Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–…): Season 4, Episode 9 - Juvenile - full transcript

A drug raid on an apartment building turns into a murder investigation, when the intended suspect is found brutally stabbed; there is evidence she had been raped. The detectives' investigation eventually leads to two junior high-aged boys, 12-year-old Zachary Connors and 14-year-old Jeremy Brice. Zachary is tried in juvenile court, but a dilemma arises when the district attorney wants Jeremy tried as an adult, even though it is apparent Jeremy is mentally "slow" and despite evidence showing he may not have known the seriousness of his actions. In court, Jeremy is severely grilled and betrayed by Zachary (he insists that Jeremy was fully responsible and fully carried out the crimes). Jeremy's mother refuses a plea deal and the jury convicts him of first-degree burglary and second-degree murder, meaning he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

In the criminal
justice system,

sexually based offenses are
considered especially heinous.

In New York City,

the dedicated detectives who
investigate these vicious felonies

are members of an elite squad
known as the Special Victims Unit.

These are their stories.

Yeah. Okay, thanks.
Come on.

Go, go, go!

Police! NYPD!
We have a search warrant!

What the hell?

Somebody got here
before us.

Secure it. I don't want any surprises.

Too late.

I better call in SVU.

We are not handing
this bust over to them.

Don't worry.
I got a buddy.

Better be good.

Anonymous phone tip
said somebody was dealing.

We surveilled a week, caught a lot
of traffic in and out of this place.

Get our warrant, bust in, find our
alleged dealer sliced and diced.

Signs of burglary, and by her appearance
I'm guessing she's been raped, too.

But, you know, I wanted a trained SVU
detective like yourself on the case.

Rape-homicide falls
on SVU no matter what.

You didn't have to
hand it to me personally.

There's a big haul here. Looks
good for my guys to turn it in.

Yeah, right. You get all the
glory and we get all the work.

So you trying to tell me that Laura
Ashley here is some kind of big kingpin?

Where are the drugs?

You didn't get
the complete tour.

Over two hundred plants.

Pull in a couple of
hundred thou on the street.

Perp missed the jackpot.

M.E. estimates TOD yesterday
between 9:00 a. m. And 2:00 p. m.

Looked like about
30 to 40 stab wounds.


He either knew her well enough
to hate her or he's psychotic.

Point of entry looks like
the fire escape window.

Perp probably waltzed
out the front door.

Got minimal fluids from the
rape kit, but enough to test.

You locate a
murder weapon?

Must've taken
it with him.

Three-inch, single-edged,
non-serrated blade.

About the size of the knife
missing from this?

Yeah. The other
weapon he left behind.

Bashed in the back of her
head before he stabbed her.

Probably enough to knock
her out. No defensive wounds.

It's not the most
obvious weapon.

So she surprises him.

Probably picked up the
first thing he could grab.

Then he walks all the way
across the apartment for a knife?

This guy's logic is
all over the place.

Maybe he's mentally ill.
Or high.

He covered
Mrs. Oestreicher with this.

By the amount of blood on the blanket,
I'd say right after he stabbed her.

So afterwards he gets
remorseful, embarrassed?

And then sick.

Our guy must
have thrown up.

It's too far away
to be the victim's.

Okay, let's send
a sample to the M.E.

We can compare it to the stomach
contents of our victim, just to be sure.

I love my job.

What do we know about
this anonymous phone tip?

Narcotics traced
it to a neighbor.

Said she's nosy,
but not homicidal.

I thought anonymous
tip meant anonymous.

Like nobody would bug you
about doing your civic duty.

We certainly don't mean
to inconvenience you.

But there was a woman
murdered in your building.

I know. I'm sorry
about that.

But you live that kind of
life, you're asking for it.

And what kind
of life is that?

Criminal. You should've been
here when she was sparking up.

Just walking down
the hall you'd get a buzz.

Marc, get in there
and brush those teeth now.

So you reported
Mrs. Oestreicher

as a drug dealer because you smelled
dope. That was the only reason?

What about the daily
Easter parade?

In and out of there, people banging
on the door all hours of the day.

