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.
Logan: We can tell a felony from a traffic ticket.
Dr. Auster: Look, a patient walks in with a headache. She could have a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a berry aneurysm, a retro-orbital tumor...or does she just have a headache? Do you give her an aspirin? Or do you saw open her skull?
Max: You make this speech at funerals?
Nevins: Isn't it possible that pneumonia killed Suzanne Morton?
Medical Examiner: It's possible that death rays from Mars killed her. But I don't think so.
Dr. Auster: Well, people like to believe that medicine is pure science. Medicine is a science. But doctors know it's also a lottery.
Stone: We got what we needed from Dr. Simonson.
Dr. Auster: An intern, Mr. Stone. Are you planning on asking the cleaning lady to testify, too? About the time I threw the tissue into the wastepaper basket and missed?
Stone: You know the difference between Auster and a serial killer?
Robinette: The weapon.
Dr. Auster: When you practice medicine, Mr. Stone, sometimes the patient dies.
Stone: And when you're a lawyer, Dr. Auster, some of the people you prosecute are convicted.
Dr. Raza: My children want to stay in this country, my wife wants to stay, and to stay, all I have to do is to be perfect all the time!
Logan: Well you, uh, fell a little short of perfection on Suzanne Morton's chart.
Stone: [surprised] Ralston, Alan?! Great. He was killed with his own gun.
Max: That's amazing. I know cops who been in shooting cases that can't remember their badge numbers afterwards. Her husband gets shot, she gets shot, victim of a horrible crime, she remembers every second.
Stone: True love. They'd sell each other out for a nickel.
Ralston: You don't scare me, Mr. Stone.
Stone: Oh yes I do, Mrs. Ralston. I scare you a great deal. And I should.
Max: I hate horseback riding. Scares the hell out of me.
Logan: Scary for the horse, too.
Schell: It's a crime of passion, Stone. Pure and simple.
Stone: A crime of passion is never pure, and it's certainly not simple.
Stone: Either she's evil, or she's 2 years old. She wants what she wants when she wants it.
Hotel Worker: 50 cents! I’ve been working hotels for 40 years, and I ain’t seen a 2-bit tip since those Kennedys been in office. You see what I’m getting’ at? Then this duke asks me about getting a girl, and I tell him, "A big tipper like you don’t need no girl!"
Jasmine: You should have sent your partner. I don't usually do discipline, but I would love to teach him some manners.
Max: If I'm wrong, I'll go to the grand jury and say I killed the kid.
Reverend Thayer: Now is the time to remember the real Tommy Richardson, and what he meant to this community. He was a symbol of what every child born into poverty could achieve. He gave back to his people his time, his energy, his love. And he tried to help even more. He tried to help others by giving money. But to get that money, he sold drugs. And he was shot to death in the gutter because of it. What Tommy Richardson wanted to do for his people was right! But he did it the wrong way! And the policeman who shot him, that was wrong, too! But it would not have happened... without drugs!
Stone: It's the last one, no more cops, it's too hard.
Max: Know why I wouldn't let go? Because there but for the grace of God go I, or any cop. You get caught, you get prosecuted.
Captain Cragen: Are you trying to tell me you were totally unaware of your daughter's condition?
Dr. Lowenstein: That's right. Completely.
Captain Cragen: And why is that?
Dr. Lowenstein: Why is that? I... was a little out of it.
Logan: We thought it was "out of town".
Dr. Lowenstein: Did Carla tell you that? Look, I have to tell her something. She's unbelievably jealous. I'm working late at the office, and she assumes I'm getting carpet burn with the cleaning lady, my secretary, anybody. Doesn't matter.
Max: Aren't you?
Dr. Lowenstein: Aren't I what? [Max smirks] Please. That was therapy.
Logan: For her or for you?
Dr. Lowenstein: For her! In Reichian therapy, the patient has to--
Max: Really get to know the therapist, hmmm?
Logan: [about Carla Lowenstein] Everything’s a mirror to her. She holds a dying kid up to it, and all she can see is herself and how it affects her. Now you give her sympathy, she’s gonna want to fight. You give her a fight, she’s gonna want a kiss. You give her a kiss and I swear to God she’ll bite your tongue out.
Max: You, uh, saw this on Oprah, or what?
Logan: [pause] My mother. Yeah. She always said she was cut out for something greater than being the wife of a cop from the Lower East side. God, she was a bottomless pit. Everything was, "Give me your undivided attention." When the old man couldn't take it anymore, he'd give her a whack, and then she'd turn around and whack me. She always got this look in her eye, y'know, and I saw it coming. Now, that witch in there, she's got that same look.
Stone: The whole thing is unfathomable. I feel like I'm floating face down, and there's a mile of black water between me and any reasonable explanation for this.
Stone: Well, there's something else going on here. It's not her. It's him. There's something depraved.
Schiff: Alright, what bothers you the most about this?
Stone: Well... my own rage.
Schiff: What do your guts tell you?
Stone: Put 'em both in a dungeon, put 'em on a wheel, and annihilate 'em.
Stone: I didn't hear you knock.
Shambala: That's because I didn't. If I'd have knocked, you would have heard me.
Stone: Mrs. Lowenstein, tell the court why you struck your daughter hard enough to kill her.
Carla: Well, I was loaded, and I really didn't think I had any strength left.
Stone: Why would you do such a thing?
Carla: My husband - He convinced me to.
Dr. Lowenstein: [jumps out of his seat] She's out of her mind!!
Judge Erdheim: Dr. Lowenstein! One more outburst, and I'll have you shackled for the remainder of this trial!
Judge Erdheim: [during the Lowensteins' sentencing hearing] As eloquent as your counsel was in your behalf, you are not the victim here, Mrs. Lowenstein. The victim was an innocent 6-year-old girl who couldn't defend herself. On the count of manslaughter in the first degree, the court sentences you to 7-10 years in a women's correctional facility. [to Dr. Lowenstein] As for you, sir, from this seat, from this bench I thought I had witnessed every degradation, every monstrosity possible, but you, Doctor, are beyond contempt. You have helped a woman destroy herself. You engineered the tragedy of a little girl's death. But you took pretty good care of yourself, didn't you?
Dr. Lowenstein: Your honor, I've lost my family.
Judge Erdheim: Yes, you have. Jacob Lowenstein, having been found guilty of murder in the second degree by depraved indifference to human life, this court sentences you to 25 years to life in a state penitentiary.
[the Lowensteins are escorted out by the court officers]
Carla: [to her husband] Baby, what's gonna happen to us now? Pookie can't live without her daddy. Pookie needs you. Pookie needs you.
Eaton: You look me in the eye and you tell me this system is just. This system is equal.
Robinette: At times the system stinks, Eaton. I know that as well as you do. But don’t for one damn minute tell me that your self-aggrandizing polarization is going to solve the problem. Don’t tell me that tearing down a 200-year old justice system, no matter how flawed, is going to alter the consciousness of a society. Now, we’re past the separate drinking-fountain stage. We’re past legal discrimination. We’re at the hearts and minds stage. And believe me, there’s no quick fix.
Eaton: Another zombified soul casts his vote for order rather than justice. Negative peace over positive peace.
Robinette: Paraphrasing Martin Luther King’s thoughts won’t lend credence to yours. King walked with the angels...you’d slide in slime on your belly to get what you want.
Stone: Objection, this case is being judged on the temporal plane, your honor.
Kevin: [about the effect of his sister's death] This morning, my father made himself a cup of coffee. Put in milk, sugar...then he went over to the sink and poured it down the drain. He didn't know what he was doing. I was taking the highway to work, and I forgot to get off. I got to 95th street before I realized. I used to have a sister, and suddenly...I don't.
Schiff: Amazing. Getting angry. The most emotional issue that the law has dealt with since suffrage. Look at us: 3 men. Talking about what rights women should have over their own bodies. Now doesn’t that strike you as a little one-sided?
Mr. Donovan: Our daughter acted according to her own conscience. We can live with that-
Mrs. Donovan:[interrupts him, distraught]YOU can live with that! A martyr will never be able to tell me what a wonderful day she had at school. A martyr will never have a wedding. A martyr will never have children!
Stone: If you’re gonna stick your finger in my eye, Mr. Ballard, clean your own nails first.
Stone: If abortion is murder, then no matter how you feel about Mary Donovan, aren't you guilty of the murder of her unborn child?
Max: What if it was just you and Walker, alone in an alley, he had no gun, and was willing to surrender?
Det. Profaci: I'd shoot him in the face.
Cassie: You know, when I was a little girl, mama used to tell me that you do good? You'll be okay. [pauses] I guess kids got to believe that. 'Else they'd never grow up.
Landlord: I never got the fuss when a cop gets killed. You guys get paid to deal with scum- Whatcha think's gonna happen, you do that? 2 weeks, 3 weeks... you'll be gone. But I'll still be here, and so will the company that pays my salary.
Stone: Do you know what this is?
Convict: It's a gun.
Stone: [sarcastically] Very good, can you spell gun?
Woodleigh: Just like I have, Mr. Stone. The hope is we'll both live long and happy lives.
Stone: Please believe me, I'm glad you're healthy again. I know how close to death you were. But, Ms. Woodleigh, do you really think your father would have acted any differently if you had needed a heart instead of a kidney?
Max: It's easier to bust out of Attica than to leave a hospital without paying.
Reberty's Attorney: What's it going to take to make you happy, Stone?
Stone: The Mets in the Series, peace on Earth, and Dr. Reberty in Dannemora.
Robinette: According to the doorman, Detective Shearer was gone for 3 hours.
Stone: Your drycleaner in Philadelphia?
O'Farrell: If there's any crookedness, I'll buy the whole department dinner.
Logan: At these prices, you'll have to take out a second mortgage.
O'Farrell: Only if I'm wrong.
Cragen: This is freakin' amazing. I don't know a computer disk from a slipped disk.
Judge: Before we adjourn, I want to note for the record that I am appalled. We often say that our public officials are not above the law, but that's not enough. They represent it; if they don't obey it, who will?
Dr. Olivet: He's psychotic; he's not psychopathic.
Cerreta: What's the difference?
Dr. Olivet: Psychotic is when you believe the doorman was sent from Planet X to put mind control devices in your teeth. Psychopathic is when you blow the doorman away and take out 20 other people while you're at it.
Ms. Murdoch: How come every freak in the country lives in New York? Why don’t some of you people move to Nebraska?
Violet: I’m from Nebraska, sweetie. How do you think I got this way?
Lemonhead: I want that reward.
Cerreta: I thought Polesky was your friend.
Lemonhead: I'm flexible.
Logan: Crazy, not stupid.
Stone: [to a mentally ill witness] Your psychiatrist tells us that you have moments of rational thought. We're going to take care of you, and you're going to go back in there and have one of those moments.
[The suspicious burning of a Latino nightclub, 'El Cielo', leads to the deaths of 53 people, and is quickly determined to be arson. ]
[Logan and Cerreta interrogate a hungover suspect.]
Logan: Where'd you go after that?
Chuey: No se.
Logan: No se? Or won't se?
Captain Cragen: What is less than square one?
Judge Waxman: This is a difficult decision. It brings the rights of the individual to head-on conflict with legitimate governmental requirements. However, I'm inclined to grant the people's limited request.
Pescador: What?! [gets out of his seat] This is worse than Castro, man!
[everyone in the courtroom goes berserk as the judge continuously bangs his gavel]
Pescador: You can't cut my leg without my say-so! I'm not going to no hospital! I'm not going to no hospital!
Judge Waxman: All of you, sit down! Quiet in this courtroom! Quiet! I said quiet, or I'll clear the court! [bangs gavel again] Excuse me! [bangs again, silencing the crowd] Excuse me, Mr. Pescador. We can and will. Now, sit down!
[Pescador sits down]
Judge Waxman: The defendant will submit forthwith to the surgical procedure, which shall be conducted in the manner consistent with this court's written ruling.
Robinette: Attempted homicide?! Those 53 people are homicides. They're dead.
Attorney: He didn't mean to kill anyone, Paul!
Robinette: Don't tell me you're even thinkin' about negligent homicide. Now, look, if he's only a messenger boy, he'd better start namin' names, or he's goin' down alone.
Attorney: He says if he goes to prison, the man'll have him killed.
[Robinette pins Pescador against the wall]
Robinette: Listen to me, man! You don't go to jail, there's about 500 grievin' relatives out there who'd be happy to kill you! You hear what I'm sayin'?!
