Dangerous Evidence: The Lori Jackson Story (1999) - full transcript

Fact-based story of Lori Jackson, a civil rights activist who gained national attention for forcing the courts to re-look at the conviction of a black marine she felt was wrongly accused of rape.

[tense music]

- [Man On Radio] And President
Reagan fully endorsed

a major new departure
in strategic doctrine.

A plan to put 100
giant MX missiles

in existing Minuteman silos.

[chattering on radio]

[tires squeal]

- Help me.

- What we know is her
husband's a Quantico cop

with Marine Security Battalion.

- [Man] Move back!

- Jill, I'm Special Agent Leino

with the Naval
Investigative Service.

I need you to tell me
what happened tonight.

- My husband was on night duty.

I was alone and someone called
and said they were an MP

and Spencer was
hurt in an accident.

They said they were
sending someone

to take me to the hospital.

We drove to the
woods, pulled over.

I tried to get out.

He had a knife.

He raped me.

- What did he look like?

Help us, ma'am.

Tell us what he looked like.

- Black man.

- [Leino] What else, Jill?

- [Jill] He wore glasses.

- There's only one black
guy in the military police.

Sounds like Scotty.

[upbeat brass music]

- Scotty!

I need to speak to you ASAP.

- Yes, Sergeant?

Something wrong?

- A woman was raped last night.

Stabbed, left for dead.

- Who?

- Spencer Ames' wife.

Well, you know
Spencer, don't you?

- I trained with him.

We used to carpool.

He lived in my complex.

- Well, we're searching
what appears to be

the crime scene now.

- What did this guy look like?

- It was a black guy, glasses.

Jill says he called
and identified himself

as a military policeman
who works with Spencer.

- I'm the only black man in MP.

- Naval investigators would
like to speak to you, Scotty.

Get in.

[subdued music]

[engine starts]

- I'm here with Lori Jackson,

head of the Women for
Equal Social Justice,

who has just won
her civil lawsuit

against the owner
of a local diner

who is refusing to serve blacks.

Ms. Jackson marched with Dr.
King and continues the crusade.

Ms. Jackson, any further
comments you'd like to make?

- Yes, I would.

This is not just
about a local diner.

I want the people out
there to understand

that this is the 80's.

And if they think we're
not paying attention

to what's going
on, they're wrong.

They think they can
hide and continue

the same old prejudiced ways,

but I want them to know
we're gonna find them,

we're gonna smoke them out,

we're gonna sue them in
every court in this land,

and we're gonna win.

- [Reporter] That
was Lori Jackson

of Women for Equal
Social Justice.

Now, back to Jim in the studio.

- Maybe she can help us
with our organization.

[phone ringing]


Yes, he is.

Just a moment.

It's the military police again.

- Hello?

Yes, this is Lindsey Scott.

I'm here.

- I hate those damn calls.

You've never violated
your house arrest.

Why they gotta be calling
you every five times a day?

- It's just procedure, Lola.

It's the way the system works.

- All right, Dena baby.

What do you think?

- You look beautiful, Mama.

- Teresa?

- I think you should've
gotten a new dress.

That old thing smells
like moth balls.

- Thanks a lot, honey.

- Just giving my opinion.

- Aunt Lily.

- Oh, look at you.

You're beautiful.

- And you're looking good.

Always will.

- I got something for you.

- No.

- Mm-hmm.

Look at this.

- That's Cousin Terry's
good luck charm.

I didn't know we still had it.

- I'd never lose this.

He loved it.

You were his little minnow.

And I know he'd want
you to wear it, dear.

You're getting too old to
be getting married anymore,

so I just figured it might help.

[both laugh]

Of course, now you know I've
been looking for a new man

for 40 years and it
ain't done me no good.

[both laugh]

- Thank you.

- Yes, baby.

Now, where's my Dena and Teresa?

Come on over here and
give your old aunt a kiss.

[subdued music]

[woman crying]

[bell ringing]

["Wedding March"
playing on organ]

[soft guitar music]

- What are you doing?

- Just following
tradition, darling.

Over the threshold.


It's gonna be a
little crowded in here

when I get all my stuff in.

- [Lori] Oh, we'll manage.

- I promise you one thing.

- What's that?

- We're gonna have that
little cabin in the woods

you've always been
dreaming about.

- You mean like a little house?

- Yes, ma'am.

- Something we
can all move into?

- Yes, and we will make
love all night long.

- Teresa?


You know what time to
pick up Dena from school

and don't forget the PTA
meeting on Thursday night.

Now, if the people
from the NAACP call,

give them the
number at the hotel.

And Aunt Lily's in charge
of all emergencies.

I don't know how I'm
gonna get everything done.

- I've got two jobs
to worry about.

If I can take time off
for a week, so can you.

- I'm trying, I'm trying.

Believe me.

You know how much I'm
looking forward to this trip?

- Mama, you're not
leaving for two more days

and you're already packed?

- Ain't nothing wrong
with being organized.

Now, you're gonna
water all the plants

and don't you and
your sister eat

that sugar cereal all day long.

- Don't worry about us.

[door opens]

- Here's the mail, Mama.

Looks like somebody
had a lot to say.

- Thanks, baby.

[subdued music]

Now, tell me what you were
doing the day of the assault.

- Well, I finished
cleaning the apartment

and then I went to
Dumphrey's Drug Store

and bought my wife a foot
massager for her birthday.

I wanted to get
her something else,

so I drove to Zayre's
on Woodbridge,

it's about 20 miles
away, to look.

I didn't find anything.

- Now, you said
something in your letter

about buying a Coke.

- Yeah, from some
white counter girl.

Her friend called her Pam.

Now, I told my lawyer,

but he said since the NIS
had already talked to her.

- [Lori] NIS?

- The Naval
Investigative Services.

- [Lori] I see.

- Since they had
already talked to her,

and she didn't
recognize my picture,

there was nothing he could do.

- But, you can't prove
you were at Zayre's?

