Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 4, Episode 19 - Sanctuary - full transcript

A Jewish driver kills a black youth in a hit-and-run accident in Harlem and is not prosecuted. The black community's reaction ends in the death of a white motorist, but should the killer be held responsible for his actions?

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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.

Yo, Charlene is just too fine,
you know what I'm saying, man?

What you been smoking, jack?
Charlene is a fine canine, that's what.

Don't be going dissing my
lady, you know what I'm saying?

I'm dissing your mother for
making you blind like a hydrant.

What's up, 'lil
Luther? What's up?

Where's Fred been hanging out?



He took Queen Mary to Paris,
you know what I'm saying?

When you see him, tell him
Eve's been waiting on him, all right?

The Heat, man. Harold
Miner, number 32.

That ain't no basketball that
they be playing there in Miami.

Man, I'm talking about some
Jordan, that's what I'm talking about.

You're a moron, you know
that, Luther. Damn, Jerome!

Damn, man.

What did you throw it over his
head for? You almost hit a window.

Damon Fox, 12 years old.
Gone before we got here.

Hit-and-run?

All right, have someone
stay with the body.

We're going to need
the clothes for Forensics.

This is the headlight. Probably
domestic, looks General Motors.

Judging from the body,
hit on the right side.



Well, at least he buys
American. Thanks.

A car with a dent in
Harlem. Piece of cake.

Mike...

this is the victim's friend.
His name is Luther Heywood.

How are you doing, Luther?
So, did you see anything?

Yeah, a white guy
in a blue Caddy.

You didn't happen to get
a license plate number?

He just hit Damon
and tore ass, man.

Now we know it's a he.

It was a Jew, man. What,
was he wearing a little hat?

You don't think I know
a Jew when I see one?

Thanks a lot, Luther.

Peace on earth and
brotherhood to all men.

Yeah, the brothers
haven't heard the news yet.

I was taking tomorrow
off from work. It's...

Parent-Teachers Day at school.

I guess there's no need.

I told him to stay inside...

until I got back from the store.

It's that Luther Heywood.
His mother doesn't...

I'm very sorry, Mrs. Fox.

Have you found the man?

A hit-and-run case, it's
not always that simple.

Problem is we only have a
vague description of the driver.

What's a white man
doing up there, anyway?

Lieutenant, there's a Reverend
Ott here. He says he's with Mrs. Fox.

Mary.

They haven't found him yet.

Things like this
take time, Reverend.

May I ask, how many men do
you have assigned to this case?

Detectives Briscoe and Logan are
running point on the investigation.

Two men? I can see
this isn't a high priority.

We're doing the best
with what we have, sir.

Well, maybe it's not quite good
enough, if I'm bringing in eyewitnesses.

Evelyn.

He drove right by me.
It was a blue Cadillac.

Did you see the license plate?

Part of it. It was 2XQR.

Thank you.

Evelyn, Mary.

Can I assume that you'll
get to this before lunch?

Sure, right after we have
a couple of doughnuts.

Van Buren.

Okay.

You'll keep us informed.

There's a Mr. Joshua Berger
and his attorney in Interview One.

Let's talk to him.
Before the doughnuts.

I don't know.

I've been driving in this city for 40
years. I've never had anything like this.

Why don't you just tell us
what happened, Mr. Berger?

I was at our warehouse,
up in the Bronx.

I was supposed to meet my
wife at The Palm for lunch.

It was our anniversary.

Well, The Palm
is on 44th Street...

so what were you
doing in Harlem?

Traffic on the FDR is bad
enough at that hour of the day.

Then a water main
breaks. I got off at 125th.

I swear the kid
came out of nowhere.

How fast were you going?

I don't know, 30, maybe
35. I was not speeding.

Is he all right?

Oh, my God.

Mr. Berger called my office
immediately. I was in court all day.

He wanted to turn himself in. He
just wanted to speak with me first.

If your client is such an upstanding
citizen, why did he leave the scene?

