Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 4, Episode 8 - American Dream - full transcript

An old case comes back to haunt ADA Ben Stone when a body is discovered buried on Roosevelt Island. Stone had obtained a murder conviction against Phillip Swann without the victim's body ever having been found. What he did have was the sworn testimony of the man who helped him bury the body in New Jersey. Finding the body elsewhere calls into question that witness' testimony. Swann has become quite a competent jail house attorney and represents himself before the Court of Appeal who grant his request for a new trial. Briscoe and Logan try to track down the witnesses from the first trial but only a few are still available. When Swann is acquitted, Stone faces a lawsuit but decides to fight fire with fire.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
(male narrator) 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.

(Peabody) Soon as the city issues
a demolition permit, we jump in.

We've been working
this site for nearly a week.

We marked off the cleared areas.
We have to watch where we walk.

This place is filled with
history. Yeah, reeks with it.

What I want to know is why you
lifted the body out of the ground...

before you called us?

We find remains all the time. There
are old cemeteries all over the city.

And this housekeeping around
the burial site, that's your work, too?

We had to make sure nothing was
lost. This is an archaeological dig.

Hey, this is a crime scene,
Mr. Peabody, and we don't appreciate...

people putting little red
ribbons around our evidence.

We had no way of knowing
these remains were contemporary.

Let me guess. The
quartz watch gave it away?

(Briscoe) What's this?
Animal, vegetable or mineral?

Toupee. Must
belong to the corpse.

We got bits and
pieces of a sheet.

The guy was probably gift-wrapped
before Indiana Jones here got to him.

Corpse got a name?
How about Uncle Fester?

There's no meat on the hands. I guess
the teeth are gonna have to tell, huh?

Jaws are empty. Shattered
bones around the sockets.

Teeth must've been
knocked out. Nice touch.

What's left of a blue
blazer. Cashmere.

Nothing like
going in style, huh?

No labels. Gold buttons.
Hey, it looks like a gryphon.

A what?

There's one on my family crest.

Seen enough? Yeah.

Okay, let's pack up Mr. Bones
and bring him back to the office.

(woman on P.A system)
Detective Thomas, pick up line two.

I found this slug from
a .22 in the brain cavity.

I'll send it over to Forensics.
Where was the entry wound?

Just above the
cervical vertebrae.

Your basic back of the skull.

Yeah, your basic mob hit.

Male, medium build,
5'7". Probably stooped.

(Briscoe) Age?

I have to soak the bone,
macerate some tissue.

It'll take a couple of weeks.

You got any idea how
long he was down there for?

Time since death? Ballpark:
between two and 10 years.

Once we get the chemical
analysis, we can narrow it down.

Great. When you get an answer,
give me a call at the retirement home.

Missing Persons has a
database of 640 people.

None of them were
hunchbacks with toupees.

What about the
building he was found in?

Well, aside from the rats and the
squatters, we've been checking on...

three different owners
over the last 10 years.

Currently in the city's
lap for unpaid taxes.

ME just sent this over. They pulled
it out of your John Doe's knee bone.

Might trace it back
to a medical supplier.

Hey, if this guy rests in peace
for another couple of weeks...

he's not gonna get any deader.

Well, seeing
there's no numbers...

there's no markings, it
looks pretty generic to me.

What do you say,
we toss it to Profaci...

give him something to
do besides the donut run?

You caught it, you solve it.

What else you have?

Got a Hong Kong Rolex that
probably died before he did.

And gold buttons
on a blue blazer.

Sounds promising.

Just do something before
they bulldoze your crime scene.

(Mrs. Whitaker) It's British.

18-carat gold, postwar.

It's a hand-stamped
Harris and Townsend.

Pity is, they've gone belly up.

But I think I have
something comparable.



That's more than my suit.

The Harris and Townsend
would run a bit more.

Well, what kind of
tailors would buy these?

I mean, at these prices,
it can't be a very long list.

In the States?

Very few.

They're very elegant.
Haven't used them in years.

You know, in the '80s people had
a different attitude toward money.

I wouldn't know.
I didn't have any.

We're gonna need a
list of your customers...

who got blue blazers
made with these buttons.

I'm afraid that's confidential.

What are you, a
doctor of haberdashery?

I have a select number of
very distinguished clients.

Sir, obstructing justice will get you
a select number around your neck.

It's a very simple drill, Harry.

You just look in your books,
and you give us the names.

