True Believer (1989) - full transcript

Eddie Dodd is a burnt out former civil rights lawyer who now specializes in defending drug dealers. Roger Baron, newly graduated from law school, has followed Eddie's great cases and now wants to learn at his feet. With Roger's idealistic prodding, Eddie reluctantly takes on a case of a young Korean man who, according to his mom, has been in jail for eight years for a murder he did not commit. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
Tier Four. First bed.
Come on, move it.

Fear will kill you.

I'm not afraid.

Good. Right after chapel.

It's goin' down in the yard.

Not in here, motherfucker!

Get on the ground!
Facedown! Don't move!

You, get down!

Put that head down!
Put that head down!

Give me your arm!

Don't move, buddy!
Don't move!

Come on, move it.
Move it!

Just stay down!

Keep the change.

Hi. I'm looking for the courtroom
where Mr. Edward J. Dodd...

is defending a Mr. Nevins.

That's the Edward J. Dodd.

Part 73, room 1113.
The room 1113.

...negotiated both to purchase
and to sell this dangerous drug.

In a moment, you will hear
from counsel for the defense.

As the People rest this case,
I leave you with this word of warning.

Edward Dodd is an inventive lawyer.

I'm sure he'd like you to believe...

that the pound of pure cocaine
found in his client's apartment...

was intended
for personal, recreational use.

But just bear in mind,
only you can insure...

that the defendant, who is...
let's be honest...

a vermin, a vulture...
that he will pay a penalty.

Thank you.

Thank you, Miss Jessum.
Mr. Sweeny, may I have a word with you?

Roger Baron. Hi.
Sorry I'm late.

It's such an honor
and a thrill to meet you.


So, what are you accused of?

All sorts of things.
How about you?

No, I'm a lawyer.
I just...

I got into town today.
I'm working with Mr. Dodd.

Mr. Dodd, would you care
to make your closing argument?

- You're in good hands with this guy.
- I would, Your Honor.


is evil.

Selling cocaine is evil.

Dislike this wicked merchant,
if you will.

Loathe him, if you must.

I do!

But despise the tactics the police
employed to snare Brian Nevins...

because we mustn't lose sight...

of what this trial
is really about:

our most basic personal freedoms.

For when we condone the bugging
of our citizens' bedrooms...

when we allow the police to enter
our homes without warrants...

or with specious warrants,
at best...

when we invade our citizens' privacy
in a frenzied quest...

for a wicked white powder,
aren't we, in fact...

capitulating to the evil?

Aren't we surrendering to the drug?

Aren't we saying that cocaine
is more powerful...

than the Constitution
of the United States of America?

Wow! What a speech.
It was beautiful.

- Amazing horse shit.
- Amazing client.

Eddie Dodd.

Everybody should own one.

Sorry about the mix-up back there.
I never actually saw your photo.

- I read every civil liberties brief...
- It was nice meeting you.

- I gotta get back to the office.
- you ever filed in the '60s.

Roger Baron.
Overland undergrad, Michigan Law.

None of this rings a bell?
You hired me to clerk for you.

Remember my letter? "Top 5%, Harvard
Law Review, salary is no object"?

Oh, that's right. Yeah.

- Let me help you with some of that.
- Thanks.

Here, I got it.

- You comin'?
- Yeah.

I was a sixth-year law student
when I read...

your "Chase Manhattan Bombing"
case summation...

in a '71 leftist law anthology.

I know this sounds dorky,
but it kind of changed my life.

- So, this is Greenwich Village, huh?
- Yes, Roger, you've arrived.

Anyway, I got a hold
of a trial transcript.

Your cross-examination of the cops
was like an indictment of the system.

You were my age
when you defended that case.

I was never your age.
Billy, this is Reggie.

He's our new social conscience
on Sheridan Square.

What about my court date?
What if we plead insanity?

Both of us?
Okay, princess, you're next.

- Billy, what is this thing?
- It's a sculpture.

Now, what kind of pills
were you busted with?

Mr. Dodd needs to know.

Is that an upper or a downer?

Gabe! I'll take care of it.
Just park it on the bench.

Park your ass on the bench and wait!
Gabe, you got a minute?

I had a minute before the hearing,
but couldn't get you on the phone.

I had reason to believe the judge had
heard of a concept called "entrapment."

Gruner was busted with
three pounds of methedrine.

Judge refused to exclude
the evidence. No deal.

I'm deeply disturbed about
Detective Cedar's conduct.

I may demand an investigation.
Can you imagine the headlines?

I imagine the headlines,
I drool.

"Undercover Cop Busts
East Village Speed Factory."

Eddie, you're out of step.
Detective Cedar's a hero.

He's a scumbag.

Detective Cedar went undercover, huh?
So did Judas.

Detective Cedar used his wiles
to insinuate himself...

into the bosom of Clyde Gruner's life,
his home, his loved ones.

Can't I take a simple piss...

Detective Cedar broke bread
with Clyde Gruner.

He was a guest
at Clyde Gruner's wedding.

And, yes, Gabe, Detective Cedar
used drugs with my client.

Not once, but many times.

- You're gonna drag out that crap?
- Only if I have to.

Be a mensch.

Brian Nevins stopped by.
It's on your desk.


We pleaded out Clyde Gruner
to five years' probation.

Score another point
for truth and justice.

The last struggle for constitutional
rights is being waged over drugs.

And we...

are in the ring, Roger,
doing battle with Big Brother.

Where are you goin'?

Edward Dodd, please.

I'm Roger Baron, Mr. Dodd's assistant.
May I help you?

Mrs. Kim needs a lawyer.

Her son killed a man
in self-defense in prison.

He didn't belong there
in the first place.

Eight years in jail
for the murder he didn't commit.

I'm her neighbor's daughter.

- Please, come in.
- Hi, I'm Eddie Dodd. What's up?

Her son didn't shoot anybody.
He's the wrong guy.

You meet him.

You see he wouldn't go around
stabbing guys just for fun.

This guy really shot a guy
and stabbed a guy?

He didn't shoot anyone. Eight years
in jail for the murder he didn't commit.

He's a good boy.

And he comes from a fine home
in Seoul, Korea.

- Shu Kai Kim.
- Shu Kai Kim?

That's his name, Shu Kai Kim.

I bet he is a wonderful boy.

I mean, I...
I can't take this case.

I have a specialty.

Lawyers specialize.

These days, I mostly do, like,
drug... narc...

Anyway, I couldn't
even go see your son...

without having a look
at the files from his case.

So it's really out of the question...
Those are the files. Great.

How did you hear about me, anyway?

She went to all the court-houses.

They all speak of you,
and they all say the same thing.

Oh, wow.
What do they say?

You do cases cheap.

My associate and I
will review this material...

as soon as possible,
and we will get back to you.

In the meantime, I wanna thank
you ladies very much for stopping by.

Thank you.

Thank you for helping my son.