Let me ask you.

You just ran over a
black boy in Harlem.

Are you going to hang around?

Well, I understand
what you're saying...

but obviously you can't hit
somebody and just ride off.

I know that! That was
wrong. I was scared.

That's why I'm here now.

We're willing to plead nolo
contendre to leaving the scene.

But that is the extent of
Mr. Berger's wrongdoing.

We don't do pleas here.

What, am I under arrest?

Make yourself comfortable
until the DA gets here.

Two people, wrong place,
wrong time. Look at this.

Your driver may have
hit the brakes sooner...

but this is where
he locks them up.

By this point, the car
is in a full-blown skid.

Well, if I read the
skid marks right...

he hit the breaks way
before he made contact.

Nice to know he wasn't
gunning for the kid.

So, how fast was
he going, Marks?

By comparing the coefficient of
friction to the gross vehicular weight...

he's doing 20, maybe 25.

Any give in these numbers?
Well, nothing's perfect.

Change the tire pressure
a few pounds either way...

you get a whole
new set of equations.

So, in your expert opinion?

Berger did nothing wrong.

I'll talk to his
lawyer about a plea.

What do you think?

Suspended license. 100
hours of community service.

What do you mean you found
the man, but you didn't arrest him?

Mr. Berger has pled
to leaving the scene.

Mr. Berger? I see.

A fine, upstanding Jewish
citizen would never lie to the police.

The fact that Mr. Berger is
Jewish has nothing to do with it.

Our accident reconstruction technician
concluded that Mr. Berger wasn't speeding.

And of what religious
persuasion is he, may I ask?

Yeah, that's right, Reverend.

There's this great Jewish conspiracy
to knock off the black man one by one.

That's why they all drive big
Cadillacs, so they can't miss.

Well, that's it. Another 12-year-old
black boy is dead. Close the file.

Hell. Living up in Harlem, he
probably wouldn't have lasted...

till his 13th birthday anyway.

The Jew did him a favor.

Why don't we give
him the key to the city?

Look, Reverend. Nobody,
and I'm talking man of God...

or garbage man,
walks in my office...

and accuses my officers of
giving anybody special treatment.

Now, I think you'd better go.

You know what gets me? Jesse
Jackson talking about "Hymietown"...

Farrakhan yelling about how the
Jews are keeping his people down.

They forget who was marching with
Martin Luther King back in the '60s.

Yeah, I remember
when Lindsay tried to get

low-cost housing for
blacks in Forest Hills.

All those liberals put their civil
rights banners in the closet real fast.

Hate to ruin your dinner, but your buddy
Reverend Ott is down in Interrogation One.

He says he's got
another eyewitness.

You mind if I...

We didn't even discuss the
Italians. Go crazy, Profaci.

I was looking out of my
window when it happened.

Just tell us what
you saw, Bobby.

I saw the little brothers,
they was playing some ball.

You're talking about Damon
Fox and Luther Heywood?

That's right.

And the ball goes flying
over Damon's head.

And Damon flies
after it into the street.

It wasn't like that. I mean, he
wasn't in no hurry or anything.

And there were no cars coming.

Then, boom! The Jew in the blue
Caddy comes flying out of nowhere.

Must've been going 50.

He's going 50 on a New York
City street in the middle of the day?

You know what I think? I
think you're full of crap, Bobby.

Ain't that for the jury to decide,
man? Look, I know what I saw.

That should be sufficient for
an indictment. If you believe him.

Oh, so you'd rather believe
the word of two white detectives.

No, I believe the scientists
in our Forensics lab.

So, you're just going to
ignore eyewitness testimony?

You really think the only way to get
justice is through lying and cheating?

If it does produce
justice, yes, I do.

It's happened before.

The forensic evidence
contradicts an eyewitness account.

How credible is this eyewitness?

It depends on what
part of town you live in.

You suspect he
fabricated his story?

I suspect he had
a little coaching.

Let me guess, the Reverend Ott.