- No, ma'am.

- What does your lawyer think?

- Mr. Kuhnke?


He says we have
nothing to worry about

because they have no evidence.

But, he's not the one on trial.

- Mm-mm.

- You also said that
you wanted me to contact

a Lieutenant Colonel...

- Colonel Harry.

Here's his address,
his phone number.

You can talk to him.

And this here is from
the Article 32 hearing.

It's like the military
grand jury hearing.

- Corporal Scott,
I'm an activist.

I'm not an investigator
or an attorney.

I've picketed, I've
marched, I've filed suits,

but this is a
whole new ballgame.

I'll take a look at it.

- My court martial's
in two weeks.

- I'll read it, but no promises.

- [Lindsey] You're the
only one I heard from.

- Excuse me?

- I wrote 25 letters
and you're the only one

who took the time to see us.

Mrs. Jackson, thank you.

[bell dinging]

- [Man] How are you doing today?

- Fine.

I'm looking for Lieutenant
Colonel Richard Harry.

I believe he owns this place.

- And you are?

- Lori Jackson.

Lindsey Scott suggested
I speak to Colonel Harry.

- All right, I'm Harry.

I was a military
trial magistrate.

It was my job to
determine if there was

sufficient evidence
to charge him.

- And?

- They had nothing.

They even had the
FBI do two lab tests.


No forensic evidence,

nothing to link him to the
crime in any way at all.

He didn't have a
rock-solid alibi,

but without any evidence I
didn't think it mattered.

- Why did it go ahead?

- I ordered him released.

The next day I
was retired early.

Command influence.

- What does that mean?

- What that means is that his
superiors determine his fate.

If they think you're guilty,

then by Heaven you
are going down.

And by his actions, a
base commander sent a very

clear message to any future
members of the court.

You find him guilty.

- [gasps] How could I forget?

Our first rally together.

- Mm-hmm.

- And not just our first rally.

- What is all this?

- [Lori] Hmm?

- What's this?

This here?

- Oh.

Oh, I met with that
young guy Lindsey Scott.

I spent the last hour
reading his court transcript.

- Oh, no.

I know that look.

Listen, that look
stays in Virginia

'cause they don't allow
that look in Hawaii.

- They are looking
to railroad this guy.

They want to send him
right into Leavenworth

for the rest of his life
for something he didn't do.

- Well, maybe he did.

- I don't think so.

Paul, Paul.

- I know.

- No.

- No, just let...

- This is a lynch mob.

- This is not some local yokel

who's refusing to
get with integration.

This is the United
States Marine Corps

you're gonna be taking on.

You know, the whole United
States Marine Corps.

- Mm-hmm.

- You take on one,
you take on all.

Semper Fi.

- I gotta do it.

[soft music]

- I guess Hawaii will still
be there in two weeks.

- Oh.

Thank you.

Mr. Kuhnke?

- Mrs. Jackson, it's a
pleasure to meet you.


Now, what is it
I can do for you?

- Well, actually, Mr.
Kuhnke, you can help me.

Now, I've been goin through
this Article 32 transcript

and I'm finding some
things a bit confusing.

- Well, that's what
I'm here for, honey.

Now, why don't you tell me
what it is that's agitating ya.

- Well, if this woman knew

that Lindsey Scott
lived in her building,

why didn't she
identify him by name?

And the gold tooth.

She said she never noticed it.

Well, I noticed it the first
five seconds after I met him.

And she picked two
men out of the lineup?

- Mrs. Jackson, this is
what I've been trying

to make Lindsey understand.

This is an open-and-shut case.

I mean, there's no evidence
linking Lindsey to the crime.

I mean, they can't even
establish a crime scene.

And this Jill Ames
woman, as you noted,

she picked two men
out of the lineup.

- Well, I understand
that, Mr. Kuhnke.

But, it seems that...

- Mrs. Jackson, I don't
think there's anything more

you can do that we're
not already doing
for Corporal Scott.

And, quite simply,

there is no money to
pay you for your time.

- Mr. Kuhnke, I'm
not talking money.

I'm volunteering my time.

- Well, that's very
generous of you.

What exactly is
it you want to do?

- Well, continue what I started.

Talking to people,
retracing his steps.

I want to talk to that
soda girl at Zayre's.

- You're wasting
your time, honey.

The NIS has already
interviewed her.

- Well, it is my time
to waste, Mr. Kuhnke.

One more thing.

I talked to the manager at
Hardee's where Jill Ames works.

- You did?

- I did.

Did you know that she
worked with other black men

who also fit that description?

And the NIS did
not question them.

- Well, they're pretty
thorough, honey.

I'm sure they'll
get around to it.

- You know, Mr. Kuhnke.

There is another point
of confusion for me.

- And what's that?

- Aren't they on the
other side, honey?

- Hi, Mama.

- Hi, baby.

- Hi, Dad.

[typewriter clacking]


- Your fingers are dirty.

- Sorry.

He looks guilty.

- That is going to
give you pimples.

- Thanks, Mom.

I sure need the extra pressure.

- What do you mean
he looks guilty?

- I don't know.

He just looks like
he'd do something bad.

- Based on what?

His look, his tooth?


- He just looks
ghetto, you know?


Dark and evil.

- I don't believe you sometimes.

- [Teresa] Why not?

- Color does not
define who a person is.

Well, look at you.

You're light-skinned and nasty.

And worse than that,
you're judgemental.

Ghetto, sinister.

[typewriter clacking]

Mr. Kuhnke.

- I was just leaving.

I have an appointment
at the courthouse.

I really don't have time.

- But, I've got some
color photos of Lindsey.

I showed 'em to the
soda girl at Zayre's,

she recognized him.

She said she remembers
selling him a Coke.

- Did she remember
the exact day?

- Well, she said
the end of April.

- It's got to be April 20th.

If it's a day sooner or a
day later, it's no good.

- But, don't you think you
should just talk to her?

