Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 7, Episode 23 - Terminal - full transcript

A man opens fire during the docking of a dinner cruise boat. The Governor appoints a special prosecutor because Schiff refuses to seek the death penalty; McCoy helps Schiff appeal while Ross helps the special prosecutor at trial. Schiff's wife is hospitalized following a stroke.

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.

Is he back there?

JACOBS: Nobody's
back there, Susan.

We're the dregs of the party.

I thought you two
were hitting it off.

Yeah. And the boat docked and
he sprinted for the door.

BECKNER: Oh. I don't think
they call it a door, Sally.

He'll probably call.

Well, if he doesn't,
I'll call him.

Oh. That's against
the rules.

So is sitting
home eating H?agen...




SHAPIRO: He just
started shooting.

I saw him behind that column.
I didn't see his face.

I think he was
wearing a trench coat.

Did he say anything?
I don't know.

I didn't hear a thing.
The woman in front of me was shot.

And that man is dead.
He was standing right next to me.

A group over here
took most of the fire.

We've got three people injured,

and this one dead at the scene.

There's a few shell casings
scattered down the pier,

and five in a bunch over here.

MIRVIS: Looks like 9mm auto.

So if the gun throws right,

the shooter had to be
standing about right here.

It was a cocktail cruise.

United Jewish Charities.
We're the young leadership committee.

That just means we're willing
to ask our friends to donate.

Was there any trouble
during the boat ride?

You think it was one of us?

Well, right now, sir, I
don't know what to think.

We got another fatality.

We found a woman
in the water. Drowned.

She was caught on a piling.
We got her purse.

She must've fell off the
pier during the shooting.

Lorna Kaminsky, 27.
NYU grad student.

We've got something else.

The shooter must've had
some time on his hands

while he was waiting
for the boat to come in.


(SIGHING) Good thing
he wasn't a better shot.

It was crazy.
We were walking past the garage.

There must have been 20 of us.

When the shooting started,
we looked back.

The man with the gun started
running right at us.

He was still shooting.

Were you near Miss Kaminsky?

I was talking to her.

We were gonna go
out for a drink.

I thought we'd just been
separated in all the confusion.

Did you see the man
who was doing the shooting?

It was dark.

We were all running.


I bumped into
somebody and fell.

That's how I broke my ankle.

God, I hope I didn't
push her off the pier.

They say I was pretty lucky.

The bullet missed
everything important.

Well, if you were really lucky,

it would have
missed everything.

The man next to me,
he looked pretty bad.

He's dead.

And another woman fell in
the river and drowned.

Wow. Some cruise.

It was an
anti-Jewish thing?

We're not sure what it
was yet, Miss Beckner.

Nobody's claimed credit.

If I hadn't broken up
with my boyfriend,

I would've been at his country
house in Westchester.

Oh, God!
The things we do to meet men!

I thought this was
a fundraising group?

It is.

But they make it
a singles fundraising group.

Raise money for Israel,
maybe meet a Jewish doctor.

This isn't the way
I wanted to meet the doctor.

Miss Jacobs, did you see
the man who shot you?


Did you see anything unusual,
as the boat pulled in?

Only that the guy
I was talking to

suddenly took off
before the shooting.

He said he had
a limo waiting for him.

Mr. Weston had
to catch a plane.

I got him to JFK in 35 minutes.

Why the rush?

The boat was supposed
to dock at 9:30,

but it didn't
get in till 10:00.

So where's
Mr. Weston now?

Los Angeles.

Come on, we were out of there

before the shooting started.

So you were waiting
around the pier

while the boat was
being late, right?

Yeah, from 9:00 p.m.

I'm always half an hour early.

Well, did you see anybody hanging
around there wearing a trench coat?

I was reading the Daily
News in the car.

I only saw a bunch of
cabbies waiting, like me.

There weren't any cabbies
when we got there.

You think they want to sit around
and talk to cops all night?

A bunch of foreigners?

What kind of foreigners?

I don't know.
Turks, Arabs,

when was the last time you
saw a white taxi driver?

Did you notice the names of
any of their cab companies?

Yeah. There were a
couple from Sunshine.

We got Hamas. We got Islamic
Jihad, we got Gamaat Islamiya.

That's Sheik Omar
Abdel-Rahman's club.

The guys who blew up
the World Trade Center?

Actually, that's still
a little vague.