Pescador: I'll take my chances with them.
Robinette: This is a ridiculous exercise. No matter what, he's goin' down. We send him upstate, downstate, it doesn't matter. Somebody'll get him. This is not a perfect world, Cesar, but then, you already know that.
[Pescador tries to stand up on his incapacitated leg, but cannot and hits the ground]
Pescador: It ain't fair! You know, that assassin didn't even pay me. I get nothing for the deal.
Robinette: What assassin? And what's the deal?
Attorney: Tell him, Cesar. Tell him!
Pescador: A lot of people give the Cubano a lot of money for their micas. 5, 6,000 cash. And then they find out they're bogus. A bunch of paper, man. So they start making noise.
Robinette: What kinda noise?
Pescador: Lot of lawyers telling them, "Hey. You got rights, too". So the people, they want to turn the Cubano in. So he come to me, and he says, "Cesar, Cesar, I tell you what to do. You send those people a message. You put the fear of God into them".
Robinette: By burning down the club?
Pescador: It was supposed to be a warning! Like what they do in El Salvador. The Cubano, he says, "So some people burn, then so what? There's a whole lot more where they come from." The people in El Cielo... Lot of Salvadorans. They got the message. They got the message.
[Robinette helps him back onto his wheelchair]
Robinette: The Cuban. What's his name?
Pescador: Guerra. Domingo Guerra. He owns a club himself. The Del Mundo. Del Mundo.
Marcus: The jury in Los Angeles delivered us a clear message. Black people are on their own! No justice except for what we do for ourselves. No prosperity, except what we create with our own hands! Well, I'm here to tell you that I welcome that message. Because we, as a people, are not without resources! The Jews did for their own. The Koreans do for their own. Now is the time to do for our own! Anger is a force for change, but not if it blinds us! The road ahead is filled with distractions! Hate for the white man is a distraction, and we are better than that! And I... I am here to tell you... Believe me, brothers and sisters, we will have the last word!
Schiff: Blame it on the CIA. They haven't been fingered in years.
[In an undercover job, Cerreta has been shot by a gun dealer]
Cerreta: 30 years...I never even...fired...
[The murderer of the hitman the DA's office was prosecuting has fled to Colombia, and they are discussing the case. The phone rings.]
Schiff: Yes? [Listens] Uh-huh? [Continues] Not an accident? [Continues] Thank you. [Hangs up] The gun dealer was in the yard at Rikers; had his throat cut. The victim's mother was thrown out a third-story window.
Robinette: What about the little girl?
Schiff: She was picked up after school by her uncle.
[Stone prosecutes a man who killed his wife to keep her from revealing that he was a concentration camp guard in World War II]
Steinmetz: An SS officer, Heinrich, came to our door and gave us cake instead of bread. He said that if I could convince my neighbors to go along, nobody would be killed. People lived a few days, a few hours longer - that's what it was about. People who were not there could not possibly understand.
Stone: Your wife understood, sir. That's why you killed her.
Judge Stein: Ben, you are walking through history. God help us if you fall down.
Briscoe: So, the mother should've allowed her daughter to shoot the family fortune into her arm?
Logan: Would you kick your daughter out just to save the family fortune?
Briscoe: My daughter could go through my family fortune in a day and a half.
Robinette: You may not believe this, but I'm truly sorry for what happened to your family. But you want us to bend the law. And we both know what it's like when there's one law for black and another for white. It was no good 50 years ago, it's no good now.
Fred: You think the system's gonna change? You think we're gonna be equal? Call me when your kids grow up. Tell me how they're doing. The system's been against us for a long time. Maybe right now, it's gotta bend the other way.
Logan: You're under arrest. You have the right to remain silent. And if you move funny, I'll blow your head off.
[Stone is delivering his closing statement in the trial of cops who were accused of allowing a gay cop to die because they hated gay people]
Stone: So, let's suppose that it's true what Defense Attorney Schell implies that each of you, all of you, sympathize with the defendants, trapped as they are in their fears; that, in fact, more people hate homosexuals than are willing to admit, then I venture to say that somewhere in your family history, someone somewhere hates you or your relatives for no other reason than that they are black or white, Slovak instead of Czech, Protestant instead of Catholic, left-wing not right. And are you going to let officers of the law determine which of you they will help based on who and what you are? If so, then don't dial 9-1-1, even if you think you're one of them because you may end up being Officer Newhouse. These defendants let a man die and, for all of us, you must hold them responsible.
Coster: Your honor, my client is a respected oral surgeon.
Judge Sirkin: No dice, counselor. I've seen Marathon Man.
Attorney: Mr. Kirk, when you leave the hospital, where are you going to go?
Kirk: My sister said I could stay with her.
Attorney: But things didn't work out the last time you stayed there.
Kirk: That was her fault.
Attorney: And when you left her house, where did you go?
Kirk: Where I live, Bedford Street. See, there's this sonic convergence...
Attorney: And when you go there, you get high, don't you?
Kirk: Yes. I have to. I feel better.
Attorney: And you buy the crack using money you won from suing the residents of Bedford Street, isn't that right?
Kirk: They harassed me!
Attorney: They say they're the victims.
Kirk: I'm the victim! He tried to kill me! I may never walk right again!
Attorney: You're gonna sue 'em again, Mr. Kirk?
Kirk: You better believe it! I'll get enough crack to last me a lifetime! And every time that son of a bitch walks out of his apartment, he'll see me, sitting in my Rolls Royce wheelchair, getting high and getting in his pudgy little face!
Jackson: [testifies against Tunney] I remember the voice of the first white man who told me not to come in his store. I remember the voice of the doctor who told me I had a healthy son. And I remember the voice of the man who took out a gun and shot me.
Stone: [after a phone call] Tunney has been out on the streets since 4:00 this afternoon.
Stone: This whole story plays both ways. The father had accidents. The son was abused, or it was the other way around. But the father's not here to defend himself, so the jury could give this kid a college going-away party.
Schiff: Kills his father, the mother defends him. Doesn't the sister have a stake in all this?
Kincaid: We scheduled her for a statement. She didn't come in. Should I try again?
Stone: Why? She didn't say anything before, why would she start now?
Schiff: Before, her father was just bruised; now he's buried.
Stone: You claim that you loved your father.
McKinnon: I did. I did love him.
Stone: How did you show that love? By hiding him from your friends? By telling him he's nothing? You may call that love. Most of us call it shame.
Stone: Mr. Swann, do you routinely list killing people as part of your daily calendar?
Swann: Mr. Stone, do you routinely lack a sense of humor?
Stone: About murder, I have none, sir.
Swann: You give up so easy? It doesn't make any sense, Ben; you're being totally impractical… and it's not like you.
Stone: Obviously you don't know me. You never did.
Swann: I guess you just weren't clever enough. [pause] I got this far, Ben.
Stone: A lot of effort to wind up right back where you started. And in polite society, sir, you don't call people by their first name unless they ask you to - I didn't do that. You're not a friend, and you're certainly not a colleague.
Swann: I spent 8 years earning the right to call you whatever the hell I want!
[A defense lawyer is attempting to discredit the prosecution's Korean-American eyewitness with expert testimony that cross-racial identification is unreliable.]
Judge: You have an expert witness?
Lawyer: I do, judge: a psychologist.
Stone: Why didn't we hear about this in pre-trial motions?
Lawyer: Gee, Ben, I'm sorry. I was a little late with my legal research.
Stone: You knew about this weeks ago; you warned me that this witness would be a problem.
Lawyer: [Hurried] I don't recall that.
Judge: Off the record, please. [His scribe stops typing] I can't prove this, Tom, but I think you're lying.
Lawyer: Your honor, I don't think —
Judge: Don't play dumb with me. You didn't want Ben to know where you were going. I'll let you have your witness, but one of these days, you're gonna get caught, you'll get disbarred, and I'll be there to applaud.
Schiff: Quick, lock the door; someone might walk in with a case we could win.
Stone: Come on, Adam, the jury didn't buy it. Cross-racial identification, it's bogus.
Schiff: I wouldn't count your chickens; your omelette just hit the fan.
Judge Thayer: [to Kincaid, his ex-lover] You weren't my best, but you're proving to be my most expensive.
Stone: Your honor, this is insufficient. The defendant is behaving as if someone else committed this crime...
Gold: You want him on his knees, Ben?
Judge Thayer: Walter...
Judge Schreiber: Judge Schreiber, to you. Now, I've heard all the dodging and weaving I can take on this one. You wore the same robes I do - you know the drill. Now, if you want to dance, you can come back and dance at a trial, so let's hear it. All of it.
Schiff: After 20 years in this office, you'd think you'd have a sense of reality.
Stone: Reality? The reality is that no one is willing to draw a line in the sand. Nobody is willing to say that the law is the law. And if you break it, you will be prosecuted: win, lose or draw.
Stone: Shambala...just once, I'd like to hear someone in this country stand up and say 'I did it. I'm the one responsible for my actions, not my television set, and not the color of my skin.' And if it makes you feel good to call me a racist, fine. But if you want to know who's really responsible for racism in today's society, take a good look in the mirror.
McCoy: Haas tells one patient she's got a cure, it's a little white lie. She tells 2 patients, it's unforgivable. She tells 3 patients, she's a murderer. She tells 4 patients, she's a damn murderer, and it's all admissible!
[A councilman is accused of extorting sex from a female employee]
Mr. Talbert: Not only was it consensual, it wasn't very good.
McCoy: [disgusted] You're a piece of work, Mr. Talbert.
McCoy: [his closing summation] Give me the keys to your house, or I'll charge you with murder. I'm the D.A. I can do it. Give me $10,000, or I'll tell the Feds about that shipment of heroin I saw you pick up at J.F.K. I'm the D.A. They'll listen. What would you do? I can tell you what I'll be doing for the next 10 years or so. I'll be in Attica, because what I just did is called extortion, and it's a felony. Sleep with me. Or I'll tell your boss that you're under indictment for fraud. It's not true, but do you really think you'll be working next week? Sarah Maslin worked for 8 years. She was the best, most productive associate in her firm. She had clearly earned a partnership, but the only way that she could get it was to have sex with the man who had the power to make or break her career. Sarah Maslin laid down on that couch for Mr. Talbert. But can any of us say that she really had a choice?
McCoy: Well-meaning people can disagree, especially about the most socially divisive issue to face our country this century. Drew Seeley has an opinion about abortion. He thinks that his opinion entitles him to kill people. Here's what he did. He hunted down a woman named Eileen Reid, he gave Randall Jenkins a gun and told him to shoot Eileen Reid. And he did. Drew Seeley is a self-appointed executioner. If you let him go, you better just pray that one day, someone like him doesn't find some fault with you.
[Seeley approaches the jury]
Seeley: 150 years ago, you weren't considered a person. Or you. Or you. A man named John Brown thought that was wrong so he took violent action to liberate black American slaves. Well, he was caught and brought to trial and hanged because slavery was legal and the law said that slaves were not people deserving of protection. But you know what? John Brown was right. And the law was wrong. Now John Brown is considered a hero. Today, abortion is legal but I tell you, that law is wrong. Like John Brown, I follow a higher law. I ask you to do the same.
McCoy: God calls you to organize murders. God calls you to take credit for murders. But God never calls on you to pull the trigger?
Seeley: Each of us has a role.
McCoy: You can't do it, can you? You can't bring yourself to shoot someone, even though you think God is telling you to do it, you can't do it.
Seeley: I put the gun in Randall's hand! I told him where to point it!
McCoy: You can't point a gun at another human being, even an abortion doctor, and pull the trigger, because in your soul, you know it's wrong!!
Seeley: God says it's right!
McCoy: You don't believe that!
Seeley: I believe in the Lord, my God...!
McCoy: Your defense is a lie!
Seeley: No! What is a lie is the arrogant belief that what you're doing here furthers justice!
McCoy: Answer my question, Mr. Seeley! You are unable to shoot doctors yourself, because in your soul, you know it's wrong.
Dr. Moran: [during her testimony] I was, in effect, committing murder.
McCoy: In effect?
Dr. Moran: I was committing murder.
McCoy: Fine. Would you please stand up?
[the doctor stands up]
McCoy: Officer, arrest this woman.
Judge Scarletti: Mr. McCoy!
McCoy: We've just heard a confession of murder, your honor. Officer?
