Written by: David E. Kelley
Directed by: Alex Graves
I do not own the characters in this story, nor do I own any rights to the television show 'The Practice'. They were created by David E. Kelley and belong to him and David E. Kelley Productions.
This is not a novelisation or a script. It is a straightforward and dry transcript of the episode 'Closet Justice'. It also includes descriptions of the settings and camera movements where I felt they were needed. I am not making any money or any other benefit off this, it is purely for fun.
I made every effort to accurately transcribe the dialogue from this episode. If you notice anything that has been transcribed incorrectly, please email me, and I will post an update.
This transcript was written by Ryana.
News report. The reporter is standing outside a building, from which is being wheeled a stretcher. There are police cars and police tape surrounding the building.
Lillian Curry (newsreader): ... As well as profound grief, Sister Caroline Oaks was a beloved, beloved, member of the church. Preliminary reports say she was stabbed more than thirty times...
Camera pulls back to show Helen and Lindsayís apartment. Helen is watching the news while putting on her shoes.
Helen: (over her shoulder to Lindsay) Oh, can you believe this? Just what I need.
Lindsay: Helen, itís a compliment. High profile case, you get the assignment, thatís -
Helen: Too high profile! I donít need that kind of pressure. It makes my face break out.
Lillian Curry: The police were actually responding to a call from another kidnap victim, Cynthia Simonson, when they found the nunís body in a closet...
Lindsay: (looking over Helenís shoulder) The arraignmentís when?
Helen: Nine oíclock.
Lindsay: Maybe Iíll stop by on my way and watch.
Lindsay: Cause itís high profile and I wanna be there for your first pimple. (she smiles teasingly)
Helen: Haha. Funny.
Lindsay: This is big stuff, Helen. They must consider you their go to DA. Itís a compliment.
Helen: Yeah, yeah.
Camera shows the news again, a close-up of the nunís body (covered in a sheet) being put into an ambulance and then back to Helenís worried face.
The courtroom, at the arraignment. The doors open and the bailiff escorts Michael Kingston into the room. There are booís and yells from the gallery.
Clerk: Case number 32654. Commonwealth versus Michael Kingston, murder in the first degree.
More yelling comes from the gallery. We see Lindsay leaning at the back.
Judge Hiller: Quiet down. (bangs gavel) I said, quiet! (the gallery quiets) Any body who disrupts this room will be removed, possibly to a jail cell. I donít think you want to test me.
The defence counsel stands.
Mapp: Joseph Mapp for the defendant, your honour, weíll waive reading.
Helen: Helen Gamble for the Commonwealth. Weíd obviously oppose bail.
Judge Hiller: Okay, letís conference, we can set the trial date then. (she pauses and looks out at the gallery. She leans forward) Counsel, I have great respect for the public defenders (Mapp nods) as well as your work in particular, but, given the magnitude of scrutiny this case is likely to generate, together with the limits on your officeís resources... (raising her voice) Ms Dole, would you step up here, please?
Lindsay looks startled. Helen, Mapp and Kingston turn to look at her.
Judge Hiller: Ms Dole, did you hear me? Would you please come forward?
Lindsay: (making her was through the crowd) I hope youíre not thinking of -
Judge Hiller: You win. Congratulations.
Lindsay: Your honour -
Judge Hiller: Get together with the DA. Letís conference as soon as possible.
Lindsay: Your honour, I regretfully have to decline. My schedule -
Judge Hiller: Counsel, this wasnít a request. Itís your case. Next.
Clerk: Case number 32655. People versus Nathan.
Helen and Lindsay just look at each other as Kingston is escorted back out the room.
Courthouse hall, in front of the elevators. Lindsay is pacing. The elevator doors open and Bobby walks out.
Lindsay: Can she really make me do this? She canít make me. Can she make me?
Bobby: Where is she?
Judge Hillerís chambers.
Judge Hiller: Oh, come on. You love these cases. Granted, it doesnít involve a chopped off head, but still...
Bobby: We donít want this one.
Judge Hiller: Why?
Bobby: You know why.
Judge Hiller: Well, then humour me.
Bobby: The victim is a nun. Stabbed thirty times. This kind of crime... The stigma will run to the lawyers defending the psycho who -
Judge Hiller: Again, I keep going back to the client who cut off the girls head. You defended him -
Bobby: He was innocent!
Judge Hiller: To the public he wasnít! So, you face the same stigma there, Bobby.
Bobby: Which is why we donít need to be lawyers on this one.
Lindsay: Plus, the District Attorney is my roommate. Thatís grounds for disqualification right there.
Judge Hiller: Not if the judge is convinced youíll rise above the potential conflict, which I am. (Lindsay sighs)
Bobby: Helen Gamble is also an ex-girlfriend of mine -
Judge Hiller: Youíve tried cases against her before...
Bobby: Your honour...
Judge Hiller: Bobby, if I were to recuse you every time you slept with the other side -
Lindsay: Hey. (she glances sideways at Bobby, who glances back at her)
Judge Hiller: Thereís already a lynch mob mentality out there, you can see that. I need to ensure he gets a legitimate and zealous defence. You people fight for murderers better than anybody.
Bobby: You canít force us to take this case.
Judge Hiller: Of course I can. Itís exactly what Iím doing. (Pointing to the door) Go defend him!
Bobby and Lindsay look at each other and leave the room.