He's called six times
since yesterday.

Not your biggest
fan, Lieutenant.

Look, maybe another expert looks at
the evidence, draws a different conclusion.

I don't want to tell you what to
do, but like they say, every action...

Thank you, Lieutenant.

I want to book a large block
of time with the grand jury.

You want a grand jury for a witness
that the police don't even believe?

Even if we get an indictment, the defense
would call our forensics expert at trial.

We'd never get a conviction.

This could turn into the
city's worst nightmare.

I want us to be cleaner
here than Caesar's wife.

Yes, I was in a hurry.
I was meeting my wife.

But speeding on a city street?
I have more sense than that.

Sir, an eyewitness already
testified that he saw your car...

moving south on Lenox
at 50 miles an hour.

Look. I lived in
this city all my life.

I seen cars go through red lights, come
out of driveways without any warning.

I've seen little children run out
into the street without looking.

I know better than to
drive 50 miles an hour.

Why did you leave the
scene of an accident, sir?

I have three children of my own.

Five grandchildren.

I can't even imagine the pain
that that woman is going through.

You haven't answered
the question, sir.

I was alone. I was in Harlem.

I was scared.

I've never seen a grand jury
refuse to indict that quickly.

As long as we dotted
the i's and crossed the t's.

What are you talking about... The
new white mayor wants it clear...

that this office treats
everyone equally under the law.

He pled to leaving the
scene. He'll be punished.

A suspended license and 100 hours
picking up cigar butts in Central Park...

isn't exactly what His
Honor had in mind.

Wait until you see
what's going on.

Reports of injury
are unavailable.

Following the
Reverend Ott's address...

lambasting the DA's office
for not bringing charges...

against the man accused of
killing 12-year-old Damon Fox...

the city has
erupted in violence.

Excuse me, fellows. Excuse me.

Barnes, what do you got?

Guy's name is John De Santis.

By the time the ambulance got
through the crowd, he was history.

Any arrests? Did you see
what it was like down here?

Means no witnesses.

Well, the guy's
wife was in the car...

but I'm not sure how
much help she's gonna be.

They just loaded her into an
ambulance. I think she's in shock.

It would have been much worse if
that guy hadn't pulled her from the car.

His name is Graves. Thanks.

John De Santis.

Blame it on the Jews, sometimes
you get an Italian by mistake.

Mr. Graves? I'm Det.
Logan. This is Det. Briscoe.

Now, can you tell
us what you saw?

They were screaming,
"Get the Jew! Get the Jew!"

We hear they would have gotten
his wife, too, if it wasn't for you.

Did you know any
of those people?

Yeah, right, it's a secret
club. We all know each other.

That's not what I meant.

A black boy at the scene of
a riot. Must be up to no good.

I was on my way to Sam Goody's
to pick up a couple of CDs...

for my daughter's birthday. They
was beating the crap out of that man.

The guy from the news was filming the
damn thing. Somebody had to help her.

Would you be able to
recognize any faces?

Yeah. A white lady who just
saw her husband's skull bashed in.

I saw Johnny at his
office. I met him there.

He's a lawyer at
landlord-tenant court.

We were going home early.

We're trying to have a baby.

They took my purse.

How am I going to
get into the apartment?

Mrs. De Santis.

Did you get a look
at the man who...

They were all over the car.

We thought they were
going to flip us over.

He was young,
maybe 20 years old.

Tall.

Do you think there's any chance?

Maybe if you could
look at some pictures.

Haven't shot stuff
this good since Nam.

Any idea how hard it is
to get this kind of quality?

Hello, Pulitzer.

You want to slow
it down a little?

Yeah.

There's your man.

Great, now all we need is the mug
book with all the back-of-the-neck shots.

Sorry, that's as good as it
gets. Your boy is camera shy.

Yeah, but this one has
got a bird's-eye view.

Can you push it up a few frames?

There.

What's that on his cap,
Lennie? You see it? S-Y-D?