You do keep track of these people?
Of course.

We're the great Satan.
It's our job.

To the extent
our satanic courts

will actually give us warrants
for the taps we need.

So who's been striking blows
against Zionism lately?

Several dead guys in Tel Aviv.

It's got to be something
being a cop over there.

And on the Hudson?
Any blows against Zionist cocktail cruises?

Nothing's popped on the wires.

No unusual channels opened
or cash flowing.

Did you run the roster
from Sunshine Cabs?


One hit from our watch list.
Nidal Salam.

Veteran of the Holy War against
the Russians in Afghanistan.

If you ask him nice,
he'll show you his wounds.

Do you know Agent
Mulcahy from the FBI?

He used to follow me
and take my picture.

Well, we'd love to see what
he took of you Sunday night.

It would not be very interesting.
I was home, sick.

Did anybody see you there?

My wife, my two daughters,
my three sons.

Listen, if I wanted
to kill Jews,

I would just run
a red light in my taxi.

This is New York City.

Well, yeah, but then you might
lose your hack license.

Look, I wasn't at
the pier that night.

I didn't have a car that night.

And I wouldn't go there anyway.

Why not?
Are you allergic to water?

To Egyptians.

The Egyptian drivers
meet there.

In their heads, they are
the princes of Arabia.

I am from Yemen.
To them I am a donkey.

It's a terrible thing.
Sadat made peace.

Sadat was a dog.

He was against killing.
I am against killing.

Everybody is against killing.

The question is how
to bring it to a stop.

Hey, is this what
you were talking about

last Sunday night at the pier?

No. About music.

Right. The Top 40.

I think we'd better question
you guys individually.

I don't have time.
I have to get back to work.

We were with each other.
We heard the shots. We left.

Before the boat got in, who
else was around besides you?

Some other taxicabs.
Various people.

Anybody in a trench coat?

Yes. I saw him.

I noticed because
he was acting strangely.


Everybody else was coming or going.
He was just standing.


Where the cars were parked.

Latent's been over the shell
casings from the scene.

They've got some partials.

Not enough to run
through the system.

We may have something
else here, Lieut.

CURTIS: One of
the cab drivers saw a man

waiting in a trench coat here,

in the garage,
before the boat came in.

Now, he was waiting there
when the big group walked by.

That's the group with the
woman who fell in the river.

Then he shot at
the smaller group

and ran away
through the big group.

It's a funny way
to hunt Zionists.

Unless he had
a specific target.

Yeah. Then he sends us
on a wild goose chase

through the whole Arab League.

Six people in the second group.
Who's the target?

Well, the dead guy's a good place to start.
What do we know about him?

Well, the business
cards in his wallet

give his name as Larry Rice.

But no one's claimed the body.

MILLER: A guy like this,
there's usually

a mortuary wagon
waiting outside

as soon as the autopsy's over.

You have his business card.
What's the problem?


What the hell is that?

The address is on 2nd Avenue,
but there's nobody home.

Well, he got shot after a singles cruise.
Maybe he was a lonely guy.

What, no credit cards?
No driver's license?

Sometimes they get stolen.

Yeah, but he wasn't mugged.

Todd Wexman, CPA.

McAllister and Grossman.
His accountant?

I'm sorry,
but Mr. Wexman isn't in.

We just need some information

about somebody who
might be a client.

Larry Rice.

I don't think so.

No. There's no Rice.

Well, we think Mr.
Wexman might know him.

You know where
we can reach him?

No. And it's not
like Mr. Wexman.

What isn't?

He hasn't been in for two days.

And he hasn't checked in.

I'd call his wife,
they live in Connecticut,

but he said she was taking the
children to visit her mother,

and I don't know where that is.

Ms. Conroy, do you happen to
have a picture of Mr. Wexman?

Yes. In here.

That's Mr. Wexman
with Mrs. Wexman.

Alexandra and David
and the baby.

Ms. Conroy, I'm afraid your
boss is in our morgue.

Mrs. Wexman,
I'm very sorry.

I can't stay here long.

I want to be with my children.

Of course.
I just have to ask,

does the name Larry Rice
mean anything to you?

Why? Was he involved
with killing Todd?

No. It seems that your husband
sometimes used that name.

No, he didn't.

He carried ID in that name.

He rented an apartment
in that name.

He booked himself on the
dinner cruise in that name.