In 1987, I ordered 200 buttons
for the St. Paul's Youth Choir.

1985, 80 more blazers...

for the Ale and Quail Club.

Cunningham Realtors,
for their top 25 brokers...

every Christmas from '82 on.


Good candidates
for a shallow grave.

We're moving to Jersey City.
Even cut back our bonuses this year.

No more company blazers?

No, we haven't done that since
money markets were at 16%.

Well, we would like to get a
list of every broker who got one.

Our records are in
storage in Weehawken.

Tell me what you need.
I'll fill out a request slip...

and you'll have it by
the end of next week.

I'm afraid we're going to have
to have it by the end of this visit.

Wouldn't know where to start.

Well, it'd be a shame to
have to go get a warrant...

come back, and
unpack all this neat work.

[knock on glass]

"Brokers of the Year." 1984...

'83, '82.

Thank you very much, sir.

Last one on my list.

Everyone at Cunningham
is present and accounted for.

Yeah, and we can skip the Youth Choir
and go right to the Ale and Quail Club.

Or we can put this folder
at the bottom of the pile.

What about the women
realtors? Didn't they rate blazers?

It was Mr. Bones.

Who maybe got the
jacket from his wife.


Yes, that's one of the buttons.

I'm allergic to cashmere, but I
gave the buttons to my father.

How long had he been
missing? Since '84.

He was murdered. I'm
sure you read about it.

Sidney Cohen.

There was a big trial.

They put the son of
a bitch away for life.

Yeah, the Wall
Street whiz kid...

killed your father over
some real estate thing.

What was his name?

Phillip Swann.

They convicted him without the
body. That's how guilty he was.

Was he where they said?

In Patterson?

No, he was buried next to some
building on Roosevelt Island.

That can't be him.

They had a
witness at the trial...

who testified that he helped
bury my dad in New Jersey.

Your father have
a pin in his knee?


He wrecked it in a car accident.

(Borak) Trabecula match.

And see the angle of
the femur on the corpse?

I'll take your word for it.

It's the same as the picture taken
at the time of Mr. Cohen's surgery.

Yeah, well, there's got
to be a lot of people...

walking around with
pins in their knees, right?

Yeah, but there's also the exact position
of the pin in relation to the joint.

I mean, it's not as
exact as a fingerprint...

but it's as close as
you're gonna get to 100%.

Hey, it looks like we definitely
have Sidney Cohen, right?

Yeah? All right.
Well, if he's our guy...

Van Buren wants us to bring
everything we have to Stone.

He prosecuted this case eight
years ago and put Phillip Swann away.

Swann's a pretty
dapper-looking fellow.

I bet he gets his
prison denims tailored.

Half the people in town were
trying to get rich on his junk bonds.

They were lucky they only lost
their money. Mr. Cohen lost his life.

What was the
motive for the murder?

Swann convinced a bunch
of his prep-school buddies...

to invest in a pyramid scheme.

And while Swann was
conning his victims...

Mr. Cohen was conning Mr. Swann
to the tune of about $1 million.

Yeah, you swim with
sharks, bring Band-Aids.

How certain is
this identification?

The ME gives it 95%.
Well, then, we got a problem.

Swann was convicted on the
testimony of an accomplice...

who said that he helped Swann
bury Mr. Cohen in New Jersey.

You have Swann's murder weapon?

Have Ballistics match it up against
the slug we found in Cohen's skull.

The accomplice also said that
Swann killed Cohen by slitting his throat.

You go back,
re-examine any case...

there's gonna be lies, and
inconsistencies, and contradictions.

Justice isn't perfect. But the
bottom line is, Swann was guilty.

How can you be
so absolutely sure...

if Bobbitt was your principle
witness against Swann?

But I didn't make my case
on accomplice testimony alone.

There was other evidence.

Swann bragged about that
murder to half the people he knew.

You made the case
without the body.

You let us remember
that the jury convicted...

on the basis of Russell
Bobbitt's testimony...

and he may have
perjured himself.

I could have made my case
without Bobbitt. Yes, but you didn't.

Is there even a possibility
Swann's innocent?

I know Phillip Swann.

He smiled through
the entire Q and A.

He was guilty then.
He's guilty now.

Have Russell Bobbitt picked up.

At the very least, you
may have a perjury charge.

[people chattering]

Wonder how much
this place will go for.

You mean after they plaster
the roaches back in their nests?