- Honey, you worry too much.

I already told ya.

There's no evidence.

This case is in the bag.

- [Woman on PA]
Attention, shoppers.

For the next 15 minutes
we'll be giving triple value

on all store coupons.

That's right.

Three times the value
on any store coupons

in the next 15 minutes.

[knocking on door]

- [Woman] Can I help you?

- Ms. Hills?

- Yes?

- Hi.

My name is Lori
Jackson and I'm here

on behalf of a young
man who's been accused

of rape and attempted murder.

- Uh-huh.

- Now, he claims that
he was in this store

at the time the crime took place

and I was hoping you
could verify that.

- I see.

- I spoke to your
supervisor and he said

that you were working
the night of April 20th.

- Well, if my supervisor
said so, I guess I was.

- [Lori] Do you remember
seeing that man?

- Yeah, I've seen this guy.

- You remember him?

- Yeah, I remember him
because we don't get that many

black clientele in this store
and the ones that we do get

are our regular customers.

I thought he might
be a shoplifter, so
I kept my eye on him.

But, when I saw that he
wasn't going to do anything,

I stopped watching.

- Do you remember seeing
him the night of April 20th?

- April 20th?

Well, that was a long time ago.

At least six months.

I can't remember the exact day.

Was it that night?

I couldn't testify to it.

You should've come
and seen me that week.

- Sister, you're right.

Somebody should've
contacted you.

That's true.

- Of course.

- Records.

What about records?

You must keep like store logs
or video tapes from the...

- Oh, no.

We don't keep
surveillance video.

We take photos of the people
we bust, but like I said,

I did not bust him, I
just kept my eye on him.

- Would you mind if I had Mr.
Scott's attorney contact you?

- Well, ma'am.

He can call me, but I
cannot testify to anything

unless I'm sure.

I can't purger myself.

- I would never
ask you to do that.

- Okay.

- Thank you.

- You're welcome.

- Thank you very much.

We'll be in contact with you.

- [Hills] Okay.

- They'll probably
call you today.

- [Hills] All right.

- Bye-bye.

- [Hills] Bye-bye.

[subdued music]

- Come on, let's go.

One more time.


All right.

Here, hold my two tones.

Okay, let's go.

There we go.

- [Lori] Terry?

- [Terry] Hmm?

- [Lori] Why do we gotta
walk all the way around here

when the church is
just up Wilmer Road?

- [Terry] We can't
go down Wilmer Road.

- [Lori] Why not?

- [Terry] Because we're colored.

Colored folks aren't
allowed down Wilmer Road.

- [Lori] Who says?

- [Terry] White folks.

- [Lori] Even if we
was going to church?

That's a good reason.

- [Terry] That is a good reason,

but they don't think like that.

Now, we're almost there.

Don't drop my two tones now.

All right now.

We're almost there.

- Mr. Kuhnke, we're 24 hours
away from Lindsey's trial.

What's the plan?

- As I've said before,
there is no evidence.

It's a clear case
of command influence

and I'm requesting
a change of venue.

- And what does that do?

- It'll give us an
unbiased jury pool.

Since there's no evidence,
they can't convict.

- With all due
respect, Mr. Kuhnke.

There are a lot of
innocent people in prison

whose lawyers said
the same thing.

[slow trumpet music]

Thank you for coming out.

- One cause, one purpose.

No thanks needed.

- [Man] All rise.

[gavel bangs]

- The defense will make
its pretrial motions.

- I'd like to submit a
motion for a change of venue.

On two grounds.

On the grounds that Corporal
Scott, in our opinion,

cannot receive a fair
and impartial trial

because of command influence.

Undue command influence.

And because of
pretrial publicity.

- Request denied.

[people mumbling]

- You're Honor.

- The defense request for a
change of venue is denied.

Counselor, I'll receive the
plea of the accused now.

- [Kuhnke] Your Honor, Corporal
Scott pleads not guilty

to all charges and

- My god, we're going to trial.

- We will call a witness

who saw Corporal
Scott that afternoon.

Who will describe his clothing.

Put him in a certain
area at a certain time.

We will call two witnesses
who will place the corporal

at a time which
makes it impossible

for him to have
committed these offenses.

- He hasn't even
talked to any of them.

- Agent Lindner,
you still don't know

where the crime
scene is, do you?

- No, sir.

- And the FBI lab tests
that you conducted for

blood, semen, hair,

soil on the soles of
the shoes of the victim

and the suspect.

What were the results?

- They were all negative
or inconclusive.

- So, there's absolutely
no physical evidence

linking Corporal
Scott with the victim?

- It was all negative
or inconclusive.

- Thank you, Agent Lindner.

[tense music]

- After he raped me,

he started to choke me.

I tried to push his arms
away and then I blacked out.

When I woke up, he
was standing over me,

and he had the knife in his
hands, and he was laughing.

- Do you see the man
who did this to you

in the courtroom today?

- Yes, sir.

- Would you please point him
out to the members of the jury?

- This man right there.

- This government
has no more questions

for this witness, Your Honor.

- Ms. Ames, I don't
mean to upset you,

but if I do, it's just
to get at the truth.

At the physical lineup you
identified two men, didn't you?

And you said you were sorry,
but you couldn't be sure.

- I was 99.9% sure.

- But, didn't you say you were
sorry you couldn't be sure?

- Yes.

[people chattering]

- Thank you.

- Is that what Kuhnke
calls a cross-examination?

I mean, for God's sake.

He didn't even press her on
the fact that she knew Scott.

Her husband was
friends with her.

I mean, why didn't
she just come out

and say it was Lindsey Scott,

the black guy who
lives in my building?

It's not like her husband had
a lot of black co-workers.

He only had one.

Mr. Kuhnke.

Mr. Kuhnke!

[phone ringing]

- Hello?

It's Kuhnke.

Honey, it's Kuhnke.

- Hello?


Why are you calling me now?

I tried to have this
conversation with you hours ago.