That can't be.

Did he spend many
nights away from home?

I told the detectives,
he traveled on business.

His employer says
he traveled very rarely.

What are you saying?

That Todd led some
kind of secret life?

We were married 13 years.

I know my husband.

Good champagne, but it's dusty.

This caviar has mold.

Mr. Rice didn't
have much company.

No ladies, huh?

Hey, the guy wasn't too swift,
if you know what I mean.

Co-eds at the Beach.
Well, at least he had a sex life.

What? He had to sneak away from
his wife to watch a porno?

Rey, this is a guy who could have
chosen any name in the world,

and he picked Larry Rice.

And he managed to make
it to a singles cruise.

Yeah. But did he make it
on the singles cruise?

Mr. Rice had been to
several of our events.

This whole thing is so scary.

We've canceled
all public meetings

until we know who did this.

What can you tell us about Mr.
Rice's socializing?

He was very shy.

On the cruise he spent most
of his time talking to me.

Did you ever hear
the name Todd Wexman?

I don't think so. Why?

It's not important.

What can you tell us about
the people who were shot?

Susan Beckner is
a travel agent.

She recently
went out on her own.

CURTIS: Did she have
a business problem?

No. She was
a generous contributor,

and she raised a lot of
money from other people.

She even brought half a
dozen checks on the cruise.

And one of them bounced.

From an Old
Europe International.

I've been meaning to tell her.

What about the other woman?

Sally Jacobs does
something in retailing.

Did either of them
have a problem?

Business or personal,
anything you knew about?

Not so someone
would shoot them.

These are all nice people.

Your witnesses say the shooter
fired five or six times

at the group next to the boat.

We found two slugs in the boat.

And any number
could be in the river.

Right. But we also found
one in Sally Jacobs

and one in Larry Rice or Todd
Wexman or whatever his name was.

What about Susan Beckner?

That bullet was
a through-and-through.

And look at this.
Her dress.

Black rim around the
edge of the bullet hole.

Bullet wipe.

From soot deposited on the
surface of the bullet,

as it moved down
the barrel of the gun,

which in this case
wasn't very clean.

The dead man's shirt.

Look at the bullet hole.

BRISCOE: No black rim.

The bullet went through
Susan Beckner into him.

So if the shooter
was actually aiming,

Wexman wasn't the target.
She was.

Who'd want to kill me?

I sell airline tickets.
I go to the movies.

I don't know any street gangs.

You owe anybody money?


(SIGHING) We have to ask.
Do you gamble, use drugs?

I drink too much coffee,

and I went to Atlantic City
once and I didn't like it.

CURTIS: You said,
at the hospital,

that you'd recently
broken up with somebody.

Yes, but he's not violent.

I think he's already
seeing someone else.

Let's work it the other way.

How many people knew you were
going on that boat ride?

I told my mother, maybe
a couple of friends.

And I mentioned it to a
client I saw that afternoon.

On a Sunday?

He needed some airline
tickets in a hurry

for a tour group that
was stranded in Sofia.


We're going to need
a list of those names.

My mother?

So who takes vacations
in Bulgaria?

Bulgarians, for a start.

But these Bulgarians were in a
rush to get back to New York?

Well, the trip was over, and I was
committed to bringing them back,

but the charter plane
had mechanical problems.

That gave the charter airlines
financial problems...

So you ran over to
see Susan Beckner?

Well, I'm not licensed to
issue plane tickets. She is.

She sold me 40 tickets.
Made a lot of money.

I got my group home, went over
to my girlfriend's to celebrate.

You think I shot Susan Beckner
because everybody was too happy?

You're Escapade Holidays?

That's me. We can do charter
rates for as few as 10 people

if you have a group.

And you use
a different company name

for your trips
to Eastern Europe?

Old Europe International.

Old Europe? You made a contribution
to United Jewish charities.

Fifty bucks.

Susan asked me to, and I was
trying to make a good impression.

I just talked to Susan Beckner.

The check Coburn gave her for
the airline tickets was good.

thousand dollars.

But his $50 check to
her charity bounced?

Yeah. The charity deposited
their check on Monday,

the morning after the cruise.

Now, she didn't deposit Coburn's
check till three days later,

because she was
in the hospital.

And I talked to Coburn's bank.

He had less than $50
in his account on Monday.