Hey, get this.

It's called Le Chanticleer.

"Exclusive living, with
stunning views of the city.

"Historic building.
Only half a million."

Yeah, I know the historic part.

Five years ago, this was
Benny Gonzaga's sweatshop.

Beautiful views,
and 50 cents an hour.

Hey, Michelangelo.
Russell Bobbitt?


What's this about?

It's about coming downtown.

I don't care if they found
the body on the moon...

I know where we put
him eight years ago.

But you couldn't lead
us to the exact spot.

Swann was driving, not me.

Look, I helped you all I could.

Read the testimony.
Everything I know is in there.

You claim Swann
slit Cohen's throat.

We know he died of
a gunshot to the head.

That's what Swann told me.

He was wrapped in a
sheet. I never saw him.

This is exactly the kind
of stuff Phillip likes to pull.

Like knocking out Cohen's
teeth so he couldn't be identified.

Swann's very mental.
He might also be innocent.

So now he's got you going.

I wouldn't be surprised
if he planned it that way.

He probably moved
the body the next day.

It all came out
at the trial, Claire.

Swann told him that he'd
knocked his teeth out...

even showed him the
hammer that he'd used.

If you had read the
transcripts, you'd know that.

I did.

And Bobbitt could have
lied just to frame Swann.

Why would Bobbitt
incriminate himself...

by revealing details only
the killer would know?

Think it through. It
doesn't make sense.

Neither does a dead man
taking a tram to Roosevelt Island.


Claire, please. Listen to me.

Swann killed an old man. He
laughed about it to his rich friends.

He's not only guilty,
he's a pathological liar.

He may be a hero to some people,
but to me he's a cold-blooded killer.

If he's proven innocent,
he will be a hero.

[phone ringing]

Stone, here.

Yeah, we'll get on it.

I've been served notice.

Swann is contesting
the conviction...

on the grounds of newly
discovered evidence.

[traffic humming]

Hello, Ben.

You're looking well.
Is this your attorney?

This is my state-appointed
paralegal, Michelle Farese.

You must be Claire Kincaid.
Phillip Swann. Pleasure to meet you.

Where is your
attorney, Mr. Swann?

You're looking
at him. I'm pro se.

When I saw your name
on the brief, I thought

it might be one
of your little jokes.

You didn't think it
was well drafted?

No really, come on. Your
opinion matters to me.

It's not my opinion that counts.

He was my inspiration.

There being no great
legal issue presented here...

I ask only that the Court
consider the implications...

of the recently unearthed facts.

These certainly cast doubt on
the People's case as a whole.

Mr. Swann, are you asking that
the Court reverse your conviction...

and dismiss all charges against
you, based on these alleged new facts?

There is authority for this...

and I respectfully refer, Your
Honor, to People v. Rodriguez.

A slip opinion referred to on
page 27 of Appellant's brief.

I note, too, that the
District Attorney...

does not contest the validity of
Appellant's factual allegations.

You're not suggesting...

that the District Attorney
relied on perjured testimony...

in obtaining your conviction,
are you, Counselor?

I must remind Your Honor that
I am not a member of the bar.

But in response to
Your Honor's inquiry...

I do not know whether Mr. Bobbitt's
testimony was the product...

of overzealousness...

or subornation of perjury, but
I do know that I am entitled...

to confront that witness in
the clear light of the truth.

A right which was denied
to me in my first trial.

And if we choose not
to dismiss the charges?

In that case, I request
the alternative relief...

sought in Appellant's
ser-reply brief.

A new trial. A fair trial.

I conclude by paraphrasing
Justice Marshall.

Witnesses may either be mistaken,
or wickedly intend to deceive.

But circumstances cannot lie.

Thank you, Mr. Swann.

It's so refreshing to see a
defendant who isn't overreaching.

And what Mr. Swann
describes as new evidence...

is a distortion of the
facts adduced at trial.

As such, it doesn't warrant
modification of his verdict.

And the testimony that
Mr. Swann slit Mr. Cohen's throat...

Wasn't it your own witness who
established the means of death, Counselor?

(Stone) Mr. Bobbitt merely repeated
what Mr. Swann had told him.

To penalize the People for something
entirely under Mr. Swann's control...

is to reward the
Appellant for having lied.

Surely, Mr. Stone, you don't suggest
that Mr. Bobbitt was mistaken...

about the very state in
which the cadaver was buried?

