Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 2, Episode 4 - Asylum - full transcript

Detectives Cerreta and Logan investigate the stabbing death of a young man. He was killed on a street corner in front of several witnesses, none of whom are of much help in identifying the attacker. A store owner identifies a homeless man who lives in a cardboard box outside the store and they eventually identify him as a homeless person who goes by the name of Lemonhead. He proves not to be the attacker and they realize there were two of them at the scene. The second person lives in a cardboard box in Central Park and they soon make an arrest. ADA Stone gets a conviction but soon finds himself in the State Court of Appeal when a lawyer argues that the police did not have a warrant to search his "home" under the tree in the park.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
In the criminal justice system,
the people are represented

by two separate,
yet equally important groups...

the police
who investigate crime,

and the district attorneys
who prosecute the offenders.

These are their stories.

Can't you hold it?
No, I can't.

Why the hell not?

See, you're
just like my wife...

when we go to Jones Beach
with the kids,

she stops six times
along the way.

So I tell her,
"Put a cork in it."

She says, "No, no,
pull over. I have to go."

Maybe if you
had put a cork in it,

she wouldn't have had six kids
and ruined her plumbing.

- What are you talking about?
- What do you mean,
what am I talking about?

- What's the matter?!
Why are you doing this?
- Why don't you think about...

- Stop yelling at me.
- I don't mean to yell at you.

Will you do me a favor
and get me a cruller?

I have no idea
why you're so upset.

Come out this minute.
Come out! Mind me!

Hey, sister,
got some spare change?

Can I get a cruller
and a coffee, regular?

That'll be a buck
and a quarter.

Your change.

- Keep your
hands inside the police car.
- I never moved my hands.

Keep your hands
on the wheel. All right.

I don't think we can
start all over again, Nathan.

Let's do it!
Let's just do it!

- You and I, we'll do it tonight.
- Oh God, stop bugging me!

"Bugging you"?!
Is that what you call this?


No bag.


Aw, damn it!


Oh my...
help! Help!


Assistance requested
at 74th and Columbus.

10-4, Central.

Help! Help me here!

Help! Help me!

- Help! Help!
- Police, out of the way. Move!

Police! Out of the way.
Move it, move it, move it!

It's okay, you're gonna be all right.
You're gonna be all right.

It's okay, honey.
You're gonna be all right.

Just you hang in there.
You hang in there.

And night before last,

there was a naked man
with a crossbow

running up and down
West 74th Street.

Where did he keep the arrows?

How come every freak
in the country lives in New York?

Why don't some of you people
move to Nebraska?

I'm from Nebraska, sweetie.
How do you think I got this way?

All right, did anybody see
the actual stabbing... the one
we're talking about?

Let's get some names.

Elsie Hatch, 186 West 74.

Sal Violet... V-I-o-l-e-t.

The Hampstead, room 1220.


- Address?
- The Sherry Netherland...

a little pied-a-terre
for those gala dumpster parties.

Riverside Park in the 80s.
I got to go.

Hey, hey, hey, hey!

- I didn't see anything.
- Of course not.

- Was she the one in the box?
- I didn't see anybody in the box.

Okay, but you all did see
Mr. Robbins fall to the ground?

You were all standing there.

- There was a guy...
- Fine, describe him.

- 5'10"...
- Uh-uh, 6'2", at least.


A man went running away...
he was well over six feet.

What was he wearing?

Wearing a red parka...
a greasy red parka.

A parka? I'm sitting here,
I'm sweating like a pig

and you're telling me
this guy was in a ski parka?

No, no, no, no...
he was wearing overalls.

I've seen this slob before
sleeping in cardboard boxes.

- Ms. Murdoch?
- It happened too fast.

- Did you get a look
at the man in the box?
- I need new glasses.

They told me at Social Services
I could get some, but they never...

I saw a red parka...

with a torn pocket.

the red parka... huh?

Was he in the box?

No... running away.

Oh, man.

I just talked to the people
in ER... the kid was DOA.

Isn't it funny
how three bystanders

fail to notice a stabbing
right under their noses?

Where was the girlfriend
during all this?

She was inside the coffee shop,
or just coming out, whatever.