Two days later, he got
a big wire transfer

from a travel agent
up in Canada.

So if Susan Beckner
hadn't been shot,

she would have deposited her
check right away on Monday

and it would have bounced.

And she would have
canceled his tickets

and he would've wound
up with 40 angry people

stranded in the Balkans.

Uh-huh. That can't be
too good for business.

I think it's time
you checked his alibi.

TRANG: Hank was here
Sunday night.

We stayed in.
All night?

Yes. We were relaxing.


My boyfriend's not a murderer.



We're just concerned that a man
under financial pressure...

What financial pressure?

Coburn was having a
little cash flow problem,

which could have caused
him a business problem.

Hank is very successful.

Maybe that's what he tells you.

I'm not stupid.
And I don't date poor men.

Miss Trang, I've just been informed
that you're the registered owner

of a Glock
semi-automatic pistol.

Yes. It's registered.

You mind showing it
to us, please?

I don't have it right now.

Where is it?

Why did you bring me here?
I didn't do anything.

Maybe not, Miss Trang, but we
really would like to find your gun.

I told you.
It was stolen.

We don't believe you.

I don't care what you believe.

This came for you, and more
bad news for you, Miss Trang.

The fingerprints on your
gun license application

match some partial prints on shell
casings at the murder scene.

I didn't have anything
to do with that!

What about your boyfriend?

Did he borrow your gun
on Sunday night?


If you gave it to him knowing
what he was going to do with it,

you're guilty of murder.

I'm not guilty of anything!

Why are you protecting
such a poor man?

He's not poor. He's very important
in the travel industry.

Right. He sends people
to exotic hospitals.

You want to see
his bank statement?

As of Monday morning, he had
$47 in his checking account.

Let me see that.

BRISCOE: And another 60
bucks in his savings.

That's not possible!
He owns a townhouse!

We pulled his credit reports.

He rents the townhouse and
the furniture and his car.

The only thing he probably owns

are the checks
he's been kiting.

That son-of-a-bitch.

What does he think I am?
Miss Trang.

I could have better men
than him in a minute!

Miss Trang!
Sunday night?

He borrowed my gun.

He told me to lie to you.

CURTIS: Where is he now?

I don't know. He carries a phone.
Give me yours.

Hank. Honey,
can I see you tonight?

I'm wearing the red silk.



Carolyne, I've got
something good for you!

Hey, Hank Coburn, you're
under arrest for murder.

I would have worn my red
silk, but it's in the wash.

You have the right
to remain silent.

Anything you say
can and will be used

against you in a court of law.


ADAM: Come on in.

This is Victor Panatti, with the
State Attorney General's office.

Good morning.
Jamie Ross.

Jack McCoy.

Mr. Panatti wants to know how the
Coburn case is coming along?

One of the cabbies picked
Coburn out of a line-up.

We can tie him to
the murder weapon.

You charged him with
second-degree murder.

Is that what you plan to
present to the grand jury?


But you could've found that
out with a phone call.

The governor would
like to see Coburn

tried and convicted
of first-degree murder.

He wants the death penalty?

Two innocent people were
slaughtered over airline tickets.

It seems appropriate.

JACK: I'm not sure
the facts support it.

PANATTI: Your investigation
just started.

I'm sure you'll find
some facts that do.

We'll look into it.
Thank you for stopping by.

Thank you, Mr. Schiff.

Mr. McCoy, Miss Ross.

I think Coburn deserves
the death penalty, too,

but I don't know if we can
give them what they want.

They want to look tough.


Yes? Put them through.

This is Adam Schiff.

Say that again. Yes.

Yes, I know where it is.

Tell the driver
I'm coming down.

See what you can come up
with for the governor.


It's a multiple killing.
That puts it in the running for murder one.

The statute's very specific.

Both deaths have
to be intentional.

He meant to kill Susan Beckner

with the bullet
that killed Wexman.

Law 101, intent follows the bullet.

That's one. The other, the
drowning, is not so obvious.

Coburn was firing into a crowd.

If Miss Kaminsky was killed by
a bullet or by dodging one,

we can argue Coburn
has the same liability.

Yeah. And Coburn will
argue that he doesn't.

Talk to the witnesses.

Find out exactly how she
ended up in the water.

I told the police.
We heard shots.

We saw this maniac running
toward us, firing a gun.

We tried to get out of his way.