Judge Scarletti: I'm not amused, Mr. McCoy!
McCoy: How many counts of murder shall we charge you with, Dr. Moran?
Judge Scarletti: MR. MCCOY! May I remind you that abortion is legal?
Logan: Any chance you like any of the men you work with?
Female stockbroker: Give me a break, Detective. There's only 2 kinds of men that work on Wall Street. Standard and poor. [gives Logan a speculative look] But I hear that peace officers are a whole different story.
[Stockbroker enters limo. Briscoe and Logan look at each other.]
Briscoe: [grins] You got your yardstick handy?
Logan: Oh, I got my tape measure.
[Talking about the suspect]
Logan: It's weird. The guy's got more money than God, but he lives worse than I do.
Lt. Van Buren: Howard Hughes never clipped his toenails. Got any homicides we can pin on him?
Logan:[snatches a parking ticket from the windshield] Aww, what is this? They got no respect anymore, these meter maids.
Logan: Well, you got your $2,000 suits and you got your hotshot degrees but, from where I'm standing, you're no better than some punk who robs a 7-11 store and blows away the cashier to cover his tracks.
Greer: I graduated summa cum laude from Harvard, magna from Stanford Business. I have 17 traders working for me, and I booked almost a billion dollars in trades over the last 2 years. Not only am I better than your punk at the 7-11, I'm a hell of a lot better than you, Detective Logan.
[Discussing the chairman of the board of a prestigious private school]
McCoy: Not coincidentally, he's the one who assured us of the school's full cooperation.
Kincaid: Instead, the school circled the limos to keep the Barclay name out of it.
Schiff: I'm shocked.
McCoy: This isn't stink bombs in the boy's room, Adam. They hindered prosecution of an A felony.
Schiff: Now I'm very shocked.
[In interrogation with Mr. Barclay and his son.]
Mr. Barclay: I guarantee you, it was Harrigan that put him up to it. He and his father, they're all alike, with their Irish temper, they lose control, and the next thing you know, you have a murder--
McCoy: Oh, so Harrigan did it because he's a Mick? Detective Logan is a Mick. I'm a Mick, sir. And if you don't shut up, I'll lose control and throw you out of the room!
[McCoy has gathered the suspect's friends at the police station]
McCoy: I'm Jack McCoy. I'm the Assistant District Attorney for New York County. You are invited here to talk to me about the murder of William Harrigan. And make no mistake: you will talk to me. You're going to tell me every thing you know about Stuart Barclay and Colin Harrigan's roles in that killing. If you don't, if you lie, I'll add a new word to your vocabulary: conspiracy, to commit murder. You could serve as many years as you have candles on your birthday cake. Who wants to speak first?
Boy: You don't scare me. You can't lay a hand on us.
McCoy: I don't see anyone here to stop them. [Police Officers] This isn't a music video, son, this is reality. A man is dead, and our patience is wearing thin.
McCoy: It's over, Scott. Even your father realizes it. I've got you for conspiracy, and if I eat my Wheaties I can get you for second degree murder, and I won't care that you didn't actually pull the trigger.
Crime scene tech: [while going through a dumpster for evidence] Last time we sifted a dumpster, the investigating officer got in there himself.
Briscoe: That's fascinating. I think you missed a spot over there.
Denise: I grew up in a two-room apartment. My mother sent me and my sisters to school with mashed potato sandwiches for lunch. I pulled myself above that. No one helped me. Not Danny. People thought he was charming. When he took that $15,000 from me, it was not charming.
Briscoe: [about his new partner, Rey Curtis] I've got ties older than him. Some shoes too, I think.
Briscoe: When I was growing up around here, the worst thing that could happen to you was skinning your knee while playing Johnny-on-the-pony.
Curtis: Yeah, well, I don't remember things being so rosy when I was a kid.
Briscoe: When was that, last week?
Clerk: Case #622395. People vs. Nicholas Capetti. Charges are murder in the first degree and kidnapping in the first degree.
Judge Fraser: Give me a plea.
Nick: Not guilty.
Judge Fraser: Miss Kincaid, what are the People looking for on this?
Kincaid: The victim's a 12-year-old girl, your honor. The defendant has a prior...
[suddenly, 3 gunshots are heard, causing panic in the courtroom; Nick hits the ground; Karen has pulled the trigger]
Karen: You bastard!
Court officer: Call EMS!
[other officers and Mrs. Capetti check on Nick while Karen is arrested]
Mrs. Capetti: Do something! Do something!
[Curtis walks up to Kincaid, who had ducked for cover]
Curtis: Kincaid, you all right?!
Kincaid: No, I'm okay. I'm okay.
Curtis: You sure?
Kincaid: Yeah, I didn't see what happened.
[after hearing that Karen shot Nick to death in the courtroom]
Schiff: How in Hell did she get that gun into the courthouse?!
Kincaid: I don't know.
Schiff: You don't know. Well, somebody better find out. Normal-lookin' people out there taking the law in their own hands!
McCoy: With 8,000,000 taxpayers cheering 'em on. They're lining up to pat Karen Gaines on the back.
Kincaid: Well, it doesn't take much effort to put yourself in her shoes.
McCoy: Unfortunately, she's not the first parent to lose a child. That can't justify premeditated murder.
Kincaid: You wanna try her for murder-2?
McCoy: She had the presence of mind to smuggle a loaded weapon into a courthouse. I have 40 witnesses who saw her shoot Capetti. I don't see what the problem is.
Schiff: The problem is that your jury will wish that they pulled the trigger!
McCoy: If we don't come down hard on Karen Gaines, somebody else'll get the idea that it's okay to turn another courtroom into the O.K. Corral.
Schiff: And if she gets acquitted, what message does that send? I'm not takin' that chance. You're talkin' to her lawyer.
McCoy: Your son was convicted of committing violent crimes, isn't that right?
Mrs. Capetti: He wasn't a saint. I didn't say he was. And if he had anything to do with that little girl, then he should've paid by the law! Now, I could live with that, but not with this. [to Karen, furiously] What gave you the right to shoot him like a dog?!
Judge Caffey: Mrs. Capetti, please! Address the court.
Karen: How can you think for a minute that I would let my own child die? What kind of mother do you think I am?! You don't know what I did for her. For 10 years, I stayed in a nightmare marriage, just so she could have a real home. I fought for custody for her, but he had more money, more lawyers. He turned me into an addict, and then used it against me! That bastard! He stole her away from me! He told her lies about me! He made her afraid of me! I loved her!
Murphy: I didn't see nothing, I don't know nothing, and I don't want to know nothing.
Briscoe: Sort of a Zen thing, huh Frances? Keep your life clean and simple?
Murphy: I don't know.
McCoy: Did he say he was going to marry you? [places 2 morgue shots of Michael's previous wives in front of the witness] This is what happened to the first Mrs. Dobson, and this is what happened to the second Mrs. Dobson. Do you really want to be Mrs. Dobson #3?
Doctor: I would've gone with the pizza. Sausage and pepper.
Mickey: Maybe I should start over.
[the doctor places the needle in his arm]
Mickey: I bet you get a real kick outta that.
Doctor: Now's not a good time to go crybaby, Mickey.
Mickey: Yeah, right. In your dreams.
[McCoy talks about his father]
McCoy: Sometimes my mother had to lock herself in the basement.
Bar Guy: Son of a bitch hit her?
McCoy: 10 years. I'm still scared of those hands. He smoked like a chimney. Cancer. He'd lay there in that hospital room, with tubes coming out of his arms. They pumped him full of morphine, so he wouldn't know how much he hurt. He didn't know where he was. This tough... He just lay there. He was breathing, and then he was gone. [pause] I don't know why I'm talking about this. I never talk about this. Let's play darts.
[Kincaid is driving an inebriated Briscoe home]
Briscoe: You know, it wouldn't be so terrible.
Kincaid: What's that?
Briscoe: If you were my kid.
Kincaid: I guess I should take that as a compliment.
Briscoe: Hey, you're smart, you're pretty, you got a good job, and you don't hate my guts.
Kincaid: Lennie, I doubt your daughter hates you.
Briscoe: You don't know her. [laughs ruefully] I don't know her. I never will.
Lt. Van Buren: [voiceover narration over Kincaid's death scene] A crowd of people stood and cheered when he raped her. They were supposedly good people, and they did nothing. Then he beat her to death with a tire iron. And today, the state of New York got its revenge. It's not enough, and it's too much.
Briscoe: [searching Peterson's apartment] Nice suits, nice carpet. You could put a swimming pool in that closet.
Curtis: Yeah Lennie, but is he happy?
Briscoe: I'd be ecstatic
Peterson: Why would I kill my friend over 3% of my net worth?
Curtis: Leverage, Peterson. It was collateral for part of one loan for the airline, that was part of your transportation holding company, which was financed up to your eyebrows. So, you pull out one brick from that wall, it comes crashing down, you gotta go back to collecting Lincoln pennies.
Peterson: Rey, Rey, Rey, Rey! Do me a favor: go to business school for a couple of years before you explain my financing to me, OK?
[Van Buren summons Curtis to leave the room]
Curtis: I can't talk right now - I have to go to business school.
Schiff: She's hoping they'll erect a statue for her on 12th Avenue.
McCoy: Even prostitutes deserve a patron saint.
Ross: It makes me wonder if they convicted her because we made our case or because she's a prostitute.
McCoy: They convicted her. I don't care why.
Stieglitz: [her closing summation] It's not often that Big Brother has to listen to your opinion. It happens every 4 years. And it happens when you have the privilege of sitting in this box. Hillary Colson shopped at Gap Kids. She goes to PTA meetings. She's also a prostitute. I don't like it anymore than you do. It disgusts me. I don't approve of serial adultery. She's endangered the lives of every member of her family in a pathetic search for what? Novelty? To fill a void in her life, maybe? I don't know. But I do know this. If this were a referendum on prostitution, I would say: "Throw her in jail and forget about the key". But it's not! That's not why she's on trial. She is on trial, because she said no to an ex-police officer armed with a Colt revolver and the will to use it! An ex-police officer. Hmm? A bully who used sex to dominate women. She said NO! And she meant it! The bill of rights does not only apply to the June Cleavers of this country. Acquit my client, and you say to Big Brother that any woman, regardless of her character, has got the right to say no, and has got the right to back it up! I'm not asking you to agree with prostitution. But I am begging you to disagree with rape.
McCoy: [his summation] Miss Stieglitz is right. This isn't a referendum on prostitution. It isn't a referendum on rape. You're here to render a verdict on her client's credibility. She says she was raped. What's her evidence? "Keene was a bully. My husband believes me. So should you." In the meantime, she suffered no injuries, she destroyed evidence, she lied to the police. It was only when she was backed into a corner that she cried rape, that she wrapped herself in the right of self-defense. But she wasn't defending her virtue. She didn't shoot Gilbert Keene to keep from performing an act that she had willingly performed on dozens of other men. She killed him to protect a secret. You've all seen what lengths she went to, to avoid Mac Bernum, to hide her identity. Who can blame her? She didn't want to lose her husband, her family, her comfortable home. Those things, she would kill for. But those things do not justify the taking of a life! The threat of deadly physical force does, or rape does, or kidnapping, or robbery. But none of those things happened in that car. What happened in that car was a cold and calculated thing. A woman killed her blackmailer, not her rapist. That's who Gilbert Keene was. That's how he got sex. He didn't rape those other women. He blackmailed them. I don't want you to convict her because she's a prostitute. I'm asking you to convict her, because her story is a lie.
Ross: [looks at her watch] God. Look at the time. I gotta go.
McCoy: We're not quite done here.
Ross: I shouldn't have been away from Katie this long. I'm due in family court in 3 days.
McCoy: We have to go back to Judge Callahan in 12 hours.
Ross: I'm sorry!
McCoy: Where are your priorities?! If Gorton gets ahold of this stuff, he'll come up with some cockamamie alternate theory of the crime. A murderer could walk free!
Ross: And I could lose my daughter! You know what, Jack?! That's an easy decision!
McCoy: Not for an Assistant District Attorney!
Ross: Fine! I quit!
[she leaves the office in a huff and slams the door]
McCoy: What's your current movie about, Mr. Newman? Talking bears?
McCoy: A daring Neorealist foray into Jellystone Park? Does that fulfill your promise as an artist?
McCoy: Heidi Ellison was keeping you from fulfilling that promise, wasn't she?