Everything everyone saw
is contradictory.

Okay, there was
a lover's quarrel...

but she shivs him
in front of three witnesses?

Oh, well, they were
"great" witnesses.

Crime of passion could explain
why he still had that wallet on him.

- Or a botched robbery.
- Forget the girlfriend.
Let's say it was a mugger.

He got scared off before
he could get to the money.

Or maybe he just got mad
because somebody kicked his box.

- Well, wouldn't you?
- Don't you kick my box.

Let's go find out
if that girl's recovered.

All right, Mimi,
you were in the coffee shop,

then you came out...
what's the first thing you saw?

I don't know, I don't remember.

Did you see the guy in the box?


Did you see a man
in a red jacket?

All I saw were Nathan's feet...

his legs sticking out
from under that box.

What were you and Nathan
arguing about?

We weren't arguing.

We... we never fought...

hardly ever.

We were just having
a discussion, okay?

What were you discussing?

It was private.

Ms. Sternhagen,
I know it's a very rough
time for you right now,

but this is
a homicide investigation,

and from here on, very few
things will be private.

Well, we weren't fighting.

You were... animated?


All right, all right.

About anything in particular?


well, we were at a party,
and we were both kind of bombed.

I just... I didn't want
to be proposed to like that.

I always thought it would be...

on a boat sailing
to Paris or something,

not him waving a ring around,

going, "Let's do it!
Let's do it!"

Then what happened?

I walked into the coffee shop,

I walked out,

Nathan was gone.

Mimi, the ring...

the one he's waving,
what happened to it?

I don't know.

Did you ever see him
with a knife?

If I say "yes,"
does that get him out
of my doorway permanently?

Hey, listen, you help us,
we'll help you, all right?

Tony, take this.

Look, the guy is crazy...

he thinks everybody
he sees is a KGB agent.

I told him the Cold War
was over... kaput.

So he thinks I'm the KGB agent
trying to fake him out.

- The knife?
- I never saw a knife.

- Okay, describe him.
- 5'10", crewcut.

That makes it a lot easier.

- Yellow.
- What do you mean, "yellow"?

- Like Chinese?
- Like jaundice.

A lot of these street people have hepatitis
and God knows what else.

Does he usually
wear a red parka?

No, overalls.

You have any idea
where else he might hang out?

Actually, he told me one time

I should "stay away
from the lake in Central Park."

- Did he say why?
- Yeah...

it's CIA headquarters
in New York.

- "Lemonhead." Got to be.

- Because his head looks like a lemon.
- Mm-hmm. Does he have a last name?

Yeah, T... Tyler.
No, no... Taters.


- "Lemonhead Taters"?
- Mm-hmm.

Tatum, Christian Tatum.

Drinking scotch.
That's right.

This doesn't
look like the "scotch
and soda crowd" to me.

Yeah, yeah, not too many
social drinkers sleeping in the park.

That's right.
Son of a bitch
wouldn't pass it around.

Is he selfish?
He got up in my face.

He said he'd
killed one guy already,

and he'd do me too, if I didn't
get my hands off of his booze.

- That's right.
- You think he did...

kill a guy?

Last week he said
he cut the privates off
somebody from the CIA.


You have any idea
where he is now?

He had a meeting with...

William Casey.

Down at the Dunsmore Arms.

You got a cigarette?

What can I do for you?

- Do you know a guy
by the name of Christian Tatum?
- Yeah.

Would you mind
pointing him out to us?

He's not there.

Try room 40.

Mr. Tatum?

"Lemonhead"...we have
a warrant for your arrest.

Well, no Lemonhead.

But we got a red jacket.

Torn pocket?


Are you Christian Tatum?
Answer me, yes or no?


You have the right
to remain silent and refuse
to answer any questions.

Do you understand that?

¢Ü 'Round the flagpole... ¢Ü

Take your time.

I want the good-looking one...
bachelor number two.

Number two,
step forward, please.

A romantic weekend in Miami,

all expenses paid...

Get her the hell out of here!

Number two, step back.

Number four, step back.

Earth to number four,
step back.

Step back.

For the record,
I'd like it noted

that your witness isn't
exactly grounded either.