It is most likely that
the body was moved...

subsequent to being
buried in New Jersey.

But not certain.

Isn't this just the sort of thing
a new trial would ascertain?

A discrepancy of that
nature is not sufficient...

to warrant a directed verdict of
acquittal, and that's the standard...

this court must apply, pursuant
to People v. Serrotti. Thank you.

He won.

They granted him a new trial.


We'll have to round up...

all the witnesses
from the previous trial.

We'll start with his
prep-school cronies first.

It's been eight years.
People move out of state.

Well, they were
Wall Street junkies...

so they'll be
where the money is.

Swann could walk into a room,
pitch an idea to 20 guys in suits...

and walk out with 20 checks.

It was a gift.

So he worked his
magic on you, huh?

He got me into commodities.

You mean he got your old
man's money into commodities.

My dad's, mine. Who cared?

Until I saw the entire
$200,000 circling the bowl.

Then I absolutely panicked.

But Phil gave me a hug and
started faking account statements.

So much for the
old-boy network, huh?

Not quite. We were
just getting nervous.

But not all of our investors
had the stomach for it.

Then Sid Cohen showed up? He
had some quick-paced real estate deals.

Buy condemned property,
get a low-interest HUD loan...

on prospective value,
make 200% on your money.

How can anybody
be unhappy with that?

Cohen took us for
nearly $1 million.

We couldn't pay our secretaries.
Our investors are at the gates...

and we couldn't get
anything out of Cohen.

But Swann was cool.

He promised to
get our money back.

Where did Bobbitt fit in?

Simple. He was poor. Swann
offered to make him rich.

And it only cost him
his mother's pension.

Ninth grade, Penton Academy,
Phil was already practicing his moves.

Back then it was $10
shares in a gold mine.

He made you feel lucky
you got in on the ground floor.

Yeah, except the elevator was
headed toward the basement.

Phil gave us a bottle of cheap champagne.
We ended up feeling sorry for him.

So, what, 12 years later
it was forgive and forget?

Phil was selling blue skies. We
were greedy enough to believe him.

It's water under the bridge now.

Well, I hope you like flashbacks, Mr. Ross,
because Swann's getting a new trial.


What does it take,
a silver bullet?

You'll get another shot at him.

I'd rather not go
through it again.

I'm over my anger.
Well, hey, good for you.

But Mr. Cohen's
not over being dead.

It's on us. The D.A. will
be in touch, Mr. Ross.


Swann takes them to the
cleaners, and all they can say is:

"Thanks for the starch."

I had a girlfriend
once. Katerina.

In two months, she took me
through hell in a hand basket...

but it was a lovely ride.

And if she called tonight?
I'd be waiting at the curb.

[both snickering]

Two of the witnesses
are living abroad.

One's got cold feet, and the
other's dropped out of sight.

Well, that's just terrific.

You're left with one
witness, maybe a perjurer...

and the other one who has
the moral backbone of a pretzel.

It doesn't matter.
Swann killed Cohen.

We ran his name
through the system.

There's a .22 registered
in his name in New Jersey.

And where is that gun now?

All this evidence, 10 years old.

Actually, some if
it's quite a bit older.

I talked to Forensics. They found
lava dust caked on Cohen's remains.

Which means the body was buried
where Bobbitt said it was, and then moved.

But not necessarily by Swann.

Of course it was by Swann.
It makes perfect sense.

He never thought we'd get a
conviction without the body.

The final irony. Body
gets found, and he gets off.

He dug the body up. He moved it.

There's probably dirt
in the trunk of his car.

A car that he owned
eight years ago.

A Mercedes 500. We traced
it to a woman in Connecticut.

All right, get a warrant, a pair
of tweezers, and good luck.

An amazing assortment of specimens
can accumulate in eight years.

Sand from two local beaches,
bits of pubic hair, human detritus.

Mostly exfoliated skin, and
the parasites that feed on it.

You see these shiny microflakes?
That's schist from the Ordovician Period.

Very typical of the
Manhattan area.

But this other sample from
the car, that's very exciting.


The brown coating, that's
iron oxide, characteristic of lava.

So the dirt from the trunk
matches the dirt from the body.

I'm almost 100% sure of it.

But you might want to
have a geologist back me up.

Make sure your
experts speak English.

Don't give the jury a bunch of
volcano this and Stone Age that.

That's not what I'm
worried about, Adam.