Talk about a hard sell.

"Thank you for helping my son."

Attila the Hun had a mother, okay?


That was close, huh? Almost
defended somebody who wasn't a dealer.

Who knows?
He might even have been innocent.

We have a full caseload.
Don't start.

You're right. I forgot.
We're pledged to protect...

every mid-level drug dealer
in the tristate area.

It's an awesome responsibility.

I don't venerate drug dealers.
To the contrary.

- Of course.
- What we're attempting to do here...

is check the government's attempt
to abridge our civil liberties...

I know that.

through informants, eavesdropping,
unreasonable searches and seizures...

Right. You're right.

Damn right I'm right.

It's just that I left behind
family and friends...

and a couple good job offers
in Chicago.

And in three dizzying weeks,
I've helped to acquit a coke dealer...

- a speed dealer...
- I specialize, Roger.

- an angel dust dealer...
- I'm not a kid any more.

a speed manufacturer!

So get a job on Wall Street.
I'm sure your rich daddy can arrange it.

Look, don't tell me where to work.
I came here to work for Edward Dodd.

But I just can't believe that
Edward Dodd has nothing better to do...

than invoke exalted legal issues
to get off guilty little pricks.

You wanna be
a criminal defense attorney?

Then know this going in.

Everybody's guilty.


You wouldn't have said that
ten years ago.

Ten years is a long time.

I'm tired, man.
I'll see you in the morning.

A long time.

- We're late. Let's get going.
- Where?

Ossining Correctional Facility.
Sing Sing.

Everybody's innocent there, man.
Just ask 'em.

What was Kim in for?

Killing a young Chinese gang leader
named Jimmy Chin.

Prosecution said he did it
to get into a rival gang...

the Pell Street Dragons.

Kim admitted the gun was his.
He got 25 to life.

Thank you, Officer.

Mr. Kim, my name's Eddie Dodd.
I'm a lawyer.

This is Roger Baron, my associate.
He's also a lawyer.

- My mother find you?
- That's right.


You wanna tell me exactly
what went down here?

Racist pig came at me.

Exactly what happened then?

I killed the motherfucker.

Let's talk about what got you here
in the first place.

Let's talk about Chinatown.

The night Jimmy Chin was shot to death,
you were where?

At the trial, you said you were
at your apartment that night, alone.


It was eight years ago.
Long time.

A real long time.

God, I feel like I've been mugged.

- That guy was so cold.
- He's a killer.

What do we claim?
He stabbed the Nazi in self-defense?

With knives taped to his hands?
We're taking the other case.

- What other case?
- Chinatown, eight years ago.

A gang leader gets wasted
in front of the tourists.

The cops pressure the rival gang,
the Pell Street Dragons.

They give up Shu Kai Kim, the kid
who's been trying to get in their gang.

- You really think that's what happened?
- No.

But it'll make one hell
of an opening statement.

- Easy as that, huh?
- No, it's not easy.

We gotta find some evidence that's been
buried to open this sucker up again.

Christ, Eddie,
if the guy's really guilty...

Only God and Shu know if he's guilty,
and neither one of them is talking.

Besides, the guiltier he is,
the more he needs us.

He's a victim. He deserves
to see the sun again, breathe the air.

He's been in prison
too goddam long.

Okay, come on.
Come on, man.

So this was Shu back in '79.

- It's the murder weapon.
- Alleged murder weapon.

They found four of Shu's
fingerprints on it.

When did you start moonlighting
for the DA? Put it down.

God. I don't know about this.

Neither do I.

Wait, listen.

"November 5, 1979.

Cecil Skell
walked in the 5th Precinct.

Said he witnessed Chin's shooting.
Saw suspect's picture in Post.

Said Shu Kai Kim is wrong man."

Cecil Skell?

I didn't see his name on any
of the affidavits or the police reports.

He wasn't on any witness lists.
How could they miss this guy?

Also says he knows
who killed Kennedy.

Keep lookin'.
Something will turn up.

Boys, it's cleanup time.


Ten minutes, Tom, okay?

Um, that DD-5.

The one about the maniac who...

Cecil Skell.
Find it.

Hi, Kitty.

Roger Baron, Kitty Greer.
Private investigator.

Roger's my new associate.
Top of his class at Michigan Law.

Eddie's "Chase Manhattan Bombing"
summation kind of change your life?

- You told her about that?
- Yeah. So, what have you got?

My skip-trace turned up
two Cecil Skells.

One's in Butte, Montana. The other's
at Riverhead Veterans Psychiatric.

- I take odds on Cecil two.
- What'd he do? Snitch off a dealer?

- Murder witness.
- You're doing a murder case?

It hasn't been that long.

Cecil Skell's one of three eyewitnesses
who came forward.

You gotta start looking
for the other two right away.

- I'm not working on this case.
- Yes, you are.

You boys have fun.
I have business back on Planet Earth.

Let me guess. Some corporate VP
is banging his secretary over lunch...

and you gotta focus your camera
and plug in your tape recorder.

Beats getting paid in 20s by slime dogs
selling angel dust to high school kids.

Where do you put your microphone to get
the most incriminating moans and sighs?

You know, a law degree's
a terrible thing to waste.

- Do your parents know you're here?
- You can't pick on him.

You've just blown your chance
to participate in this case.

- I'm sorry.
- I'm kicking myself right out of here.

We got her.

The head nurse said that...

you guys needed to talk to me.


I'm Eddie Dodd. I'm a lawyer.
This is Roger Baron, also a lawyer.

Why don't you sit down?

Mr. Skell,
a young man named Jimmy Chin...

was shot and killed
eight years ago in Chinatown.

Do you remember talking
to the police?

That guy that they arrested,
he was the wrong guy.

Cecil, we wanna reopen this case.

But we can't do it
without your testimony.

I wanna use what you have
to say so badly.

But I must add that I think
you're fucking full of shit, all right?

I think what Eddie means to say is...

No, no, no.
They got the wrong guy.

I saw it.
The killer wasn't Chinese.

Oh, come on.
Not Chinese.

The Chinese have an energy field...

that vibrates
at a particular frequency.

Oh, right. Right.

Cecil, what is all this
about the Kennedy assassination?

You guys... you're from the company.
I should've known.

What, CIA?

- No, man, the telephone.
- What?

I suppose you don't know that
the phone company killed Kennedy...

because he was trying to break it up,
and they'll never let that happen.

They control everything.

What you say in the mouthpiece...

is never exactly
what comes out the other end.

The phone company
was broken up.

And you believe that?

The phone company broke up in 1981.
I can get a back issue of Business Week.

Excuse me, fellas.
What, are you kidding?

Are you what heroes are made of?

I did two tours in 'Nam.

Are you willing to testify
that the man you saw shoot Jimmy Chin...

was not the man
the police arrested?

They got the wrong guy.

That's right.