Another part of the courtroom.
Jimmy: I got him down to straight probation. I think we should jump.
Burrows: But, Jimmy, if I take any guilty finding, I lose my job. Iíve got a morals clause which says any criminal conviction.
Jimmy: Maybe we could talk to your boss.
Burrows: He canít waive it, no. Thereís a precedent. This is a company with thirty-two thousand employees. This isnít fair, this isnít fair!
Rebecca: Mr Burrows, itís not like you didnít commit the crime. You offered the woman money.
Burrows: But I never would have. I am sitting in a bar, I am minding my own business and she came up to me.
Jimmy: Weíre gonna go with entrapment.
Burrows: Is there any chance we could win?
Rebecca: But not a good one.
Burrows: Well, the way I see it, Iíve got nothing to lose.
Rebecca: Yes, there is. You get convicted at trial, you could do time.
Burrows: Miss Washington, it isnít exactly like my life has a lot of dimension. I have a job, which Iíve put in sixteen years at. Iíve been a complete company man, and they say I can stay on, but not if I have a guilty finding. I wanna roll the dice, Jimmy.
Jimmy looks at Rebecca, then nods at Burrows.
The conference room.
Ellenor: This is bad.
Bobby: What can I tell you?
Ellenor: First of all, if this thing goes to trial we lose a fortune. The court order fees are minimal.
Bobby: I donít care about the money.
Eugene: Then whatís the panic, then? Weíve done nasty cases before.
Bobby: This was a nun, Eugene, stabbed repeatedly.
Eugene: I understand, but weíve defended child killers. Are you upset on religious grounds?
Lindsay: Have you been watching the news?
Ellenor: Look, we could bring a motion before a different judge, try to get out of it -
Bobby: Arguing what?
Ellenor: Hardship. That weíre too overloaded to take -
Bobby: (sternly) That wonít fly. Look... (sighs and composes himself) Look, weíve been assigned the case, so we do the job. Lindsay, meet with the client.
Lindsay: (sarcastically) Oh great.
Bobby: Ellenor, I want you to draft up a motion for a gag order. No doubt Helen will be trying this case in the media every chance she gets. You and Lindsay will try it, if it gets that far, weíre better off with women.
Lindsay: (raising her hand) Iím moving out of criminal, remember?
Bobby: Never mind. Eugene, Iíd like you to do a memorandum on changing venue. We need to try and move this thing out of Boston.
Ellenor: How about LA?
Lucy walks in with a note for Bobby.
Bobby: (taking it) Lucy, good. All calls from the media, we have no comment.
Lucy: (quietly) Okay. (she walks out)
Ellenor: Wait. Youíre putting her in charge of Ďno commentí?
Lucy: I heard that.
Ellenor: Oh, you heard that? Such radar.
Bobby: All right, all right. Letís get to work.
They all move off.
Judge Kittlesonís chambers.
Jimmy: (pacing) It isnít fair. The guy is like this sad sac. It was entrapment.
Judge Kittleson: What do you want from me, Jimmy?
Jimmy: You know I would never ask a favour in a million years that I thought was, you know, unethical -
Judge Kittleson: I donít know that, actually, but go ahead.
Jimmy: The guy is getting a bum shake. Heís worked hard in his job and heís about to lose it because some undercover cop got him aroused and... itís vintage entrapment.
Judge Kittleson: So, make the argument.
Jimmy: Iíd like to make it to you. Judge Cohenís going on vacation. This thing will get transferred to one of six divisions, including yours. I know Mark Patsos, the clerk. Iíd like him to steer it your way.
Judge Kittleson: That wouldnít be a good idea. I wouldnít kick it. From where I stand your client committed the crime, and second, I donít appreciate your even asking what youíre asking. It amounts to an exparte communication, itís wrong and you know it!
Jimmy: I gotta good guy here -
Judge Kittleson: I donít care.
Jimmy: Fine, forget it. Fine.
Judge Kittleson: Youíre angry now.
Jimmy: (getting up) Just forget it. I gotta go -
Judge Kittleson: Hey, Jimmy, I understand you wanna help your friend, but you have to understand that once I put on that robe, I donít play favourites for anybody. (pause)
Jimmy: Yeah, yeah. I thought Iíd just take a shot.
Judge Kittleson: Oh, I do like that. You do take your shots. (she hugs him and whispers in his ear) Say, why donít you come back in a couple of hours? When the robe is off? (she smiles suggestively)
We see an exterior, aerial shot of the prison, then inside to Lindsay making her was to see Kingston. She reaches the visiting room, sits and they both pick up the phones.
Lindsay: Hello, Iím Lindsay Dole.
Kingston: I know. I was there at the arraignment, remember?
Lindsay: Yes, okay. First of all, attorney client privilege, anything you say obviously goes no further so...
Kingston: Yes, but you donít want me to be too truthful in case I wanna testify. We have to preserve you from lawyer ethic problems.
Lindsay: (pauses) All right... (exhales) Any thoughts on how a sliced up nun got in your apartment?
Kingston: I havenít a clue. Howís that?
Lindsay: (ignores that) This woman, Cynthia Simonson, who called the police. Was she being held captive?
Kingston: Shouldnít you get to know a bit about me, first? I mean, Iím sure a nice person such as yourself has conflicts defending something so vile as me.