Russell Bobbitt's testimony can
be easily supported by the evidence.

Yeah, well, we
can be thankful...

that Swann is arrogant
enough to represent himself.

He dug himself out of prison,
got himself to a new trial.

Merely writing
briefs is one thing.

Rough and tumble of a court
trial will set him back on his heels.

Ben. Russell Bobbitt's gone.

He put a one-way ticket to the Bahamas
on his charge card, and disappeared.

Your Honor, the state is suddenly
unable to produce our prime witness.

So we request a short
postponement to commencing the trial.

Why? Is Mr. Bobbitt sick?

We have evidence that he
may have left the country...

but I have my doubts about that.

You mean, he packed
up his trunk of lies...

and took the first plane
out of the jurisdiction.

Now, you give us a month, Your
Honor, and we'll find out precisely...

what happened to Mr. Bobbitt.

(Swann) Well, with all
due respect, Judge...

I've been sitting in a cell
unjustly for eight years.

To me, a month's like a year.

I'm sorry, Ben.

If Mr. Bobbitt doesn't appear,
you'll have to make do with reading...

his testimony from the
first trial into evidence.

(Swann) Well, excuse
me, Your Honor.

My retrial was granted on
the basis of new evidence...

which completely contradicts
Mr. Bobbitt's prior testimony.

The jury is entitled to
determine credibility, Your Honor.

But how can I discredit him,
if I can't cross-examine him?

And the Constitution gives me...

the right to confront all
witnesses against me.

He's right.

Unless the State can
produce the witness...

his story'll never be
heard in my courtroom.

(Stone) They say you don't
really understand the law...

unless you spend a
couple of years behind bars.

Well, he's certainly
enjoying the publicity.

He didn't raise millions of dollars
without knowing how to play an audience.

Whatever he lacks in
morals, he's got double in ego.

Well, then, let's use it.

You think you're great, you're
not gonna keep it a secret.

And he spent the last eight
years in some very close quarters.


Sure, he's innocent. Nobody
in here never did nothing.

Only Swann is about to
get a chance to prove it.

And he swears he's got you
guys spinning in your tracks.

Did he ever talk to
you about his first trial?

You know...

living in here, my
memory gets awful bad.

I don't have time to play
games, Mr. Doyle. Well, I do.

Four years, to be exact.
We can make it five.

You don't testify, I'll
cite you for contempt.

And I'll say I don't
know anything.

Perjury. Make it six.


But I want a transfer.

Around here, guys with good memories
don't win any popularity contests.

Phil had some money with
Sid Cohen. A real estate deal.

But when Phil went to see
him, there was nothing left.

Did Mr. Cohen offer
any explanation for that?

Phil got very nasty.

But Cohen said he
was broke, he'd lost it all.

What did Mr. Swann
do about that?

Phil was very meticulous.

Every day, he made a
list. "Things to do today."

One day he showed me his list.

Is this the list?

Yes. Please read it.

"7:00 a.m.:
Breakfast with Donny.

"9:00 a.m.: Conference with
Moore and Black, our attorneys.

"12:30 p.m.: Lunch with Chip.

"4:00 p.m.: Shoe
shine. 9:00 p.m.:

"Kill Sid Cohen."

Entered as People's Exhibit 5.

Do you mean to say that you actually
took that entry in my diary seriously?

You were desperate, Phil.

So can I assume you called
the police immediately?


Tell me, Chip, did my list...

say how I was planning
to kill Mr. Cohen?

(Chip) No. But I
knew you had a .22.

You said all you had to do
was bury him in New Jersey...

and nobody would ever
know he was missing.

Well, I guess I wasn't as
meticulous as you thought, Chip.

If I were...

I certainly would have had my shoes shined
after I buried poor Mr. Cohen, not before.

I shared a cell with the
defendant for almost four years.

He was always talking about
what a hotshot he is, you know.

Mercedes Benz, Rolex...

breakfast in Paris, lunch
in Rome. That kind of crap.

Did Mr. Swann ever
mention the name Sid Cohen?

That's the guy he killed, right?

He was real proud
of that one, too.

What did Mr. Swann
tell you about Mr. Cohen?

He said the guy tried
to screw him on a deal...

so he had to take care of
business. You know what I mean?

Would you please
be more specific.

Bullet in the brain.

Then Swann and his buddy, think
he said the guy's name was Bobbitt...

dumped the body in Jersey.