Did you ever actually see any of
these deals, any money changing hands?

No. No, but if she wasn't selling,
I don't know where she got her money.

She hasn't worked
a day in over a year.

Autopsy's done.

So are the preliminary labs on
the fluids from the rape kit.

Anything interesting?

Your perp had no sperm.

Interesting and pathetic.

I'm not talking low sperm
count. This is azoospermia.

Zero sperm in the ejaculate.
It's pretty rare.

So our guy
got a vasectomy.

That's one
explanation for it.

It's also a sign of Kartagener's
Syndrome and Cystic Fibrosis.

The lab can still extract DNA
from the skin cells in the sample.

And they're
analyzing the vomit.

We know who puked?

Victim hadn't eaten in hours,
so it had to come from your perp.

As far as Miss Oestreicher
is concerned,

I suspect she would have died within
the year, had she not been murdered.

What was
wrong with her?

ovarian cancer.

She has small radiation burns
on the skin of her abdomen,

and blood tests reveal
Taxol and carboplatin.

She was undergoing

That explains why
she didn't have a job.

And why she was
growing pot.

Must have been using it to counteract
the side effects of the cancer treatment.

Decent levels of
THC in her system.

But that woman was growing
a forest in there.

You think she was toking
on all that by herself?

Maybe she wasn't.

You know, medicinal marijuana
clubs are popping up everywhere.

People are pooling their
resources, growing their own stuff.

Better product without
having to pay street prices.

Well, if she's running a club, then
there has to be a membership list.

How many people
we looking at?

According to her day planner, nearly 100.

But there's no names.
She only writes initials.

We got C. K. Down the second
Monday of every month.

J. A. S. Every
other Saturday.

Probably a schedule. Members
take turns tending the crop.

Why the hell you
know so much about it?

Twenty-five years on the job
and he's still a damn hippie.

Okay, I got the phone dumps from Susan
Oestreicher for the past six months.

We got to match the names with the
initials and weed out the potheads.

Find one club member,
might lead us to the rest.

Convincing somebody to turn over
that list is not going to be easy.

People looking at a narcotics
rap tend to be real cooperative.

Threatening cancer patients.
Now, that's why I became a cop.

They're breaking the law. I
don't care how sick they are.

Do you have any idea why cannabis
is illegal in this country?

Because William Randolph
Hearst's paper mills

were threatened by
the hemp industry.

And that's got nothing to do
with the fact that it's a drug.

What do you call
alcohol and tobacco?


Here we go.

For the initials C. K.,
we've got a Cindy Kerber.

C. K. C. K. Charles Kelsey, Christian
Kessler. This is going to be fun.

We'll run them all down.

If they had access to the
victim, they're all suspects.

We know about
your club, Miss Kerber.

Then I assume you found
what we were growing.

Pretty tough to miss. You
guys have very green thumbs.

We're not hurting anyone and
we're not making a profit.

We are investigating
a murder.

Now, all we need are the other
names of the members in the club.

The rest is between us.

I don't know most of the people
involved. We don't socialize.

Give us the names of the people you do know.

I'm sorry. I can't.

This woman
was raped.

She was stabbed
38 times.

You don't want to help us in our
investigation? That is very strange to me.

Because it wasn't
anyone in the club.

Some of these people were debilitated
from nausea, from chemotherapy.

The only thing that controls my tremors
from M. S. is smoking once in a while.

Why would we kill the woman
who was helping us?

Maybe she was
helping the wrong person.

Somebody's sick, doesn't make them an angel.

There was some trouble with this one
woman, Becky. Not her, really. Her husband.

What kind of trouble?

He threatened Sue. Said she
hooked his wife on drugs.

Becky was dying from
metastatic breast cancer,

and he wouldn't allow her
the tiniest bit of relief.

Well, do you think that
he's capable of murder?

I know his own wife
was afraid of him.

Especially after he broke some guy's
back in a bar fight. Went to jail for it.

I wouldn't
touch that bitch.

Isn't it refreshing to hear such militant
adherence to the "Just Say No" philosophy?

It's so rare
in convicts.

That incident
was an accident.

I did five years inside,
and now my wife's dead.