When the DA gets wind of this,
he's gonna send somebody out here...

claiming to be a journalist or maybe
a phone company representative.

He's gonna ask you
a lot of questions.

You just be truthful.

Okay? To all of us.

I always tell the truth.

That's why I'm here.

Very good, Mr. Skell.
And you told the desk sergeant...

you were certain that Shu Kai Kim
wasn't the killer.

Is that right?

It's important to give
a vocal response.

- Yes, sir.
- You left your telephone number.

Did the police attempt to phone you
or to follow up in any way?

No, sir.

- Thank you, Mr. Skell.
- Mr. Rabin, you may cross-examine.

How long have you been
a patient at...

Objection. The fact the witness is
a patient at any hospital is immaterial.


All right. How long have you resided
at the Riverhead...

This is the same question
in sheep's clothing.

Mr. Rabin, you're out of line.
Next question.

Thank you.

Mr. Skell.

You're under oath to tell the truth,
Mr. Skell...

and nothing but the truth.

Who killed President John F. Kennedy?

Objection. This witness is not
an expert in political assassinations.

- The question relates to...
- He wasn't on the Warren Commission!

Do you think he was on the grassy knoll
with a pair of binoculars?

- I'd like to answer the question.
- We're talking about competency...

Mr. Rabin has no right to ask
this question! Don't answer it!




Never mind, Your Honor.

Objection withdrawn, Your Honor.

Shu, the judge has ordered a retrial
in the Chinatown murder case.

If we can prove reasonable doubt
on your imprisonment eight years ago...

we feel sure that the DA will drop
the charge in the prison knifing.

- Do I have to be in the courtroom?
- There's probably not gonna be a trial.

The State's not gonna wanna retry
an eight-year-old murder case.

Neither are we.

At the pretrial conference,
an offer will be made.

Odds are we'll cut some kind of deal.
Maybe, just maybe...

we'll get you out of here
much sooner.

You've done enough time.

Mr. Dodd would like to help you
in such a case, but...

- Kitty.
- Hi, Billy.

- What are you doing here?
- I'm not entirely sure.

Oh, excuse me.

The cops tell their experts,
"Don't sweat it.

We got three people
who saw this guy fire the gun."

Meanwhile, they're telling
their eyewitnesses...

"Don't doubt your I.D. Our experts
can tie the suspect to the gun."

- It's a game, Roger.
- Thanks a lot.

What do you got?

One of the prosecution's
three eyewitnesses passed away.

- Another one moved to Canada.
- Same thing.

They still have Laura Gayley,
the computer programmer.

She was the closest one.
Like, 21 feet from the killer.

Do you have to do that?

- Do you?
- Have to? No.

- Start lookin' into Shu's gang.
- The Pell Street Dragons?

Yeah. Billy!
Yo, babe!

See what rank did the hits
back in '79.

Your extensive law enforcement contacts
should be of some help.

I was never politically correct enough
for Comrade Dodd.

Yeah, law offices
of Edward J. Dodd.

Who? Sure.
Yeah, put him through.

Yes, I can.

Okay. Thank you.

That was Robert Reynard.

Robert Reynard?

The Manhattan DA?

- Excuse me. May I help you, sir?
- Robert Reynard, please.

Would you like to check the coat, sir?

- No, it's fine.
- Right this way.

- What do we make? Lawyers.
- Do you think that's the root of it?

It all boils down
to goods versus services.

Excuse me, Mr. Reynard.

Edward J. Dodd.

Robert Reynard.
Thank you, George.

Of course, you know Dean Rabin,
one of my assistant DAs.

Dean generally handles
the nuisance cases, like the, uh...

What's the man's name?

- Sh...
- Shu Kai Kim.

His name is Shu Kai Kim.

You won't remember this,
but in '72...

I was one of several
prosecutors assigned...

to the police-Black Panther

You walked into court by yourself
and kicked our collective butt.

- What have you been up to since then?
- This and that.

My staff tells me
it's mostly been drug pushers.

I said, "That can't be
the same Edward Dodd."

It's in narcotics that the government
tramples on the 4th Amendment.

Well, let's not drag
the Constitution into this.

You used the testimony
of a paranoid schizophrenic...

to overturn a murder conviction...

that's withstood challenge
for over eight years.

And until we get
the death penalty reinstated...

we depend on our ability
to make long sentences stick.

And the hell with my client's
civil rights?

Your client...

is guilty.

I know a little something
about street gangs, Ed.

Back in the '70s,
I spent years putting away kingpins...

in a Colombian crime syndicate.

If we can't protect this city
from incorrigible street assassins...

then my office isn't worth a damn.

What's on your wish list, Ed?

Pleading Kim out to "man one"
in both homicides?

- What are you looking for here?
- Sentences to run concurrent?

- Fifteen to life, both counts.
- Fifteen is insulting.

Friday's the drop-dead date
on the offer.

Don't bullshit me,
okay, Mr. Reynard?

You got witness problems,
you got proof problems.

You're my only problem. What's it
gonna take to make you go away?

Eight-and-a-third, both counts to run
concurrent, credit for time served.


And your man walks out next month.

What are you doing?
You joking here?


I never joke about waving a client's
Sixth Amendment right to trial.

You're starting to piss me off.

I'm sorry if I've ruined your day.

My client's had
a tough eight years behind bars.

Why don't you sleep on that?
Then make me an offer.

After Friday, no deal.

The Japanese shellac us
month after month...

Excuse me.

Len Davis, Daily News. Looks like
you've wriggled up Reynard's ass.

Sorry, no comment.

I'm not saying
it was a conspiracy exactly.

Law enforcement is
too disorganized for that.

I suspect sloth is the culprit.

"Edward J. Dodd,
retained to defend Mr. Kim...

has disclosed that a witness
will corroborate Mr. Kim's alibi."

- I embellished.
- "Dodd also reports that...

- his team of private investigators...
- I embroidered.

are actually close to naming
the man they believe...

- actually killed Jimmy Chin."
- I lied.

You should've used the one about Shu
being the bastard son of Mother Teresa.

I actually like that.

I'm tired.
I'm gonna go home and go to bed.

- Thanks for the drinks, kids.
- Good night.

Good night, Danny.
Thank you.

Hey, bro.

- Can you spare a quarter, man?
- Yeah.

I'm real hungry, man.

Gook lover!
Race traitor!

Enemy of the Aryan people!

Commie faggot!


Only half.

Aryan Army say:

Chink go to trial, you die.

Dodd, you take on a client
who wasted a Nazi in prison...

you gotta expect the Nazis
are gonna come back at ya.

Oh, Eddie deserved this?

I guess rape victims
wanna be laid at gunpoint?

Well, it's a fact of life.

These folks just don't
spray swastikas on synagogues.

They take care of their own.

Those teardrop tattoos,
they're like notches on a gun.

One for every enemy they kill.

Listen, I'm...