How close to you
was Miss Kaminsky?

Just about where you are.

Between me and
the edge of the pier.

Was there anybody else near her?

No, I was the closest.

You told the police you
bumped into somebody.

Is it possible it was her?

I've thought about that.
Things were pretty chaotic.

But no, I'm sure it wasn't her.

Did the gunman point
his weapon toward you?

He wasn't shooting right at us.

It was more like he was
shooting in the air.

Ballistics said their
findings are consistent

with Coburn firing in the air.

Which means he didn't
intend to kill them.

He just wanted them
to get out of the way.

He caused the panic which
led to Kaminsky's death.

Hmm. At most it's
depraved indifference.

Murder two. Nice try.

How about this?

It's murder one if a person is
killed in the course of a robbery.


He paid for the tickets
with a bad check.

That's larceny.

And then he shot Susan Beckner

to prevent her from
depositing the check,

which makes it robbery.

We still have to show intent.

If he meant to cover the check
when he gave it to Beckner,

there's no larceny
and no robbery.

He saw his girlfriend that afternoon.
See what he told her.

Should we bring Adam
up to speed on this?


He's at Cedar's Hospital
with his wife.

She had a stroke.

That's all I know.

Hank took me to Saint
Kitts in the summer,

Bali during the monsoons,

London in February.
Always in the off season.

That should've
told me something.

It didn't cost him a dime.

It was all comped by the
local tourist bureaus.

Sounds like a rough time.

It was a waste of time.

My parents were
so happy for me.

They thought he had money.

Apparently so did
Susan Beckner.

You knew he was buying
tickets from her?


He did that instead of taking me
to Barneys for a pair of shoes.

I'm sorry.

He told you he was paying
her with a bad check?

Oh, yeah. He wanted me to know
all about his credit problems.

Look, I already went over
this with those detectives.

I didn't know
what Hank was up to.

So he just told
you to wait here

while he went to
Susan Beckner's?

No. I went to Barneys
by myself.

He called me on my cell phone
and told me to meet him.

Where was he calling from?

He didn't say.

ROSS: We checked
the incoming calls

on his girlfriend's cell phone.

Coburn called her
from your office.

Ooh, does that make my phone
an accessory to murder?

Why was he here?

I booked a charter with him

and he asked me for an
advance on the payment.

How much?

A little over 40,000.
He said he needed the check that day.

He even offered to discount
the fares if I paid him now.

Did you?

Absolutely not.

The tour's not for
another five months.

He gets his money 60 days in advance.
Not a minute sooner.

He knew that?

Of course. That's how
we always do business.

No reason to change now.

How is she doing?

She still hasn't
regained consciousness.

What do the doctors say?

What they always say.
Wait and see.

What'd you come up with?

We can make first-degree
murder work, Adam.

An intentional death during
the commission of a robbery.

ADAM: What robbery?

The airline tickets.

He used force to keep Beckner
from depositing the check.

Six hours after
he took the tickets.

I wouldn't call that
a continuous act.

According to
People v. Dekle,

it's for a jury
to decide if it is.

Dekle pulled a knife
on a security guard

after he stole a television.

Hardly the same thing.

ROSS: The robbery statute

the use of force to compel the
owner of the stolen property to...

To engage in the conduct

which aids in the
commission of the larceny.

Which means pointing a gun into
the face of a bank manager,

forcing him to
open up the safe.

Besides, didn't Coburn
cover that check?

Four days later.

He made no credible attempt to cover
the check until after the shooting.

What attempt did he make?

ROSS: He hit up
a travel agent

for an advance
on some bookings.

The agent said Coburn had
no reasonable expectation

of getting any money from him.

Forget it. You have a solid
case for murder two.

Go get your indictment.

Adam, we have a pretty
good case for murder one.

I agree.

Before Panatti dropped by,

you were happy to send
Coburn away for 25-to-life.

That's what we're gonna do.


Connect me, please, to Cedar's Hospital.
Thank you.

The governor was sorry
to hear about your wife.

Tell the governor
I appreciate his sending

the Attorney General
to express his concern.

Now what's really on your mind?

This Coburn case.

Seems you didn't get
the governor's message.

Your people are
going for murder two.

That's what the crime warrants.

My people think it fits the requirements
of the death penalty statute.

If you turn the penal law
into a bag of pretzels.