I paid the price.
Go bother somebody else.

No, we're bothering you,
Mr. Paglione.

You got an awful lot of hate for the
woman who was trying to comfort your wife.

Yeah, that's a real
beautiful story.

Until one of you comes to my house and finds
drugs and busts me for parole violation.

I was working from 6:00 in the
morning to 4:00, and no lunch break.

And that's all I'm saying.

We'll see you
back at the house.

Munch says the husband's
alibi checks out.

This membership list
is getting smaller.

Half these people are either dead
or too weak to get out of bed.

Maybe we're going down the
wrong path with this pot club.

No, I just can't buy that the murder
and the drugs are a coincidence.

Susan Oestreicher's neighbor
thought she was a drug dealer.

What if somebody
else thought so, too?

An M.E. out of the morgue?
Must be big.

Captain Cragen told me
you were here.

Lab finished analyzing the
vomit from the crime scene.

Hey, am I gonna want to stop
eating before I hear this?

Pieces of roast beef, a little mozzarella
cheese, kernels of corn and raisins.

Luckily, they hadn't been
in the stomach very long,

so everything was
only partially digested.

Yeah, I'm done.

And this is
good news because?

My daughter's in
the sixth grade.

She had that exact meal for lunch
at school on the day of the murder.

I've got the menu on the
fridge. I called the Board of Ed.

Every middle school in
Manhattan serves the same lunch.

No sperm in the ejaculate.

We're looking for a kid.

Are we buying in to
this juvenile theory?

Well, it makes sense.

The disorganization of the crime scene
indicates an immature thought process.

The number of stab wounds could mean he
has no real understanding of physiology.

He just kills the way he thinks
that you're supposed to kill.

The rape. Sexual curiosity.

Well, we know the kid went to school
that day long enough to have lunch,

so he must've
cut out afterwards.

Well, we're not canvassing
every junior high in the city,

and I'm not waiting for a DNA analysis
of the puke, so let's hear suggestions.

Okay, we're looking for a boy who
has a history of fights in school.

Minor vandalism with
risk-taking behavior.

Sounds like every
teenage boy on the planet.

I know. It's not much to go on.

But adolescent behavior
is inherently unpredictable.

That's why mental
health care professionals

won't label a child a sociopath
even if he fits the definition.

So the profile's wide open.
What else?

Juvies stay
with the familiar.

Maybe the victim
knew this kid.

And even if she didn't,
he's likely to commit

the crimes in his
own comfort zone.

The neighbor who phoned
in the tip to Narcotics.

Her son looked
about 13, right?

That was Mrs. Lesinski
and her son Marc.

Maybe he listens to Mom rail about
the drug dealer down the hall,

he figures he can get
himself some free dope.

And get some cash for a
new Xbox while he's at it.

Check him out.

Look, I told you, Marc
didn't see who killed her.

He was in school.

You're sure about that?

Of course I am.

And the school calls
if he skips class?

What exactly
are you asking?

Mrs. Lesinski, we need to
speak with Marc right now.

You think he could
have done this?

He is a child.
Are you crazy?

Has Marc bought anything that
he doesn't have the money for?


Have you seen him with...

Seen him with anything expensive
that you didn't give him?

He said it was a present from a friend.

Come on over here.
Show it to us, will you?

An MP3 player.

Must be a very good friend
to be so generous.

No, the kid's a total geek. He's
always giving stuff to people.

Oh. This total geek
have a name?

Jeremy Brice.

Mmm-hmm. Where do
you think Jeremy got that?

Did you tell him that you had a drug
dealer living down the hall from you?

What'd you say?

I said that she's probably got some pretty
cool stuff, you know, 'cause she deals.

So don't you think it's possible that
he got it from Mrs. Oestreicher's place?

I don't know, maybe.

But there's no way
Jeremy killed her.

Well, how do you
know that?

He's just not that cool.

It is almost 8:00.
Everybody's already left.

Let's pull him
out of school.

Liv. Liv. Kids waiting for the bus.

Hi, guys. Anyone know Jeremy Brice?


Jeremy Brice.


You Jeremy?