I think I'm gonna look
some more tomorrow.

I'm seeing double here.

- Ow! God!
- Sorry.

His name's Chuckie Loeder.
Something's very weird.

- You saw his mug shot?
- Those tears, they weren't real.

I can't believe we're going to see
a bunch of Nazis at night.

There's no one else to talk to.
The tattoos are phony.

- So?
- So no upstanding member...

of the Aryan Army
would paint them on.

They take those tear-drops
very seriously.

They're badges of honor,
of courage.

Only their most vicious, sadistic,
cruel, killer elite get to wear them.

I feel much better now.

Clyde Gruner sold these guys
a pound of crystal meth at cost.

I mean, we're Clyde's buddies.

Hi. Is your daddy home?

We're friends of Clyde Gruner.

We know who you are.
You're the race traitor...

who's defending the gook
that murdered Duane.

- You got a lot of balls coming here.
- What the hell you want?

I'm real sorry about Duane.

I got jumped by a man earlier tonight.
He said he was Aryan Army.

- His name's Chuckie Loeder.
- "Chuck" rhymes with "suck."


Chuckie Loeder's no longer a brother
in the resurrection of our nation.

We expelled that faggot junkie
a year ago.

- Do you know where he might be found?
- Hanging with his tongue out...

and a sign around his neck that says,
"I betrayed my race..."

along with the rest of society's scum
on the Great Day of the Rope."

Prior to the Great Day of the Rope,
where can he be found?

Mixing with mongrel races.

Anything along the lines
of an address or a job?

Art supplies, right?

Now, get the fuck out of here.

I wanna hear it real clear.

Chuckie Loeder is not Aryan Army...

and you guys aren't behind this,
is that right?

If we were,
you wouldn't be standing here.

We can go in now.

Who did that to you?

A soldier in the Aryan Army with
black tear-drops painted on his face.

Painted? That wasn't
an Aryan soldier.

Why would a guy do that?
Paint black teardrops on his face?

I guess he wanted you to think
he was somebody he wasn't.

- Why?
- Maybe because someone's afraid.

- Afraid of what?
- I don't know.

- The truth, maybe.
- The truth about what?

About Chinatown.
What went down.

What went down?
What happened in Chinatown?

- You tell me.
- No, you tell me. Tell me.

How could I tell you
what I don't know?

You can't, so tell me what you do know.
Come on, say it.

I don't know shit, man.

Quit lying!

I know that you're innocent,
even if you've forgotten.

The DA's talking a deal.

A little negotiating, I can get you
out of here in five years.

- Five years?
- Maybe.

With a little luck.
We take the deal, that's it.

I don't find the guy
who did this to me.

I don't go after the fuck
who put him up to it...

the fuck who did the crime
and let you do the time.

We take this deal, we walk away...

never find out
what happened in Chinatown.

Never get a shot at nailing
some guilty bastard's balls to the wall.


"No" what?
I gotta hear you say it.

Fuck the DA's deal.

Jimmy Chin crossed north on Pell.

At the last instant,
he must have sensed something...

because he turned
and he was shot dead, right here.

Laura Gayley stood
where you're standing right now.

There was no telephone booth,
bus stop or stop sign in the way.

Christ, she had a perfect view
of the killer's face.

But she couldn't have, could she?

Because she thinks she saw Shu.

We know now she didn't see Shu.

I'm stalking you.
I'm right behind you.

There's a rage in the air. You can feel
the rage, like an electrical charge.

You turn.
Time contracts...

space explodes,
perceptions can't be trusted.

As I pull out a loaded gun and...

The guys in the field
will try to bullshit you...

that comparison microscopy
is an exact science.

Powder residue, grease stains,
skin fragments.

It's all subject to interpretation.
You know what I'm saying?

- Not exactly.
- I'm saying...

we need to finesse a little,
we'll finesse.

I told you, we don't need
to finesse this one.

That's Shu's gun. Shu didn't
commit the crime. No finessing.

Jesus! Jump back.

You wanna hang out? I'll have something
preliminary in about an hour.

My associate will wait. I got
some good news of my own to deliver.

Excuse me.
Edward J. Dodd to see Mr. Reynard.

Could you wait
just a moment, please?

Uh, yes, I'm sorry,
but it's a matter of policy...

that Mr. Reynard not attend
any political fund-raisers.

Yes. Well, thank you.

- Is he expecting you?
- This'll only take a minute.

Well, I'm sorry. He's running
about an hour behind schedule.

Just tell him Mr. Dodd and Mr. Kim
plan to proceed with trial.

Did my girl
hear your message correctly?

I guess so, or you wouldn't
be standing there. Am I right?

Why did I think
I could deal reasonably...

with a man who defends
coke pushers for free?

Coke pushers pay cash.

That subsidizes the pot
possession cases. They're free.

But now you've strayed from
your area of expertise... dope...

into street assassins.

A subject of which
you are dangerously ignorant.

Yeah, but I'm a quick study.

I'll see your assistant DA,
Rabin, in court.

No, Mr. Dodd.

You'll see me in court.

I'm prosecuting this case.

Why am I surprised? Colombians,
Koreans. What's the difference?

You've built your career on putting
non-Whites behind bars, haven't you?

I'll prosecute anyone
who fucks up.

And if that makes me look racist...

it's a trade-off
that I'll live with, Ed.

That's big of you, Bob.

See you in court.

You should've taken the deal.

You're probably right.


That was the ballistics guy, Howard.

His tests showed that Shu's gun
fired the bullet that killed Jimmy Chin.

Well, Howard's
a fuckin' burn-out case.

I wouldn't put him on the stand anyway.
Get more names from Billy.

There's a sociology professor
at Columbia University.

- He's an expert on street gangs.
- I talked to him.

Apparently, doing a hit was the way
to get into the Pell Street Dragons.

- Shit.
- There goes your theory...

about them fingering Shu
instead of the trigger man.

I like that theory. And since I'm not
putting Professor Twerp on the stand...

and since I don't have another theory,
I'm gonna stick with it.

I wouldn't need a goddam theory if you
could find that son of a bitch Loeder.

I have phoned every art supply wholesale
and retailer in a 100-mile radius.

- No one has heard of Chuckie Loeder.
- Here's a news flash.

Maybe he's not calling himself
Chuckie Loeder these days.

Maybe he's got an alias.
Biff Loeder.

Can you guys just stop being
the prophets of doom?

Every time I ask a question I get
an answer, but it's the wrong answer.

You're on the bus or you're off the bus.
I can do this shit myself.

That's not fair.

We're all committed to the case.
We all believe it's a good fight.

A good fight?

You think I'm going into court
to make a fucking statement?

You think Shu gives a shit
if we go down, but go down nobly?

This is a man looking at
40 years of hard time!

He could've had a deal and been out
in five, but he bet it all on me!

Don't give me that liberal,
yuppie bullshit about a good fight.

