewis. We're
gonna need to know your whereabouts

on the afternoon of
Tuesday, August 8th.

Cray, Lewis. March 21st...

1951. Sergeant, New
Sons of Liberty, 004.

004? What are you,
James Bond minus three?

Robbins, Thomas. October 15th...

1980. Private, New
Sons of Liberty, 018.

Listen up, tin soldier,
this is no game.

Felony murder means
a needle in the arm,

so if you don't want to be the
sucker on the slab, wise up.

Brant, Matthew Jr.
December 18th, 1980. Private...

Automatic weapons,
munitions, body armor.

Is that what the robbery was
for, more guns? Bigger guns?

Christie, Philip.
August 4th, 1962.

Major, New Sons of Liberty, 002.

LT, you have a call.

Make sure the
Major is comfortable.

So far I've got calls
from the ATF, the FBI,

the whole alphabet
soup down in Washington.

Let them take a number.

It's our case, New York
City. They have no jurisdiction.

They took jurisdiction in Waco.

The murder weapon?

Not among the ones we found.

They're smart. Probably
tossed it in the Hudson.

If it's any consolation, we
have the militia members' prints

all over the guns.

But no connection to the murder.

So after all that, we charge
them with simple gun possession.

They post bail. We look like
fascists or idiots, take your pick.

McCoy. It's for you.

Yeah?

Thanks for calling.

Ballistics. The special
powder in the ammunition,

the home-load
used in the robbery,

they found it in the arsenal
seized in Christie's house.

But we don't have
the murder weapon.

The hell with it.

Conspiracy to commit murder
and robbery. Charge them all.

"Docket number 57643,

"the People v. Philip Christie,
Thomas Robbins, et al.

"Murder in the First Degree,
Attempted Murder in the First Degree,

"Conspiracy in the First Degree,

"Attempted Grand
Larceny in the First Degree."

Ms. Mandel, how do they plead?

Your Honor, as ranking officer

my co-defendants have chosen
me to act as our own counsel.

Are you a lawyer?

I've worked as a bailiff. I know
about your rules and procedures.

You file the motion,
the court will consider it.

Now enter a plea.

Your Honor, for all defendants
on all charges, not guilty.

Your Honor, the
People request remand.

Your Honor, we move that
all charges be dismissed

on the grounds that
we are prisoners of war

under the terms of the
Geneva Convention.

What?

Mr. Christie, this is a
civilian criminal court.

I have no authority
to rule on your motion.

You do,

Your Honor. That
flag has fringes on it,

which means it
is a military flag.

Which means this
court is a military tribunal.

You must recognize us as
prisoners of war exempt from trial.

Our motion...

Mr. Christie, I don't
care how many fringes,

bells and whistles
are on this flag,

this is a civilian
criminal court. Got it?

Bail is set at $1 million for
each defendant. Next case.

Prisoners of war?
What's he talking about?

The New Sons of Liberty believe
they're at war with the US Government.

And Son of Sam got his
marching orders from a dog.

It's nonsense.

Have you read their manifesto?

"For the sake of global trade,

"low wages and high profits, the US
Government has mortgaged its sovereignty

"to global interests, and has
endowed the FBI, the ATF, and the CIA

"with extraordinary powers to
enforce this new world order."

You could make a case for that.

Have you started wearing
fatigues under your clothes?

Jack, these are not religious
fanatics living on a compound.

They're articulate...
Misguided...

Definitely, but don't underestimate
them. They've got lots of support.

They've already raised six
of the $20 million they need,

from every state in the union,

not one contribution over $500.

And who was this guard
they killed? A redcoat?

You need to prove
there was a conspiracy.

Seventy rounds fired, two dead.
No problem with the overt act.

And your proof of the
agreement to commit the robbery?

So far no one's rolled on that.

The agreement can be inferred

from membership in
the New Sons of Liberty.

Guilt by association?

If it's an association dedicated
to murder and mayhem, why not?

Now I have to
take him seriously.