Relax, relax,
relax, Jeremy.

I didn't do anything!

We're the police. We want
to talk to you. Just relax.

Jeremy, that looks
like blood.

No, it isn't.

We're going down to the police
station, Jeremy, all right?

Where are
your parents?

I have to go to school.
I have to...

You made a mistake.
Jeremy was in school all day.

We checked, Mrs. Brice.

Jeremy's teachers told us
that he was absent after lunch.

You skipped school?


Jeremy? Jeremy,
look at me a second.

You know you're not supposed
to lie to the police, right?

I'm not lying.

Where'd you get the MP3 player
you gave to your buddy Marc?

I gave him that
for his birthday.

Do you know a lady named
Susan Oestreicher?


You sure? She's the woman that
lives right next door to Marc.

Jeremy, you went
into that apartment,

and something bad happened there, didn't it?

I didn't go anywhere.

Jeremy, these are your fingerprints that
your mom let us take when you got here.

Remember that?

These are the ones that we found
in Miss Oestreicher's apartment.

They're exactly the same.

No, they're not.

They are. This tells me
you were in that apartment.

No, it doesn't.

Jeremy, what happened?

Nothing. Why is
everybody picking on me?

We'll take another crack
at him once he calms down.

Well, we know he
was in the apartment.

Once the labs come back on the forensic
evidence, we won't need a confession.

A typical kid.

Thinks if he denies
everything, it'll just go away.

He's 14. Eligible to
be tried as an adult.

Murder two. Would've been
eligible if he was 13.

He look like
a grownup to you?

He brutally raped and
murdered a 34-year-old woman.

That's a grownup crime.

He's not crying for his
victim, he's crying for himself.

Guess you can't blame him.
His life is over.

Labs are back. Blood on Jeremy's
coat matched the victim's type.

Sounds like your
job is done.

No. We're not that lucky.

Lab's determined that the
rapist's blood was a type B.

I got Jeremy's from
his school. He's type O.

He had a partner.

No sperm, so it's
got to be another kid.

Well, what about
that neighbor's boy?

Well, I checked him.
He didn't skip school

and went to basketball
practice afterwards.

Can we hold off on charging Jeremy as
an adult till we get the story straight?

Well, he's 14, so he's automatically
arraigned in Supreme Court.

But if you can prove to me
he wasn't the primary actor,

I will recommend he be
removed to Family Court.

Find out who
his friends are.

We're no strangers to police
inquiring about some of our students,

but I am surprised to hear
you're investigating Mr. Brice.

Jeremy's not a

I don't know him,
so I guess not.

1,500 students, Detectives.

I only got time
for the bad eggs.

You're saying he's
a model student, then.

Academically, yes. He does very
well. Especially in math and art.

But he was recently diagnosed as
dyslexic, and according to his file,

his fifth grade teacher cited social
problems made him repeat the year.

What kind of
social problems?

Well, I spoke with Jeremy's
teachers this morning,

and he's a little
behind maturity-wise.

He has some
trouble fitting in.

But again, nothing to suggest
any serious discipline problems.

Teachers give you the names
of Jeremy's friends?

That's the thing,
no one knew.

Seems he really
doesn't have any.

We're going to need a list of all the boys
that were absent the day of the murder,

and we're going to need your
permission to search their lockers.

I find any dead animals in here,
I'm going to deputize you for this.

Got him.

What'd you find?

Susan Oestreicher.

And the weapon
that killed her.

This is a surprise.

Locker 142 belongs to Zachary
Connor, a sixth-grader.

I'll get his schedule and we'll
find him in his next class.

I think he found
us already.

What happened
to my locker?

Zachary Connor
is 12 years old.

I tell you, I've been on this job a
long time, some things still surprise me.

You'll get over it.
His parents coming in?

They should
be here any minute.

We're going on 12 hours
holding Jeremy Brice.

He and his mother are
still in interrogation.

And they're staying until we know his
exact involvement in this woman's death.

Munch is still
at the crime lab.

CSU lifted three sets of
prints off of that knife.

One unknown, one the victim's,
and one belonging to Jeremy.