Newman: Not just her. Do you know what kinda crap they wanted me to make?
McCoy: But especially her. She could've let you make Madame Bovary, couldn't she?
McCoy: But she didn't, did she?
Newman: She gave me a choice. The bears or a picture about a dog who's granted 3 wishes. I couldn't believe it!
McCoy: You couldn't believe what, Mr. Newman?
Newman: I had an actress, a bankable actress, who was attached to Bovary. But Heidi gives her $12,000,000 to do an asteroid movie instead, because our marriage didn't work out! [jumps out of his seat and raises his sword] That vindictive bitch! I could've made something!!
[everyone in the courtroom stares at him, causing Newman to sit back down and face-palm]
McCoy: [his closing summation] Everyone likes a good story. Eddie Newman has made a career putting stories on film. And the defense in this case has told you a very good story about a sleazy psychiatrist and a man who believed he'd committed a murder, but recently realized that he didn't. What actually happened here is less complicated and far more sordid. A bitter, angry man viciously killed his ex-wife, dismembered her while she was still alive, and then lied about it. There's no clever twist to the plot. It's just the messy, ugly truth. Mr. Gorton has appealed to what he calls reasonable doubt. But reasonable doubt is not any doubt. God has given you all the gift of common sense. Use it. [picks up Newman's sword] Eddie Newman used this weapon to hack to death, not the woman he claimed he loved, but the woman he calls a vindictive bitch. Find him guilty of murder.
[after Newman's conviction and sentencing]
McCoy: Anybody wanna join me for a drink?
Curtis: Not me. I'm having supper with my wife.
Briscoe: I've got a date. She's no Lisa Lundquist, but she's all right.
McCoy: [to the ADA] I know, dinner with Katie.
Ross: Whenever possible. Tonight, it's possible. [leaves the office]
Schiff: Started with a killing, ending with an execution. You got what you wanted. Take the rest of the week off.
[Briscoe and Curtis talk to the owner of the donut shop while investigating Matthew Sherman's murder]
Donut shop owner: How perfect is this? Cops talkin' to a donut guy.
Curtis: Yeah. Tell us about the customer who came in just before the girl. The one who cleaned his hands?
Donut shop owner: Barely a customer. He takes about 50 napkins, and then he starts to leave. Well, after I call him on it, he orders a coffee, then thinks he's a big shot, because he tips be a quarter.[hands Briscoe his wastebasket] What I lost on napkins, I barely broke even!
[Briscoe extracts the dirty napkins Mike threw out from the wastebasket and hands them to another cop]
Briscoe: Take these down to the lab.
Briscoe: [to the shop owner] Did he mention his name or say where he was comin' from or goin' to?
Donut shop owner: Nothin', except "gimme a coffee", and how if he wasn't gettin' married next week, he'd be puttin' the moves on the girl, which I thought that was outta line. But I didn't say anything, because it's not my business. My business is sellin' donuts.
Briscoe: Thanks for clearin' that up.
Mike: There was another guy. I passed a guy halfway down the block from where I left the car. A Puerto Rican guy.
Curtis: Yeah. That's how we solve homicides too. Nearest Puerto Rican did it.
Ricky: Can I say how I didn't mean to do it?
Briscoe: You mean how you only shot him 'cause he wouldn't give you his watch? Yeah, yeah. The DA'll like that.
Briscoe: OK, let me see if I got this straight: Stanley Somebody who's a fashion photographer someplace, lives in some appartment probably in a building at 114th and Riverside, and has a message about a murder of somebody who might be named Dee-dee.
Rattinger: That's right!
Briscoe: Yeah, thanks for coming in.
Ross: [about Anderton] Last year he made a surprise takeover bid for Commonwealth Airlines. One week later, he withdrew the bid, and accused the FAA and the stockholders of conspiring against him. It's classic manic-depressive behavior.
Schiff: Doesn't make sense. Runs a Fortune 500 company.
Chandler: In those S&M scenes, they were rehearsing what happened to them.
Pressman: He's something, isn't he?
McCoy: So was Ted Bundy.
McCoy: Mr. Pressman is right: This is not a First Amendment issue. We can all agree that what we see powerfully affects us, but that doesn't excuse us from being decent human beings, or from making moral choices. What we choose to watch, and how we react, is up to us. The baby boom generation, to which Congressman Maxwell and I both belong, grew up watching hundreds of hours of violent TV. We dressed up like Davy Crockett, with his trusty rifle, Old Betsy. Like Hopalong Cassidy, with his pearl-handled 6-shooters. And what was the result of all this make-believe TV-inspired violence? We grew up to be a generation that marched against war, and preached peace, love, and flower power. And yes, Mr. Pressman watched the Vietnam War on TV, and how did that change him? I looked up his record. He became a conscientious objector, and a Harvard Law professor. Dangerous guy, huh? We are creatures of free will and moral choice. No matter what we see, read, or hear, we still make choices. Eddie Chandler, a man who murdered and tortured 2 innocent people, chose evil.
[Briscoe and Curtis question Joe Sutter, who is suspected of killing his quadriplegic son]
Briscoe: Look what's happened to your beautiful family. Your wife is sleeping with some dance instructor, your daughter is one step away from living on the street, and you have no money, and it's all because of that kid!
Joe: You don't know me, if you knew me, you would see...
Briscoe: Oh, I know you. If you had the stones...
Curtis: You don't know this man, Lennie. This isn't about money or adultery or anything like that, is it, Joe? My wife's got MS. I picture her life 10 years from now, and it kills me because it might not be a pretty picture. You picture your son. He used to be strong. Played soccer, yeah?
Curtis: My wife used to run 3 miles every morning. Did you imagine Michael at 20 years old, 40 years old, still in the same bedroom, still in the same tortured pain?
Joe: [choked up] Yeah.
Curtis: Me, too. And you wanna know the worst part? I know why it's happening. It's my fault. God is punishing her for something I did.
Joe: No, you can't think that way!
Curtis: I try to tell myself that. I try to think that. But every time I look at her, I feel the guilt. Every time I look at my daughters, and think about what they're going to lose... Someone you love is in pain. They have no hope. What can you do to help this person? How often have you asked yourself this question? Every time you bathe him?
Joe: [in tears] Every time I kiss him goodnight.
Curtis: And you knew there was only one way out. You had to do it. You had to do it because you loved him. Let it go. It was an act of love, Joe.
Joe: [sobs] I love Michael! Maybe I... but I didn't do this. I didn't kill him.
Joe: Can I leave?
Lt. Van Buren: Not for another 30 years.
McCoy: This case is not a debate about euthanasia. It's about a thrill-killing by a monster masquerading as an angel of mercy. Michael Sutter is dead. He was murdered. That's all that matters.
Lt. Van Buren: You want to take me on, little girl? Well, let me tell you something: you better be packing more than a dirty mouth.
Anderton: Remember what LBJ said when they were hammering him about Vietnam? 'Felt like a hitch-hiker on a highway in a Texas hailstorm, can't run, can't hide, can't make it stop.' I'm putting you on that highway, Adam.
Lt. Van Buren: 5 more teams to cover one shift. That's all I need.
Commander Dietz: Can't spare them.
Lt. Van Buren: I bet if this was some 5-year-old white beauty queen, you'd be out there ringing the doorbells yourself.
Commander Dietz: This has nothing to do with race.
Lt. Van Buren: Then it's me. My lawsuit.
Commander Dietz: Anita, don't get emotional.
Lt. Van Buren: Are you all so petty that you'd endanger the lives of the people we're supposed to protect?
Commander Dietz: Petty? The department has better ways to spend its resources than defending itself against petty lawsuits.
Lt. Van Buren: I was within my rights. The department promoted a white woman with less seniority. Maybe you all forgot, but we can sit at the lunch counter now!
McCoy: Doctor, you'll probably get a call from an attorney named Considine. He represents Jesse Castillo. He'll ask about Malika's condition. I'd like you to tell him that Malika has become aware of her surroundings, and the chances of her recovery are good. I know what I'm asking you to do.
Dr. Charters: Good. Then you know why I can't.
McCoy: You know more than anyone what was done to that little girl.
Dr. Charters: Yes, but I have an ethical duty...
McCoy: So do I. Mine is stopping monsters like Jesse Castillo, and yours is keeping more Malika Richardsons from turning up in your emergency room.
[New ADA Abbie Carmichael has just had a 7 year old boy with Attachment Disorder arrested for murdering his adopted baby sister, without consulting McCoy.]
McCoy: I hear you're adding a children's wing to Death Row.
McCoy: I could probably get an indictment for manslaughter.
Carmichael: Manslaughter?! They never gave that baby a chance. They faked an identity for her. They never told anyone she needed medical attention.
Schiff: I don't see any intent here to kill this baby.
Carmichael: It's depraved indifference. Murder-2. They knew the baby was going to die. They didn't care one way or the other.
Schiff: Assumption. Charge them with Man-one.
Carmichael: We send a message that it's sort of okay to kill a baby? This isn't a couple of teenagers who killed their newborn because they were scared. These are 2 adults who went to a lot of trouble to dump a dying child and to cover their tracks. I may be the new kid here, but to me this sounds like murder.
[McCoy and Carmichael disagree on whether or not to accept a plea bargain for the Connerys]
McCoy: They'll be pariahs for the rest of their lives.
Carmichael: They lose a few friends. That's your idea of justice?
McCoy: 3-6 years in a state prison is not a cake walk. How many drug dealers got a free pass from you?
Carmichael: The ones who could give me someone bigger in return. All the Connerys have to offer is their plea-bargained remorse. She's still trying to blame it on Kostov. Did you see her husband cut her off?
McCoy: She's the least culpable of the 3.
Carmichael: [exasperated] Oh, gentlemen, please! That sorry excuse for a woman has a hole in her soul.
Schiff: That's enough.
McCoy: I can take care of myself, Adam.
Schiff: Then remain objective. It was Edward Connery's actions that directly caused the little girl's death, and he's an attorney. He knew what he was doing.
McCoy: The Connerys will never do this again. Kostov has and will, over and over again.
Schiff: Are Kostov's children better off in the new homes?
Carmichael: All but Marianna. [beat] I have a solution that will make us all happy.
McCoy: What's that?
Carmichael: No deals for anybody. Let's hang 'em all.
[after Kostov and the Connerys have been convicted of the baby's death]
Carmichael: Man-1 all around. I'll start working on the pre-sentencing reports. Any suggestions?
McCoy: You mean who should spend more time in prison? Kostov or the Connerys? Don't get me started.
Carmichael: We can always skip the report and take no position. Leave it to the judge.
McCoy: Let's do that for the sake of world peace.
Carmichael: The Waring's filed a petition to get their son back. We have until the end of the week to file our objections.
Briscoe: Aaron Downing, you're under arrest for the murder of Ryan Downing. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you do say can and will be used against you. You have the right to an attorney. If you can't afford an attorney . . .
Curtis: Lennie, you can skip the next part, he's got a wad of cash, his passport, an airline ticket to the Fiji Islands.
Briscoe: This way, Robinson Crusoe.
McCoy: [about Downing] He's the man in the gray flannel suit.
Carmichael: With a syringe in the pocket.
Allgen C.E.O.: This is just about the Downing boy.
Carmichael: Yeah, just one dead little boy. That help you sleep better?
[Carmichael wants to break the law to convict a serial killer]
McCoy: The New York County District Attorney's Office can't - no, won't - knowingly convict a man of the wrong crime. What are you thinking?
Carmichael: I'm just taking a page from the Jack McCoy playbook! Nobody gets to bend the rules but you?
McCoy: I've bent the rules to convict the right person of the right crime. This isn't bending, it's turning the law against itself.
Carmichael: You once hid a witness to get the result you wanted!
McCoy: And I was wrong then. You're wrong now. Don't wait until until you're facing a disciplinary committee to realize it!
Carmichael: A week from tomorrow, you'll be on a plane, sandwiched between 2 of Houston's finest.
Bergstrom: [panicked] You can't do this!
Carmichael: You'll have a speedy trial. Your lawyer will file a couple of appeals. He'll lose. And before you know it, bang, there's that pesky needle.
Bergstrom: [to McCoy] What are you doing? You're just sitting there. Make her shut up!
McCoy: Miss Carmichael...
Carmichael: I'm not done. I'm going to be there, and if they'd let me do it, I'd push one of the plungers, and pray it's the one that delivers the fatal dose.