Lindsay: I kind of stay emotionally neutral in my cases. So, letís just stick with the facts of the case. Letís start with the underlying kidnap charge on the girl -
Kingston: (laughing) I didnít kidnap her. She came back to my apartment willingly. She just found herself locked in. And that would be false imprisonment, by the way, thatís a distinction from kidnapping. This isnít your first case, is it?
Lindsay: (giving him a look) No, it isnít.
Kingston: Cause you got a little virgin thing going on. Well, not that I donít like it...
Lindsay looks uncomfortable.
Lindsay: Look. Mr Kingston, youíre in jail right now either because you killed somebody, or somebody else played you for the perfect dupe. Either way, I consider you pretty stupid. And if you think youíre going to intimidate me somehow, well, you can just forget that because I really donít have the time. Iím representing you because a judge ordered me too. And I will defend you as best I can, but donít mistake my efforts for caring. You disgust me.
A church. The bells are tolling.
Sister #1: The reason he even knew her is because she reached out to help him.
Helen: How so?
Sister #2: He would show up at the church sometimes, angry, despondent. One time, Caroline approached him. That was the thing about Caroline. She was there for everybody.
Sister #1: Being there for him got her killed.
Helen: Three nights ago, she went to see him?
Sister #2: Yes. She got a call from him. And he asked if she could come visit him at his apartment. She knew nothing about his criminal record... (she trails off) We told the police all this.
Helen: I understand, but his lawyers are good and they may take this to trial. I just donít want to be surprised by anything. For example, they might even claim that Mr Kingston and Sister Caroline were having a physical relationship.
Sister #2: What??
Helen: Their job is to get him off. Theyíre not beneath arguing anything.
Sister #2: Caroline wasnít having any physical relationship. If thatís going to be their legal strategy, good luck to them. They got the wrong nun. She went there to help a man she thought was in need.
Sister #1: Miss Gamble, you are going to put this man in jail, arenít you?
Helen: Yes. Iím definitely gonna do that.
Lindsay: This woman, Cynthia Simonson, you say you didnít kidnap her.
Kingston: I met her in a bar in Kenmore (sp?) Square. She left with me. Happily. She was at the bar with friends, ask them.
Lindsay: And you came back to your apartment.
Kingston: To play Scrabble.
Lindsay: Weíre back to being cute now?
Kingston: She left with me to spend the night together. Which we did.
Lindsay: Then whyíd you keep her locked up inside?
Kingston: I didnít. I went out to get coffee in the morning and I have a barred door and padlock. Itís the only way it locks.
Lindsay: And the reason you have a barred door?
Kingston: Safety. I donít wanna get ripped off. Plus which, I had a nun in my closet and I didnít want people popping in.
Outside the prison. Police are escorting Lindsay through a loud, angry mob of protesters.
Policeman #1: Címon (They huddle around Lindsay, pushing back the crowd as they go)
Policeman #2: You got your car here?
Lindsay: I walked.
Policeman #2: Well, you wonít be walking back. Weíll get you to a cab.
Policeman #3: You know where the back entrance is?
Lindsay: Yeah (sheís suddenly hit by two eggs)
Policeman #2: Hey! Back off!
Policeman #3: Well, use it next time.
The office. Lindsay is at her desk, Lucy is trying to remove the egg shells from her hair.
Lindsay: Why me? Why always me??
Bobby: Well, it wonít be you from here on end. Iíll be with you every step. What about the supposed kidnapping of the college girl?
Lindsay: He said she went back to his place voluntarily.
Ellenor: What difference does it make? He carved up a nun.
Bobby: It may raise fourth amendment issues. Do we have an address on her?
Lindsay: Yeah, itís in my coat pocket. Probably soaked in yolk.
Bobby: Ellenor, try to talk to this girl. Eugene, I guess we should try to contact Dr Crane in case we want to go with insanity.
Eugene: Dr Crane charges five grand. This is court appointed. The state will never authorise that kind -
Bobby: Just give him a call in case we decide to go that route. Given what he did, thereís gotta be a chance heís insane.
Eugene: So, weíre going to the max for this psycho.
Bobby: Do we have a choice?
They all look glum.
Undercover Police Officer: We had a few drinks, talked.
Tisbury (defence counsel): And, at some point, officer, you told him you were a prostitute.
Police Officer: I said I was a lady of the evening, yes.
Tisbury: And how did Mr Burrows respond?
Police Officer: He was surprised at first. Maybe shocked.
Tisbury: What happened next?
Police Officer: We kept talking. I eventually asked him if heíd like to go upstairs to his hotel room. He said yes.
Tisbury: Did you ever quote him a price?
Police Officer: Four hundred dollars.
Tisbury: And then?
Police Officer: We went upstairs, he paid me the money, at which point I told him I was an undercover police officer. I placed him under arrest, read him his rights and took him into custody.
Tisbury nods at the judge and returns to his seat. Jimmy stands.
Jimmy: Why were you working this bar undercover?
Police Officer: Mainly because high price call work it. It was a problem.
Jimmy: And this is an upscale, hotel bar, right, officer?
Police Officer: Yes.
Jimmy: Lot of out of town business people frequent it, including many law-abiding people, right?
Police Officer: Yes.
Jimmy: In fact, mostly law-abiding, wouldnít you say?
Police Officer: Probably.