Captain, these are
Zachary Connor's parents.

Mr. And Mrs. Connor,
thank you for making it down.

Nobody's told us anything.
Is Zach all right?

Well, he's fine. Fine.

We think he might know
something about a crime.

Now, Ted here
will get you settled,

and in a minute a detective
will explain everything to you.

He's never been in trouble
before, Captain. Not once.

Is that true?
No trouble with this boy?

Straight As. Not a mark on his school record.

Let's go easy on this.

Finesse them. See if one turns on the other.

Fin, you take
Zachary and his parents.

You guys take
another run at Jeremy.

Set up video cameras
and monitors in both rooms.

I'll call in Cabot
and Huang to observe.

Remember where you were day
before yesterday, Zachary?

At school.
And then I went home.

You there all day?

Well, I talked
to your teachers,

and they said that you missed
all your classes after lunch.

I was in the library.

I had to study
for a math test.

He does have
a big test coming up.

Okay. You know
Jeremy Brice?

He's a seventh-grader.

Friend of yours?

No. I don't
like him.

You didn't hang out with him
at all day before yesterday?

No. He's dorky.
And he's a bully.

You got a knife, Zach?

A what?

You mean the one
in my locker.

Where'd you get it?

I found it in the dumpster behind
the school. And the wallet, too.

What were you looking for in the garbage?

Well, sometimes they
throw out cool things.

Once I found
new markers.

Yeah, that is cool.

So why'd you take the knife and
wallet and put them in your locker?

I was gonna
turn them in.

I thought someone lost them.
But then I forgot.

Did you know there
was blood on that knife?

Oh, my God.

I thought it was fake.

But you should ask Jeremy.
He told me where to find it.

So, Jeremy,
you want a drink?

No. I want to go home.

Well, I know you do.

But the reason that we have to stay here
is because you're not telling us the truth.

Yes, I am.

Jeremy, we picked up your
friend Zachary at school today.

Zach's here?

He's right in the next room,
speaking to one of our detectives.

What do you think
he's going to say?


I think he might.

Look, I know you don't want
to get him in trouble,

but you've got to
tell us what happened.

Even if it's something that's really,
really bad, you've got to tell us.

Zach's my best friend.

You can't make me say
he did something bad.

He didn't do anything.

Jeremy's in for
a rude awakening.

His best friend's
about to flip on him.

What I find hard to believe is
how a kid as young as Zachary

is physically
capable of rape.

Biologically, all he needs is enough
testosterone to achieve an erection.

These days, boys reach puberty
as early as nine years old.

Add to that an ill woman,
weakened by chemotherapy.

She's the perfect victim
for a 90-pound rapist.

You think he did it?

I think he's lying.

He keeps changing his story so that
it's just plausible enough to be true.

He's involved.

What's all this?

Interrogation tactics,

A few special mementos
from Zachary Connor's locker.

This is Detective Munch,
my partner.

How much longer
do we need to be here?

Entirely up to your son,
Mr. Connor.

Is that your book?

I don't know. All our books look alike.

Oh, yeah?
Is that your name?

Yeah. Then that must be yours, right?

What is this about? It's
his book. Why does it matter?

We also have a CD
labeled with your initials,

a pen, a magazine subscription
sticker in your name.

You know where I got them?

In my locker at school?

Right. You know what else
they have in common? Hmm?

Detective Tutuola?

Covered with
his fingerprints.

Just a minute.

Now, Zach,
you're a bright young man.

You understand that every
time you touch something,

you leave a
fingerprint behind.

So I want you to think real hard
before you answer this question.

Were you ever in an apartment on
Avenue C where a woman was killed?

Oh, what the hell?

I was in that lady's
apartment with Jeremy.

He killed her.

Hey, Jeremy, I think you
might want to see this.

Whose idea was it?


To rob her
or to kill her?


He said she had
lots of money.

But then she came home.

He made me do
bad things to her.

He made me touch her.

And then Jeremy got the knife

and he killed her.

What happened after that?

I ran away.

I was scared.

Jeremy. No.

Jeremy, is that
what happened?

He's lying!

So you tell us the truth.