So noted, Ms. Fahey.

All right, Sal.

Could you have them
turn around?

Turn around and face the rear.

Number three.

I never forget a nice behind.

Was he or was he not
in the vicinity of the stabbing?

- Well, no, but l...
- Next!

Okay, you can face forward.


Are you sure?


The one you saw running away,
the one in the red parka?

He's not there.



Number four.

He was there, too.


Two guys...
two different guys!


What can you tell us
about the ring?

When is
Mr. Rehnquist getting here?

Listen, he's caught up
in a Supreme Court thing.

Hang tight.

Ms. Fahey.

Crosstown traffic.
I'm sorry.

We were just about to extract
a confession from your client.

Extract this, Logan.

Ms. Fahey's
a hell of a lawyer.

You don't have to say
anything you don't want to.

Don't worry, he hasn't.

All right, all right,

your attorney is here now...

so, what about it, hmm?


It was in your jacket...
the ring.

Not my jacket.

You were wearing it.

James put it over me.

Would you explain that?

I was safeguarding it...

till I saw him again.


You told your friends
in the park you stabbed a man.

Was James in on that?

You should know.

But... I don't know.

I didn't stab anybody.

James did.

But I helped him.


I was the lookout.

In your box.

In my box.

- Problem?
- Maybe.

this "other guy" theory...

I thought that was solid,
based on the old lady with the dog.

Yeah, Ms. Hatch.

But the second guy,
coming from Lemonhead...

it sounds like a kid's
imaginary playmate.

You know..."My friend James
who lives in the park"?
Or outer space.

Well, see if you can find out
whether "friend James" is real or not.

If that doesn't work,
call Dr. Olivet.

I didn't stab anybody.

Well, you told your friends
in the park you did.

That's for protection.


You mean, you made it up?

Anything's possible.

What about that CIA agent
last week...

you told your friends
that you chopped off his...

Stop that!


I've killed lots of people.

Including Nathan Robbins?

Word out is there's a reward.

I wouldn't know about that.

You in a position to claim it?

¢Ü Anything is possible.

I know you
don't want to hear this,

but I don't believe
he stabbed Robbins.

You think he's capable of it?

He told me he's killed 17 people,
"give or take a few."

Well, so he exaggerates.

He's delusional.

He sees and hears things
that aren't there.

He remembers things
that never happened.

What about all the stuff
with the red parka

and the imaginary homeboy?

That sounds on the level.

The way he described
wearing that red jacket, it's...

it's like
a badge of honor with him.

There is honor
among these people, you know.

Fine, great, I'll accept that.

So what happened is
he's a psychopath,

and he thought Robbins was attacking him
when he started kicking his box.

So he comes out,
flies into a rage...

He's psychotic.
He's not psychopathic.

What's the difference?

"Psychotic" is when you believe
the doorman was sent from Planet X

to put mind control devices
in your teeth.

"Psychopathic" is when
you blow the doorman away

and take out 20 other people
while you're at it.

Now, come on, you guys.

You're making me late.

And remember,
in a moment of lucidity,

he told me James lives under a big tree
near the bridle path.

And then she said, she said,
"What about Tuesday?"

And then she said you said,
"What about Tuesday?"

And then she said she said...

"Security in section three,

row 12..."

I want the reward.

I thought this guy James
was your friend?

I'm flexible.

Crazy, but not stupid.

Okay, listen,
you help us find James,

and he's guilty, you'll
get your reward, okay?
How's that?

Well, somebody lives here.
Maybe you?

I told you.



Social Services ID.

"James Joseph Polesky."


He's got 28 bucks in a savings account
at Manufacturers Hanover.

Well, well, well.
What have we here?

It's a match.

Blood on the handle
is B-neg,

chest hair, hair samples
match Robbins'.

The size of the wound
is consistent.

- That's all?
- Would Polesky's prints be overkill?

Now, one thing I'm not
really clear on...


If this was a robbery,

then how come your friend James
didn't take Mr. Robbins' wallet?

He didn't see the wallet,
he saw the ring.

If only he'd given James
what he wanted,

then everything
would have been fine.

But he didn't do that, huh?
He held onto it.

And then...?

And then James stabbed him.