Christie got his motion
in front of Judge Scarletti.

Just be sure we don't have to
go to The Hague to try this case.

Ha!

The Geneva Convention
defines prisoners of war

as "persons who have fallen
into the power of the enemy."

The enemy being
the District Attorney?

And any office or
branch of any government

which is not constituted
of and by the people.

Your Honor, how long are
we going to humor this man?

On its face, this is a
patently absurd motion.

Mr. McCoy, please.

Go on, Mr. Christie.

Under the convention,
such prisoners of war

include the armed forces
of a party to a conflict,

as well as members of
militia or volunteer corps,

including members of an
organized resistance movement.

Your Honor, the convention
protects combatants,

not common criminals.

It requires the existence
of an open, armed conflict.

Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill,

the Revolutionary War
was fought for months

before hostilities
were officially declared.

They didn't attack an Army base.

They robbed a New
York State Betting Office.

At best, they're terrorists.

Mr. Christie's so-called army
amounts to 20-odd hoodlums.

Twenty? 1,000? 10,000?

How many have to
believe what I believe

before you recognize
my right to say,

"This is wrong, this
must be changed"?

Mr. Christie, this isn't a
First Amendment issue.

Your motion has
been tried in the past

by the Black Panthers
and by other groups.

Granting it would give license
to any criminal organization

to circumvent the
criminal justice system

by declaring themselves at war
with the government. Motion denied.

As to your motion to act as
your own counsel, it's granted.

But I want Ms. Mandel to
serve as your legal advisor.

Now, we're going to trial.

Did you compare the gunpowder
found in Mr. Christie's basement

to that found at
the crime scene?

Yes, sir.

And what did you find?

"We hold these truths
to be self-evident..."

Silence! "that all men
are created equal."

Silence in the court!

"That they are endowed
by their creator..."

Silence in the court!

"with certain
unalienable rights..."

Bailiff, please
remove the defendant.

Order in the court.

"that among these
are life, liberty,

"and the pursuit of happiness.

"That to secure these rights
governments are instituted among men..."

Your Honor, I object
to this removal.

Overruled.

We will make provisions
for the defendant

to observe the
procedures of this court

through closed-circuit
television.

You may sit down, Mr. Christie.

Mr. McCoy, you may continue.

Did you compare the gunpowder
found in Mr. Christie's basement

to the gunpowder
at the murder scene?

Yes, sir. Both had the same
distinctive chemical composition.

In my opinion, they
were from the same batch.

Thank you.

Do you pay taxes?

Objection. Sustained.

Have you ever
read the Constitution

of the United States of America?

Objection. Sustained.

No more questions.

Yeah, I carried a gun. But I never
thought I'd have to shoot anyone.

It was crazy. Suddenly...

"That whenever any
form of government..."

Order in the court!

"becomes destructive of
these ends..." I warned you!

"it is the right of
the people to alter..."

Bailiff, remove the defendant!

"or to abolish it and to..."
Get him out of my court.

"institute new government
laying its foundation..."

You hear me? "on such principles

"and organizing its
powers in such form..."

"Governments are
instituted among men..."

You were saying, Mr. Parent?

Suddenly, everybody
was shooting.

What do you know about
the new world order?

Before this trial, I
never heard of it.

Do you work for it?

No, sir.

What branch of the
government do you work for?

No branch. I work for the Stevens
Securities Transfer Company.

Thank you.

Mr. Parent, who owns the Stevens
Securities Transfer Company?

I don't know.

Who's on the board?

I don't know.

Could they be working for
a multinational corporation...

Objection.

Sustained.

How about New York Bets?

What? Who owns it?

The State, I guess.
New York State?

Yeah.

Do you know who actually
runs New York Bets?

No.

And you didn't vote for
any of them, did you?

Objection. JUDGE
SCARLETTI: Sustained.

Mr. Christie, if you have no
relevant questions, you may sit down.

I have questions the
jury may find relevant.

Your cross-examination is
over. The witness is excused.