Bergstrom: Get her out of here! Get her out!
Carmichael: How does it feel, Mr. Bergstrom? You killed all those women, and now a woman is going to return the favor.
Bergstrom: You won't...
Carmichael: Pretty damn ironic, isn't it?
Bergstrom: You won't kill me, I won't let you.
Carmichael: Try and stop me.
Bergstrom: I'll plead to one of the other ones. The one by the train tracks.
Lazar: Hang on...
McCoy: Murder-1, life without parole.
Lazar: Mr. Bergstrom...
Bergstrom: Yeah, okay! She doesn't say what happens to me!
Carmichael: [pause] Fine. If you change your mind, I'll be waiting...
Bergstrom: No, you sit! You listen to what I did to her. [with relish] I cut her, and she screamed. I burned her, and she screamed louder. I pushed my fist into her, and she passed out. I made her say she admired me. I had total control. Total.
Judge Randall: You're charged with murder in the first degree. How do you plead?
Alice: Not guilty.
Pinsky: The defendant is serving state time, so bail is moot.
Judge Randall: She's remanded. Any other business?
[Alice confides with Pinsky; Randall and Abbie overhear their conversation]
Judge Randall: What is it, Mr. Pinsky?
Pinsky: My client is asking me to make an application I feel is clearly inappropriate.
Judge Randall: Spit it out, please.
Pinsky: Well, she wants to disqualify Miss Carmichael.
Alice: Aren't you gonna say anything?
Pinsky: Judge, I am not going to waste the court's time with this.
Alice: Could I represent myself? 'Cause this lawyer's worthless.
Judge Randall: Talk to me, Miss Simonelli.
Alice: [points at Abbie] She should not be prosecutin' this case. She's prejudiced against me.
Abbie: That's ridiculous.
Judge Randall: Let her finish.
Alice: She locked me up three years ago, just 'cause I couldn't help her. She's got a grudge against me.
Abbie: Your honor, this woman has some kind of persecution complex.
Judge Randall: Save your breath, Miss Carmichael. [to Alice] I'm sorry. I can't disqualify an ADA from a case simply because she...
Alice: All I want is a fair trial. This BITCH is out to get me!
Judge Randall: [bangs gavel] Enough! Take her out.
[Carmichael cross-examines an inmate who had been raped by a corrections officer]
Alice: I was ashamed.
Carmichael: Why would you feel ashamed if it wasn't your fault?
Alice: Have you ever been raped, Miss Carmichael? Maybe I felt stupid for being where Charlie Tyner could rape me.
Carmichael: [taken aback] So now you blame yourself.
Carmichael: But now, instead of punishing yourself, you punish Charlie Tyner.
Alice: No, no...
Carmichael: You had Luis Pachenko force him to his knees...
Alice: He was killing me!
Carmichael: ...And beg for his life.
Alice: I just wanted to go home to my daughter. Charlie knew that. He was usin' that. He was never gonna stop. I was just scared all the time! Can't you understand that?! He had all the power! I was nothin'!
McCoy: Need a lift?
Carmichael: Go ahead. I'll call a cab. I need to... take a breath.
McCoy: Want to talk about it? [pause] Or not. Whatever you feel comfortable with.
[Carmichael turns to leave, but suddenly turns back]
Carmichael: I was a freshman. He was a 3rd-year law student. We were on a date... [choked up] I never told anybody. I blamed myself. But not anymore.
Carmichael: [annoyed that McCoy is willing to plea out a murder suspect in return for secret police files] For God's sake, Jack, why don't you just start your own country? No cops, no bad guys, just sweetness and light as far as the eye can see!
McCoy: If the police department doesn't want to be embarrassed by its behavior, perhaps it shouldn't behave that way!
McCoy: Andrew Hampton accepted our offer. Attempted Man 1, 6-12 years in jail.
Carmichael: Well hopefully his sister will be joining him.
McCoy: You don't think he can convince a jury Nicole put him up to it?
Carmichael: I think she'll toss her hair back a few times and convince them she didn't.
McCoy: Really cynical, Abby.
Carmichael: Your honor, the defendant was identified by the witness and can be linked to the weapon. It's a matter of luck he's not here facing a murder charge. The People request half a million dollars bail.
Andrew's attorney: Something more reasonable, your honor?
Judge Torledsky: 150, cash or bond. [to the stenographer] That's thousands, Arthur. May 15th. Next.
Ludlow: The line between charming someone out of $1,000,000 and being perceived as a charity whore sometimes gets blurred.
Ludlow: You don't get it, Curtis. 100 years from now we're all ashes and dust, and no one will remember who slept with whom, or who was naughty and who was nice. They'll look up at that incredible piece of steel and concrete and know that I was a part of it.
Curtis: The first public building named after a convicted murderer.
Ludlow: Hardly the first. The Parthenon, the Temple of the Vestals - they have names of emperors on them. And talk about murderers.
Curtis: Pro bono publico?
Ludlow: Relax, detective. The empire isn't going to fall tonight. Go home to your wife.
McCoy: Tell Mr. Margolis he can stuff his motion to dismiss.
Carmichael: Malenkov's gotta be making a quarter of a million a month by massaging sore muscles.
McCoy: Ain't America grand?
Carmichael: You've gotta hand it to him, though. He's been here 6 years, he's working the system like a slot machine. I'm still trying to figure out alternate side of the street parking.
Maletkov: You think because we have an accent, we're stupid? When I was 14, at a state school in Moscow, I was reading Anderson, Faulker, Hemingway. I was studying John Caines, Milton Friedman...
McCoy: [impatiently] Mr. Maletkov, I...!
Maletkov: Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah. I made a lot of money in Russia. You think that's easy? You try it. So, when I come here... [scoffs; snaps fingers] America's like a big baby. We're taking candy out of your hand. Out of your mouth. So... [speaks Russian] Save your deals for the pipe heads in Harlem. I have appointment to play chess. Okay?
[after the murders of a witness' mother and ADA Ricci]
McCoy: I wanna know how this disaster happened.
Briscoe: Best guess, Ricci was followed from work.
McCoy: Why wasn't a police officer stationed in the apartment?!
Lt. Van Buren: In a one-bedroom? That would've been cozy. We tried putting someone downstairs in the vestibule, but the tenants complained!
McCoy: Lieutenant, I don't have to tell you...!
Lt. Van Buren: No. You don't. We're treating this like Ricci was one of our own. What are you gonna do about this retrial?
McCoy: I don't know.
[Briscoe and Curtis enter the apartment of two sisters concerning Gabriel]
Louisa: I don't know where Gabriel is. He's driving a cab.
Briscoe: That's why we need to talk to him. He ever lend it to anybody?
Louisa: No! I don't know. Look, I don't got time to talk to you!
Briscoe: [shows Louisa photos] Hey, did you ever see him with either of these 2 people?
Belinca: She don't hardly see Gabriel, except to make another stupid baby!
[both sisters argue in Spanish]
Curtis: Hey! Hey! Hey! Did Gabriel mess with you? Is that why you don't like him?
Belinca: I take care of myself. I don't like him, but she lets him beat her when she's all pregnant like that.
Curtis: Well, you show us where he is, we make sure he doesn't mess with your sister again. All right?
Volsky: [after he and his fellow mobsters have been sentenced] Go ahead. Try and kill me. I'm not afraid. I'm tough. I'll survive.
McCoy: (his closing argument) Following the rules does not put you above the law. Just ask the Swiss bankers who appropriated the unclaimed accounts of Holocaust victims. Following the rules does not explain how someone who runs a bank could be so incompetent, so gullible. There can be only one explanation. Mr. Radford willingly turned a blind eye to what was obviously a criminal enterprise. And the Russian mob didn't have to cut off his uncle's hands to get him to do it. All they had to do was wave a fat commission in front of him. Now, some might think that money laundering is just some white-collar crime far removed from our everyday concerns. Let me remind you what money laundering is really about. Mr. Radford made his commission on the backs of these people. This country has always been a beacon to the world for liberty and justice. That's why we keep our borders open. But we're also a beacon for another kind of people, for criminals and con men. We rely on the law to protect us from them. Sometimes, that's not enough. Do we need more law, less freedom? Do we cross out parts of the Constitution? I've learned that's not the answer. The answer is that each one of us is responsible to everyone else. Not one of us can afford to turn a blind eye. By respecting the laws we do have, by living up to the true meaning of the word "citizen," we preserve our common good. Through his deliberate ignorance, Mr. Radford allowed a criminal enterprise to flourish. Innocent people to be killed. He allowed a cancer to grow. This is where it has to stop. Here in this court room, with you.
Mr. Weber: We weren't ignoring your requests. As a matter of fact, we had a meeting with our lawyers about it.
Carmichael: What did ya'll decide?
Mr. Weber: Much as we'd like to cooperate, it would force us to reveal trade secrets which would damage our ability to remain competitive.
Carmichael: Trade secrets? Mr. Weber, you make guns, not soda pop.
Defense attorney: You're taking the death penalty off the table with the city screaming for blood?
McCoy: The victims families need closure, not blood.
Defense attorney: My client's a healthy young man. Life without parole, that could be 50 or 60 years.
Carmichael: He could always take up smoking.
McCoy: Rolff makes a product that any clever 12-year-old can turn into a weapon of mass destruction.
Schiff: I'm appalled. Write them a letter.
Carmichael: Jack wants the jury to make a finding of emotion, not of fact. This isn't a trial. It's gun control by other means.
McCoy: They can sell guns on the internet. Talking about control is a joke.
Carmichael: So this is your answer? Putting gun makers in jail?
McCoy: I'd like to start by putting Rolff Firearms out of business!
Carmichael: Responsible adults can own firearms without the entire country sinking into criminal anarchy.
McCoy: What's the point? Maybe when the redcoats were coming over Bunker Hill.
Carmichael: How about somebody 6'5" coming through my door? The people have a right to defend themselves!
Judge Wright: Madam Foreperson, as to each of the 15 counts of the indictment: Murder in the second degree, has the jury reached a unanimous verdict?
Foreperson: Yes, we have, your honor. We find the defendant guilty.
[applause is heard in the courtroom; the judge bangs his gavel, silencing them]
Judge Wright: Order! Order! Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I thank you for your service. You are excused. [to the stenographer] Don't pack it up just yet, Linda. I'm finding, as a matter of law, the People failed to meet the standard of proof I said at the beginning of trial. The People did not establish that the weapon was hazardous per se, nor that the main actor in the homicide used the weapon as it was intended to be used by Mr. Weber. Therefore, I'm setting aside the jury verdict and issuing a directed verdict of not guilty. The defendant is free to go. [bangs gavel]
Judge Wright: [bangs gavel again] Order! Order!
McCoy: [approaches the bench] I'm filing notice of the People's intent to appeal! This is outside the scope of your authority!
Judge Wright: Mr. McCoy, I'm not gonna sanction a verdict that can't possibly be sustained on appeal. This conviction isn't based on any proven facts. It's based on the jury's outrage at Mr. Weber's irresponsible and inexcusable conduct. You wanna end the violence, the bloodletting. So do I, Mr. McCoy. In my 30 years on the bench, I've seen every permutation of it, and it sickens me when somebody profits from it! But tempted, though I may be, putting Mr. Weber in jail won't end the carnage. Until we cure what ails the human heart, it won't make a dent in the body count. In the meantime, no matter how profound our grief, our indignation, I can't let you use this court to raise a lynch mob. I won't allow you to exploit the same base actions Mr. Weber counts on to beef up his bottom line! It's not about being right, Mr. McCoy. It's about doing right. Now, we're adjourned.
[A 10-year-old girl is arrested for committing a brutal murder]
Dr. Skoda: Jenny's been emotionally abused, maybe physically. She lashes out when her anger reaches the boiling point.
Carmichael: So we lock this girl up?
Dr. Skoda: Get used to it. There are more and more girls committing violent crimes. I don't see anything from Jenny except a future of escalating antisocial behavior.
McCoy: What makes you say that?
Dr. Skoda: Emotional abuse. The snuffed cat. Blacked out photographs. Her lack of response when I went after her.
McCoy: Fantasies about hurting little boys.
Dr. Skoda: Previews of coming attractions. She's graduated to murder, she's not going to stop.
Carmichael: You sound pretty sure.
Dr. Skoda: The kid's a done deal. She's a textbook serial killer. You just got her early.