Jimmy: And you werenít out to sting my client specifically, were you?
Police Officer: No.
Jimmy: In fact, you didnít even know who he was, when you sat down.
Police Officer: No, I didnít.
Jimmy: And when you first sat down next to him, you told him you were an executive secretary, isnít that right?
Police Officer: Yes.
Jimmy: How long were the two of you talking before you said you were a prostitute?
Police Officer: Maybe an hour or so?
Jimmy: An hour or so. So, for a while, he couldíve thought Ďhey, this woman thinks Iím attractiveí. Is that possible?
Police Officer: I guess.
Jimmy: You guess. Well, in fact, that was the idea, wasnít it?
Police Officer: I suppose it was.
Jimmy: So, before you told him that you worked for hire, do you think it was possible that he was already hoping, maybe, something could happen upstairs in his hotel room?
Police Officer: I donít know what he was thinking.
Jimmy: Did you feel, sitting there, he was physically attracted to you?
Police Officer: Yes, I did.
Jimmy: Your honour, Iíd like to see her as she was that night.
Tisbury: Objection. Thereís no point -
Jimmy: It certainly goes to our entrapment defence.
Judge: I agree. The court will be adjourned for one hour. The witness will return in the same attire she wore that evening.
Bobby: Life with parole, we both save ourselves a lot of aggravation.
Helen: Are you out of your mind?
Bobby: He couldíve been out of his, Helen, in which case -
Helen: Thereís no way Iím making any deal which allows this guy to see the street again.
Bobby: I understand the public outcry, but -
Helen: It has nothing to do with public outcry - (pause as she composes herself, and pulls out pictures of the crime scene. She shows them to Bobby) Look at what he did. (another pause as Bobby looks at the pictures) You want him free one day?
Bobby: (looks at her) No. But if you donít offer us something, we have no choice but to go to trial. Weíll agree to life.
Helen: I canít agree to parole. Come on. Did you really expect me to?
Bobby: I donít feel like devoting six months of my life to this guy.
Helen: Judge Hiller did that to you. Not me.
A courtroom. The police officer is now dressed in a tight black evening dress and is modelling it for the jury.
Jimmy: Could you stand facing the front? (she turns around) Okay. Now facing me. (she turns again) Could you just walk over to the foreman, hold his hand?
Jimmy: A woman like this touches you... It has an effect, your honour.
Judge: Go ahead.
She walks over to the foreman, who looks rather uncomfortable, and takes his hand. The rest of the jury watch.
Jimmy: Now, smile at him like you did my client.
She smiles. The foreman smiles back rather bashfully, then looks down.
Tisbury: Objection. (stands) Objection!
The conference room.
Lindsay: I really appreciate you coming in.
Cynthia Simonson: Well, you shouldnít thank me too fast. I have absolutely no intention of helping you.
Ellenor: Believe me, we completely understand. We, ah, we just have a few questions. The police say you were locked inside Mr Kingstonís home.
Cynthia: Yeah, it was like one of those barricaded doors.
Ellenor: And you went there willingly, correct?
Cynthia: Yeah, I spent the night (thereís a pause)
Lindsay: At what point did you decide that you were kidnapped?
Cynthia: When I woke up. He was gone, and uh, I couldnít get out, the door was padlocked. I called the police. I was panicked.
Lindsay: And when they got there, you told them that there were guns in the closet?
Cynthia: I told them that was what he told me. (thereís a pause as Ellenor and Lindsay consider this.)
Lindsay: And thatís when they opened it up?
Cynthia: Yeah. Itís the last thing I remembered before passing out. When they opened the door on her... I spent the night with him. I couldíve been next.
Ellenor and Lindsay look at each other.
Lindsay: Good news, or bad, depending on how you look at it.
Lindsay: We got a shot at getting this case kicked.
Bobby: Excuse me?
Ellenor: Fourth amendment. Could be a bogus search.
Bobby: (shocked) How do you figure? They moved in on a kidnapping.
Lindsay: There was no kidnap here, Bobby. He was coming back to the place with donuts.
Bobby: The police didnít know that.
Ellenor: Bobby, there was nothing exigent.
Lindsay: The arresting officerís taking the stand tomorrow at the PC hearing. And if he says what I think heís gonna say, out little nun killer could walk.
Bobby: Lindsay, there was a woman locked up inside his apartment and a chopped up nun.
Lindsay: And Iím telling you we might be able to suppress the chopped up nun.
Bobby: (slowly) I donít really want to.
Lindsay: You think I do?
Bobby doesnít answer. They all look uncomfortable.
Helen and Lindsayís apartment.
Helen: You're kind of quiet this morning.
Lindsay: Well, you try taking the side of evil.
Helen: Yeah, well, Iíd say letís head in together but my hair doesnít like egg shampoo.
Lindsay: Well, you know, weíre supposed to be on different sides. It wouldnít look so good if we marched in together, would it?
Helen: No. See you there?
Lindsay: (nodding) See you there.
In the elevator at the courthouse.
Lindsay: She has no idea sheís about to be ambushed. I feel like a snake.
Ellenor: Lindsay, it wouldíve been unethical of you to give her the idea.
The doors open on a hall packed with media and security.
Security guard: Come on!
Bobby, Lindsay and Ellenor look stunned, the crowd gets louder.
Bobby: Wonít you clear them out?
Security guard: Open to the public.