You know, if Lindsey
Scott's life wasn't

hanging in the balance I would
just tell you to go to hell.


All right.




Now, he wants me to round
up all the witnesses

that he should've talked
to a long time ago.

God, what an idiot.

Should've known.

[people chattering]

He'll be in a few minutes.

Mr. Kuhnke, I got all
the witnesses you wanted.

Everybody's here but Ruby.

- I see.

Well, where is she?

I need her now.

- [Lori] Well, I don't know.

I think she's on her
way here, I hope.

I know she hasn't had time
to look at her records.

- Time is of the essence.

- By the way, you're welcome.

Oh, Ruby.

Please, answer the phone.

Sister, be there.


I'm so glad you got my message.

They want to put you
on the stand next.

- What?

- Yes.

- Girl, no.

You must be out of your mind.

No, my hair's a mess.

I didn't even have any time
to put any stockings on.

And honey, nevermind the makeup.

Oh, no.

I cannot do this.

- Don't fret.

You're black, you're beautiful,

and you're here to save the day.

- Ms. Hills, did
you see the accused,

Corporal Lindsey Scott, on
the 20th of April, 1983?

- Well, sir.

That's kind of hard
for me to pinpoint

whether I saw him on April 20th.

- You don't know if you
saw him on April 20th?

- I remember the last time
I saw him was in the Spring.

[people chattering]

- [Kuhnke] No more
questions, Your Honor.

- [Judge] The witness
will step down.

If the defense doesn't
have any more witnesses

to call at this time, the
court will take a brief recess.

[woman crying]

[tense music]

- We, the members of the jury,

find the accused,
Corporal Lindsey Scott,

guilty on all counts and
sentence him to be confined

to hard labor for 30 years

and his rank to be reduced
to that of private.

- Oh, no.

No, he's not guilty.

He's not guilty!

Please, listen to me.

Please, listen!

Leave him alone!

Leave him alone!

He's not guilty!

No, Lindsey!



Don't touch me, don't touch me!

Let him go!

Let him go!

He's not guilty!

He's not guilty.

[subdued music]

- [Man] Well, this
isn't the first time

we've ran into this problem
and he's said that to us.

[phone ringing]

- Well, why don't you tell him?

- [Man] Well, I spoke to
her husband last night.

- Howard and Howard.

Can I help you?

One moment, please.

[phone ringing]

Howard and Howard.

No, I'm sorry.

Mr. Leino is on
another phone call.

Hold, please.

Can I help you?

- Yeah, I'm here
to see Mr. Leino.

- [Secretary] Do you
have an appointment?

- Lori Jackson.

He's expecting me.

- One moment, please.

- Do you have a restroom
I could use real quick?

- [Secretary] Yeah, it's
down the hall to the left.

- Oh, thank you.

[people chattering]

- [Man] No, I'm sorry.

I don't know her.

Take a number and a message.

Lori Jackson.

- That's me.

I'm with Women for
Equal Social Justice.

I think you should take
a look at this brief.

It's concerning the case

United States versus
Corporal Lindsey Scott.

Now, he was wrongfully
convicted of a crime

he did not commit
and I think that...

- Excuse me.

Whoa, whoa.

I am familiar with the case.

Please, have a seat.

Take a deep breath.

- Thank you.

- So, how did you get my name?

- Well, someone told
me about your firm.

They said it was the best
criminal law firm in town.

They also said it was
impossible to get an appointment

unless you called a month
in advance, or were rich,

or came with someone's

Well, I'm not rich, I don't
have a month, so I improvised.

I, however, am
recommending myself.

- New cases have to go
through the partners.

- You're not a partner?

- No.

- Oh.

- Wait a second.

That doesn't mean
I can't help you.

Talk to me.

- Is an ineffectual defense
a reason for a new trial?

- Yes, it's called
a Dubay hearing.

Okay, you convince me this
isn't a total waste of time

so I can convince my bosses.

- All right.

- [Leino] Excuse me, Mr. Howard.

- [Mr. Howard] Yes, John.

What is it?

- I just met with a
woman, Lori Jackson,

about the Lindsey Scott case.

- Marine out of Quantico?

Military appeals.

Messy business, especially
appealing the government.

Look out.

- She said the defense
was not quite up to par.

Now, I told her a Dubay hearing
was a long shot at best.

It's difficult to prove any
defense team was ineffectual.

- Look out.

- Um.

What do you think?

- What do you think?

- Well, she has a good case.

- Military appeals.

Read it.

You have your first case.

And tell them we'll
do it pro bono.

- By myself?


- As counsel.

Take Myers here
if you need help.

- Sir.

- You can be co-counsels.

It's about time you
two started getting

some courtroom exposure.

- Yes, sir.

- [Mr. Howard] Leino.

- Yes, sir?

- Take a few lessons from
Myers on how to dress.

- Yes, sir.

What's wrong with
the way I dress?

- I don't know what
you want from me,

but I love the Marine Corps.

I always have.

I don't blame the corps
for this, I blame the NIS.

I was a good Marine
and they had no right

to treat me the way they did.

I just want to be a
good Marine again.

- Mr. Leino?

- I respect your
conviction, Private.

We'll see what we can do.

[knocking on glass]

- Well, that's time.

- Right.

You hang in there.

- Yes, sir.

- All right.

- [Lori] I'll talk to you soon.

- All right.

- Myers was in the Army
and I was a Marine.

Myers was in a high-profile
case where he defended a man

accused of misdeeds in the
My Lai massacre in Vietnam.

Lori Jackson, this
is Gary Myers.

- Nice to meet you.

- Likewise.

I'm glad you made it back.

Listen, there's some
things we need to go over.

- Like what?

- Well, Mrs. Jackson.

John and I need to hash
out some legal issues here,

so if you would excuse us.

- So, the ignorant black
woman just steps aside

and let the Harvard
boys do their thing?

- This is as much your
case as it is ours.