This isn't fucking Yale.

A good fight is one you win!

So you wanna bail out now, Eddie?
The door's over there.

Kitty and I have work to do.
We're gonna be in court tomorrow.

In the matter of
the People versus Shu Kai Kim...

the Honorable Justice
Marcus Quealy presiding.

All rise.

Where's Eddie?

He'll be here.

You will hear the classic tale
of the immigrant in New York.

It's the tale of a young Sicilian
in Little Italy...

who slits a merchant's throat
as an entree into the Mafia.

Or the Russian Jew
who reaches Brooklyn...

and bludgeons a witness on behalf
of Murder, Incorporated.

Shu Kai Kim is a part
of that ugly tradition.

A stranger...

Looking for his place
in a new world...

would turn the American dream...

into an American nightmare.

Why did Mr. Kim...

fire a bullet through the brain
of Jimmy Chin...

a boy he never even knew?

To get into a gang.

Eight years ago,
gang war raged in Chinatown.

No one felt safe.

Tourism was down.

Local businessmen pleaded
with the mayor.

The mayor pressured
the police commissioner.

And the police commissioner
told his men...

"This time, arrest somebody."

But whom?


the outsider, of course.

The stranger.

The immigrant.

So what that he's not in a gang?

So what that he's not even Chinese?

I mean, who can tell
one Asian face from the next?

So what that he didn't even
commit the crime?

"This time, arrest somebody.


And so, Detective Montell, having
brought in Mr. Kim for booking...

you arranged for a line-up
with six other Asian males.

That's right.

We brought in
six other Asian males...

of the same approximate age...

and had the eyewitnesses
view them from every angle.

And the results of that lineup?

All the eyewitnesses picked Kim.

But isn't it true
the six other Asian males...

were of the classic
Mongoloid type...

whereas Shu Kai Kim has the distinctive
facial bone structure of a Korean?

Objection. The witness is not
an expert in racial classification.


This banner headline appeared
in the Daily News...

October 25, 1979,
one week before Jimmy Chin's murder.

"Mayor Rips Police Commish.

Fed Up With Chinatown Violence."

You were aware of the pressure,
weren't you, Detective Montell?

I'm sorry, Mr. Dodd,
but I read the Post.

Detective Sklaroff...

exactly what information
led you to arrest my client...

just two and a half hours
after the shooting took place?

We had a description
of the suspect.

A description. Asian, male,
18 to 30, black hair, brown eyes.

- That kind of thing?
- Argumentative.


We had intelligence.

You had...


We had information bearing
on Mr. Kim's desire...

to gain admission
into the Pell Street Dragons...

by assassinating a member
of a rival gang.

Didn't that information
come from the Dragons themselves?

Didn't they, the Pell Street Dragons,
a Chinese gang...

all but hand you Shu Kai Kim,
a Korean, a foreigner...

Objection, Your Honor.
This isn't a cross-examination.

It's Mr. Dodd's opening statement again,
and again it's pure fabrication.

- Didn't they?
- Sustained.

Please continue, Detective Sklaroff.

We proceeded to the suspect's address
and discovered him there.

While my partner restrained
and arrested Mr. Kim...

I made a thorough search
of the premises...

and recovered a. 38-calibre handgun.

Isn't it unusual for a man who committed
a murder to bring the weapon home?

- Calls for speculation.
- Sustained.

- Are you implying I planted a gun?
- We'll let the jury decide that.

Kim's prints were all over it.
He admitted it was his gun!

The witness' answer is non-responsive.
I ask you to strike it from the record.

You opened this line of questioning.
The testimony will remain in the record.

- No more questions.
- You may step down, Detective Sklaroff.

- I am dying out there.
- It's okay, Eddie.

The People call
retired detective Vincent Dennehy.

A fucking wheelchair?

Detective Dennehy, you were the first
officer to arrive at the murder scene?

Yes, sir,
I was the first one there.

And what did you do then?

I secured the scene,
rerouted traffic...

and searched the area
for physical evidence.

There was a lot of confusion
down there that night.

After that, I questioned
all the eyewitnesses...

who remained
at the murder site.

At 10:30 p.m., I proceeded,
with the decedent's body...

to the office
of the county coroner.

I left the crime scene
about 10:30.

Thank you.
No further questions.

Detective, you reached the morgue
and delivered Jimmy Chin's body when?


You expect us to believe
that from ten...

from 10:10 to 11:30
that you had the time...

- You okay?
- I get this pain.

No more questions.
That's all right.

Mr. Dodd has yet to successfully
challenge any testimony given so far.

- A fucking wheelchair?
- I didn't put him in it; Reynard did.

He had a spinal injury. All he needs
is a cane. It was in Kitty's report.

I don't have the time to read
every single line in every report.

I'm too busy getting my ass
pulverized in the courtroom.

Meanwhile, my crackerjack investigator
cannot find the art supply store...

where Chuckie Loeder works.

I'd love to chat,
but I'm meeting a cop for drinks.

He's bringing the Dragons'
1979 mug book.

I need an expert witness
on the Dragons.

Eddie, stick this up your ass.

Tall order.

- "Art's Supplies"
- "Everything for the plumber."

- Is Art around?
- Is he expecting you?

Yes, he is.

I'm Maraquilla Esparza,
Art's wife.

- Maraquilla. That's a lovely name.
- Thank you.

- He's probably back in the factory?
- You're not supposed to go in there.

Yeah, I know, but we called and said
we wanted to talk about that PVC tubing.

- He just said to come back.
- We'll just be a minute.

Excuse me.

- Art Esparza. What can I do for you?
- Eddie Dodd. This is Roger Baron.

- You can't come back here.
- We're lawyers, and we're renovating.

- There's metal grinding, open flames.
- Roger, is this toilet me?

- Something high-tech. The Lowboy.
- Do you have a demo of one of those?

We're not a showroom.

Isn't it healthier to sit lower on
a toilet so you can get your knees up?

Makes a smooth move.

Where's your friend?


I just wanna talk to you!

Move, man, move!

- Damn it!
- Get him off of me!

- You all right?
- Damn it.

It's all right, fellas. I got it.
It's cool. I'm sorry.

Didn't I tell you not to come back here?
Come with me. Talk to me.

Nice meetin' ya.

I'm a lawyer.

That gives you the right to run wild
in my place of business?

Every man here has done
hard prison time.

These people need to know
I can protect them.

What gives you a perfect understanding
of "these people"?

Five years in Attica.

In the joint I met
a lot of cons I trusted...

but I never met
a lawyer I trusted.

Art's Supplies is founded on trust.
It's for ex-cons, not lawyers.

Chuckie Loeder is a material witness
in a murder trial.

I need to get him on the stand.

If you'd been straight with me,
I could have helped you...

but now you probably
scared him off for good.

You're leaving now, aren't you?

- You okay?
- Fine.

I lost Chuckie and got a lecture from
the jailhouse saint of Long Island City.