Bobby: This is incitement!
Security guard: Letís all keep moving, please.
Burrows: I paid the woman the money, I donít deny that.
Burrows: But I didnít go into the bar looking for a call girl. I sat down at the bar. I ordered a night-cap then she sat down.
Rebecca: Okay. But, Mr Burrows, she didnít force you to hire her services.
Burrows: We were talking. Getting along. You know, I shouldíve known something was up. Pretty women never come up to me. Things were getting flirtatious, and I started thinking Ďhotel bar, Iím on the road, she says sheís on the roadí and my mind is going right to where a manís mind goes to in these situations.
Rebecca: Which is where?
Burrows: My penis. (the gallery laughs delicately)
Judge: (warningly) Mr Burrows.
Burrows: Iím just being honest. I havenít slept with a woman in four years. I donít even go looking for it, Iím a realist. But now, suddenly Iím thinking this is a possibility.
Rebecca: And then?
Burrows: Then she tells me sheís a lady of the evening.
Rebecca: And how did you respond?
Burrows: I was crushed. One minute I was thinking this beautiful woman was actually attracted to me, and then the next I come crashing back down to earth. But as we continued talking, I begin to realise why sheís sitting there, smiling at me, and it occurs to me that this possibility that Iíd been so excited about still exists! And all of the little dreams Iíd been dreaming... Well, suddenly four hundred dollars seemed cheap and I said yes. She got me as thirsty as she could, she led me to a trough and then I get arrested because I wanted to drink.
Another courtroom. The gallery is full, the front row is half filled with nuns.
Arresting Officer (on the stand): We were responding to a 911. When we got there, we found the girl behind the padlocked steel door.
Helen: Then what happened?
Arresting Officer: We cut through the door, freed the woman. She told us the suspect had guns or something in the closet. We opened the closet door, and found the remains of the nun.
Ellenor: After you cut through the front door, to reach Ms Simonson, there was no real emergency, was there, officer?
Arresting Officer: I suppose not.
Ellenor: And did you feel Ms Simonson had the authority to give you permission to open the closet?
Arresting Officer: Well -
Ellenor: You knew it wasnít her home, right? (he doesnít answer) And, by the way, how did you open the closet?
Arresting Officer: Crowbar.
Ellenor: Your honour, at this time, the defence asks that you suppress the entire contents of that closet.
Everyone except for Bobby, Ellenor, Lindsay and Kingston look shocked. The gallery begin mumbling. Lindsay looks slightly ashamed.
Judge Hiller: Quiet down! (bangs gavel) Iíll see counsel in chambers.
Judge Hillerís chambers.
Ellenor: Itís a no-brainer. No exigency, no plain sight.
Helen: The police were responding to what they thought was a kidnapping.
Lindsay: But after they went in, they had the girl.
Helen: And if thereís cause for an arrest thereís cause for a search incident to an arrest.
Bobby: Did you just make that up?
Helen: Hold on -
Bobby: They couldíve secured the premises, got the warrant. They couldíve come back and searched. Instead, they just skipped the warrant.
Helen: If there was one kidnap there couldíve been two. Somebody clearly couldíve been in that closet.
Bobby: (at the same time as Ellenor and Lindsay) Oh, Helen, donít insult the -
Lindsay and Ellenor: On, come on. (Ellenor rolls her eyes)
Judge Hiller: All right, letís just cut through this. Iím told youíd agreed to life with parole. Letís just do that.
Bobby: That offer isnít on the table anymore.
Judge Hiller: Bobby, I suggest you take it.
Judge Hiller: Because, that officer could have reasonably believed there were exigent circumstances.
Judge Hiller: Heís a young kid. He comes up on a kidnap -
Bobby: Hold on a second -
Judge Hiller: (sternly) Lower your voice, please.
Bobby: You stuck us on this case to do a job.
Judge Hiller: Which Iím grateful for -
Bobby: And you gotta do yours.
Judge Hiller: (pointing at him) Donít you raise your voice.
Bobby: Youíre looking to avoid setting this guy free, I get it. But the search was bad.
Judge Hiller: I said, lower your voice.
Bobby: There were no exigent circumstances. The suspect wasnít even there. They knew the girl had no authority to say yes to the search. They had to get a warrant. They didnít. They screwed up. And everybody in this room knows they screwed up.
Helen: And if you suppress the contents of that closet this guy walks. We all know that too. The victim and the weapon were inside.
Judge Hiller: Iíll hear oral arguments tomorrow.
Judge Hiller: Because I want to! Itís my prerogative. You keep forgetting. Iím the judge!
Bobby: Letís not you forget.
Judge Hiller: Oral arguments at ten oíclock tomorrow.
They all turn and begin to walk out.
Judge Hiller: Iíll see Miss Gamble alone.
They all stop and turn back.
Bobby, Lindsay and Ellenor: Why?
Judge Hiller: Hey! Out! (They reluctantly leave) You better give me something, Helen. I donít want to set him free anymore than you want me to. But you better give me something because... (pause)
Helen: Your honour -
Judge Hiller: Go get something. You havenít got much time.
Tisbury: You thought this woman was a prostitute. You agreed to pay her four hundred dollars for sex.
Burrows: She had me in an aroused state.
Tisbury: Is that your defence? You were in an aroused state?