Some kind of a logo.
I can't make it out.

Maybe he works in a candy store,
a butcher shop, a hardware store...

No, it looks like
a gas station cap.

Can we get a blowup of that?

Take 15 minutes.

Yeah, we'll wait.

One of the kids from
the picture looks like...

he was wearing a
hat from a gas station.

Yeah, we checked every
station above 106th Street.

Nothing? Well,
sometimes fliers pan out.

The problem is no one up
there is sorry this guy got killed.

I mean, we're not
getting much cooperation.

Maybe I should give this
to a couple of black cops.

You know what I meant.

Anyway, we got all the computer geeks
pulling yellows on everybody named Syd.

You know the kid's
name? No, it was on his hat.

Let me see the picture.

Tell the geeks to kill
the power on the PC.

Well, do you want
to give us a hint?

Black cops would have
known. Syd's Sneaker World.

129th and Lexington.
Air-Jordans, 50% off.

You recognize this kid?

Don't bother to lie. Hey, you!

Mike.

Get those cuffs.
You're under arrest.

You have the right
to remain silent.

Anything you do say...

Give me your arm! can
and will be used against you.

Johnson, Daryl. 19.

Couple of misdemeanors. Here
we go, assault one, robbery one.

Kid's smart, he'll cop a plea...

before Clinton passes his
three strikes and you're out.

Well, since Mike already kicked
his butt, this one's yours, Lennie.

Be gentle. Ain't I always?

Well, hiya, Daryl.
Here, let me get those.

There you go.

I get popcorn with this show?

Now, the law says you have
the right to an attorney, Daryl.

Yeah, right.

How many years they go to school to learn
to say, "Keep your mouth shut, Daryl"?

Well, the law says
you have that right.

I got the ticket, man.

I call the lawyer, then
you and me, we can't talk.

Then the DA fries my butt
for something I didn't do.

Except we know you were there,
Daryl. They caught you on TV.

Don't you watch the news?

That don't even
look like me, man.

Oh, yeah, they
tried that one in LA.

Worked, didn't it?

Daryl, we're the good guys here.

See, we don't really give a
damn about these people...

looting and busting
up people's cars.

That's not our department.
We're in homicide.

So?

So, your friend there is
"homiciding" somebody.

He ain't my friend.
Yeah, well that's too bad.

Because if you could
have told us who he is...

we wouldn't have to
charge you with murder.

I told you, I
didn't kill nobody.

Yeah, but the jury has to
blame somebody, Daryl.

And you're standing right there.

The smart move
would be to trade up.

Now, in case you lost your
sense of direction, he's up.

You don't tell Isaac
it was me, all right?

You know where he lives?

With his grandma.
On 128th and Lenox.

Upstairs from the Lotto.

Maybe I better
call my lawyer now.

Police officers! Open up!

Open it up! Do it now!

What in the world is going on?

We have a warrant for
the arrest of Isaac Roberts.

He isn't here. You
know where he is?

Your grandson, ma'am,
is wanted for murder.

No, you don't know him.

Please.

My Isaac would never
do anything like that.

I know my grandchild. Ma'am!

We're going to have to ask you to
come down to the precinct, okay?

Let me get my coat.

Damn! Why don't you
arrest us all while you're at it?

A little dramatic,
isn't it, Counselor?

Dragging a 54-year-old
grandmother down here in a patrol car?

Your client may have
committed a felony.

Okay, we confess.
Mr. Muldrue at the corner store...

charged Mrs. Roberts for a dozen
tomatoes and she had 13 in her bag.

Corina, I knew we should've
grabbed that picture of you...

out of the post
office while we could.

Ms. Green, I just can't afford
to be in a laughing mood today.

I'm sorry, next time I'll
bring Richard Pryor with me.

Mrs. Roberts, we
have reason to believe...

that your grandson
murdered an innocent man.

Now, if you are concealing him, we
could charge you with conspiracy...

and harboring a fugitive.