[McCoy and Sharkey deliver closing arguments]
Sharkey: Your honor, my client is 10 years old. She has teddy bears on her bedspread and a Big Bird piggy bank filled with pennies, and she killed a child. It's so incongruous, it's almost inconceivable. Dr. Olivet has testified that because of her age, and because of the way her brain works, she simply couldn't appreciate that as she struck Aaron Polansky with a rock, she was killing him. Jenny thought she could revive him with a 1-1/2 volt battery. It speaks for itself. Mr. McCoy's position is to ignore the question of responsibility and brand Jenny Brandt a killer. She'll never change. We have to put her away. People change. If anyone can change, it's a child. And Dr. Olivet has emphasized that this will not happen in a state mental hospital. Mr. McCoy's solution is a solution of last resort. Please, don't give up on her, judge.
McCoy: Jenny got dealt a lousy hand. I look at her with pity and regret. But Jenny Brandt is trouble. She battered Aaron Polansky's head and stuffed him in a pipe. Miss Sharkey wants us to believe that she didn't appreciate what she did. I don't agree. Jenny daydreams about killing small boys. She even had a trial run with a cat, but ultimately what she could or could not appreciate is irrelevant. Jenny is a loaded gun! She has a cocked fist with a rock in it! She needs to be stopped before she kills again! Dr. Olivet talks about sending Jenny to a state institution like it's a death sentence that turns the world upside down. Aaron Polansky got a death sentence! Jenny would get treatment. Now, everybody knows state psychiatric care could be better. But letting Jenny get away with murder won't help this girl. How will she ever appreciate that her actions have consequences if there are none? And how many children will she kill before the adult criminal justice system can take over? Do we have to wait and see? Miss Sharkey would like us to cross our fingers and hope. Hope that it won't happen again. I have my own kind of hope. I hope the state doctors can find a way to fix this girl. I hope that it takes 6 months. But until they do, we can't afford Miss Sharkey's brand of hope. We need to protect the Aaron Polanskys of this world from Jenny Brandt.
[An insurance salesman's murder leads to an investigation of the company he worked for, which is suspected of defrauding Holocaust victims]
Green: Rock, paper, scissors, gun!
Risenhour: I want these men to close their eyes and see my sister. See my sister as the little girl she was, and as the woman she should have been. Then I want them to open their eyes and tell me if they think they owe me anything.
Munch: Is this what I have to look forward to in my twilight years? Cyber-flirting with Betty and Veronica?
Carmichael: [about Regina Mulroney] Why is everyone afraid of this woman?
Schiff: Regina's favorite joke: The difference between a lace-curtain Irish and a shanty Irish is, the lace-curtain Irish will move the curtains aside before she pisses in the sink. [pause] Regina's a proud shanty Irish.
Reyes: They hung me upside down by my ankles and burned me with cigarettes. They put electrodes on my tongue and my eyelids. They would not let me sleep. They tried to drown me. Three times they put a gun to my head and pretended to shoot me. They did this to me for two months.
McCoy: And you're positive that the people who tortured you were under the command of Colonel Pantoya?
Reyes: Yes. He visited the prison many times. [to Pantoya] The man you laughed at, the man hanging like a pig, it was me. Through my blood and my tears, I saw you, Colonel.
McCoy: May it please the court. Man has only the rights he can defend. Our most basic right is life. It's enshrined not only in our Constitution, but in the charter of the United Nations. The prohibition against taking a life is found in our most ancient texts and in the statutes of every nation. Every murder, whether in Brooklyn, Santiago, Rwanda or Kosovo, demands punishment by whatever legal means possible. Otherwise, the right to life is just an empty promise. The law against murder applies to all. No matter the perpetrator, the victim, or the country where the murder is committed. It is the one moral law that recognizes no national, racial or religious boundaries. It can tolerate no exceptions. There is one law. One law. And when that law is broken, it is the duty of every officer of any court to rise up in defense of that law, and bring their full power and diligence to bear against the law breaker. Because, man has only those rights he can defend. Only those rights.
Lewin: You have a defendent responsible for sending a dangerous psychotic out among the citizens of New York. Whatever excuses he has, whatever excuses the 2 of you have, now that you've gone after him I want you to run him to ground.
Lewin: How much time will Andrews serve with good behavior?
Carmichael: Under a year.
Lewin: Good, that means jail not state prison. He'll serve it at Rikers. Let's hope he has a good immune system.
Judge Mizener: Mr. Gallant, you understand that by pleading guilty, you'll be sentenced to a period of 10-20 years?
Judge Mizener: Did you kill Stephanie Donatelli?
Judge Mizener: I need you to answer for the stenographer.
Judge Mizener: Did you attack Nadine Konchalovsky?
Judge Mizener: Can you tell us why you committed these crimes?
Brian: No reason.
Judge Mizener: Now, Mr. McCoy, I assume a motion to vacate the charges against the individual currently incarcerated for the attack on Miss Konchalovsky has been filed.
McCoy: It has, your honor. He'll be released as soon as I let corrections know that we're done.
Judge Mizener: We're done.
Mr. Donatelli: [jumps out of his seat in despair] We're done?
Judge Mizener: Please, Mr. Donatelli.
Mr. Donatelli: You guys declare yourselves done, and you're done? [points at Brian] You say the one and only person responsible for Steph getting killed is this lunatic?! You put a line through it on your list, and then you pat yourselves on the back?!!
Judge Mizener: Mr. Donatelli, I understand you're upset, but this isn't the time or the place to address these things.
Mr. Donatelli: Tell me when is the time and place, and I'll be there! [points at Brian again] Tell me when you're gonna hold someone accountable for turning him loose on Steph, and I'll be there.
McCoy: No one should be heard to say that providing medical care at Rikers Island is easy. Nor is it the position of this District Attorney's office that there aren't legitimate financial constraints on the provider. We've heard that the defendant operating under those constraints is just a simple man doing the best he could. Let's look at that a little bit: Brian Gallant was at Rikers for a year; he was medicated on a daily basis by the defendant's company, with the defendant's knowledge. On the day he was released, he was hallucinating and disoriented. Nonetheless, he was handed over to the Department of Corrections, who dropped him off at a subway station in the middle of the night. He was given no medication, no referral for ongoing care. Not an address to go to; not a phone number to call. This was not done by accident or oversight. This was the express instruction of the defendant. Was not the violent behavior of Brian Gallant a foreseeable event? Was not the defendant well aware, not only of Mr. Gallant's propensities, but of the risk he constituted for every person he came in contact with? The answer is: Of course, he was aware of it; of course, he chose to ignore it; of course, it was his recklessness that brought about this woman's death. Find him guilty, Ladies and Gentlemen. He deserves it.
Judge Wright: You need to understand that when it comes to trying someone for murder, particularly someone like Carl Reger, who's given so much of himself to the city, that Jack McCoy doesn't get a free one.
Lewin: And you need to understand that veiled threats disguised as friendly advice sound an awful lot to me like judicial bias. Especially when delivered ex parte.
Judge Wright: First off, I don't have to justify my decisions to you. Second, that sound you hear is the ice cracking underneath your feet.
Lewin: With all due respect, your honor, you weigh more than I do. I request that you recuse yourself from the case of the People versus Reger.
Judge Wright: Request denied.
Lewin: Then you can explain yourself to the grievance board.
Judge Wright: You file a complaint against me then your ADAs will never get to first base inside my courtroom. Based strictly on the merits of their cases.
Lewin: If you threaten me again I'll report this conversation and our last conversation to the presiding judge of the appellate division. And if you step over the line in court just once, I'll take you down and you won't get up again.
Prison guard: Listening to a couple of lawyers tell me what we should and should not do makes me feel like putting them in a cell with one of my 250-pound CPSU All-Stars. Then I'd go home, have a hot meal, get a good night's sleep, and come back in the morning to watch them mop.
Rabbi 1: We offer no opinion on the sincerity of Mr. Becker's beliefs, or on who's entitled to try him where and for what. This is not up to us. All we can determine is whether the standard for conversion has been met. Without proof of a mikveh, we have to say it has not. Also, we see no evidence that, to this point, Eli Becker has been living what we could call a Jewish life style. Accordingly, Eli Becker is ruled not Jewish.
[Eli's father shouts in Hebrew and jumps out of his seat in fury]
Feldman: Rabbis? Rabbis, can I be heard?
Rabbi 1: Our ruling will be put into writing and made available to both sides by the end of the day.
Mr. Becker: I had half my family die in the ovens! Who the hell are you to tell me that my son is not Jewish?!
Rabbi 1: Sorry, Mr. Becker. This is not up to us.
Mr. Becker: A stinking technicality! And these momzers'll hang him for it!
Rabbi 3: The Talmud has no technicalities, Mr. Becker. Only laws.
Mr. Becker: Drop dead!
Lewin: If the case depends on the jury believing a career criminal who's cut a deal, I'd say we're in trouble.
McCoy: We have a defendant who left the country rather than stand trial.
Lewin: Which the defense will attribute to a combination of panic and religious fervor.
Carmichael: We could also establish that he was stealing from the business.
Lewin: A business his father half-owned.
McCoy: Are you suggesting that we offer him a deal?
Lewin: After what we went through to get him back here? Not on your life!
Briscoe: That's the trouble with lying, Kiki: you have to tell the same lies to the same people.
Palmieri: You got yourself the right kind of defendant. He's Brazilian, but he looks like he could be Puerto Rican. I mean, Brazil's still in Latin America, right? As long as he's Latino, you've got the right color of head on your stick.
McCoy: I don't care what color of head's on my stick. All I care about is, did he do the crime?
Dickler: So you found my radio, huh? Great. If you happen to see a few wheels and an engine, let me know. My car was stolen 4 months ago.
Green: 4 months ago?
Dickler: Yeah, some cops raided a chop shop up in the Bronx back in November. They showed up here with one of my front doors. Now you guys bring me my radio. At this rate, I figure I should have the whole car back in about 7 years.
McCoy: This is no champion, ladies and gentlemen. This is no favorite son. This is a man who got by on his talent, had others willing to lie for him because of it, had others do his bidding in order to profit from it. A child taken from his dying mother's womb will have to struggle to survive without her. Dina Meredith's mother will have to make it without her daughter. It's time to stop cheering for this man and for his ability to play ball. It's time to stop fretting about the opportunities supposedly taken from him, and to start thinking about the opportunities and the lives stolen by him.
Lt. Van Buren: You know, you nudge a witness in the right direction at a lineup...the gun - was in plain view, not under the seat...we do that all the time.
Briscoe: You wouldn't have passed off those prints to the DA unless she told you there was a match!
Lt. Van Buren: Closin'...that case got me noticed, Lennie. And I used to hear the whispers and the chatter behind my back: 'She got it because she's black'...'She got it 'cause she's a woman'. And I never listened to any of that crap...because I knew...I had earned it!
Briscoe: You made Lieutenant because you're a great cop! All the drug collars you made, all the killers you put behind bars - this one case isn't gonna undo all of that!
Lt. Van Buren: I'm not so sure, Lennie...I'm not so sure!
Father Paul: People go to confession to seek forgiveness, to express regret for whatever it is that they've done. I don't know of any priest who would absolve a murderer without that, or without their agreeing to come forward to accept whatever punishment he or she might deserve.
McCoy: Well, this kid is letting an innocent man do his time for him, and he tried to kill the priest to keep him quiet.
Father Paul: The Grady case.
McCoy: A patient threatens his shrink, a client threatens his lawyer, any confidentiality there is gone.
Father Paul: Religion and the law don't always speak the same language. That being said, on these facts I wouldn't have much trouble revealing what he told me.
McCoy: So what's stopping this priest?
Father Paul: He must still have hope. Hope that he can get this kid to come forward and save his soul. My guess is, as long as this priest has that hope, you're not going to get him to talk.
McCoy: So my job is to take his hope away from him.
Father Paul: [smiles] Don't worry, Jack, I'll still put in a good word for you.
Briscoe: [reading a movie poster] "Les Artistes d'Armour. A painter shows how passion is the highest form of art."
Green: Sounds like a date movie.
Briscoe: Sounds like I'm home watching the Knicks game.
Dr. Skoda: Your shrink was trying to predict antisocial behavior by looking at her subjects' early childhood experience.
Green: Did she predict someone would grow up and murder their therapist?