The governor and I agree you should
put the matter before a jury.

Let them decide, Adam.

It's my decision to make.

You have a duty
to apply the law.

If the governor wanted this
statute to cover this crime,

he should've thought of
it when he wrote it.

Coburn fired into a crowd.
He killed innocent people.

It's a heinous act aimed
at the heart of the city.

If I was convinced it was murder
one, that's how I'd prosecute.

Don't dig your heels in, Adam.

I'm flying back to Albany
tomorrow afternoon.

I'll expect to
hear from you by then.

I don't like ultimatums.

The answer's no.

I won't give the grand
jury murder one.

That's unacceptable.

I'm doing criminal justice.
I'm not doing politics.

Good night.

In view of District Attorney
Schiff's reluctance to apply the law,

the governor has invoked his
authority under executive law 63,

and removed him
as the prosecutor

in the case
against Henry Coburn.

Furthermore, the
governor has instructed me

to appoint a special
prosecutor to take over the case.

I've designated Deputy
Attorney General Panatti

to lead
the prosecution team.

Mr. Panatti will seek an
indictment against Mr. Coburn

for murder
in the first degree.

I'll now take
your questions.

REPORTER: One more.


Can he do that?

Did it to Johnson
up in the Bronx.

Johnson implied he'd never
seek the death penalty

any circumstances.

This is different.

What will you do?

About what?


Yes, I saw the replay
on the news.

I understand.

Yes, 9:00 a.m. Is fine.
See you then.

That was Panatti.
He wants me to help him prosecute Coburn.

No one knows this
case better than you.

And frankly it's been a while

since I've been
in the courtroom.

What would my role be?

Lead attorney.

We both want the same
result for Henry Coburn.

How we get there is
entirely up to you.

I want to discuss it
with Adam Schiff first.

I understand.

Look, I'm as big a fan
of his as the next guy.

When it comes to the death
penalty, he's old school.

He's signed off on
three capital cases

since the statute was passed.

If he wasn't preoccupied
with his other situation,

he'd probably sign off
on this one as well.

I hope I can tell the Attorney
General you're on board.

What's Panatti got you reading?

This is for my own edification.
Robbery, A to Z.

Murder one is tenable, Adam.

Who're you trying to convince?

You do what you have to do.

You're still welcome
to my Scotch.


There's a rumor you wrote
a letter of resignation.

I did. The premise being I'm
getting too old for this nonsense.

Had a nice line in there about

making the justice system
a political pi?ata.


I tore it up.

Some things are
out of your hands.

I've got to sit there
and take it. Not this.

What are you gonna do?

I'm gonna take
the governor to court.

He's suing to be reinstated
as prosecutor on the case.

Lots of luck.

From what I've read, the governor's
order isn't subject to review.

He can remove any D.A.,
whenever and wherever.

I guess we'll find out
if that's true.

What about you?

What are you going
to tell Panatti?

There are a hundred good
reasons to take this case.

And one better one not to.

You want to charge up
Hamburger Hill with Adam?

It wouldn't feel right
playing for the other team.

I thought the other team
was Henry Coburn.

This only helps him, Jack.

I've got to go.

You know what
this means, Jamie?

Panatti will be
calling you next.

He already did.

I'm starting to work
with him tomorrow.

The autopsies on
Wexman and Kaminsky.

The meds on Beckner and Jacobs.

Ballistics report.
Bank records.

Okay. You convinced me.

You're ready for trial.
Now can we talk about something else?

Anything you want,
Mr. Axtell.

Well, let's start
with a plea bargain.

Your client's idea?

But if you put something
fair on the table,

I can bring him around.

What do you think is fair?

Well, just between you
and me and this desk,

we all know this
charge of murder one

is a lot of
huffing and puffing.

We don't happen
to agree with that.


Say you convict my guy
on murder one.

The governor's already
written my appeal for me.

Removing Adam Schiff
raises all kinds

of due process challenges
to a conviction.

So what do you propose?

Coburn pleads to two counts
of second-degree murder.

He serves 15-to-life.

For two dead and three wounded?

You don't like it,
make me an offer.

We're making no offers,
Mr. Axtell.

This case will be
decided by a jury.

Okay. Pleasure not
doing business with you.

They're gonna beat us over the
head with Mulroy v. Carey.

That's what worked for them
against Johnson in the Bronx.