Swann didn't think Bobbitt could
take the heat, so to cover his butt...

he moved the body
somewhere on Roosevelt Island.

That way, if Bobbitt broke...

no one would believe
him without the body.

It's a good plan.

Didn't work.

Billy, Billy, Billy.

You ought to be ashamed.

Question, Mr. Swann?

Of course, Your Honor.

Tell me, Billy, where were you
living before we became roommates?

Binghamton. And before that?

Vancourt, Texas.

What, did you own a
condo, or did you just rent?

I was incarcerated.

Irrelevant, Your Honor.

Well, certainly I'm allowed to
question Mr. Doyle's credibility.


Tell me, Billy, while
you were in Vancourt...

did you have occasion to
testify in a court proceeding?


Under what circumstances?

I cut a deal with
the D.A. down there.

(Swann) A deal?

To testify against a
fellow inmate in county jail?

That's right.

Isn't it true that your testimony in
that case proved to be perjurious?

So they said.

So they wrote, Billy.

I enter Defense
Exhibit 17, an affidavit...

from the Sterling County District
Attorney, attesting to Mr. Doyle's perjury.


don't you ever learn?

First day of law school: Known
perjurers do not make good witnesses.

How could I know what
happened in Vancourt, Texas?

Swann was privy
to prison gossip.

He researched it.

You may be right about Swann.

The papers are turning
him into a folk hero.

When he gets acquitted,
I might offer him a job.

You try dealing with him?

Adam, if you want me to plea
him, you take me off the case.

Don't tempt me.

Of course I was
angry at Sid Cohen...

but I was also angry
at my investors.

I made them a lot of money...

and they all ran away with
their tails between their legs...

just because of
a little setback.

But I didn't kill them...

and I didn't kill Sid Cohen.

I'm a businessman.

I knew if everyone just sat
still, everything would be okay.

Possibly the extent
of that panic...

drove someone to kill Sid Cohen.

Possibly there were other
deals with other individuals...

Objection, Your
Honor. Conjecture.

(Swann) I'm sorry, Your Honor.

Bottom line is Sid
Cohen may be dead now.

But I swear...

he was alive...

and getting a suntan in Barbados
when I was first convicted of killing him.

Cross-examination, Mr. Stone.

Mr. Swann, do
you routinely list...

killing people as part
of your daily calendar?

Mr. Stone, do you routinely
lack a sense of humor?

About murder I have none, sir.

There's a question pending.

Well, we were
kids. It was a joke.

If I really planned on
murdering Mr. Cohen...

I don't think I'd
announce it to the world.

As Mr. Rafferty
said, I am meticulous.

Well, if you didn't
kill Mr. Cohen...

how do you explain dirt
from Patterson, New Jersey...

found on the trunk of your car?

Well, eight years ago,
I had a nine handicap.

I played golf three times a week
at the Apple Ridge Country Club.

That's in northern New Jersey.

I guess I over-tipped my caddy. He
must not have cleaned my shoes very well...

before he slipped them
in the back of my trunk.

Then can you explain
how the same dirt...

from your golf cleats was
found on Mr. Cohen's body?

Well, I haven't dedicated
my life to the study of dirt...

but I... No, I did
read somewhere...

that lava rock was used
to build roads in the city.

Maybe it was trucked
in from New Jersey.

I don't know. I'm no expert.

Anything else, Mr. Stone?

No, Your Honor.

Piece by piece, Swann
got rid of our evidence.

Then he cast a reasonable
doubt on what's left.

Reasonable doubt in whose mind?

The man is guilty, and that
jury's lining up to shake his hand.

Then call Judge Callahan...

and tell him you'll be delivering
your concession speech...

instead of a summation.

Now, listen, I expect you
to come up with something.

Unless you're ready to admit...

that you've been
out-lawyered by an amateur.

(Swann) Eight years...

96 months, 2,920 days.

Now that is how much
time I've spent in prison...

for killing a man the State didn't even
know was dead until a few months ago.

Now, first, they convicted me
of cutting Sid Cohen's throat...

when he was, in fact,
killed by a bullet in the brain.

And they claimed I
buried him in New Jersey.

He was found on
Roosevelt Island.

And what do they
offer for proof?

Perjured testimony.

Now, in the real world...

the community sleeps better
if somebody is put in jail.

And in the real world,
prosecutors get promoted...

if they get convictions.