Is that a "yes"?


Yes, yes, yes!

Ahem... I think... I'm gonna
get an arrest warrant.

James J. Polesky?

- What's going on?
- I got him!


You see him?

- There he is!
- There he goes!
There he goes!

- There he is!
- Guys?

You ain't going anywhere!
Get your hand behind you.

- You are under arrest.

You have the right to remain silent
and refuse to answer questions.

Anything you do say may be used
against you in a court of law.

If we put you in a lineup,

we're gonna get
a positive make, James.

So why don't you just
help yourself out, okay?

Is there a deal
on the table?

You want me
to sign this?

Go pee up a rope.

I will, and then I'm gonna wrap it
around your scrawny little neck.

If this guy hits me,
I'm off the hook, right?

We've got irrefutable
physical evidence,

we've got an eyewitness... so you tell me,
why would I want to make a deal?

My client was drunk, and he has
a history of impulsiveness.

If you can sell that to a jury,
try, Mr. Scoler,

but I think they'll
see it as I do...

an opportunistic
cold-blooded killer.

No deal.

See you in court then.

He's gonna turn this into a forum
on the rights of the homeless.

So let him.
What's wrong with that?

I'm seeing
editorials in my head...

"Power of State Versus Victim of Society"...
that kind of thing.

We're gonna get it
from the other side, too...

"Homeless lunatics,
they kill innocent citizens.

Is the State powerless
to protect us?"

Let's not start worrying
about the ink we're getting.

I'm not, but the public's
perception of us...

we could have made a deal,
saved a lot of bad feelings.

I'm flexible on Lemonhead,
he's crazy,

but Polesky...
he killed a man in cold blood.

And homeless or not,
we get a conviction,

and the public will see us
in a very kindly light, believe me.

Charge is murder
in the second degree.

- How does the defendant plead?
- Not guilty, Your Honor.

Do the People wish to set bail?

Mr. Polesky
is a transient, Your Honor.

He has no ties
to the community,

and given the viciousness
of this crime...

Bail is denied,
defendant is remanded.

In the case of "People
versus Christian Tatum,"

charge is murder
in the second degree,

conspiracy and larceny.

Your Honor, the People
have turned nothing over to us...

no voluntary
disclosure forms, no...

- Mr. Robinette?
- The people were never
asked for VDFs, Judge.

Statement, witness ID,
arrest warrant.

No search warrant?

So? What happened?

The judge had a problem
with no search warrant.

C'mon, Paul! We took him
where we found him.

I told him all that, Mike.
He didn't buy it.

We were concerned
about securing the area,

not worrying about
some search warrant.

For all we knew,
that guy was in the closet
with a hunting knife!

I understand. I need one of you guys
to testify at the suppression hearing.

I'll do it.

As I was saying, the desk clerk

directed us to a vacant room.

Lemonhead was not there.

The jacket
was in plain sight...

I understand, Detective.
Nevertheless, I am going
to grant the motion

to suppress
on the illegal search
of the defendant's jacket.

The ring belonging
to the victim

is hereby ruled
inadmissible as evidence

in "The People
versus Christian Tatum."

No ring, no case.

I don't understand why
you're being so obstinate.

I'm not allowed
to plead down that far.
Besides, he confessed.

The man's non compos mentis...
no way he understood his rights.

Your client is
an accomplice to murder.

How about attempt rob two?

Rob two.

He testifies against Polesky,

he can get whatever help
the system still has left to offer him.

All right, deal...
in writing.

He was losing it...
I thought I better get him out of sight.

Hello, Mr. Tatum.

I saw James out there.

I saw him... you didn't tell me
that James was going to be here.

James is the one
who's on trial, Mr. Tatum.
Where do you think he'd be?

Maybe I could just get the reward
and leave now, huh?

James had the knife,
you know that.

I don't want him to see me.

James doesn't have
the knife anymore, we have it.

You just tell the court
what you saw James do...

He's going to kill me,
don't you understand?!

- Mr. Tatum...
- He's gonna slice me!

- He's gonna feed me
to the pigeons!
- Quiet!

- Mr. Tatum!

Knock it off!

Stand up.

Your psychiatrist tells me
that you have moments
of rational thought.