Mulroy only gives the governor

virtually unfettered discretion
to take over a case.

You're going to hang
your hat on "virtually"?

They could've
said "absolutely."

Take a look at
Klosterman v. Cuomo.


It upholds the power of the court
to overturn the governor's order.

The courts have the big stick.

We just have to convince
them to swing it.

You have Gaynor v.
Rockefeller in that pile?

We'll give the governor
a little history lesson.

I'm hungry.

Chinese or Italian?

Surprise me.

I'm ordering take-out.

I brought a salad.

How's Mrs. Schiff?

Still on life support.

Opening arguments
in the morning?

Bright and early.

Adam and I'll be across
the street in civil term.

Good luck.

Same to you.

BECKNER: I told him
I'd be cashing the check

first thing Monday morning.

He said, "No problem."

Then he asked what I was
doing Sunday night.

I told him about
the dinner cruise.

What were you prepared to
do if his check bounced?

I would've called the airline
to cancel the tickets.

Then I would've notified the
Travel Agents' Association.

And how would that affect his
ability to conduct business?

It's pretty serious.

He wouldn't have been able to
buy tickets on credit anymore.

He'd have to pay in cash.

ROSS: Thank you.

Miss Beckner, when my client bought
tickets from you in the past,

he made sure you were
paid in full and on time?

So when he gave you that check

that Sunday afternoon,

did you ask him if he had enough
money in his account to cover it?

It didn't occur to me.

You were confident that come Monday
morning, you'd have your money?


Because when he had bought
tickets from you in the past,

he made sure you were paid in full and on time.
Isn't that right?


AXTELL: Thank you.

The governor has no business
coming into New York County,

telling us how to
prosecute criminals.

That's the district
attorney's job.

That's what I was
elected to do.

The governor's
hijacked this case

from the citizens
of this county.

He made a mistake.
We're here to let him know it.

Thank you.

Mr. Keenan! Mr. Keenan!

The State Constitution
compels the governor

to ensure the laws be
faithfully executed.

He removed Mr. Schiff to ensure
the death penalty statute

be applied uniformly
throughout the state.

The laws also vest district attorneys
with discretionary authority

to prosecute cases
as they see fit.

Are you implying
that their authority

is greater than the governor's?

I'm saying that Mr.
Schiff's actions were within the law

and in no way justified
the governor removing him.

TYRELL: Well, the governor
doesn't have to justify

or even reveal the
reasons for his actions.

Judge Cardozo said as much
in Saranac Land and Timber.

History does not
support Mr. Tyrell.

Governor Roosevelt
said such state actions

must be predicated on definite
allegations of local misgovernment.

Governors have used this
power only in cases

of broad government corruption
or police misconduct.

All Mr. Schiff did
was charge a defendant

with a lesser count of murder.

Mr. Tyrrell, the governor's
action here does seem unusual.

He practically begged me
to advance him the money.

But he knew that's
not how I do business.

Had he ever asked
for an advance before?

Yes. And I didn't give him
any money then either.

Thank you.

So it's your standard
practice never to pay

for a tour more than
60 days in advance?


In 1994, you booked a tour
to the Angkor Wat ruins

through Southeast Adventures.

Is that correct?

How far in advance did you
pay for those reservations?

Four months, but I had to.

Access to that area
was restricted.

There was a long waiting list.

Last year you booked a cruise
up the coast of Chile.

When did you have to pay
for those reservations?

Six months. But, again, it
was a special circumstance.

So you do make exceptions
to your business practices?

Yes. Then it wasn't
wholly unreasonable

for my client to think you
might make another exception?

I guess not.

No more questions.

ROSS: We're in trouble.

Half the jury were nodding
in agreement with Axtell.

I think you're over-reacting.

There's still a chance Coburn
will take life without parole.

I think we should
make the offer.

That's not gonna happen.

Mr. Panatti,
I can read a jury.

They're not buying
the robbery argument.

Maybe it's you they
don't like, Miss Ross.

Starting tomorrow,
I'll ask the questions.



Mulroy v. Carey gives the
governor unfettered discretion

to supersede
a district attorney.

His discretion is virtually
unfettered, Your Honor.

Gaynor v. Rockefeller said the governor
must act within constitutional limits.

Imposing the death penalty to satisfy
political ends hardly meets that standard.