Burrows: My defence is entrapment. And this crime never would have happened if she hadnít come along.
Tisbury: And you agreed to pay her four hundred dollars for sex?
Burrows: Yes, Mr Tisbury. They got me, good for them!
Jimmy: (standing) Your honour -
Burrows: No, no, Jimmy. Donít tell me to calm down. (Jimmy sits, Rebecca looks worried) Now, Iím angry. Now, listen. I pay my taxes and this is what I get? The government is waving illegal candy bars in my face HOPING that I will bite -
Tisbury: And you did bite, didnít you, sir?
Burrows: Which brings me back to CONGRATULATIONS!!! Listen, you know, maybe you should litter the streets with twenty dollar bills next and bust the homeless for when they donít turn them in.
The hallway. Jimmy and Rebecca are walking angrily to the elevator. Burrows is trailing after them. The elevator doors close.
Jimmy: What the hell was that?
Burrows: Iím angry.
Rebecca: Our chances ride on sympathy and you just blew it!
Burrows: I donít care! When I think about what they did -
Rebecca: No, you did it! They maybe brought you to the trough, but you did drink, Clyde.
Burrows: I wanted to drink! I wanted to bite! But I didnít!
Rebecca: Cause you got arrested before you could!
Jimmy: All right. Clyde, if we can still settle -
Burrows: No!(he hits the stop button) You know something, Jimmy? Iím a weak person. I know that. But I never broke a damn law in my life.
Rebecca: (muttering) Well, you broke this one.
Burrows: They caused me to and it just isnít fair!
Rebecca hits the start button. She and Jimmy look at each other, and Rebecca shakes her head.
Helenís office. Sheís ordering out her helpers.
Helen: Anything and everything on search and seizure. Get on west law, check the Virginia case that threw out Miranda. Forget lunch, forget dinner. I need those citations by seven oíclock. Go go go!!! (they leave)
Mark (Helenís boss?) comes in.
Mark: Donít tell me.
Helen: The officers screwed up, Mark! Now, Iím screwed going in there.
Mark: Helen, if he walks, this -
Helen: Heís going to walk, Mark, unless... (she sighs) Between now and ten oíclock tomorrow morning, I have to find something.
Judge Kittlesonís chambers. Judge Hiller walks in.
Judge Hiller: How up to date are you on the fourth amendment?
Judge Kittleson: The fourth amendment is an embarrassment. What else do you need to know? (Judge Hiller doesnít answer) Whatís wrong?
Judge Hiller: I may have to set the nun killer free.
Judge Kittleson: (shocked) What?
Judge Hiller: Warrantless search. Stupid police mistake.
Judge Kittleson: Oh, god.
Judge Hiller: Maybe I should just look the other way. Let the appeals court do the dirty work.
Judge Kittleson: That isnít you, Zoey, we both know that.
Judge Hiller: Suppose I transfer it over to you?
Judge Kittleson: Well, itĎs not me either. Besides which, Iím having a little thing with one of the lawyers at Bobby Donnellís firm, so Iíd have to recuse myself anyway.
Judge Hiller: What?
Judge Kittleson: Oh, Jimmy Berluti. Little frolic.
Judge Hiller: Have you lost your mind?
Judge Kittleson: What? Iím not supposed to have a personal life?
Judge Hiller: Well, you shouldnít be having it with lawyers who appear before you -
Judge Kittleson: I donít. Thatís what Iíd just said. Iíd have to recuse myself. You know, itís been quite a while since Iíve seen you smile. It wouldnít be such a bad thing if you went out and got yourself a -
Judge Hiller: (sternly and rising) Never mind! (she goes to the door and stops. Thereís a pause) What am I going to do, Roberta? The man viciously killed a nun. I put him back out there, heíll no doubt kill somebody else...
Judge Kittleson: What about the kidnap charge?
Judge Hiller: It wonít stick. They arrested the guy coming back to the house with coffee. The phone in the apartment worked, she was free to make a call... Clearly, she wasnít being kidnapped. What the hell am I gonna do?
Night-time. Helen and Lindsayís apartment. Helen is perusing a fax from the fax machine as Lindsay enters.
Helen: (not looking up) Nice bomb, Lindsay. Couldnít tell me over breakfast, could you?
Lindsay: (shaking her head) No. (thereís an awkward pause) Sorry.
Helen: You know, I realise you didnít want this case either, but still. What you do for a living, itís repulsive. And your little credo of Ďjust doing my jobí... It doesnít excuse it.
Lindsay: (shocked) Hold on a second, Helen.
Helen: No, you hold on. (she walks over to Lindsay, clearly upset) It says something about a personís character, the type of work that she would do.
Lindsay: Youíre turning this personal?
Helen: (raising her voice slightly) The fact that you can represent him, even under court order, and look at yourself in the mirror -
Lindsay: (pushing past her) Iím not gonna listen to this.
Helen: Oh no, donít! It might kick up a bit of a conscience!
Lindsay: (turning back to her) Oh, give me a break. (Lindsay still hasnít raised her voice)
Helen: (yelling now) No, Lindsay, the breaks go to people who kill nuns!
Lindsay: (now beginning to raise her voice, but only slightly) And the police cause theyíre always innocent.
Helen: The police try to catch criminals, Lindsay -
Lindsay: Well, what about when three of them planted a knife in Ellenorís desk trying to frame her and George Vogelmann?