I didn't want
anyone to get hurt.

Was it your idea to break
into that woman's apartment?

Jeremy, why would
you do that?

Zach thought it was cool.

Was it cool when you took the
telephone and bashed her head in?

I didn't do that, Zach did.

Do I listen to
his story or yours?

She fell down.

She was bleeding.

Zach said to get
a knife from the kitchen.

I didn't want to,
but he was screaming at me.

I didn't know what he was
going to do with it, I swear.

So you got the knife,
and then what happened?

When I walked back in,
Zach was on top of her.

He took the knife and he
stabbed her over and over.

There was all this
blood and I threw up!

I'm sorry.
I'm really, really sorry!

I'm sorry.

Jeremy, who covered her up
with the blanket?

I did.

You shouldn't leave
someone like that.

Can I go home now?

I just want to go home.

I want to go home.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

CSU finished
with Zach's house?

Top to bottom. No blood. Must have
tossed the clothes he was wearing.

So we've got two kids,
two different stories,

and either one of them
could have killed her.

Which means I have
an even bigger problem.

Whether or not to try
Jeremy Brice as an adult.

Zachary Connor is 12.

So even if he acted alone,
he's out of my jurisdiction.

He is going
to Family Court.

And what kind of punishment
is kiddie court handing out

for rapists and murderers
these days?

Their mandate is
rehabilitation, not punishment.

So the maximum sentence is 18
months in a limited secure facility.

And Jeremy's looking
at life in Attica.

If the D. A. thinks he's
a danger to society, yes.

Okay, I got to tell you that I
believe Jeremy's version of the events.

You know, this kid is more of a
danger to himself than anybody else.

Doc, you saw both interviews.
What do you think?

I agree with you.

Jeremy is more
easily manipulated.

He's desperate to
fit in at any cost,

whereas Zachary is
far more calculating.

I think he wields a great
deal of control over Jeremy,

and I think he murdered
and raped Susan Oestreicher.

So the question is do we go after
Jeremy because we can't get Zachary?


I'll recommend we remove
Jeremy to family court.

The D. A. is seeking an
indictment against Jeremy Brice.

You've got one day to
prepare for the grand jury.

On what charges?

Felony murder
and burglary one.

I recommended against it.

Well, the D. A. disagreed.

But the evidence clearly indicates that
Jeremy Brice's involvement was limited.

The DNA proves that Zachary
Connor committed the rape.

Jeremy already confessed to
participating in the burglary.

That's the predicate felony.

He knew it was dangerous, he
knew someone could be killed.

No, he didn't.

This boy is not mature
enough to understand that.

The law says he is.

That legislation
was passed in 1978

as a knee-jerk reaction to
some perceived youth crime wave.

It also says that we
prosecute juveniles as adults

at the discretion of
the district attorney.

He made the call.
You do your job.

Which should be easy enough
with Jeremy's confession.

A win for the D. A.

So that's what this is about.

'Cause I'd like to know just
how much of a sycophant

I have to be in this
new administration.

Let's say you're right.

Let's say Zachary Connor
did everything.

That means every step of the
way, Jeremy Brice had a choice.

Do the right thing
or do the wrong thing.

Watch your friend rape a
defenseless woman or stop him,

run away or give him the knife
so he can stab her to death.

Do we punish
him for this?

Or do we tell him that there are
no consequences for his actions?

We remove him to Family Court
in hopes of rehabilitation.

That won't happen if he goes
J. O. And you know it.

You have more faith in the Juvenile
Justice Department than I do.

You're adamantly opposed
to prosecuting this case?

Yes. I think it's wrong.

All right.

Then I'll do it.

You're second chair.

Elizabeth Donnelly
is back trying cases?

Or did your new boss
demote you already?

Funny comments like that, it's a
wonder both your legs aren't broken.

You get attacked by one of
your repeat offenders again?

No, actually one of your esteemed
colleagues knocked me off a curb.

There's a
law suit pending.

Alexandra Cabot, Gina
Bernardo, public defender.

Nice to meet you.

So the D. A. has assembled a legal
dream team to crucify a child.