TYRELL: That's just Mr.
Schiff's spin on the governor's motives.

the governor's action

is beyond review by any court.

What if I do reverse
the order, Mr. McCoy?

Wouldn't this court
just be substituting

its own judgment
for the governor's?

I submit that's precisely what
you're supposed to do, Your Honor,

when circumstances warrant.

Your Honor,
if we go down this road,

every discretionary act by the governor
becomes subject to judicial scrutiny.

Your Honor, if I may.

The governor's using his office to
put a man's life in the balance.

He claims his power is
absolute, beyond review.

That's arrogant.
It smacks of royal authority.

I don't think
the Constitution allows it.

And I know the justice
system can't tolerate it.

Your Honor...

Thank you, gentlemen.

You have made your positions
abundantly clear.

I'll hand down my decision
by the end of the week.

When Mr. Veitch
turned me down,

I didn't know what to do.

I thought I could lose everything
if that check bounced.

What did you
finally decide to do?

I had to stop Susan
from going to the bank.

I remembered my
girlfriend had a gun

and I decided to use it.
Not to kill Susan.

Just to wound her.

AXTELL: And you thought of this
after you left Mr. Veitch's office?


It was stupid.

But I was desperate.
I didn't mean to steal from Susan.

I didn't mean to kill anybody.


I'm sorry.

I'm very sorry.

AXTELL: Thank you.

No more questions.

Let me see if
I have this straight.

You gave a $32,000
check to Miss Beckner

when you had only $47
in your bank account?

Yes. But I thought I'd have
the money by Monday morning.

And then you asked her where
she was gonna be that night

just to be friendly?


When Mr. Veitch
turned you down,

then you suddenly remembered
your girlfriend's gun?

Yes. That's what happened.

In fact, Mr. Coburn, you had it
figured out when you walked into

Susan Beckner's office,
didn't you?


You always intended to defraud
her of those tickets.

You always intended
to use force to do it.

That's not true.

You expect us to
take your word on this?

I don't know.
That's the truth.

You have to believe me.

Can you think of a
reasonable person who would?


Didn't think so.
No more questions.

Redirect, Your Honor.

Mr. Coburn,
you were originally charged

with second-degree murder.
Isn't that right?

Objection. Relevance.

JUDGE: Overruled.
Go ahead, Mr. Coburn.


AXTELL: But you were later
indicted for first-degree murder.


Do you know why the
charges were changed?


I ask Your Honor to
take judicial notice

that the charges
were changed after

District Attorney Adam Schiff
was removed as prosecutor

by the governor and
replaced by Mr. Panatti.

JUDGE: So noted.

AXTELL: Mr. Coburn,
do you know why

District Attorney Schiff
was removed?

Objection. The witness isn't
qualified to render an opinion.


AXTELL: I ask Your Honor
to take judicial notice

of the sworn affidavit
filed by Mr. Schiff

in his civil action
against the governor.

There's no possible relevance.

AXTELL: Mr. Panatti
asked my client

if he knew of a reasonable
person who would believe him.

Mr. Schiff is
a reasonable person.

I think his views are
admissible as rebuttal.

Go ahead, Mr. Axtell.

AXTELL: Petitioner's refusal
to indict defendant

on first-degree murder
led to his removal.

Using his
prosecutorial discretion,

petitioner concluded there
was insufficient evidence

of intent to commit robbery to sustain
a charge of first-degree murder.

I have nothing further.

Judge Barclay's decision.

I don't see
the bottle of champagne.

He deferred to the governor.

The order isn't subject
to judicial review.

He wimped out.

We made waves.
Sometimes that's enough.

They're waiting for me
at the hospital.


JUDGE: Will the
defendant please stand?

On the first count
of the indictment,

murder in the first degree,
how do you find?

We find the defendant,
Henry Coburn, not guilty.

JUDGE: On the second count,
murder in the second degree,

for the death of Todd
Wexman, how do you find?

FOREMAN: We find
the defendant guilty.


JUDGE: On the third count,
murder in the second degree,

for the death of Lorna
Kaminsky, how do you find?

We find the defendant guilty.

Always trust the jury.

That should leave the governor
with some nice bite marks

on the seat of his pants.

Coburn's lucky.
He owes you his life.

It was never about Coburn.

DOCTOR: Excuse me.

Mr. Schiff.

You did good, both of you.

Come on.
We'll wait for him down the hall.

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