Now we're gonna go back in there,
and we'll take care of you...

and you... are gonna have
one of those moments.

Mr. Tatum, were you
offered a plea bargain

in exchange
for today's testimony?


And you have admitted your part

in the robbery of Nathan Robbins,
is that correct?

Yes, I was standing
out front of the coffee shop

looking for somebody to rob.

Somebody easy.

Would you explain that?

Well, somebody, you know,
who's drunk or high...

you know, so they weren't
thinking straight.

Was this plan your idea?

No. It was James'.

Is James in this courtroom?

Let the record indicate
that the witness is pointing

at the defendant,
James Polesky.

What was James doing
the night of the murder?

He was hanging out.

I saw this guy
and this girl, they...

they weren't paying attention,

so I go up to James...
"That's them."

Then I went inside for a while.

Inside the cardboard box?

Then I see James
going for the guy.

And he went after him why?

The guy had a ring he wanted
to give to his girlfriend.

Is this the ring?

Your Honor,
I offer into evidence

People's Exhibit number 25.

- Objection... inadmissible.
- Sustained.

Your Honor, may we approach?

This ring was suppressed.
Ray Tatum, not...

I'm well aware of that.
I made the ruling. Anything else?

Then it's perfectly
admissible against Polesky.

I'll make that determination,
Mr. Stone.

Thank you.
Your witness.

What an idiot.

Would you describe
what happened

after Mr. Polesky
approached Mr. Robbins?

He pulled out his knife
and he pig-stuck him!

Would you describe
the knife, please?

Yeah, it's like the one
you showed me...

the one you got on the table.

And then he pulled
the knife right out...

No more questions
of this witness, Your Honor.

Mr. Tatum...

has the CIA ever tried
to assassinate you?


When was the last attempt
on your life?


Objection, Your Honor.

Why would the CIA
want to kill you, Mr. Tatum?

Eastern Europe.

I briefed Mikhail Gorbachev
several times last year,

before it all happened.

So you made them look bad?

Yes, they don't like that.

Thank you, Mr. Tatum.

No further questions.

How old are you,
Ms. Hatch?

Objection... relevance.

Eyesight fades as we
grow older, Your Honor.


How is your eyesight,
Ms. Hatch?

I need glasses to read.
Otherwise, it's fine.

Now this is your
sworn statement to the police,

in which you claim to have
seen the defendant in front
of Ezra's Coffee Shop.


Do you see the same man
in the court today?

I'm impressed.

There's a mural
behind me, Ms. Hatch.

Would you describe it
for the court?

Staten Island and the Narrows.


you're familiar with the Staten Island
of the 19th century, Ms. Hatch?

I can read the legend.

I hope your eyesight is better
than your manners, young man.

It was in a clearing under a mattress
where Mr. Polesky sleeps.

What did you do
with the knife, Sergeant?

I bagged it,
took it to the lab.

- Did you read the lab report?
- Yes, of course.

The blood matched,
the hair matched,

and the size of the knife
was consistent with the wound.

There were fingerprints
on the knife?

One set...
those of the defendant.

Thank you, Sergeant.

Upon your conviction of the crime
of murder in the second degree,

the court sentences you
to a maximum term of imprisonment

of from 25 years to life.

The victim was assaulted
with a copper saucepan.

- His wife?
- The sous-chef.

The guy complained
of too much salt in the bechamel... bam!

Notice for appeal on Polesky.

Give me a break.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Everybody appeals everything.

- Why come all the way down here...
- I wanted to see your faces.

So what is it?

The appeal is based
on the Fourth Amendment.

You didn't have a warrant when you
searched the appellant's place of abode.

"Place of abode," huh?

It was in the damn bushes!

"...based on an illegal search

of appellant's non-traditional
place of residence."

Got to hand it to Scoler,
that's pretty good.

It wasn't Scoler.

Norman Ackerman, ACLU.

His brief in Skokie was 120 pages.

His buddies on Wall Street
do his research

out of the goodness
of their hearts.

Wall Street lawyers
doing pro bono?

Makes them feel good.

I don't care
who wrote the brief.

No way the court can extend
Fourth Amendment protection
to a bush in the park.