If you know where Isaac is, Mrs.
Roberts, you'd be doing yourself...

and your grandson a
favor by telling us now.

The rest of his life in a white
man's jail? I've had better offers.

Mrs. Roberts, where
is your grandson?

She told you she
has nothing to say.

Then you give me no choice.

Mrs. Roberts, you
are under arrest.

And please read her, her rights.

Well, this is wonderful.

Joshua Berger gets off
with a suspended license...

and Corina Roberts
is on her way to Rikers.

Now, what is wrong
with this picture?

Mr. Berger did not
commit a felony.

I have no problem
with the law, Counselor.

It's the application thereof,
now that's another story.

Ms. Green, I assume you have
no knowledge of his whereabouts?

Always room for one more
in that cell, right, Counselor?

Thirty years ago, the blacks
and the Jews and everyone else...

lived in this city together.

We didn't see riots
in our neighborhoods.

In those days, we had Adam
Clayton Powell working the system...

not Reverend Ott destroying it.

Well, there's a reason for
the Reverend Otts of the world.

To promote anti-Semitism?

To remind us that
there's a long way to go.

That does not justify
violence in the streets, sir.

I want you to release
the Roberts woman.

By releasing her,
we condone a felony.

And by putting her in jail
we draw a line in the sand.

So you're guilty until a percentage
of the population threatens violence?

The grandson is out there.

Keep her in jail a week,
and then we'll let her go.

And if she's back in her apartment,
he'll contact her sooner than that.

Get a warrant for a wiretap.
Twenty-four hour surveillance.

They've been on her
for 48 hours. Nothing.

What about the phones?

Two calls. One to her dentist
and one to her sister in Detroit.

This may be something.

Isaac's homeboy Daryl
from the sneaker store.

His one phone call
wasn't to a shyster.

It was to a church on 112th.

Reverend Ott.

Call the DA's office. I
don't want any screwups.

A little late for
morning prayer.

Or perhaps you just
want to confess your sins.

We have a warrant to
search the premises, sir.

Mike!

Isaac Roberts,
you're under arrest.

You can hold your
breath, Detective.

I've given
Mr. Roberts sanctuary.

What the hell are
you talking about?

My attorney tells us as long
as he's in a house of God...

you can't touch him.

And while you're here, will
you please watch your mouth?

Counselor?

Keep him under surveillance
until we can sort it out.

Sanctuary?

What is this, medieval England?

You really plan to argue
this in front of a judge?

And the Appellate Division
and the Court of Appeals...

and the Supreme
Court, if necessary.

So your client is going
to stay in this church...

until your exercise in
futility is completed?

Considering the
alternative, you bet.

That is, of course...

unless you'd like to save us
all a lot of time and energy.

Well, what does that mean?

Man two, he serves the minimum.

Your client savagely killed
Mr. John De Santis on the local news.

We call that murder two.

Then clear your
calendar, Counselor...

you're going to be busy
for the next decade or so.

You've got to
admire her creativity.

Shambala Green's?

Queen of the specious motion.

She's representing her client with the
zealousness required by the canons.

And I'm sure she thinks we should
have exhibited a little more of it...

in prosecuting Joshua Berger.

You can't compare
what Joshua Berger did...

with what Isaac Roberts did.

Of course not.

But, suppose this crazy
motion actually works?

A judge buys Green's argument?

Would you drag an
innocent man out of a car...

and bash his brains in?

You know, I don't know
how I would react...

if I'd been screwed by
the system my whole life.

The concept of sanctuary...

since ancient and
medieval times...

is founded on the idea of
a religious place of refuge...

for those who have
offended civil authorities.

I want to emphasis the importance
of a church in a black community.

If Counselor could please
cite one post-medieval case?

How's 1991, Counselor?

A church right here in Manhattan
was willing to provide refuge...

to military personnel in danger
of deployment to the Middle East...

Pending the determination of their
status as conscientious objectors.

Murder is a far cry from
moral opposition to a war.