- Where the hell were you?
- 1050 Amsterdam Avenue.

- What?
- Chuckie's address.

I sneaked a peek
at the Rolodex.

Sneaked a peek at the Rolodex,
Counsellor? Nice.

Kitty, Chuckie Loeder's
most recent address...

just happens to be
a hole in the ground.

When they demolish a residential hotel,
the city has to relocate the tenants.

The Housing Authority
will have records of...

You taught me that? So why am I
wasting my breath? Get on it.

I guess you found him
after all, didn't you?

He had no family.

I have to ID him.

I'm his family.

So, you won't be able
to use him now, will you?

Eddie, let's go.

It's goddam tragic, ain't it?

Get out of here, Dodd!

Chuckie Loeder was murdered.
It's simple.

Chuckie Loeder OD'd.
He was a junkie.

The coroner found
120 track marks on him.

Isn't it possible Loeder
beat you up on his own...

to get back in good
with the Aryans?


The last of the ballistics experts
says Shu's gun killed Jimmy Chin.

That's why I hate experts.

We have to go to Reynard
and cut a deal.

I'm gonna fall on my knees and whimper
before that stooge of the ruling class?

- Right.
- This isn't about you, it's about Shu.

- If we can plead him out...
- We plead out guilty people!

- Shu is innocent.
- Only Shu and God know that.

I know that! How? Because Reynard says
he's guilty, and Reynard's full of shit!

Look. That's not
the face of a killer.

You're carrying that around
like it's a picture of your girlfriend.

- Your heart'll break if this case folds.
- It's not gonna happen.

Ballistics says it's Shu's gun.
All the facts...

"All the facts."
I'm gonna put the facts on trial.

Without Loeder,
we don't have a single witness.

Then go find me one.
There's Chinatown.

That's weird. I always pictured
the morgue being way uptown.

And that is the fatal bullet
that was fired that night in Chinatown.

Yes, sir.

According to your analysis...

can this bullet be linked
to Mr. Kim's weapon?

Given that every gun barrel leaves a
distinct mark on the bullet it fires...

we must conclude that this bullet was
fired by Mr. Kim's.38-calibre handgun.

Thank you, sir.

No more questions.

Forensic ballistics...

is not really
an exact science, is it?

It most certainly is, Mr. Dodd.

Like tarot cards or astrology
or something?

Tarot cards and astrology are not
sciences. Ballistics is a science.

- But it has a 10-15% margin of error.
- Absolutely not.

- No more than seven percent.
- Seven percent.

Out of every hundred cases,
based on your testimony...

seven innocent men go to prison.

Is that the idea?

- Objection.
- Sustained.


Miss Gayley, please tell us exactly
what you remember seeing that evening.

I don't think I'll ever forget it.
I was walking east on Pell Street.

I had come from dinner
with friends...

and I noticed a man
walk past me.

He was walking very fast, and his hand
was shoved inside his jacket.

Something told me to turn.

The man whom you saw
murder Jimmy Chin...

is he in this courtroom?

That's him sitting over there.

Let the record show that Miss Gayley
indicated Shu Kai Kim.

Your witness, Mr. Dodd.

I looked at these photo
and diagrams.

I visited the murder scene,
heard your testimony.

I look at the distance between us now
and keep coming to the same conclusion.

I hate to say this... I don't understand
how you could've seen the killer's gun.

- Does Mr. Dodd have a question?
- Yes. Did you see the gun?

- Yes. I can describe it.
- Really?

It was silver, with a stubby barrel.
Snub-nosed, I believe they call it.

It was not an automatic.
It had one of those cylinders.

After eight years,
how can you remember that?

- I could see the hammer. It was cocked.
- How could you possibly remember this?

- Because I never took my eyes off it.
- She never took her eyes off the gun.

- Thank you.
- Not the entire time.

No further questions.

- Look, I would like to...
- No further questions. Thank you.

You may step down, Miss Gayley.

Your Honor, we wish to call a witness
whose name is not on the witness list.

- Objection. This is trial by ambush.
- We just discovered him.

He occupies the cell adjacent
to the defendant at Sing Sing Prison.

This case has nothing to do
with events at Sing Sing Prison.

Your Honor, I assure you the witness
has information specific to this case.

Mr. Dodd, you will be granted time
to prepare your cross-examination.

In the absence of substantial prejudice
to your client...

I will permit
the witness to testify.

With objection, Your Honor.

- So noted.
- Thank you.

As their final witness,
the People wish to call Richard Ortega.

Who is Richard Ortega?

Mr. Ortega,
what is La Fraternidad?

A Cubano prison gang, basically.

And its purpose?

Fighting the Aryan Army
and the Black Avengers, basically.


For what?

To live.
We protect our own.

I understand.

In the course of protecting your own,
is it often necessary to commit murder?

Objection. The witness is being
asked to incriminate himself.

The witness has been granted immunity
from prosecution for criminal acts...

he may disclose
on the stand today.

You must answer the question,
Mr. Ortega.

Are members of La Fraternidad
ever called upon to commit murder?

Yeah, sometimes.

All right.


isn't Shu Kai Kim,
who is Asian...

a member of La Fraternidad?

- Objection. Irrelevant.
- Overruled. Answer the question.

Yeah, Shu's a member.


Why was Shu Kai Kim
recruited by La Fraternidad?

- I can't answer that.
- Your Honor...

It's a secret matter within
the organization. I ain't no snitch.

Mr. Ortega, you must answer
under threat of contempt.

Why was Mr. Kim, an Asian,
recruited by a Cubano prison gang?

- Fuck you.
- Mr. Ortega.

I can sentence you to more years
than you've already served.

I repeat: Why was Mr. Kim
recruited by La Fraternidad?

- Chinatown.
- Chinatown?

How do you know
what Mr. Kim did in Chinatown?

Did Shu Kai Kim tell members
of La Fraternidad...

that he murdered Jimmy Chin?

Man, they got me
all fucked up here!

Did Mr. Kim confess to you
that he killed Jimmy Chin?

- He mentioned it!
- He mentioned it!

Or did he, in fact,
boast about it...

to any inmate who would listen?

- Objection.
- Sustained.

The People rest.

Mr. Dodd, how much time will you
require to prepare your cross?

Your Honor, we move that
the witness' testimony be stricken.

He's obviously been manipulated
by the prosecution.

Mr. Baron, you are not
the attorney of record here.

Mr. Dodd,
do you wish to cross-examine?

Ask for 72 hours, Eddie.

Court is hereby adjourned
until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow.

Listen to me. Eddie.

Eddie, where are you going?

Look, I heard Ortega
say that Shu confessed.

I didn't see any evidence.

We're gonna ask the judge
for a continuance of 48 hours...

and we'll find an inmate who will
testify that Shu said he didn't do it!

The guiltier he is,
the more he needs us.