- This is not just a case to me.

This is a cause.

There's a big difference.

Now, let me be perfectly clear.

I look out for Lindsey Scott,

so I need to know
what's going on.

So, where do we start?

Thank you.

I have something
important to say

and I hope you'll understand.

Lindsey's lawyers have made
a motion for a retrial.

- What does that have
to do with all of us?

- It means I'm going to be
working with Leino and Myers

and it could drag on
for quite some time.

- How long?

- Maybe even a year or more.

- A year?

What I don't understand,
Lori, is you've done it.

You've done it.

You got him
high-powered lawyers,

so Scott has a
fighting chance, okay?

- Paul.

- Wait, how do you
girls feel, huh?

Am I the only one here?

I guess I am.

$200 worth of calls
from Lindsey Scott.

- Well, you know he
has to call collect.

- How are we gonna pay it?

And now you're saying
this case could drag on

for another year?

You've got to give it up.

- You know, Paul.

I don't know if you
can ever understand.

- I feel like you care
more about Lindsey Scott

than you're own family.

- Are you calling
me a bad mother?

Why do you think I'm doing this?

I don't want my girls
called little niggers,

or trying three times
harder just to fit in.

You don't have to make
people comfortable.

As if you're gonna steal their
purse, or rob their house,

just because your skin is dark.

- Have you forgotten?

My parents still haven't talked
to me since I married you.

- How can they just move a
prisoner to another state

without calling his
lawyers, or his family?

What kind of system is this?

I mean, they're sneaking him
out so that nobody can see him.

- The transfer order's legit.

There's nothing we
can do about it.

- Funny they should do
it right when you file

for a new trial and
a Dubay hearing.

- I know.

You need to make time
work for you in there.

Use it.

You need to get yourself
in the right mindset

just to get by.

It's like you're getting
ready for a tour of duty.

The toughest tour in the corps.

And you need to be
tough to get by.

- Lindsey.

I swear on everything I
love, I will get you out.

You just have to trust me.

[march-like music]

- [Crowd] Free Lindsey Scott.

Free Lindsey Scott.

- [Reporter] Mrs. Jackson,
you obviously believe

Lindsey Scott is
an innocent man.

- Yes.

Yes, I do.

This man has been railroaded
and convicted unjustly.

- [Reporter] Don't you think
Scott received a fair trial?

- No, absolutely not.

I was there, and
I'm telling you,

there's no way he
received a fair trial.

How could he when
the Quantico command

is pulling all the strings?

The NIS has made
Lindsey Scott guilty.

[typewriter clacking]

- Ooh.

Hey, what's going on?

- Dena, baby.

[Dena crying]

What happened?

What's wrong?

- Kids at school were
giving her a hard time.

- Well, why?

- 'Cause her mom's on
TV defending a rapist.

- He is not a rapist.

- [Teresa] He was found
guilty, wasn't he?

- I'm not defending a rapist.

[subdued music]

Let Mommy tell you something

and I want you to
listen very carefully.

You're old enough now to
realize that the world can be

a very hard and unfair place.

So, you've got to
fight for yourself.

Ain't nobody gonna
do that for you.

If we don't take
care of things today,

the future's just
gonna be worse, baby.


[dog barking]

- I'm telling you,
it's not too far

and it's right on the lake,

so I can fish while you
get some peace and quiet.

- Here, baby.

- Mama, phone.

- Whoa.

No matter who, or what,
that is, we're still going.

Repeat after me.

No matter who, or what,
that is, we are still going.

- [Lori] Hello?

Yes, this is Lori Jackson.

- Thanks.

- 60 Minutes called.

They want to interview me
about the Lindsey Scott case.

- Oh, my god!

I've gotta tell Kelly!

- How did that happen?

- [Lori] Well, I
just wrote a letter.

- That's great, that's great.

When are they coming?

- Tomorrow.

[subdued music]

- I said I was going fishing.

So, I'm going fishing.

- [Man] All right, everybody.

We're ready to start
taping in 10 minutes.

- [Crewman] Set it right here?

- [Man] Yeah, that's good.

Kick off that lamp.

Let's do a sound check
on her, all right?

- [Crewman] All right.

- [Man] That's good.

Oh, that's too bright.

- Oh, my god.

Come on, honey.

Hurry, hurry.

You don't know when
you're coming on.

You could be right at the top.

So, we don't want to miss it.

- Can I get anybody
something else to drink?

- No, no, no.

Go sit down.

Watch your show.

Now, this is your moment.

- Come sit down.

- I got my drink.

I'm fine.

- I hope I have
enough makeup on.

- Am I late?

- No.

It's just now starting.

- [Man On TV] Corporal Lindsey
Scott, Marine Corps prisoner.

- There's my baby.

I'm gonna marry him.


He could put his shoes
under my bed any time.

- Aunt Lily.

- [Man On TV] Scott was court
martialed, found guilty,

and sentenced to 30
years at hard labor.

It happened the night
of April 20th, 1983.

- [Lindsey On TV] In a situation
like this, nobody wins.

The victim doesn't win, I
don't win being innocent.

I just hope everything
straightens itself out.

- [Man On TV] The military
revue board has ruled

that Scott is entitled
to a Dubay hearing.

Not a new trial, but
a hearing to decide

whether he received
a proper defense.

- I guess they didn't
need my interview.

- [Man On TV] He
may get a new trial.

The Marine Corps has
declined to comment.

- Millions of people
now are gonna know about

the Lindsey Scott case.

- That's right, honey.

- Hmm.

Oh, honey.

I feel like such a proud fool.

Inviting everybody over
here seeing me on TV

like I'm Betty
Davis or something.

- Honey, this is an incredible
thing and you made it happen.

So, congratulations.

- Thanks, honey.

Oh, well.

That was my big debut.

[slow trumpet music]

- [Crowd] Free Lindsey Scott.

Free Lindsey Scott.

Free Lindsey Scott.