You know as well as I do
charging Jeremy Brice

as an adult is
a gross injustice.

Tell that to
Susan Oestreicher's family.

You honestly believe he deserves
to be charged for murder two?

The grand jury did.

You can't possibly hold my
client responsible for something

it's impossible for him
to be responsible for.

Notification of
affirmative defense.

Not guilty by reason
of mental disease or defect.

What defect?

His 14-year-old brain.

Your Honor,
this is an obvious attempt

to backdoor
the defense of infancy.

Article 30 clearly states that defense cannot
be used for juveniles charged with murder.

I'm not saying that my client isn't
responsible because of his age.

I am saying he isn't responsible
because of his diminished capacity.

Dictated by his age.
It's the same thing.

This is a legislative issue, Your
Honor, not a matter for the court.

Then why did three Supreme Court
justices draft a public statement

calling for the abolishment
of juvenile executions?

Because it is cruel and unusual to
impose adult punishment on someone

who isn't capable
of adult thought.

Couldn't one argue then
that certain behavior,

such as the committing of a
violent crime, proves adult thought?

No. If your 10-year-old son
takes your car out for a joy ride,

do you automatically hand
him a driver's license?

This is all very interesting,
Ms. Bernardo,

but I fail to see how any of this
applies to an insanity defense.

These are scientific studies

proving that an adolescent's brain is
significantly different than an adult's.

That, in fact, our brains aren't fully
formed until we're in our early 20s.

And I can present scientific
studies which prove

my cat is trying
to kill me in my sleep.

Daubert test, Your Honor.

Scientific evidence must meet federal
standards of relevance and reliability.

Well, one of the studies was done by
the National Institute of Mental Health.

Is the federal government
reliable enough for you?

The reliability of the
studies isn't in question.

My job is to determine whether or
not they have any material value.

I believe they do.

And I believe
the jury should hear them.

Dr. Hayman, can you tell us about
the study you recently completed?

We used functional magnetic
resonance imaging

to map the brains of healthy
adolescents over several years

and compared them
to those of healthy adults.

And what did your study find?

For adolescents, brain activity
is much higher in the amygdala,

which guides instincts
like fear or anger.

In adults, the activity in
the frontal lobe is higher,

and that's the seat of
reasoning and good judgment.

So what are the conclusions of your findings?

Adolescents are
physiologically prone

to impulsive and
irrational behavior.

So teenagers are moody and
unpredictable, and even violent,

because they are
wired that way?

Objection. Leading.


That's all.
No further questions.

So, your study says that teenagers
are impulsive and irrational.

Here's what
I don't understand.

If that's true, how is it
that every single teenager

isn't a rapist or a murderer?

I believe I said adolescents
were prone to certain behaviors.

Then some teenagers are
perfectly reasonable and rational.


How many?

How many what?

How many teenagers are rational and
how many are rapists and murderers?

There's no answer
to that question.

I thought you
mapped their brains.

We haven't tested every
single teenager in the world.

Oh. So if you had given MRIs
to every single teenager,

you would be able to predict whether or
not they would be a criminal. Is that it?

Well, what?

If the irrational part of
the brain is overactive,

that proves that they'll
be violent, doesn't it?

It doesn't
prove anything.

This research is
in its infancy.

Your study doesn't
prove anything?

Not what you're
asking for, but...

Then it's a theory,
an unproven theory.

This research is
a huge step forward

in understanding
how the brain works.

Which is just another way of saying we
really don't understand the brain at all.

Nothing further.

Jeremy, do you know the difference
between what's right and what's wrong?


Was it wrong to break into
Susan Oestreicher's apartment?


Then why did you do it?

Zach said he
wanted some money.

Do you always do
what Zach wants?

He's my best friend.

Jeremy, did you know that Zach
was planning to kill that woman?


And if you thought
even for one moment

that that's what
he wanted to do,

would you have gone
with him to the apartment,

even though he's
your best friend?


I don't want
anyone to get killed.

what is more wrong?

Watching someone do something terrible
or telling on your only friend?

I don't know.

So, maybe, you don't know right
from wrong as much as you think.

Thank you, Jeremy.