In this case, it's not. We are
talking about civil disobedience.

My client violently opposed
the inequitable treatment...

of his race under the law.

So he killed somebody?

It's a nice try,
Ms. Green, but...

being that your client is not a hunchback
ringing a bell in a Paris cathedral...

I'm denying your motion.

If I lose at trial, you've just
given me grounds for appeal.

And lucky for me, I'll be in Palm
Beach collecting social security...

if and when this nonsense
should ever return to this courtroom.

What are they doing in
there? Final confession.

I hope you know you have
violated the sanctity of our church.

That'll be 10 Hail Marys, Mike.

Excuse me, Reverend.

Isaac Roberts, you're under arrest
for the murder of John De Santis.

You have the right
to remain silent...

The Reverend says, if we
convict the Roberts kid...

this city, and I quote:

"Ain't seen nothin' yet."

He thinks he can hold
this entire city hostage?

No, only the jury.

I think the system deserves
a little more credit than that.

Right.

Remind me what happened to those
kids who beat up that truck driver in LA.

Offer her man one
with a recommendation.

And that's in the
interests of justice, sir? No.

It's in the
interests of finality.

Put an end to this, quick.

Shambala Green
will only take man two.

Well, there just might
be someone else...

who has more
influence over this boy.

How many times, Mr. Stone?

How many times does a black
man have to roll over and play dead?

Mrs. Roberts, I am not
suggesting that he roll over...

Please.

My son, Isaac's father...

was a night janitor in a
midtown office building.

There was a robbery
during his shift.

His lawyer said, "If we go to
trial, you don't have a chance."

Rickie took the deal.

That was three years ago.

This family...

has bartered
enough lives already.

Mrs. Roberts, I am
not trying your son.

I'm trying your grandson and there
is no doubt in my mind what he did.

In the future, you want to talk to
Mrs. Roberts, you talk to me first.

Shambala, do you really think
that you're doing a client a service...

by refusing to plea?

Why don't you let me determine
what's in the best interest of my client?

Thanks for coming. You saved
me the price of a messenger.

It's my notice to call Dr. Myron
Jansen as an expert to testify...

as to my client's
mental capacity.

If we learned nothing from the
riots in Los Angeles, we learned...

that peace-loving individuals can be
pushed to a point of extreme violence.

The law requires a
modicum of self-control.

Nobody is arguing with that,
in the normal course of events.

But when one's normal powers
of judgment are suspended...

Let me get this right.

You're claiming your
client was legally insane?

Your Honor,
Dr. Jansen will testify...

that individuals swept up in a riot,
can succumb to a collective frenzy...

that can minimize their ability
to distinguish right from wrong.

So, the mob is guilty,
and no individual is?

Exactly.

The scientists call
it group contagion.

I'll listen to your
expert, Ms. Green.

But I'm going to reserve
my decision on admissibility...

until after you present
your entire case.

Don't blame me for murdering
them, they were horrible parents.

And don't blame me for mutilating
my husband in his sleep, he abused me.

It's called diminished capacity.

It's called fabricating
jury sympathy.

And sympathy is part
and parcel of justice.

Right, and my sympathy is
definitely with Mrs. De Santis.

Of course it does, because
you can empathize with her.

You have no idea what
it's like to be Isaac Roberts.

To feel exploited,
to be unemployed...

to feel like you have no
opportunities in this life.

You pump enough air into a
balloon, eventually it goes pop.

So, the have-nots can
take their frustrations

out on the haves
without recrimination?

That's a hate crime.

It's been happening the
other way for centuries.

Look, maybe you did march with
Martin in the '60s, but you know what?

Hanging a picture of Bobby on your
wall just isn't going to cut it anymore.

We were just hanging out.

You and Mr. Roberts?

That's right.

And then we saw people
jumping all over the car.

And you joined them? Sure.

I didn't think anyone
was going to get hurt.

What happened next?

Isaac.

He started pounding
the guy. Did he say why?