Helen: Iím not talking about that!
Lindsay: (loudly, but still not yelling) I am. And youíre crying about -
Helen: (yelling desperately) This guy killed a nun!
Lindsay: And if we could trust the police then we wouldnít have all the search and seizure -
Helen: Oh, donít talk to me! (she turns her back on Lindsay)
Lindsay: Oh, donít turn this on me. If you were in my position, youíd do the same -
Helen: (yelling right in Lindsayís face) I would never be in your position!!!
Helen: (crying) Go to hell!
Lindsay: (quietly and dangerously) You go to hell.
She walks away and slams the door. Helen slumps to the floor, crying.
Helen and Lindsayís apartment, the next morning. Helen is sitting at the table in front of a lap top computer. The table is covered in papers and books
Lindsay: (coming in, surprised) Were you up all night?
Helen: Couldnít sleep. Iím sure you could.
Lindsay: Oh, go to hell again.
Helen: Lindsay. (she pauses) Iím sorry. I donít mean to take it out on you, but youíre here.
Lindsay: You think I want the guy free, Helen?
Helen: (shaking her head) No.
Tisbury: He hired her. Four hundred dollars he agreed to pay her. And his defence is what? The aroused penis defence? The thing about prostitution, ladies and gentlemen, we can throw the janes in jail. But they end up right back out there. Because they have no choice. Broke, some with drug problems, some with children to support... They can trade on their bodies, and they do. They end up right back out on the street. Because as far as they see it, thereís no other choice. Deterrence works on the johns. And if we can shut down the demand by going after them... And this man (pointing to Burrows) he had a choice, didnít he? He chose to knowingly break the law. To pay for sex. Now, he has to pay the consequences for that choice. (he sits)
Jimmy: Entrapment. Thatís defined as when a person is lured into the commission of a crime that he has no predisposition to commit. And thatís this case. Clyde Burrows never wouldíve committed this crime if he had been left alone by the police. Thatís entrapment. And Mr Tisbury stands here, lecturing you on how we have to stop the johns. Clyde never was a john in his life. He only became a john here, because the police convinced him to become one. And, big picture. Is this what we want the police to be doing? Staking out law-abiding citizens, baiting them into committing crimes, then busting them? Sure, if Clyde Burrows had been stronger, he couldíve resisted. Maybe if heíd been more moral, he wouldíve resisted. But he wasnít. He was weak. And thank goodness we have the police to go out and find the weak and lure them into committing crimes. Come on. The police are supposed to protect us! Not trap us. The police are supposed to be catching the people who are out there committing crime. Not finding innocent people and luring them into committing crime. (he pauses) Clyde Burrows would not be sitting here today but for the actions of a police officer. (slowly) Is this the government we want? (he stares at the jury meaningfully)
The office. The phone rings and Lucy picks it up.
Lucy: Donnell, Young, Dole and Frutt... (she listens) Oh, shut up. (she hangs up and dials again. Faintly we can hear the ring on the other end and the greeting) Ever heard of *69, you idiot?? Iím reporting you to the police. (she slams the phone down)
Eugene: (coming out of his office) Whatís going on?
Lucy: Itís this case. People donít like us doing it. (she walks away leaving Eugene looking thoughtful)
Lindsay: Absent exigent circumstances, the police cannot search without a warrant.
Judge Hiller: They thought she was kidnapped.
Lindsay: Which buys them entry. But once they had her, once the exigency was over, they had to get a warrant. There was no danger of losing evidence, they couldíve secured the premises. They canít even argue search incident to the arrest because the suspect (indicates Kingston) was arrested outside the building. (pause and sigh) I know the idea of setting a murder defendant free is, of course, repugnant to everybody in this room. Especially this defendant. But we have a constitution. A fourth amendment and case law that couldnít be more clear. The police were required to have a warrant to search that closet. They didnít get that warrant. As a result, everything in that closet is inadmissible as evidence.
Judge Hiller looks thoughtful. Lindsay sits.
Judge Hiller: Ms Gamble (Helen doesnít move) Ms Gamble? (Helen stands)
Helen: The fourth amendment does not require warrants. It protects people against unreasonable searches, but it has never, by its language, required warrants.
Judge Hiller: The Supreme Court has chimed in and said that it does.
Helen: The modern Supreme Court interpret it that way. The language only required reasonableness, and nowhere, nowhere does the fourth amendment say that evidence obtained absent of warrant, or even absent of reasonableness be excluded. This exclusionary rule wasnít carved out by the courts until 1961. That means for 172 years the fourth amendment did just fine without excluding evidence. The courts decided to impose that sanction. The courts decided that that would be the best way to remedy police misconduct. Now, weíve stretched it to remedy police mistakes. Innocent mistakes which themselves are reasonable. If a convicted felon locks up a woman, if he tells her has guns in his closet, reason says heís forfeited his right to privacy. Reason says those police officers should go in and investigate.
Judge Hiller: Are you asking me to ignore the holdings of the Supreme Court?