They weren't called the
New Sons of Liberty then.

A few years ago, my
brother, Phil, and my husband

used to sit around
the kitchen table

and talk about how the FBI shot that
woman and her baby at Ruby Ridge,

about how no one in the
government cared about anything

but the special interests.

Special interests?

If you're rich or poor, the
government pays attention.

But the average family in
America doesn't stand a chance.

Like what happened
with my brother

when the government wouldn't
let him see his kids after the divorce

and they gave
custody to his wife.

At any time, did your husband
discuss plans for a robbery with you?

The more involved Matt got
with the group, the angrier he got.

And it wasn't like he was
angry at anything in particular.

It was almost like he
was angry at our life,

at what we had, at
what we didn't have.

After a while, I could
hardly talk to him anymore.

Mrs. Brant, did he ever talk
about a robbery with you?

Matt woke me up one night, after
Phil and the others had been there,

and he told me they
had planned a robbery,

and that he had
volunteered for the mission,

and there was some
danger involved,

and that if anything
happened to him,

he wanted me to know
that he did it for my sake

and for Matt Jr.,
for the country.

And what did you say?

I told him I didn't understand.

I didn't understand.

The government
wasn't bothering us.

I didn't understand why
they had to commit a crime.

Thank you.

Mrs. Brant,

was your decision to
testify coerced in any way?

Objection.

Sustained.

Did Mr. McCoy offer you anything

in exchange for your testimony?

Objection.

Overruled.

Answer the question, Mrs. Brant.

Mr. McCoy said if I testify,
he'd sever my son's case

and try him on reduced charges.

No! No, Mom! You
shouldn't have done this!

Turning mother and
son against each other.

Order in the court!

Mr. Christie, please sit down.

Do you think the American people

are gonna stand by and watch
as you tear a family apart?

Bailiff, will you sit the
defendant back down?

Remove those defendants!

Remove those defendants!

No!

Remove those defendants!

Christie's master plan.
Look at his witness list.

The directors of the CIA,
the NSA, the President.

The judge excludes them,
Christie yells cover-up.

When you have no case...
- Right.

It leaves him with
just one witness,

himself.

Ross. Uh-huh.

We'll be right over.

That was Judge
Scarletti's clerk.

There's a problem
with one of the jurors.

Mr. Shelby, it has
come to my attention

that you passed some reading
material on to another juror.

Yes, sir. To Bob Clark.

It's a newspaper.

Is this it? The Crisis.

Yes, sir. It's named after the
newspaper published in 1776.

How would you
characterize this newspaper?

"Our new army at both ends
of the continent is recruiting fast,

"and we shall be able to open the
next campaign with 60,000 men."

Isn't this inflammatory?

It's a quote. From Thomas
Paine, one of the founding fathers.

In the voir dire, you were asked

if you had any opinions

which might prevent you from
judging this case objectively.

I believe I can
judge it objectively.

You told Mr. Clark that you
and some of the other jurors

had made up their
minds to acquit.

You said you wanted
to send a message.

What message would
that be, Mr. Shelby?

In this country, the people
and not the courts are sovereign.

Isn't that right, Your Honor?

Thank you,
Mr. Shelby, you can go.

So, Your Honor, he's dismissed?

Why? He's going to
exercise his right as a citizen

and decide the
case on its merits.

Your Honor, I move you excuse
the entire jury and declare a mistrial.

Because they might acquit?

Because Mr. Shelby is
encouraging them to nullify.

Which is his right
in an illegal trial,

and you've already thrown
out all my co-defendants.

Now you want to
throw out the jury, too?

It's not enough you have the whole
power of government behind you,

you also have
to rig the verdict.

You entered the courtroom with
the presumption of innocence,

just like anyone else.

The rights that I am fighting
to protect are your rights, too.

I can defend my own
rights, Mr. Christie.

Please...

We'll replace Mr. Shelby
and Mr. Clark with alternates.

Your Honor. Gentlemen.

All that Christie
needs is one hold out.