Dr. Skoda: You'd have to get into her session notes. That's where any clues would be.
Briscoe: What kind of clues?
Dr. Skoda: First thing I'd look for would be some sort of physical abuse, possibly sexual. And because the nature of your murder was particularly vicious, I'd focus on someone who felt betrayed by their therapist.
Briscoe: At 150 an hour, that would be practically everybody, wouldn't it?
McCoy: If people have to choose, they'll trade safety for privacy every time.
Lewin: That's the problem, though. If you trade one for the other, you could end up losing both.
Briscoe: [while handcuffing a murder suspect] Just once, I'd like to make one of you bastards break the news to the parents!
Talbot: I run a business, Mr. McCoy. Everyone loves a perfect product, but if it's too expensive or inconvenient, no one buys it. The airlines could hand-search every passenger on every flight, but the delays would put them out of business. Cars could be made as safe as tanks, but how many people could afford a car that costs as much as a house? Risk-return analysis isn't reckless. It's responsible business.
Green: I want to ask your opinion on Einstein's theory because I'm not sure he was right.
Phil: Headline: 'Cop Cracks Relativity'.
Green: No, not that theory, Phil. His theory on genius. See - and correct me if I'm wrong - Einstein argued that genius has no personality. But after talking to you for this short amount of time, I realize that you actually prove the negative. You definitely have personality. [threatening] And it makes this primate want to whoop your ass. Now say somethin'.
Mr. Dworkin: Don't think I'm not an appreciative sort, but I'm going to have to say no on this one. It turns out there are more things to consider than guilt or innocence.
McCoy: Like a stacked jury?
Mr. Dworkin: [sarcastically] Yeah, that's right. Those people, they all stick together. It's kind of like back in the day, when Billy Ray was on trial for lynching po' Willie for looking at Betty Lou the wrong way, and the jury was Goomer and Willie and Bo.
Serena: It is hardly the same thing.
Mr. Dworkin: Why, because we're the chosen people? In that case, [affects Southern accent] I wish ya'll would choose someone else for a change.
[after Mr. Strelzik is convicted of the murder, Mr. Dworkin joins McCoy and Southerlyn for dinner at a restaurant]
Mr. Dworkin: May I?
McCoy: [scoots over] Help yourself.
Mr. Dworkin: Hell of a job. You're top of the legal food chain, Jack. No question about it.
Serena: You're not upset?
Mr. Dworkin: [takes his seat] Hey, giving money to Israel's a good thing. Everyone should do it. Murder on the other hand... [raises his glass] Here's to hoping the big guy upstairs has a little more sympathy for Mr. Strelzik than did the people of the state of New York.
McCoy: Last I heard, stupid is not a defense to murder.
[Connors has just been caught suborning perjury]
Connors: 30 years I've been at this. 30 years trying to knock 6 months to a year off the sentence of some piece of dirt who, when all is said and done, is gonna rot in Hell anyway. That's some way to measure your life, isn't it? Counting the time that murderers aren't in prison. I have measured out my life in coffee spoons. Couple bucks here and there. A week in Miami Beach twice a year. What about you, Jack? Who are you?
McCoy: I do what my job requires.
Connors: That's not enough for me. For once in my sorry life, I dared to eat the peach.
Briscoe: There's no such thing as hooker-client confidentiality.
Mr. Dworkin: I still think I coulda won, Denise notwithstanding.
McCoy: The minute she walked into that courtroom, all the sympathy you'd managed to work up for him would have backfired in his face. Turns out, he was in the unique position to know that, better than either of us.
Mr. Dworkin: Lawyer to lawyer: you didn't actually talk to Denise, did you?
Mr. Dworkin: Then how did you know?
McCoy: I didn't. But I do know that I'm barely white enough to live in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Briscoe: Twice a week I used to get on the couch, tell him how the head of the orphanage used to get a kick out of beating me with his shoe.
Green: [laughs] That sounds like Oliver Twist.
Briscoe: [laughs] It is!
Cutler: Cole Porter's lucky he's gone, what with the dearth of respect you show men of the theater.
McCoy: Cole Porter didn't have a dead woman in his townhouse, Lisa.
Cutler: John Myers? Please. He's as likely to have killed somebody as...
Serena: Sweeney Todd?
Myers: I got 6 Tonys, 2 Pulitzers and a mom who killed my dad. That's some resume. They let my mom go to my dad's funeral. She had chains on her wrists. And she turned to me and said, "That's the last ball game he'll ever watch."
Briscoe: We've been trying to figure out what to arrest you for: harboring a fugitive, obstruction of justice, or just being a general pain in the ass.
Branch: Got a call from my granddaughter last week. She said, "Grandpa, I think you're getting too old to drive." I said, "Really, sweetie? You think I oughta pack in the 'ol Chevy?" She said, "No, the Chevy's okay. It's the Porsche I worry about."
Lonnie: [about the murder victim, who stole his identity and robbed him] Do you why I didn't report this to the police? Because my loving son, who sends me a card on Christmas and maybe a call on my birthday, would have had me put away in some kind of home.
Paul: At least we'd still own the house.
Lonnie: It's not what you own, son; it's what you are. I'm just an old man who deserves to die in the bed he worked to pay for. Do you realize what it's like to wake up one day, and everything is gone? That I'm invisible? I've been erased? I worked my whole life. I bought that house. I had no debt. And this man, this monster, pushes a few buttons and poof! It's over. I'm gone. That Hitchens robbed me of me. He stole my soul!
Briscoe: What do you want from me - it's 2:00 in the morning.
[McCoy and Serena have just figured out that Elliott arranged his own shooting for publicity]
Elliott: What do they say? Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.
Serena: If you're writing fiction.
Elliott: Oh, grow up.
Serena: I'm not the one who staged a shooting for self-promotion.
Elliott: And if I did, how is that any more fictitious than what they expect the media to do over there?
McCoy: No one is on trial over there.
Elliott: Maybe they should be. America deserves the truth, and that's what I try to report. But what happens when I do? They slam the lid down, ship me out and stick me in a room with 12 guys in uniforms who tell me that if I open my mouth again, I can kiss my career goodbye. We're entitled to a free press, but the government won't allow it.
McCoy: That doesn't make what you did any less despicable.
Elliott: You want despicable? Despicable is the Pentagon using some fake patriotism to eviscerate the First Amendment, and then using the media to spread that fake patriotism like manure in a garden! Look, you can arrest me, you can charge me with having myself shot, but we both know you can't prove any of it!
McCoy: Or we can go to the press and expose you as a self-important fraud.
Elliott: Sure you could. But without 3 confirmations, their lawyers won't let them print any of it. 3 cheers for American democracy.
Branch: Lady Justice may be blind, but nobody ever said the old broad was fair.
McCoy: So you admit assaulting another man because he refused to share an orange.
Edgars: It's not that simple.
McCoy: The law of the jungle.
Edgars: That's right.
McCoy: And your lawyer suggested that you live like an animal in that jungle.
Edgars: Yeah, well, maybe she's right.
McCoy: Then what are we doing here? We don't put animals on trial, Mr. Edgars. We put them down.
Edgars: Fine. Put me down. You'll be doing me a favor.
McCoy: Tired of living in the street, are you?
Edgars: You think I chose this for my life?
McCoy: I think you had more choices than Alan Fisher did, don't you? He was held hostage to his own delusions, but you could control yourself. You could have looked for a job.
Edgars: I had a job. I told you.
McCoy: And a house?
McCoy: And a car?
Edgars: That's right.
McCoy: Friends, family, possessions.
Edgars: And I lost them! I lost it all! You don't know what that feels like, to be a failure, to go to bed on a piece of wet cardboard every freakin' night, wondering, "How did this happen to me?". I didn't want this. I didn't choose this life. This is something that happened to me, and it's like this thing in my chest that's killing me! [pounds chest] It gets me right here!
Branch: You know, Serena, if you were right, you were right for the wrong reasons.
Branch: Emotions, not facts. What was it you said, everyone you talked to said they couldn't have killed that man?
Serena: My emotional responses make me...
Branch: ...an advocate. You're a superb attorney; you ought to be involved in cases that feed your passion.
Serena: Well, that would be wonderful.
Branch: Serena, you must know, that will not happen in this office. It can't. Now, a prosecutor can be zealous, but not passionate. Advocacy is warm-blooded, enforcement's got to be cold-blooded, and blind, and even angry.
Serena: Does Jack feel as strongly about this as you do?
Branch: No, but it's my office and my decision, and he accepts it.
Serena: A decision? You've already made a decision?
[McCoy is prosecuting a man who counterfeited flu vaccine that killed 16 people]
Green: Elliott Peters, you're under arrest!
Peters: What for?!
Green: For killin' a whole bunch of people! I'd read you a list, but it's too long, you bastard! Turn around!
Fontana: Do me a favor and read this crumb his rights. I don't have the guts for it.
Green: Me, neither. But I don't want there to be any technical difficulties.
Pollack: 19 manslaughter counts? Your honor, my client is accused of selling sterile saline solution, a harmless substance.
Borgia: Hardly harmless if it's passed off as flu vaccine. Mr. Peters recklessly caused the death of these people by providing a useless vaccine to a marketplace driven by panic and hysteria.
Pollack: The definition of recklessness is the conscious disregard of a substantial risk.
Borgia: The phony vaccines were sold to at-risk groups. The elderly, young children, people with chronic medical conditions. The victims didn't get the vaccinations they needed because they wrongly believed they were protected by Mr. Peters' worthless version. If I could charge him with 19 counts of murder, too, I would.
Pollack: Your honor, my client allegedly sold sterile saline solution to one party who sold it to another, who sold it to a third, who gave it to someone else who may or may not have gotten the flu. And if they did, may or may not have died from it.
Borgia: Gave it? It was injected into their bodies in lieu of the real vaccine, one that these individuals desperately needed. This "harmless" saline solution would be used by physicians who mistakenly thought they were protecting their patients from a life-threatening illness.
Pollack: Your honor?
Judge Shiro: Save your breath, Mr. Pollack. I, too, regret that your client can't be charged with murder. No bail. Defendant is remanded. [bangs gavel]
McCoy: Mr. Peters, did you ever see an old movie called The Third Man?
Pollack: Your honor?
Judge Karan: Mr. McCoy?
McCoy: The defendant says he couldn't foresee any substantial risk to his actions. I'd like to explore that state of mind a little further.
Judge Karan: Witness may answer.
Peters: The Third Man, with Orson Welles. It's been a long time.
McCoy: Orson Welles plays a black marketeer who steals penicillin, and then dilutes and sells it with tragic consequences. Death, amputation, children dying.
McCoy: it's a parallel situation, your honor. I think the analogy is apt.
Judge Karan: Overruled.
McCoy: There's a famous scene on a ferris wheel.
Peters: I remember that scene.
McCoy: Orson Welles goes on a ride on a ferris wheel with his friend, and it stops when they get to the top. His friend, who's played by Joseph Cotton, asks: "Why? Why did you do this?" Orson Welles says: "For the money." Joseph Cotton is horrified. "Have you no conscience? How do you live with yourself?" Orson Welles points to the people on the ground far below, and the people on the ground are very small, walking around in the square. And Welles says: "Would you really feel anything if one of those dots down there suddenly stopped moving?" What was your expectation when you labelled your saline solution as flu vaccine and then sold it in bulk to people like Sklar?
Peters: That they'd sell it to someone else.
McCoy: And it would eventually be used as vaccine?
Peters: [chokes up] Sure, eventually.
McCoy: And you couldn't foresee the risk to those patients? They were just dots to you, weren't they? Far away, insignificant.
McCoy: And if they suddenly stopped moving, who'd care? Not you!
Pollack: Your honor!
Judge Karan: All right, Mr. McCoy. You've made your point.
[Fontana and Green try to convince Ron Drexler to give them a DNA sample]
Drexler: Is that a threat?
Det. Fontana: A threat? No. A threat would be more like... 'If you stonewall this investigation any more I'm gonna break your jaw. And when you're on the ground, I'm gonna kick you 'till you spit blood you cheap shyster.' That would be a threat. This is more of a request.
[about Nathan Fogg]
Borgia: So mostly he was a good guy?
Lawyer: Sure, if you like hypocritical, narcissistic, cold-hearted frauds.
[about Det. Green's shooting]
McCoy: I'm sorry about your partner.
McCoy: Are you alright?