- You said that.
- Get lost.

There was quite a bit
you didn't tell me.

When I joined,
I took a oath of secrecy.

I told you
what you needed to know.

I didn't need to know you bragged about
killing Chin? What was that knifing?

- Aryans cutting in on your crack trade?
- That was self-defense.

Jimmy Chin.
Was that self-defense too? Huh?

I'm sorry, it's just that for a while
I thought there was this, like...

You'll laugh, but I thought we were two
sorry assholes who needed each other...

who could help each other.

- How could I help you?
- By trusting me.

I got my face kicked in
because I trusted you.

No expert would say it wasn't your gun
that killed Chin, but it didn't matter.

I went up against the DA himself,
but I didn't care...

because I trusted you,
because I believed in you...

because I thought
there was a bond between us.

You're out there
and I'm in here.

My bond, my trust...

is with the guys in here
that cover my back.

When you leave this place,
you go out to dinner...

see a movie, get laid.

I'm going back to my cell
and wait to die.

So you tell me...

where is our bond?

For a while we had this dream
we were innocent.

That was our bond.

Then we woke up.

- I want to hear everything.
- What do you mean, "everything"?

The truth.
Tell me about Chinatown, Shu.

Tell me the truth.

Just tell me the truth!

Are you sleeping?

You know, I haven't gotten stoned once
since this trial started.

Come on in. We'll talk in the morning.
In the meantime, you can get some sleep.

I don't need sleep.

- Do you believe in luck, Kitty?
- Luck.

No. Why?

'Cause after ten years
of defending nothing but scumbags...

this kid, this Roger,
came along out of nowhere.

Suddenly I find myself
fighting to free an innocent man.

An innocent man, Kitty.

You don't find too many of those
in my line of work.

For a minute, I thought...

the kid brought me luck.

And it felt good.

Oh, it felt good.

Yeah, well, my minute is up.

Come on, Eddie. A guilty client's
not the end of the world.


It's a new beginning.

I'm going back
to defending scumbags.

Not just dope peddlers any more.

Porno merchants.

Repeat drunk drivers.
I'll get 'em all off.

Hit men. "Send Eddie Dodd
your contract killers."

None of 'em ever does time again.

Eddie, just go home.
Get some sleep.

- What do you want?
- Roger Baron. I work with Eddie Dodd.

Why were you at Shu's trial
this afternoon?

- What trial?
- I followed you from the courthouse.

Listen, I knew Jimmy Chin.

- You were concerned Shu would go free?
- That's right.

Now, did you have Chuckie Loeder
try to scare Eddie off the case?

- Why don't you ask Chuckie?
- He OD'd. He's dead.

Art didn't tell you?

- Look, mister...
- Roger.

You mustn't tell Art
you saw me at the trial.

You had a right to be there, especially
if you and Jimmy Chin were friends.


Oh, my God.
You don't know anything.

Roger, go home.
Take a job on Wall Street.

- It wasn't a Chinatown gang hit.
- Yeah, right.

Eddie, Art Esparza's wife
and Jimmy Chin were lovers.

She just about told me.

Great. You phoned Art Esparza's wife?
What, are you nuts?

No, I followed her
from the courthouse.

Esparza's wife
was at Shu's trial?

Yeah, and she was scared
I'd tell Art.

Art Esparza.

What do we know about
that self-righteous son of a bitch?

- Dodd, you got 15 minutes.
- Right.

Check this out.
The man's a prince.

"Queens businessman honored for
his efforts to employ ex-convicts."

Security clearance for Esparza to go
into jails for parole board hearings.

Wonderful work this man does.

Skipping two years back... his real work.
He's being watched by Narco.

"Suspected of using his warehouse
as drug drop.

Surveillance terminated."

Going back four years.

"Arthur Esparza charged with assault.

"Accessory to extortion.


You get the feeling
this prick is protected?

I'm outta here.
You owe me one.


"Dismissed for lack of evidence."


Jesus Christ.


I've seen this picture before.

No wonder the eyewitnesses picked Shu.
They could've been brothers.

Esparza killed Jimmy Chin.

The killer wasn't Chinese.
Cecil Skell was right!

Everybody else was wrong.
The one fucking lunatic was right.

Come on.

Does this mean
the phone company killed Kennedy?

Shu's gun is an absolute match.
How could it be?

Not here, Roger.


At least we'd already be
at the morgue. Goddam.

We'll make
a citizen's arrest of Esparza.

But we'll need some backup. Who's the
meanest motherfucker you ever got off?

Just give me a name.
Any client who owns a Magnum.

The broken-down detective
in the wheelchair.


He said he left Chinatown
with Jimmy Chin's body at 10:30.

And didn't reach the morgue for an hour.
That's why I thought it was way uptown.

- Fill in for me in court today.
- What?

I need you in court.

- Who the hell is it?
- Come on, open up.

Sorry to bother you
at this hour.

I'm Edward J. Dodd.
Are you Mrs. Dennehy?

I'm Ms. Dennehy,
Vin's sister.

- I have to talk to your brother.
- No! You gotta be crazy at this hour!

Can you step back from the door,

Thank you.

- Where are you going?
- Stay.


Do I know you?

I'm Eddie Dodd.
I cross-examined you.

But not very well.

What did you do
with Jimmy Chin's body?

Please, I need to sleep.

What did you do
with Jimmy Chin's body?

- I brought it to the coroner.
- An hour after you picked it up.

Yeah, an hour later.

From Chinatown, which is right
down the street from the morgue?

What did you do
with Jimmy Chin's body?

You're fishing.
You don't know shit.

I know about Art Esparza.

- It wasn't Vin's idea.
- Connie.

- Go to bed. This is official business.
- You were pressured. Tell the man.

- Go back to bed.
- Come on, talk to me.

Come on.

We thought it would work
if it was a through-and-through.

What's a "through-and-through"?

I got this chronic pain.

What is a "through-and-through"?

You know, eight years I been waitin'
for some genius to notice...

it took me an hour
to drive seven blocks.

I drove Chin's body
to the Manhattan Bridge.

Under the bridge.

Montell and Sklaroff were already there
with Shu Kai Kim's gun.

We only had three hours.

After that, with the body
cooling and clotting...

it wouldn't look right
to the pathologist.

Chin had been hit once in the forehead
by Esparza's. 32.

The bullet exited clean.
That's a through-and-through.

So, all Sklaroff
had to worry about was...

aiming Kim's. 38
at the same angle.

We pulled the bullet
out of the mattress...

and that was it.

An airtight case.

Why? All this
to protect Art Esparza? Why?

That nasty little bastard!

He steps in shit,
we gotta lick his boots clean.

He was your snitch.

The Colombian connection.


Three years
of ball-busting detective work.

We put a lot of bad guys in jail.

And one good guy.

Demerol? What is your problem, man?
You wanna die? Huh?

I am dead.
We're both dead.