And in the real world, the world
assumes that if you're charged...

you must be guilty.

Now, it's
assumptions like that...

that took away my life.

So let me have
what's left of it.

Phillip Swann cuts a pretty
romantic figure, doesn't he?

He's the charming,
high-stakes hustler...

and a very personable genius...

who likes to pick the pockets
of his wealthier friends.

So he's kind of the bad
guy that we really love...

and we secretly envy.

But behind that very entertaining
facade lies one cold, very ugly fact.

Phillip Swann put a bullet into
the skull of an unarmed old man...

and he did it as just one
more chore to do that day.

Now that's a side of Phillip
Swann he'd rather you didn't see.

It means that he is not the
boy genius of Wall Street...

but just an inept swindler...

who got beaten at his
own game by Sid Cohen.

Obviously, Phillip Swann
desperately wants the acceptance...

of his wealthy friends
and the financial world...

and now he wants
you to embrace him.

Don't be seduced.

Beware of that man.

Behind the smiles
and the jokes...

is the monster that put a
bullet in Sid Cohen's brain.

(Judge Callahan) Will
the defendant please rise?

On the sole count of the indictment,
murder in the second degree...

how do you find?

We find the defendant
not guilty, Your Honor.

[people murmuring]

Phillip Swann threw
an acquittal party at 21.

Eight years in prison, I'm surprised
he didn't throw a ticker-tape parade.

It's premature.

Swann may not have a law
degree, but my guess is...

that he's well-acquainted
with double jeopardy.

I'm not talking about Cohen's murder.
I'm talking about Russell Bobbitt.

You think Swann got to him?

If he bribed Bobbitt, that's
tampering with a witness.

It's hindering a prosecution.

Bribed Bobbitt with what?

He's been in jail, bankrupt
for the past eight years.

[knocking on door]


Ben Stone.

Swann's suing the State and
Ben, personally, for $10 million.


Everything from malicious
prosecution to civil rights violations.

Just got off the phone with
Smythe, Attorney General's Office.

He tells me there's an ugly
rumor going around Court Street...

that you're
representing yourself.

I know the case
better than anyone.

The last time you
set foot in civil court...

was 20 years ago
when you were sworn in.

You don't think I can do it?

When Clarence Darrow went
into a courtroom as a defendant...

he wasn't fool
enough to go it alone.

My immediate concerns are
not with Clarence Darrow...

I don't give a damn
about your concerns.

Liability here is
joint and several.

You lose, you ruin
me and this office.

I can live without this job, sir. There
are some things I cannot live without.

Your ego. Mr. Schiff,
if a man who lies...

can go pro se and win, and a
man who tells the truth can't...

I don't want to be
in this anymore.

Yeah, well, that's just great.

And this little son of a bitch
could take your car, your condo...

and your closetful of
blue suits. Not if I win.

Well, nothing would
make me happier.

I can come back.

No, it's all right.

Well, I have bad
news and good news.

Last month, in Buckley
v. Fitzsimmons...

the Supreme Court took away...

a prosecutor's
absolute immunity.

The good news, it doesn't
appear to be retroactive.

Looks like time is on your side.

Unfortunately, Mr. Swann is
claiming that the alleged malfeasance...

continues right up to his
acquittal in the second trial.

That's ridiculous.

I know. But it would take
an appeal to prove that.

Claire, you don't have
to do this. It's my problem.

But it's on my own time.

Mr. Stone, referring to Schedule
A of your 1984 federal return...

which has been
marked Plaintiff's 71...

Haven't you wasted enough time?

What's an ancient tax return
got to do with this case?

We both stipulated to waive all
objections except as to form, Counselor.

Your questions have to have at
least the appearance of relevance.

This is a deposition, not a trial.
We both know everything's fair game.

You wouldn't be trying
to take advantage...

of my lack of formal
training, now would you?

I am trying to get out of here
before the turn of the century.

Now, about that deduction, Ben.

You should have gotten
yourself a better divorce attorney.

You little creep.
This isn't a game.

You don't like me, Ben?
You're just waking up to that?

Could that be the reason that you
used perjured testimony to convict me...

in the first trial?

There's no proof that Russell
Bobbitt... Think again, Counselor.

I was acquitted
in the second trial.

Therefore, a fortiori, Bobbitt
must have been lying in the first.

Ergo, you are collaterally estopped
from trying to prove otherwise.

It's not like this
is my first case.