Uh-uh.

He wasn't talking much.

Thank you.

Was there ever a time
when you heard Isaac say:

"Let's go beat up a Jew?"

No.

Was there ever a time that you saw
Isaac beat up anyone else before this?

No.

So...

would you say that he
wasn't acting like himself?

Yeah, I guess.

Man, you got to understand.

We heard what the Reverend
said, and it got us going.

Thank you.

I screamed at John, "Just step on
the gas, they'll get out of the way."

But he didn't do that?

They were all around us.
We couldn't do anything.

So what happened next?

He broke Johnny's
window with a brick.

Are you referring
to the defendant?

Yes.

Then he opened the door...

and he dragged
Johnny onto the ground...

and he just hit him...

and hit him.

Mrs. De Santis, are
you absolutely sure...

that it was the defendant
that hit your husband?

It was him.

Thank you.

There was a lot of commotion on
the street that day, isn't that correct?

Yes.

There were people
screaming? Yes.

When my client
broke the car window...

did your husband
try to talk to him?

Are you kidding? He
was like an animal.

You mean he was out of control?

We aren't even Jewish.

My husband is dead
because he had black hair.

Is that right?

No more questions.

It's basically a matter of the whole
being greater than the sum of its parts.

A crowd acts very
differently than an individual.

In other words, because
of the circumstances...

a good person
will do bad things?

Well, look at the fans at a
soccer match in England.

Hysteria invades the crowd.

Because of the
collective frenzy...

the individual has
no power to resist.

Thank you, Doctor.

Doctor, did you ever
hear the defendant say...

that he heard
voices telling him...

to kill Mr. De Santis?

As a matter of fact, he did.

He heard Reverend Ott telling him about
the substandard treatment of his people.

He heard hundreds of
voices in the crowd screaming:

"Get the Jew!"

So, in your opinion...

the defendant is not legally
responsible for killing Mr. De Santis.

That is correct.

So I assume you'd have to have
the same feeling about a crowd...

of good old boys...

a tree, a noose...

and a dead black
man in Mississippi.

Objection. Sustained.

Nothing like invoking a good
old-fashioned lynching to blind a jury.

Nothing like confusing them
with a bellyful of self-pity.

Why don't we just take
the gloves off, all right?

And stop behaving
like advocates.

He killed a man. That's a
crime. Hell, maybe it's even a sin.

But he was provoked.

Do you really believe that?

That he was provoked by a
couple of hundred hooligans?

By a couple of
centuries of hate.

Between you and me, Ben...

as a black woman, I am ashamed
of what happened on that street.

Are you?

You have a hell of
a way of showing it.

You don't get it, do you?

I don't want that
to happen again.

No, you don't get it.

By infantilizing
your own people...

you are guaranteeing
that it will happen again.

After all these years,
you really had me fooled.

I had no idea that your suit of
liberalism only came out of the closet...

when it was fashionable.

Shambala.

Just once I want someone to
stand up in this country and say...

"I did it.

"I'm responsible for my actions.

"Not my television set,
and not the color of my skin."

And if it makes you feel good...

to call me a racist.

Fine.

But if you're really looking for who is
responsible for racism these days...

take a good look in a mirror.

The Reverend
finished talking, and...

I don't know,
people were like...

crazy or something.

Tell us what happened
when you saw Mr. De Santis.

Well, there was a lot of pushing
and shoving and screaming.

I didn't know what was going on.

People were screaming:

"The Jew killed Damon."

Do you remember
breaking the car window?

No.

How about dragging
Mr. De Santis from the car?

No. Hitting him?

No.

I just remember the screaming.

Thank you.

Mr. Roberts.

Do you regret
killing Mr. De Santis?

Sure, I don't want
to see anybody dead.

What about Mr. Berger...

the man who killed Damon Fox?

A little kid gets run
down in the street...

and nothing happens
to the guy who did it.

What if it was some
white kid on Park Avenue...

and the car was
driven by a brother?