- Wow, all this for
a Dubay hearing.

- It's the power of 60 Minutes.

- After April 22, did you next
have a meeting of substance

with Mr. Kuhnke where
presentation of evidence

or exploration of
defenses was discussed?

- I didn't, sir.

- Never again?

- Never again, sir.

- Could you elaborate
on this, Private?

- Well, sir.

I asked Mr. Kuhnke by
telephone several times

to bring in the witnesses.

Mr. Kuhnke repeatedly told
me not to worry about it

'cause he didn't think the
case would go to trial.

- Private Scott,
in your estimation,

did you have 20 visits
to Mr. Kuhnke's office?

- No.

- Did you have 10
visits to his office?

- No.

- Well, how many visits did
you have alone with Mr. Kuhnke

where you maintained
your innocence and
discussed your case?

- One.

- And that's your
testimony under oath?

- Yes, it is.

- Mr. Kuhnke, in going
to trial you stated

you didn't prep any
of the witnesses?

- That's right.

I had talked.

I had...

- Wait, wait.

What was Private
Scott charged with?

- Attempted murder, rape,
sodomy, forceful abduction.

- And you didn't prep
any of the witnesses?

- I didn't prep them, no.

- Did you prep Private Scott?

- I didn't have to.

- Why not?

- He professed his innocence

and I told him to
tell the truth.

- Okay.

All right.

Let me think, let me think.

Okay, on April 20th I
arrested both these guys

for shoplifting.

And I made a note

about a third guy who I thought

was a part of the team.

Oh, see.

Here it is.

This note, this guy.

This is Lindsey Scott.

I am sure of it.

- You'll testify to that?

- Are you kidding
will I testify?

You bet I will testify.

- And it is now your
testimony, under oath,

that on the night
of April 20th, 1983,

between the hours of
eight and 8:30 p.m.,

one Lindsey Scott was present
at a Zayre's Department Store?

- That's correct.

- Thank you, Ms. Hills.

You may step down.

[people chattering]

Your Honor, the
defense rests its case

and moves for a
dismissal of all charges

against Lindsey Scott.

- We'll take a recess
while I make my decision.

[gavel bangs]

[tense music]

The defense motion for a
dismissal of the charges

against Private Scott is denied.

I have no authority beyond that

which is given me in the order.

However, given the
facts of this case,

I am recommending
that this be referred

to General Tumi for review.

- Your Honor, we feel
that freeing Private Scott

to his family with
appropriate restrictions

is in the interest of justice.

- I'm sorry, Counselor.

I have no authority to
grant such a request.

It'll have to be
up to General Tumi.

[gavel bangs]

- The man sat on
this case for months,

now he says he doesn't have
the power to make a decision.

Back to square one.

[slow trumpet music]

[phone ringing]


- [Man On Phone] Rapist
loving nigger bitch.

You're gonna die!

- Wrong number.

- [Paul] Who was it?

- Can I lie?

- No.

- Not even a little?

It started unpleasant
and it ended even worse.

- Well, you got your publicity.

Now, you got your threats.

- These threats must mean
that we've touched a nerve

and as far as I'm concerned

that means we're
on the right track.

- [Paul] What if someone
decides to do something more?

- Look, I can't be concerned
about all that now.

We've got bigger
things to worry about.

- Than what?

What's bigger than the safety
and welfare of our family?

[phone ringing]

- [Lori] I'll get it.

- I'll get it.

Racism hotline.

Oh, gosh.

I'm sorry.

Just a sec.

It's Tanya.

- Tanya?


Yeah, girl.

We've been receiving
some fan appreciation.

- Having reviewed the material
from the Dubay hearing

of the United States
versus Lindsey Scott,

this court has, in a
two-to-one majority decision,

decided to uphold
the prior conviction.

[subdued music]

- [Lori] Can I come
to the dance with you?

- [Terry] This is for grownups.

- [Lori] I won't get in the way.

- If you behave, I'll bring
you back some licorice,

all right?

- My sweater.

I forgot my sweater
at the church.

- [sighs] We'll
get it next week.

Ain't nobody gonna take you
sweater from the church.

- My daddy gave me that sweater.

That's the sweater
my daddy gave me.

- Nobody's gonna take the
sweater your daddy gave you.

- What if it gets dirty?

It ain't gonna smell
like my daddy no more.

- All right.

I want you to go home.

Start helping your
mama make dinner.

By the time you
lay down tonight,

I'll have the sweater
for you, all right?

Get on now.

[people shouting]

[tires squealing]

- You want your kids growing up

with this kind of
garbage in their faces?

- No, but I damn sure ain't
gonna let them intimidate me.

Let's go to bed.

Come on, girls.

Let's go.

[wood thumps]

- Teresa?

Teresa, why don't you come help?


You can read that later.

Right now your mom and I
would like your help, okay?

[tense music]


- Mama?

- Mama?

- Mama.

- [Paul] Get a pillow.

Call 911.

- [Woman On PA] Hospital
X-Ray tech to ICU.

Hospital X-Ray tech to ICU.

[knocking on door]

- Let's talk.

Your test results are in.

- Oh.

- You have cancer in your liver.

- Well, how do we fix that?

- Well, there are a
number of treatments.

They're all invasive.

They're all gonna
make you very sick

and they're not gonna
change the outcome.

- What does that mean?

- I'm sorry to say this,
but your cancer is terminal.

Now, I want you to stay in the
hospital for a week or two.

I want to try and boost
your immune system.

The important thing
now is to get rest

and to conserve your energy.

- Doc, could you just give
us a little time alone?

- Yeah.

- Yeah, just a minute alone.

That's all.

- [Doctor] I'll just be...

- Thanks.


- Don't look at me like that.

I have a trial to prepare for.

[subdued music]

Now, you've gotta let me
tell the kids in my own time.


Where are we going?

What is this?

- A little happy place to
hold onto with all your might.

- What is it?

Whose is it?

- Well, it's ours.