Nobody dies
until I hear the truth.

Who put the frame on Shu?

Stay awake, Dennehy.


Come on, talk to me, man.
I didn't say snort. I said talk.

- I need you to live.
- Where are we going?

We're going to the hospital.

Oh, shit.

Why did you have to come here,
you hippie-dippie fuck?

Vinnie's really sick.
He needs a hospital.

That makes two of you.

Move it!

- Stand up!
- Goddam it, Art!

- Get back in the car!
- Just give me...

Get back in the fucking car!

I'm warning you, man!

What did you tell the lawyer?

- Lou?
- I'm right here, Vin.

So's Dave.

But we need to know
what you told the lawyer.

I came clean.

Vinnie told him everything.

- You shot a corpse. I don't give a shit.
- Let's snuff this low-life.

The fact you popped Jimmy Chin in public
proves it wasn't premeditated.

The jury will sympathize.

- Dude was banging your wife, right?
- Shut your... Get off me!

Cool it!

- You're dead.
- Yeah, that makes sense.

Kill me in the middle of a trial.
Wouldn't be clean, though, like Chuckie.

What, did you treat him
to a match head of pure smack?

- That's right. I'm a generous guy.
- Who'd you waste now, Art?

- Goddam you.
- Do it, Lou, so we can go home.

Still letting your snitch
run you?

Lou, we have to.

Waste him.
The man will take care of it.

- He's right.
- Come on.

- Come on.
- Do it, you pussy!

All right,
I'll blow the scumbag away.

I should've done that
eight years ago.

You see that?

You wanna be like that? Huh?

You gonna keep
your mouth shut?

- We can't trust him.
- Are you gonna keep quiet?

- I can't.
- Shoot him, for Christ's sake!

I can't do it, Lou.

That's the motherfucker
that shot Jimmy Chin!

It's justice!

I got a client in prison eight years.
Where's the justice in that?

My guy's gotta walk.

I can't keep my mouth shut.
I can't.

It's over.

Your lies...

my lies, all the bullshit.

It's enough.

You sorry bastard.

Yeah, I'm sorry.

I gotta go now.

I gotta be in court.



Where is Mr. Dodd?

Your Honor, if I may.

I don't know where Mr. Dodd is,
but if he does not appear in due time...

I am ready to proceed
on Mr. Kim's behalf.

- I don't find this amusing, Mr. Baron.
- Neither do I, Your Honor.

Good morning, Mr. Dodd.

You think you might be up to
presenting your case this morning?

You looked pretty good up there.

Your Honor...

I suppose I could find
some inmate at Sing Sing...

who would say that Shu boasted...

about killing Jimmy Chin
to survive in prison...

though he didn't really do it.

But would we be any closer
to understanding...

what really happened
in Chinatown eight years ago?

You have no witnesses?

If it please the court,
the defense calls...

Mr. Robert Reynard.

I would ask opposing counsel
to make an offer of proof...

that this is anything more
than a desperate tactic.

Will you both
approach the bench, please?

As a prominent assistant DA
at the time...

he had knowledge of external pressures
that led to my client's arrest.

More nonsense about pressure
from the mayor's office.

A man's freedom is at stake here.

I urge you to give me
the benefit of the doubt. Please.

As the defense has
no other witnesses...

I'm inclined to permit this,
Mr. Reynard.

It's a last-ditch ploy,
Your Honor.

The defense hopes
my presence on the stand...

will create the opportunity
for a mistrial.

The defense is mistaken.

Thank you, Your Honor.

Let's discuss your involvement
in the original Shu Kai Kim case.

My "involvement"
was marginal, at best.

I wasn't assigned
the original Kim case.

Right. Weren't you busy investigating a
Colombian crime syndicate at that time?

Yes, Mr. Dodd.

That case, with its attendant publicity,
led you into the office you now hold.

If I were sitting where I normally sit,
I'd say, "Calls for speculation."

But you aren't sitting
where you normally sit.

So, did you have a hands-on role,
or did you just supervise from on high?

I was personally involved...

with all phases and principals
of the investigation.

- Your Honor, I see no connection...
- And who...

were the three detectives who assisted
you in the Colombian case, please?

Lou Sklaroff, Vin Dennehy
and Dave Montell.

The same three detectives
in the Shu Kai Kim case.

That's right, Mr. Dodd. In those days
they often worked as a team.

Who was Arturo Esparza?

I don't know that name.

You just said you were involved with
all principals of the investigation.

But I can't be expected to remember the
name of every informant 8 years later.

I didn't say he was an informant,
did I?

But since you mentioned it, he was your
key informant, your primary informant.

Without him, you had no investigation
in the Colombian case, did you?

Showboating can cost lives.

You're trespassing
into witness protection.

Witness protection.

That's when the State grants favorable
treatment in exchange for information.

Like yesterday with Mr. Ortega.

A necessary compromise to serve
a greater good. It's a trade-off.


How far does it go, Mr. Reynard?

Protecting a key informant
by covering up a murder he's committed?

Or does it go even further?

I think you're a dangerous man,
Mr. Dodd.

I hope so, Mr. Reynard.

On the night
of November 2, 1979...

the night Jimmy Chin
was murdered...

didn't your key informant Art Esparza
phone you in a panic and say...

"I just shot a man in Chinatown.
People saw me do it."

- No.
- Yes! And what did you say?

- Objection! Badgering!
- Sustained.

Didn't you say, "Don't worry, we'll
make it look like a Chinatown gang hit"?

- That is a slanderous accusation.
- Your team combed through mug books.

Found a patsy. Framed him!

The objection was sustained.

We can't let Esparza's crime
spoil everything.

That wouldn't serve
the greater good!

Your Honor, Counsel is recklessly
exposing privileged information...

from a classified case.

That case has been over for years.
Art Esparza is dead.

Can't my client go free now?

Mr. Dodd, this is an improper forum
for these allegations.

I understand.
You had to protect your case.

You made a lot of arrests.
You maybe even saved some lives.

You make that sound trivial.


No, not trivial.

Your Honor, my apologies. I withdraw
these questions for the record.

But I must know one thing.

How could you do it?

It was a trade-off, Mr. Dodd.

I'd do it again.

Your Honor...

the defense rests.

Looks like you've become
a symbol for your community.

- Think I could get a ride with you guys?
- Go ahead, Shu.

Be important.


Go on, get out of here.
Your mother's waiting for you.

So what about you?

Still thinking
about that job on Wall Street?

What, now that things
are going well?

Hope this doesn't mean
you're gonna ask for a raise.

- Raise? I haven't even been paid yet.
- You haven't? Good. I was worried.

All the publicity from this oughta
get us a decent bunch of clients.

Decent? Roger.

The most grievous injustices
in history...

have been perpetrated
in the name of decency.

Sorry I asked.

This case shows we must support
the indecent, the indefensible...

the wretched, the disreputable.