Now, Ben...

isn't it true that you were
promoted to the position...

of Executive Assistant
District Attorney...

immediately following
my conviction?

Well, he's certainly
going for the jugular.

Tax returns for
the last ten years.

Puts my life on the dissecting
table, and he drools over it.

He is good.

I don't know many lawyers who can recite
chapter and verse on collateral estoppel.

What did he say
right after that?

"It's not like this
is my first case."

Waiter. Check, please.

I don't see where
you're going with this.

If he had other clients...

he's not gonna work
for them pro bono, right?

Jailhouse barter system. He
scratches their backs, they scratch his.

What if one of those scratches
made Russell Bobbitt disappear?

One of Swann's clients gets
out of prison, owes him a favor.

Yeah, and if he wrote all those appeals,
his name's gonna be on Lexis database.

What about our food?

Well, a lot of briefs are written
by people named Swann.

The program doesn't
include first names.

Now try Swann and
collateral estoppel.

It's Doyle. I
don't believe this.

Call it up.

"The Appellant, William Doyle, an
inmate at the state facility at Ossining."

Swann represented our
prime witness in a civil case.

Now I know how Swann felt
when he wanted to murder Cohen.

So he represented me.

What's that got to do with
the price of tea in China?

If it was part of a scheme
to defraud the courts...

you'd be better off in China.

What, you gonna tack on a couple of
years, because I told the truth in court?

You conveniently forgot to
tell us about your prior perjury.

You didn't ask.

I'm sure Mr. Swann did.

It makes a difference?

Look, the guy's out of here,
and there's nothing you can do...

to either of us.

That's where you're
wrong, Mr. Doyle.

I will see you at your
parole hearing next month...

and the month after that,
and the month after that.

What do you want from me?

Where is Russell Bobbitt?

What do you mean?

I had nothing to do with that.

He's dead?

You get nothing until
you do something for me.

Russell Bobbitt.

What about my parole?
Accessory to murder, Mr. Doyle.

Russell Bobbitt.


George Mazlansky.

I heard Swann
called in a marker.


How long you gonna
be? That depends.

We're looking for a guy
named George Mazlansky.

Haven't seen him.

(Briscoe) Haven't seen him, huh?

We know he works here, pal.

What, are you trying to tell me he
just happens to be out sick today?

Hey, Georgie!



You have the right
to remain silent.

Anything you say can
be used against you.

So who's this Billy Doyle?

You don't know him?

Uh-uh. Well, you'll
get acquainted in court.

He's the guy who's gonna
put you in for a life sentence.

He's gonna point
his finger at you...

and you're gonna tell us
how you took a commission...

to kill Russell Bobbitt.

He's crazy.


You're the one
staring at murder two.

It's Phillip Swann
that I'm after.

I know he authored a writ
to keep you out of solitary...

but I'm ready to
throw you back in.


What deal would you
offer Mr. Mazlansky?

That depends on what he says.

I did the work for Swann.

I want the body, Mr. Mazlansky.

He couldn't just leave
him by the side of the road?

Swann said he wanted it done a
certain way. He was particular about it.

Yeah, like he was going
to check up on you?

If something's worth
doing, it's worth doing right.

[police radio chattering]

[knocking on door]

We're looking for Phillip Swann.


Phil, some guys to see you.

He's hooking up the CD.


(Briscoe) Phillip Swann,
you're under arrest...

for the murder
of Russell Bobbitt.

You have the right
to remain silent.

Anything you do say can
and will be used against you.



So here we are again.

Really among colleagues.

We located your boyhood friend.

Poor Russell.

So it wasn't fun
in the sun, after all.

And those affidavits are from your
more recent acquaintances, Mr. Doyle...

and Mr. Mazlansky.

I guess you just
weren't clever enough.

I got this far, Ben.


A lot of effort to end up
right back where you started.

And in polite society, sir, you
don't call people by the first name...

unless they ask you to.

I didn't do that.

You're not a friend, and
you're certainly not a colleague.

I spent eight years earning the right
to call you whatever the hell I want.


who makes the first move?

I want a confession...

not only for the murder
of Russell Bobbitt...

but for the murder
of Sid Cohen, as well.

And give away my
greatest victory?

Take this man back to his cell.

You give up so easy?

It doesn't make any sense, Ben.
You're being totally impractical.

That's not like you.

Obviously, you don't know me.

You never did.