In the world of
public relations,

a hung jury is as
good as an acquittal.

If we can knock just
one more juror off,

we exhaust the jury
pool, we get a mistrial.

How do you propose we do that?

I think we should find out everything
we can about the other jurors.

I'll talk to Briscoe and Curtis.

Shady stuff. This
fellow Christie,

he's really gotten
under your skin.

He's a fanatic.

Because he believes
what he's saying?

When you first applied for a
job here, we had an argument

about some anti-war protesters.

Oh, come on, Adam.

They broke into a draft board

and poured blood
over the records,

and you defended them.

You said a bad law sometimes
demands an illegal act.

Nobody got killed.

It was a protest and they
took their punishment.

I know some of our ideas
sound crazy, or extreme.

I could talk to you about
Ruby Ridge or Waco

or I could tell you how I came
to believe that our government,

a government I was brought up
to love, is a threat to our liberty.

But none of that would
explain what's happened,

why we're on trial here.

The prosecution says
we robbed and murdered.

And that's all
this trial is about.

But let me tell
you how I see it.

Let's say someone
breaks into your house

and they threaten
you and your family...

Your Honor, objection, the
defendant is on the stand as a witness.

This is summation. Your Honor,

as the counsel for the defense,

I am laying the groundwork
for a line of questioning,

a line of thought that goes
to the heart of my testimony.

I'll give you a little
leeway, Mr. Christie.

Thank you, Your Honor.

So, if you killed someone

who broke into your house
and threatened your family,

most of you would see that
as an act of self-defense.

Now, what if an enemy
army occupies your town,

and what if you and your
neighbors decided to resist...

Objection, Your Honor.

Overruled.

Get to the point, Mr. Christie.

Okay.

So, what if, as part of
the resistance movement,

you robbed somebody
who was collecting taxes.

Taxes that would
be used to increase

the enemy control
of your town...

Your Honor!

New York Bets is a
scam to collect taxes...

Objection sustained.

Through a levy on gambling.

Limit yourself to direct
testimony, Mr. Christie.

Your Honor...

I am not going to
allow it, Mr. Christie.

And if I don't knuckle under,
you'll drag me from court, too!

Don't try my patience!

And then who will
be left to defend us?

That's all.

According to Mrs. Brant's
testimony, the night before the robbery,

you met with Matthew Brant, his
son, Thomas Robbins, Lewis Cray,

and half a dozen
others. Is that true?

Did you study the Bushell
case in law school, Mr. McCoy?

Please answer the question.

1670. The case established

the right for juries to nullify.

Answer his
question, Mr. Christie.

I am trying, Your Honor.

The right for juries to protect
defendants by finding them not guilty,

evidence of their
guilt notwithstanding.

A right that goes back in
America to John Peter Zenger,

and had been used by black
juries to acquit black defendants

when they had
been tried unfairly.

Mr. Christie, what did you discuss
that night with your co-defendants?

It is a right used
in anti-war cases

and was defended
almost 25 years ago

in an article published...

Objection. Non-responsive.

Published by the NYU
law school entitled,

"Jury Nullification in the
Criminal Justice System"

by Jack McCoy.

Sustained, Mr. Christie.

You wrote this.

In many ways, you and
I are alike, Mr. McCoy.

No, we're not. I don't
rob armored cars.

You were the third
robber, weren't you?

You killed Walter Wells.

What's the matter, Mr. Christie?

If you believe what you did was
justified, why won't you answer?

"No person shall be
compelled in any criminal case

"to be a witness
against himself."

No further questions.

Mr. Christie, do you
have any other witnesses

or evidence to present?

Since you've excluded all of
my witnesses, no, Your Honor.

The defense, the
resistance to tyranny, rests.

I think we've got what we
need to bounce another juror.

Howard Lamm.

The blonde guy with the glasses.

Late '60s, at Harvard, he was
one of the leaders of the SDS.

A real firebrand.

Implied prejudice
against the government.

Kick Lamm off the jury,
you got your mistrial.