But it wasn't.

It was a Jewish
businessman up in Harlem.

He's walking the streets...

and you could go to prison
for the rest of your life.

What else is new?

They own the
banks, the buildings.

A Jew snaps his finger and
everybody comes running.

Now, is that what you
were thinking about...

when you saw Mr. De Santis?

I don't know. Maybe.

Come on.

You wanted revenge, right?

You're damn straight, I did.

So...

I guess there is
something you remember...

about the attack after all.

No more questions.

The defense calls Joshua Berger.

About what?

He was not a witness.

He can, however, testify as to
the defendant's state of mind.

I don't know where you're going, Ms.
Green but you'd better get there fast.

I'll give you time to
prepare cross, Mr. Stone.

Sir, after your grand
jury appearance...

you left the courthouse
through the rear door.

Isn't that true?

The police thought
it would be better.

And you agreed with them?

They said there was a lot of people
out front, they might cause trouble.

Who might cause trouble?

Are you talking
about blacks, sir?

I said "people," Ms. Green.

Sir, isn't it true
that your excuse...

for leaving the scene of the
accident was that you were scared?

I panicked. Because
you were in Harlem.

You're scared of blacks,
isn't that right, Mr. Berger?

I am not a racist.

You're not only scared of them,
you hate them, isn't that true?

Look.

Any middle-aged white person...

Jew, Baptist,
atheist, whatever...

who says that he's
not frightened...

no, make that terrified...

to find himself alone
on a city street...

being followed by two
or three black teenagers...

is a liar.

Oh, I see.

So you only hate some blacks.

One-on-one, you
don't mind blacks...

but more than two of
them together scare you.

Do you read about Jewish
teenagers carrying guns...

and selling crack
on street corners?

So, Bugsy Siegel and Meyer
Lansky didn't do anything wrong...

until they were in their 20s?

I'm sorry to disillusion
you, Mr. Berger...

but you are a racist. Objection.

Sustained. Can you blame
my client for being angry?

In my chambers.

As soon as this is
over, Ms. Green...

you can expect a briefcase
full of sanctions to hit your desk.

I was only trying to...

To offer irrelevant evidence in
order to inflame and prejudice a jury.

Now we'll be lucky if this jury
doesn't throw Berger in jail.

I assume, Your Honor, that
you will instruct the jury...

to disregard Mr. Berger's
testimony entirely.

I'll do you one
better, Mr. Stone.

Berger's testimony is out...

and so is everything having to
do with this mob psychology crap.

Then I have no defense.
Tell that to the jury, Counselor.

This should have been
over in a couple of hours.

What could they be
talking about for eight days?

There are 12 people in
that room, not 12 computers.

Roberts admitted
he killed De Santis.

The judge's instructions
eliminate any possible justification.

Yeah. Juries always
listen to judges.

Yes?

You're kidding.

Is there any reason to believe
that further deliberation...

would lead to a
unanimous verdict?

No, Your Honor.

Then I have no alternative
but to declare a mistrial.

Three were for murder
two. Four for man one.

That leaves five for acquittal.

On retrial we exclude
their expert testimony...

and the jury only
hears our witnesses.

Not going to be a retrial.

Isaac Roberts killed an innocent
man. You're going to let him walk?

If I thought we could impanel a jury that
would give us a chance of convicting...

I'd try the case myself.

Now, you'd think that
20 years in this office...

you'd have a sense of reality.

Reality?

The reality is...

that no one is willing to stand
up and draw a line in the sand.

Nobody is willing to say
that the law is the law...

and if you break it,
you'll be prosecuted...

win, lose, or draw. Nobody
except you, of course.

Adam, better to light a match
than to curse the darkness.

Even if it lights a fuse
that could blow up the city.

What do you want?

Peace without justice?

I'm willing to straddle a
fence so this city can heal.

Can you understand that?

I understand that.

And that cure...

is worse than the disease.

And it's a solution...

that I just can't be part of.