Who hit Susan Oestreicher
over the head?


Hard enough so she
was knocked out, right?


Then Zach told you
to get the knife.

He... He said to
look in the kitchen.

Did you think he
was going to stab her?


What did you think
he was going to do?

Scare her. He didn't want her to yell.

But she wasn't awake.
How would she yell?

I don't know.

What do people do
with knives, Jeremy?

Cut things.

So you walked into the
kitchen and you got the knife.


You said you were
afraid of Zach. Why?

He was yelling at me.

Why didn't you
walk out the door?

I don't know.

So, you got the knife.

You walked back to Zach,

and you were holding
the knife in your hands.


Why did you
give it to him?

Was it because you were
afraid or because you

wanted to be
cool for your friend?

I don't know!

You knew what he
was going to do,

and you helped him do it.
Isn't that why?

I'm sorry!

I'm so sorry.

I'm so sorry.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.

Nothing further.

I'm so sorry.


Well, guess you got
what you wanted.

Destroying a child on the stand is
not quite the highlight of my career.

You did your job.

Careful, Alex.

You're beginning to sound like
me, disillusioned before your time.

I need you to subpoena
a rebuttal witness.

Zachary Connor.


As of today, he's been
adjudicated by Family Court.

Any testimony he gives won't be
tainted by his co-conspirator status.

If you put Zachary Connor
on the stand,

he's going to say that Jeremy did
everything and I believe that's a lie.

I'm not putting him
on the stand. You are.

Jury already thinks
I make little kids cry.

No. I won't
suborn perjury.

Then I guess you better
make sure he tells the truth.

who killed Susan Oestreicher?

Jeremy did.

So he stabbed
her with a knife?


That must have been
very frightening for you.

Yes. I was scared.

What were you scared of?



Because he's bigger.

Was Jeremy
afraid of anything?



He was just afraid.
He didn't want to get caught.

But you did get caught.

Miss Oestreicher came home.

That was Jeremy's fault.
He got it wrong.

You must have been really scared
when she walked in that door?

No, I wasn't.


Zachary, when did
you throw up?

That was Jeremy.

I thought you
were afraid, Zachary.

I thought you threw up because
you couldn't look at the blood.

I could, too.
Jeremy couldn't.

He was being a baby
and crying.

When? Before or after
she was killed?

The whole time.

And you weren't crying?
Not even just a little?


But I thought you
were afraid, Zachary.

I thought you were
afraid of Jeremy.

No, I wasn't.

And you were also afraid of that woman
because she was going to call the police.

She was afraid of me.

And you wanted to show
them both that you were a man,

and that's why you
had sex with her.

Well, that was her fault because she
wouldn't tell me where the money was.

Jeremy was crying! He wouldn't
do anything so I had to do it!

If she had just told me where the money
was, I wouldn't have had to hurt her!

Nothing further.

Five to 10 years.

He wouldn't get out
until he was 24?

It's the minimum sentence. With
good behavior, he's out in five.

But if they say not guilty,
he won't go to jail at all.

The jury will not say that.
The law is very clear.

Jeremy already admitted
to being in the apartment

with the intent to burglarize
it and someone was killed.

He can still be found
guilty of felony murder.

You want me to tell you
to send my son to jail.

Why don't we take a day
to think about this?

No. I don't need
to think about it.

The answer is no.
He didn't hurt anyone.

Mrs. Brice, if Jeremy is convicted,
he is facing a possible life sentence.

Miss Bernardo, please tell your client's
mother how rare jury nullification is.

We should take the deal.

I don't like taking
chances with the jury.

They heard that other boy.

They know Jeremy is good, and
they won't send him to jail.


No deal.

Ladies and gentlemen of the
jury, have you reached a verdict?

We have, Your Honor.

On the first count, murder in the
second degree, how do you find?

We find the defendant guilty.


On the second count, burglary in
the first degree, how do you find?

We find
the defendant guilty.

Poll the jury, Your Honor.

Juror number one,
what is your verdict?


Juror number two?


Juror number three?


Juror number four?


Juror number five?


Juror number six?


Juror number seven?