I thought it was a shack.
It makes their argument
more compelling.

a cardboard box in a clearing.

The question is, can we take
the temperature of the appellate court?

Well, the US Supreme Court
is going pell-mell to the right.

And the local magistrates.

They haven't been overly
sympathetic to the indigent.

But the Manhattan
appellate judges

may be the last liberal activists
sitting on any bench, anywhere.

Ackerman wrote a hell of a brief,

but case history is on our side.

That's encouraging.

All the way back to 18th-century
England, Blackstone:

"An open field
is not private property
and is not protected."

- What's Ackerman relying on?
- Sympathy...

and a 1967
Supreme Court decision...
"Katz versus US."

The majority held that...

the police could not tap
a public phone without a warrant.

The Fourth Amendment
protects people, not places.

Now I quoted Potter Stewart's
opinion in law school and won
an argument.

Things change.

Schiff may be right
about this court.

Press isn't looking
to make a case.

Mr. Polesky
stabbed an innocent victim
for no other reason than greed.

This is the wrong case
to make a point, isn't it?

- There's the DA.
- Mr. Stone!

- Mr. Stone!
- A second please!

Mr. Stone, given
the extent of homelessness,

don't you think the court
will jump at the chance
to write new law in this case?

Homelessness may be
the greatest tragedy of our time,

but I don't think the cure
is allowing a convicted felon

to wander the streets.
I'm sure the court will agree.

You've got a tough job defending
a patently unconstitutional search.

Nothing is patently anything
until the appeals court says it is,

and my job is to preserve
a solid murder conviction. Thank you.

Mr. Stone, what about the rights
of the homeless?

- There's Ackerman.
- Mr. Ackerman?

"The Times" called Ackerman
"a modern Clarence Darrow."

I'm sure Darrow
had his off days.


- Oh, hi, Norman.
- It's been what, four, five years?

At least.

You've stopped attending
our annual fundraiser.

Defending the Nazis in Skokie
just didn't sit right with me.

Our only client
is the US Constitution,
you know that.

In theory, but there are
practical consequences

to every one of your crusades.
People get hurt, real people.

Oh... you don't want
the "great unwashed"
camping on your doorstep.

Norman, this is
about James Polesky,

and no, I don't want him
hanging around my lobby at night.

In "Katz,"
Mr. Justice Stewart wrote

that "Whatever a person
seeks to preserve as private,

even in an area
accessible to the public,

may be constitutionally

The defendant here
did everything in his power
to preserve his private space.

Excuse me, Mr. Ackerman,

but the issue in "Katz"
was whether public telephones

could be tapped
without a warrant.

And the same court in "Oliver"
specifically refused

to extend Fourth Amendment
protection to open fields.

I'm well aware
of "Oliver," Your Honor.

But I'm also aware that
at the time of that decision,

there weren't
a million homeless people
wandering this country.

You would have us afford
the same protection

to a man sleeping
in Central Park

as we would to a man
in the comfort of his home?

Central Park is his home,
Your Honor.

It is also public ground,
paid for by local taxes.

The same taxes that were
supposed to build shelters

to house these people
and hospitals to care for them.

Once the State abdicated its
responsibility to care for the homeless,

the public parks, the alleys

and the streets
became their homes.

Just as we wouldn't
allow governmental intrusion
into your bedrooms,

we shouldn't allow intrusion
into the private corner of the world

James Polesky calls home...

even if it is the dirt, bushes
and rubble of Central Park.

Thank you, Your Honors.

Whether or not the State
is responsible for the homeless...

You don't think
it is, Mr. Stone?

What I think is not
at issue here, Your Honor.

What is at issue is the scope
the Constitution affords.

And you don't think
it reaches Mr. Polesky?

Balanced against
the People's interest

in seeing a killer
put behind bars, no.

Suppose it wasn't a knife found
under that mattress, Mr. Stone.

Suppose it was Mr. Polesky's
personal diary.

Should the police be allowed to invade
what is clearly private,

or do only those
who can afford a home

have the expectation
of privacy?

Mr. Justice Harlan wrote
in his concurring opinion on "Katz,"

that "the expectation
of privacy must be one

that society is prepared
to recognize as reasonable."