Well, it's not
actually ours yet, but.

- Paul, say you're joking.

Tell me you're joking.

- Come on.

- Paul.

- [Paul] What?

Come on.

Come on, girlfriend.

We're burning daylight.

- You didn't.

I can't believe it.

It's beautiful.

- [Paul] Mm-hmm.

- [Both] Welcome home, Mama.


- [Dena] Don't you love it?

- I love it.

- Come on, have a seat.

- Congratulations, Mama.

Isn't it the best?

- It's the best.

- See?

It's big enough for the girls
to have their own bedrooms.

Office for you, office for me.

And it's so private.

Bad guys are gonna have
a hard time finding us.

- It's beautiful.

You're beautiful.

I love you.

I love you so very much.

Thank you.

- Here we go.

Military's equivalent
of the Supreme Court.

We lose here, we're done.

Myers is presenting
the opening statement.

- Every man has a
right to a fair trial

and a fair trial includes
adequate legal counsel.

If the court case
were a horse race,

this would be like putting
one jockey on a track

without a horse.

That is not fair,
that is not legal.

That is not how our
justice system works.

Lindsey Scott's original
defense lawyer, Ervin Kuhnke,

did not prepare an alibi defense
for the inexplicable reason

that he didn't think the
case would go to trial.

The linkage between
Mr. Kuhnke's conduct

and the conclusion of the
case was palpable and clear.

We end up with no
preparation whatsoever

and we end up with a conviction.

The practice of
criminal law involves

getting your shoes dirty.

All Mr. Kuhnke did
was sit at his desk.

[knocking on door]

- Mr. Myers.

- Hey, Lori.

After all this time, it's Gary.

- Listen, I spoke to my
source at the Washington Post.

She heard about a
Major Ron McNeil

who's at the Marine JAG
Office at Camp Lejueune.

Have you heard of him?

- Toughest prosecutor
the marine Corps has.

What about him?

- Well, she heard that
he's been ordered to report

to Quantico to start
prepping a big case.

- You know what this means?

- Looks like we're winning
the appeal and they're scared.

Good work.

- Thank you.

- I can't believe it.


Oh, John.

Good job.

Thank you.


I'll talk to you soon.

It's official.

Lindsey Scott is coming home.

At least for now.

- I'm sick and tired
of Lindsey Scott.

- Oh, honey.

Don't be such a sourpuss.


- Mama, you don't look so good.

- What?

- You heard me.

- Oh, don't be such
a sourpuss, honey.

We have so much to
celebrate about.

[door creaks]

- Why are you in
here so much lately?

- Just trying to get settled in.

Taking on some extra clients.

- That's not what
I'm asking about.

Mama's sick.

- Yeah, well she's been
under a lot of stress lately.

- Really sick.

Don't you care?

- Clean sheets.

Dena did the laundry.

Can you believe it?

- Sweetheart.

- Yeah?

- Teresa knows.

- Did you tell her?

- Two-stepped around it.

But, I think it's time.

She's got to be told.

- I'm just waiting
for the right time.

- Honey, there is no right time.

- Soon.

Soon, I promise.

[subdued music]

- Excuse me, Dr. Sturla?

- [Dr. Sturla] Mm-hmm?

- I'm Lori Jackson's daughter.

I need to talk to
you about my mother.

[typewriter clacking]

- [Lori] Coffee?

- Mm-hmm.

- Aunt Lily, I want you to
go through that document

and anywhere you see
Ruby Hills' name,

I want you to
highlight it for me.

- [Aunt Lily] All right.

- Coffee?

- Yeah, thanks.

- I hope it's not too strong.

This stuff will make
you stand up for sure.

[Myers laughs]


[door slams]

Hey, I was wondering
where you were.

- I went to the hospital.

- What happened, baby?

- I had a talk with your doctor.

He said I needed to have
a conversation with you.

- I think we should have
this conversation...

Sweetheart, we have company.

We should just go in...

- I don't wan to go.

Exactly how sick are you?

- I'm very sick.

- How sick?

- I have cancer.

- What are they doing about it?

- There's nothing
they can do about it.

- Why didn't you tell me?

Does Paul know.

Do you know?

Why didn't you tell me?

I'm your daughter!

I'm your family!

- I'm sorry, baby.

- I hate you!

- No, wait, wait.

- I hate you!

- Wait, wait.

Baby, please.

Baby, please.

You're right, I should've.

You know, I should've told you.

I should've told you.

I just couldn't do it.

Oh, Teresa.


[Teresa crying]

Easy, baby.


Oh, Teresa, honey.

- Oh, Mama.

- You're my daughter.

You know, you're
Mommy's sweetheart.

You're my baby.

I know how terrible
this is for you.

- All I ever wanted was
for you to be around.

And now I find out
you're never gonna be.


[subdued music]

- How are you doing?

- Okay.

Good, actually.

- Hmm.

- It's just this weather.

It makes me feel
so old and gray.


- You look beautiful.

- [Crowd] Free Lindsey Scott.

Free Lindsey Scott.

Free Lindsey Scott.

Free Lindsey Scott.

- Here we go again.

If we win this time you're
gonna be a free man.

How you doing?

- Are you okay?

- I'm fine.

- You sure?

- You remember what
the Marine stands for?

- Protecting the Constitution,

protecting people who
can't protect themselves,

and being the best
man you can be.

- When we go in there today.

- Mm-hmm?

- You remember that 'cause
all eyes are on you.

- Yes, ma'am.

- [Crowd] Free Lindsey Scott.

Free Lindsey Scott.

Free Lindsey Scott.

- [John] Agent Lindner,

during the NIS
investigation of this case,

what were the forensic
tests that were done?

- Standard rape examination.

At the hospital,

certain items were
obtained form the victim.

Blood, saliva, fingernail
scrapings, head hair samples,

pubic hair samples,
vaginal swabs.

We also obtained samples
from Corporal Scott.