Where'd you get
this information?

Police Red Squad records.

The creeps who took our pictures

during demonstrations
in the '60s?

These files were supposed
to be destroyed years ago.

Governments are like
elephants. They never forget.

We're not gonna do this.

We're not gonna become the
people Christie thinks we are.

"Tyranny, like hell, is
not easily conquered.

"Yet we have this consolation
with us, that the harder the conflict,

"the more glorious the triumph."

Tom Paine wrote
that in a pamphlet

that helped rally Americans
to the cause of liberty

in those dark days
of December 1776.

We again face dark days.

Our founding forefathers
fashioned a government

based on life, liberty, and
the pursuit of happiness.

Today, instead of life, we have a
job, we have sometimes two jobs.

Instead of liberty, we have
crushing debt. And happiness?

We work hard, husbands
and wives, 10-12 hours a day.

We work weekends, and at the
end of the week we have less.

We have less real income, less
benefits, less time with our kids.

The American dream used to be,

each generation was better
off than the previous one.

Are you better off
than your parents?

Will your children be
better off than you?

We believe that our government
has been sold to global corporations

that are sucking the blood
and the life out of this country.

It's all right there in the
newspapers, what they're doing.

NAFTA, illegal campaign
contributions by foreign businessmen,

the sale of foreign policy.

These people
don't care about us.

They don't care about Americans.

They care about
their bottom line.

We are not common criminals. We
are... We are ordinary people like you,

with jobs and mortgages, who
are willing to lay it all on the line

because we are afraid
of losing our freedom.

But today, you have a chance to
tell the government what you think.

Seize that opportunity.

We, the defendants, are
not the only ones on trial here.

You are on trial here.

The State tells you
to follow its laws.

But who lends the State its
power? Who can take it back?

The judge? Mr. McCoy? No.

You do. You are the
State. You have the power.

Freedom starts with a no.

Will you turn to the
State and say no?

Okay. Okay.

This country began as
an experiment in freedom.

The foundation of that freedom
is equality before the law.

Everyone, whoever they are,
whatever they may believe,

must be equally accountable.

Mr. Christie hopes you will
ignore the evidence and nullify.

A power, he says,
derives from a higher law.

I agree that such
a higher law exists.

And each of you, as members
of the jury, bound yourselves to it

when you swore, on your
conscience, before God and as a citizen,

that you would decide
this case on the facts.

You are asked
to judge one thing,

were the defendants, whatever
their reasons, whatever their beliefs,

part of a criminal conspiracy
to commit armed robbery

and murder!

These guys did a great
job of memorization.

Too bad they
didn't learn from it.

We all remember that phrase from
the Declaration of Independence

about life, liberty, and
the pursuit of happiness,

the unalienable
rights of everyone.

Notice that life comes first.

You can forget everything
else about this case,

if you remember one thing,

these defendants, these conspirators,
targeted an ordinary citizen,

someone just like yourselves, a
guy with a job and in the private sector,

with bills to pay and a
family to take care of,

and they took his life.

They took his life!

If it's okay for
them to shoot him,

it's okay for them
to shoot anyone,

including any one of you.

Without the law there
can be no freedom,

and without justice
there can be no law.

Your Honor, we've
been out nine days.

We've had 40 ballots. We're
unable to reach a verdict.

Is there any chance you could
agree if you had more time?

No, Your Honor.

All right.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have
no choice but to declare a mistrial.

Yes!

The jury is dismissed.

You did it! See, see, see.

- Hey, man.
- All right.

Admit it, McCoy. We won.

You didn't win anything. The
system you want to destroy won.

See you back here
in a couple of months.

Enjoy your freedom
while you have it.

Mr. Christie, over here.

If he only knew. You could've
sunk this trial and you didn't.

You played it straight, Jack.
That rates as a moral victory.

It could be a hollow one

if those clowns could find even
one person who'd acquit them.

What does that tell
you about this country?

We want to thank you
all for being objective

in covering this trial
and being supportive...