And it is your position that society
would be "unreasonable"

in allowing the defendant
to call a dirty mattress his home?

One of the attributes of private property
is the right to exclude others,

and Mr. Polesky cannot
exclude others from his home,

since his home is,
by definition, public property.

Really, Counselor,
would it have been so difficult

for the police
to obtain a warrant?

Thank you, Mr. Stone.

No, I can't say that I'm at all surprised
by the court's decision.

Mr. Ackerman,
will your victory affect
the problem of the homeless?

Wait a second,
this is not my victory.

It is a victory for the Constitution
of the United States.

Mr. Ackerman,
what about the homeless...

The opinion is good.
There was nothing you
could have done.

The court was
predisposed against you.

Still, got a 3-2 decision.

I thought the Constitution
was supposed to protect society.

And the rights of individuals...
sometimes, they clash.

It's a sad commentary,
isn't it?

It's as if the court is saying,
"You have a right to a wretched existence."

What are you gonna do?

We could appeal to Albany...
What about a retrial?

Without the murder weapon,
we haven't got a prayer.

But we still have the ring.

O'Malley excluded it, remember?

I know, and he's
still wrong about it.

Polesky has no standing
to challenge the warrantless
seizure of the parka.

I cannot believe how O'Malley
could have been so out to lunch.

Do you think you can
engineer a change of heart?

- If not mind?
- I'll handle it.

New trial, Lemonhead testifies
that he got the ring from Polesky, and...

It's circumstantial,
but it should be enough.

If we can find
Lemonhead... he's...

Yesterday he was screaming
for his lawyer... something
about "habeas corpus."

What the hell is that?

It means you can't
hold him against his will.

Every nutcase has
his day in court... I guess.

I guess.

I doubt he even
knows his own name.

There's no way we can
put him on the stand.

He was competent
the first time.

I saw him, Ben.
Believe me, it's over.

Maybe Olivet
can snap him out of it.

- You got my message?
- Yes.

- You saw Lemonhead?
- I saw Christian Tatum.

We didn't... it wasn't much
of a conversation.

I know the man's
in trouble, Liz...

The man's on anti-psychotics.
Did you know that?

Which leaves him nauseous,
listing to one side,

and in danger of choking
to death on his own tongue.

I feel sorry for Mr. Tatum's condition,
but his testimony is crucial,

and what I need to know
from you...

is will he be able to take
the stand for just a few minutes?

Will he be able to say
a simple "yes" or "no"?

Nothing is that simple.

Last time he was in the court,
he was terrified of James

and you pushed him
into taking the stand.

I pushed him into telling
the truth in a murder trial

in which he entered
into a plea bargain.

He may be on some other planet,
Ben, but the guy's hurting,

and I don't think he can
survive another circus.

You asked for my opinion.

I understand.

Did you read the People's
bench memo, Your Honor?

I did.


You're right, I was in error
in excluding the ring.

Getting back
to the issue at hand, Judge,

the Sixth Amendment
guarantees my client

the right to confront
all witnesses against him.

Mr. Stone?

"Testimony given
by a witness at a prior trial

may be received into evidence
when the witness is unable to attend

by reason of death,
illness or incapacity.

CPL Article 670."

And your witness
is incapacitated?

He's institutionalized,
Your Honor.

He's psychotic.

His testimony in court
was practically hallucinatory.

He was competent then,

and as you recall, Mr. Scoler made
no objection to his testifying at the time.

I'm going to grant
Mr. Stone's motion.

Mr. Tatum's prior testimony
will be read into evidence.

Your objection is duly noted
for the record, Mr. Scoler.

Feel free to have another go with
the "five wise men" uptown, if you like.

I'm thinking...
man two?

I'm thinking murder two...
he does 25-to-life.

I'll appeal, we'll start over.

I'll be here.

Manslaughter one.

All right, but Mr. Polesky
does the max.

My client won't be very happy,

but at least he'll have a roof
over his head for the next 25 years.

So does Lemonhead...
rubber cell at Bellevue.

And then there's
Nathan Robbins...

he's got six feet of dirt
over his head.

So what's "happy"
got to do with it?