Helen: Iím asking you to recognise the absurdity of the exclusionary rule. Iím asking you to recognise how ridiculous it is to require 20 year old police officers to understand the law when judges and lawyers canít. In this case, there was no misconduct by the officers. They rescued a woman who appeared to be kidnapped. They attempted to make sure the apartment was gun free before the kidnapper returned. This is reasonable. That man sitting right over there stabbed a nun thirty times, and cut her into pieces. He has a felony record, he - (she breaks off and takes a minute to compose herself. Lindsay looks concerned) Last night, I got into a creaming argument with the defence counsel. (Lindsay closes her eyes) She accused me of making this personal. It is personal. I take my job very personally, your honour. I like to come in here thinking the work I do counts for something. Just like those police officers. And when we see criminals get turned loose on technicalities that have nothing to do with merit or - (she sighs) The Constitution was designed to protect then innocent. Not the guilty. And this case, this man, your honour. Feed this right into the mouths of the Supreme Court. If they wanna spit him back on the street, yes. Yes, Iím asking you to overrule recent decisions. We need a brave judge to do that, your honour, otherwise, theyíll never get the chance to revisit the irrationality of - (she breaks off and pauses) He killed a nun. He mutilated a nun and stuffed her into a closet. The fourth amendment was never meant to protect this animal. Iím sorry. Itís personal.
The hallway. Bobby, Lindsay and Ellenor are pushing through the protesting mob to a room. They enter and close the door.
Ellenor: Wouldnít wanna be Judge Hiller.
Lindsay: I think Helen did pretty well.
Bobby: Giving her a hand? Iíve seen you better?
Lindsay: Iím sorry?
Bobby: You hit all the marks, you certainly werenít bad, but Iíve seen you better.
Lindsay: Are you accusing me of something?
Lindsay: Letís see you defend that guy better, Bobby.
Bobby: I wasnít criticising -
Lindsay: Yes, you are. And I donít like it. (thereís an uncomfortable pause)
Helenís office. Sheís at her desk, staring sadly off into space, on the brink of tears. She slowly leans forward and rest her head in her hands.
Courtroom. Burrows trial.
Judge: Will the defendant please rise? (Jimmy, Rebecca and Burrows stand) Has the jury reached its verdict?
Foreman: We have, your honour.
Judge: What say you?
Foreman: In the matter of Commonwealth versus Burrows, on the count of solicitation. We find the defendant, Clyde Burrows, not guilty.
(Clydeís happiness and relief is quite obvious)
Rebecca: (dumbfounded) Wow.
Burrows: Oh god... Thank you! (turns to Jimmy) Thank you.
Jimmy: (smiling) You stuck to your guns, Clyde. You hung in there.
A bar. Jimmy, Rebecca and Clyde are celebrating.
Jimmy: I gotta admit, I didnít think weíd win.
Burrows: Yeah, well, I owe you big.
Jimmy: Do me a favour, from now on go to bars like this instead of hotels. Pretty women donít come in here. Oh, except for Bec.
Judge Kittleson: (appearing behind them) I take offence at that.
Jimmy: (surprised to see her) Roberta - (stands)
Rebecca looks doubtfully at Judge Kittleson.
Judge Kittleson: Hi. I just swung by to tell you I wonít be able to see you later tonight. I gotta check on Judge Hiller. She may need me.
Rebecca: Oh. Howíd she rule?
Judge Kittleson: Oh, she hasnít yet. I donít know which way sheís gonna go. (she turns back to Jimmy) So, can I please have a raincheck for dinner?
Jimmy: Sure. (Judge Kittlesonís beeper goes off) Sure.
Judge Kittleson: Oh, never mind... I gotta go, um - (she kisses Jimmy on the cheek) Iíll call you later. (she leaves.)
Rebecca looks at Jimmy questioningly.
Jimmy: (defensively) Weíre friends.
Rebecca looks disbelieving, and doesnít answer.
Courtroom. Once again the gallery is full, the front filled with nuns. Judge Hiller enters. Thereís a long silence.
Judge Hiller: (taking a deep breath) I agree with Miss Gamble. There is nothing in the language of the fourth amendment that requires warrants. Nor is there anything that says illegally obtained evidence should be excluded. These rulings have been carved out by the courts in response to our distrust of the police. I also realise that the courts are more willing to adjust their thinking for the needs of the day. We search bags at airports now without warrants. Make people go through metal detectors. California requires finger prints just to get a drivers licence. The Department of Transportation has mandatory drug testing. We have all these invasive things we do to people, absent not only warrants, but absent any suspicions of wrongdoing! So, why canít a police officer whoís been told there are weapons in the closet of a convicted felon, a man suspected of kidnapping, why canít he open the closet? I agree with the district attorney, the fourth amendment has been interpreted and expanded by the courts to the point where it belies both the language and the intent of the amendment. Which is reasonable? (slight pause) But. I also know the Supreme Court rulings on search and seizure have set clear rules. And as much as I would love to be a renegade, our criminal justice system has no chance whatsoever once the judges themselves begin embracing judicial anarchy. (she begins to speak slowly) The search of the closet was illegal. The contents are inadmissible. (Helen shakes her head, sadly) With the contents suppressed, I find no probable cause to hold the defendant. He is free to go. (she bangs the gavel and leaves quickly)
The gallery is in an uproar. The nuns are stunned and the reporters are badgering Kingston as he gets his cuffs removed. Bobby and Ellenor look uncomfortable, Lindsay like sheís about to start crying. Helen also looks about to start crying. Kingston leaves the room, a huge smile on his face. Lindsay stands and walks towards Helen. They meet in the middle of the tables and hug each other, crying softly.
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