We sent it all to the FBI
laboratory in Washington D.C.

to look for basically
any cross-transfer

of body fluids, fibers, hair.

Anything that might link
the suspect to the victim.

- [John] And what were the
results of your findings?

- All the tests came back
negative or inconclusive.

[people chattering]

- Now, concerning
the physical lineup.

After looking at the
men in the lineup,

didn't she pick out two men
then turn to you and say,

"I'm sorry, I can't be sure,

but number five
scares me the most"?

- Her closing statement.

Yes, sir.

- Now, Is that your standard
for a positive identification

in a rape case?

- No, sir.

- [John] Well, thank
you for your honesty.

I have nothing further for
this witness, Your Honor.

- You can step down now.

[people chattering]

[subdued music]


[woman crying]


- [yells] What's wrong?


- I was dreaming about Terry.

- Jeez.


Okay, it's okay.


It's okay.

- [Soldier] Thank you.

All right.

- Thank you, sir.

- [Soldier] Next, please.

- I just had to make sure
everything goes all right

with Ruby today.

- I want you to go
back in your car,

get back to your
nice warm house,

and I'm gonna call you later
and give you the good results.

- You know I can't do that.

Come on.

- Now, Jill.

I'm gonna ask you a
very important question.

I want you to look
around this courtroom

and I want you to point to
the individual who raped you,

who forced you to commit
sodomy, who stabbed you,

slashed you in the neck, and
left you in the woods to die.

Would you point to him?

Let the record reflect
that the witness

has identified the
accused, Corporal Scott.

- Ms. Ames, when you
viewed the physical lineup,

you became aware of the
fact that Agent Lindner

wanted to be sure about
your identification

of the individual.

- That's correct.

- Isn't that why you said,
I'm sorry, I can't be sure,

because in your own mind
you weren't completely sure

of your identification?

- I wasn't 100%, that's correct.

- [Ron] How is it that
you could remember seeing

Scott's face for sure on a
specific night years later?

- I found the arrest
records for that day.

It had photos of the two
busts I had made that day

and I remembered him in
conjunction with those two men.

- [Ron] How did
you remember him?

- Well, he was very
unusual looking.

- Isn't it true that you were
prompted to provide an alibi

and that you aren't
really sure when, or if,

you saw Lindsey Scott?

- No, sir.

I know I saw him that night.

I just needed the
pictures to place him

on that specific day.

Those were the two
pictures of the two men

I had arrested that day.

I remembered Lindsey
Scott because I thought

he was a part of a
shoplifting team.

- We have no further
questions, Your Honor.

- You may step down, Ms. Hills.

[people chattering]

- Your Honor, the
defense rests its case.

- That went well.

- [Teresa] Mama.

- [Lori] Yeah, baby?

- Mama?

- Uh-huh.

What are you doing?

- I don't know.

What are you doing?

Where'd you get all this junk?

- Junk?

- Yes, this stuff
is older than I am.

Look at this dress here.

- I wore this when I brought
you home from the hospital.

You were all little and
helpless and quiet, for once.

- What are you gonna do with it?

- I don't know.

Saint Vincent will take it.

I've been telling Paul I'd
get rid of some of this...

- No.

You can't throw it away.

- [Lori] Well, why not?

- Maybe I want it.

You know, my later years.

Might enter a pregnancy pageant.

[Lori laughing]

- I don't think.

You want to see something funny?

- Sure.

- Okay.


Hold out your hand.

Now, let me see.

These are your teeth.

Two from you and two from Dena.

And my Tooth Fairy
paid good money.

- [laughs] I remember.

- This was Dena's.

It took me seven years to
get this away from that girl.

I want you to save this for her.

You know, your baby
sister's not like you.

She needs a lot of validation.

I don't want a day to go by

that you don't
compliment her, you hear?

[subdued music]


We've gotta clean
all this stuff up.

I have to go soon.

One last thing.

You know what this means to me.

What it represents to me.

You know that we will
both be looking over you.


Always, baby.


- [Teresa] I love you.

- I love you, too.

Mommy loves you, too.

Oh, I love you.

You take care of your sister.

- The surgery should
remove the blockage.

Now, I know it's hard,
but try and relax.

I'll see you in the
recovery room afterwards.

- Okay.

Thanks, Doc.

You know, this is
going to be over

before you know it, darling.

Piece of cake.

Don't worry.

- Jury's deliberating, so
have CNN on when I come out.

- [Paul] Okay, honey.

I love you.

- [Lori] I love you.

[machine beeping steadily]

- [Dr. Sturla] All
right, here we go.

[solemn music]

- Hey, minnow.

Look what I got.

Your sweater.

Here we go.

[machine beeping rapidly]

- [Nurse] Doctor, her
vital signs are unstable.

[steady tone echoing]

- [Terry] Yeah, I
got your sweater.

Come on, let's go.

[machine beeping steadily]

- [Reporter On TV] In
Quantico, Virginia,

the second court martial
of Corporal Lindsey Scott

is almost over.

The defense has rested its case

and a verdict is
expected sometime today.

CIA operatives used
unmarked helicopters

to deliver explosives
and other supplies

to Contra rebel units
inside Nicaragua last year

despite a congressional
ban on U.S.

[people chattering]

[subdued music]

- We have reached a verdict.

Corporal Lindsey Scott,
United States Marine Corps,

this court martial now
finds you of all charges

and specifications not guilty.

- Thank you.

[crowd cheering]

[triumphant music]

- Honey?


- Hey.

- How you doing?

- Tell me 10 things
you love about me.

- Right now?

I love your smile.

[subdued music]

I love the way you
brush your hair.

I love the way you smell.

I love the way you
hum those silly tunes

when you're in the shower.

I love your hands.

How soft they are.

I love the way you
never give up on me,

and the children,

or anything else
that you believe in.

How many is that?

- I think two.

[both laugh]

- Hey, um,

the verdict's in.

- I know.

I know.

[solemn music]

[subdued music]