Fontana: I'm thinking...just...thinking.
[McCoy meets with the defense lawyer after Green has been shot and the main witness killed]
McCoy: Forgive me, Rosalie, if I'm not in a very generous mood.
Rosalie: What do you mean?
McCoy: Peluso's body is still warm, Detective Green is fighting for his life. And you called me in to make a deal.
Helton: Jack, the case goes forward today and I'm afraid the prosecution doesn't have a chance without Peluso. I'm willing to take man one with a possibility for parole.
McCoy:[angrily] I'm not having this conversation.
Helton: I'm just trying-
McCoy:[raises voice] I'm not having this conversation!
[Main cast wait outside Green's hospital room. McCoy talks to Van Buren, then addresses Fontana, who is slouched in chair.]
McCoy: How are you doing?
Fontana: Still thinking. [pause]
McCoy: [Helplessly] Is there anything I can do?
[Walks up to McCoy.]
Fontana: You work your side of the fence, McCoy. I'll work mine.
[Someone leaves an SUV on the railroad tracks seconds before the train comes, leading to the death of 12 people and the injury of hundreds.]
[Interrogating a suspect]
Fontana: It's called "motive". M-O-T-I-V-E. Motive.
Lt. Van Buren: [about the defendant in the train crash case] Look, I hope you're charging him with 12 counts of murder-1, 250 counts of attempted murder, and whateva else you can throw at him. I was at the scene, counselor! And if this case doesn't help bring back the death penalty in New York State, I don't know what will.
Fallon: Millions spent on prisons and almost nothing for health insurance...
McCoy: I don't make social policy.
Fallon: No. You just have to clean up after those who do.
Green: You run pretty fast for someone who didn't do nothin'!
Judge Hellstrom: Mr. Jacobs, this negotiated arrangement with the People is something I find contrary to the interests of justice. A child taken by you against her will, returned by you to her lawful custodian in exchange for your freedom is an agreement against public policy. Therefore, I find that mandating enforcement of an agreement reached under these circumstances would be a perversion, not a fulfillment, of jurisprudence. I will not honor it. Your sentence is my discretion, Mr. Jacobs. I'm imposing the maximum time allowed by law.
Bell: Your honor, my client withdraws his guilty plea.
Judge Hellstrom: That's certainly his right. He wants a trial, we'll conference tomorrow afternoon to set a date.
Jacobs: What are you talkin' about? We had a deal! You can't do this.
Judge Hellstrom: You had no deal with me, Mr. Jacobs.
Jacobs: What? No. No. No. No. We had a deal! [charges at McCoy] We had a deal, you son of a bitch!
Judge Hellstrom: That's enough! Officers, remove the defendant from the courtroom!
Jacobs: You made a deal, you son of a bitch! Son of a bitch! We had a deal! WE HAD A DEAL!!
McCoy: If you want to fire me, Arthur, go ahead. I'm not going to apologize for what I did.
Branch: Well then, you just don't get it, Jack. You know, you're a great prosecutor, but you'll never be a district attorney.
Tadhg: [in his video suicide] My name is Tadhg Ruane. I am of sound body and mind, and I'm making this recording because I'm just... tired. I'm tired of the pain. I'm tired of living. I'm sorry, Ma, I just can't do it anymore. Please understand that I want to. I need to. I need to die.
Gerald: You're supposed to protect your kid brother, and I did that, his whole life. And every second of helping him plan his exit, I swear that's what I was doing. I was being an older brother. But that last moment, when he wanted to breathe... [chokes up] God forgive me.
Borgia: Let's not forget that we have a Constitution. Call me a stickler, but I think we should at least pretend to follow it!
McCoy: And I think that the Constitution should be used less as a shield for the guilty, and more as a sword for their innocent victims.
Mr. Dworkin: Suppose Lowell wasn't the one who was tortured. Suppose Fontana got him to talk by dunking his wife, or his mother, or his poodle in the toilet. Are we fine with that one, too? [McCoy says nothing] Yeah, I don't know either.
McCoy: You need to decide if there's a contradiction.
[Imam's mosque has been torched]
Imam: Mr. McCoy, you asked me before which I was first, an American or a Muslim. It turns out I'm neither. This was thrown through my window. [holds up a brick with the word "TERRORIST" scrawled on it] And this morning, someone did this.
McCoy: I'm sorry. [pause] What did Ben Faoud shout at you in the courtroom?
McCoy: [to Drake] You've had quite a run for someone so young. Exploiting unsuspecting college kids, taking advantage of their youth, their innocence, their vulnerability. And if they change their minds, to hell with them. A release is a release. Like it or not, the world is going to see you naked. Unless you pay me. Or screw me. That's a lot of heartache. A lot of ruined lives. And no one can touch you. But now, you are directly responsible for a death. And I intend to make you pay for that.
Cassady: Don't they get it? Video is forever.
Green: So is anonymity and boredom if you're a teenager.
Clerk: Docket #48215. People v. Leon Wayne Vorgitch. Charges are 8 counts of murder in the first degree, escape in the first degree, and criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree.
Judge Bryce: How does the defendant plead, Mr....
Leon: Kiss my ass! That's how I plead.
Judge Bryce: Control your client, counselor.
Edlund: I'll do my best, your honor. He pleads not guilty.
Judge Bryce: And since he's already serving three life sentences for mass murder, bail's not an issue.
Connie: But which cell he's returned to is, your honor. The defendant obtained the tools for his escape while incarcerated at Green Haven. People ask that corrections place him in a federal super-max facility pending trial.
Judge Bryce: Mr. Edlund?
Edlund: No objection, your honor.
Judge Bryce: So ordered. [bangs gavel]
Leon: [as the court officers escort him out] You can lock me up wherever you want, bitch.
Judge Bryce: We're done! Get him out of here!
Leon: You can lock me up wherever you want, 'cause that's all you can do. And next time I get out, I'm comin' straight for you, bitch! [to the court officers] Get your hands off me.
[McCoy discusses a plea offer with Leon]
McCoy: Murder-2 on all 8 charges.
Leon: Go to Hell, McCoy. Murder-1, 2, 3. What's the hell's that even mean? I want somethin' real. TV time. Conjugal visits.
McCoy: We're not here to offer perks, Mr. Vorgitch.
Leon: I want one of them flatscreens. That's my price. Take it or leave it.
McCoy: We'll leave it.
Leon: Fine. But every day I get on that bus and go to court is another day I don't have to spend in here. Another chance to escape.
Robert: I did exactly what you were trying to do. Everyone agreed he should die.
McCoy: I was seeking to have Vorgitch legally executed.
Robert: And I executed him. How can you come after me for that?
McCoy: Because New York doesn't have a do-it-yourself death penalty, Mr. Purcell.
Robert: I don't care what the law says.
Connie: That's hardly a defense.
Carter: [her closing summation] 9 years ago, Leon Vorgitch heartlessly murdered 5 innocent people at a restaurant. Back then, the Legislature had a chance to make sure that it never happened again, but they failed. They failed, and he escaped. And he went on to kill 8 more innocent people. And once again, the state has failed to act. 13 innocent people slaughtered, and our leaders are powerless to do anything but lock him up and hope he never escapes again? Ladies and gentlemen, the law did not protect our society from Leon Vorgitch. It couldn't even grant justice to the families of his victims. And when Robert Purcell heard that after hearing the shot that killed his daughter, he went insane. Regardless of the law, regardless of the risk, regardless of the countless witnesses, Robert Purcell felt compelled to make sure that Leon Vorgitch never killed again. Ladies and gentlemen, the state wouldn't take action, so Robert did. Now, does that make him a murderer? That makes him a man mentally undone. First, by a heartless psychopath, and second, by an uncaring system. Ladies and gentlemen, that deserves your sympathy. And also your vote of not guilty.
McCoy: [his summation] Vorgitch was a monster. No one disputes that the world is a better place without him. But this is not about who Robert Purcell murdered. It's about the simple fact that he is a murderer. Mr. Purcell is not insane. He does not believe himself to be a judge, a jury, or an executioner. And yet, by killing Leon Vorgitch, he chose to act as all 3. He may have felt morally justified, but still, he knew that what he did was wrong. So, the question before you is not: "Did Vorgitch deserve to die?". It's "Did Robert Purcell have the right to kill him?". And the answer is no. Leon Vorgitch was a danger to our society, but so is what the defense is asking of you today. They want you to look the other way. Even though Robert Purcell ignored our system of justice, took the law into his own hands, and committed murder in cold blood, they want you to give him a pass. If you let Robert Purcell get away with murder, just because you hate the man he shot, you're telling everyone out there that it's okay to kill, as long as the victim was a bad person. Judges, juries, who needs them? If you want to see insanity, let this murderer go.
[McCoy and Connie are investigating an actress whose adopted child died of mistreatment]
Connie: So, adopting a baby was just a publicity stunt?
Archer: I was giving Christopher a better life, and I was drawing attention to a region of the world that is buckling under an AIDS pandemic.
McCoy: Save that for the press, Mrs. Archer.
Archer: Was he going to be raised by the nanny? Yes, but so is my daughter, and so are the children of a lot of working women.
McCoy: Not to the extent that their children are unrecognizable to them.
Connie: [over a scotch with McCoy] I wanna have kids, you know? I wanna wake up with them in the morning, make them breakfast, see them off to school, and tuck them in at night. I just can't imagine seeing them as a burden.
McCoy: Some people are wired wrong. Ugliest part of our work.
Connie: Babies... babies as fashion... pour me another.
Lt. Van Buren[to Green about Reverend Sterling's arrest]: Hey, Ed. Make this one public. I want that hypocritical preacher to feel some pain.
Dawn: My husband is a minister! A man of God! I mean, do you really think he'd be involved in the murder of a homosexual prostitute? Look, why do you hate us so much? Well, is it because we have the courage to worship the Lord? Because we believe in the sanctity of marriage? Because we renounce homosexuality?
Connie: I used to think this was about an immigrant chasing the dollar, but maybe it's just good old-fashioned American greed.
[McCoy confronts the lieutenant about Julio's testimony]
McCoy: I don't like surprises, lieutenant.
Lt. Van Buren: And I have better things to do than to hold your hand through a defendant's hearing testimony.
McCoy: Why didn't you get this out of Rodriguez during his interrogation?
Lt. Van Buren: Did you ever consider he's lying to wiggle out of the murder charge?!
Connie: He's denied the hanging from the very beginning.
Lt. Van Buren: Look, it's one thing to say you shoved someone. It's a big leap to say you strung 'em up.
McCoy: Or your people didn't push Rodriguez hard enough.
Lt. Van Buren: So what? We should've broken out the waterboard? After all, Rodriguez is here illegally.
McCoy: It was a sloppy interrogation!
Lt. Van Buren: My people worked Rodriguez appropriately! If you don't like it, call the Chief of D's. Anything else?
McCoy: CSU never worked up the stairwell in Erin Garrett's building. They need to now. [to Connie] And you should talk to Julio's boss. If everything's riding on this kid's credibility, I'd like to know exactly who we're dealing with.
[Easton is about to be charged with Garrett's murder]
McCoy: Do you wanna roll the dice, Mr. Easton?
Easton: Why would I kill her?
Connie: To protect your profit center in illegal workers. Over half of your employees are underpaid, undocumented aliens.
Easton: Look, maybe I cut a few corners. But it's still my word against the word of this illegal Spanish kid.
Connie: And who do you think the jury's gonna believe? A kid who busts his ass 60 hours a week to send $75 to his mother, or a man who flouts the law and parlays his desperation into a small fortune?
McCoy: If you're convicted of staging Erin Garrett's suicide, I promise, you'll do 40 to life. I'm offering you 15.
Easton: I have a family. A wife and kids.
Connie: So did Erin Garrett.
[after Easton consults with Oscar about McCoy's plea offer]
Oscar: 10 years. No property forfeiture.
McCoy: The deal is 15 to life.
Easton: If I didn't hire these people, what else were they gonna do?! How else are they gonna support their families?!
McCoy: That might be a defense in a labor violation. Not a murder. 15 years or a trial, Mr. Easton.
[after Easton agrees to a McCoy's offer and is sent to prison]
Connie: Ali had his card pulled for tampering with Erin's movie. He's on his way to Pakistan, and Julio, to Colombia.
McCoy: And Easton Construction filed with the Attorney General's office for dissolution.
Connie: You're a one-man border patrol, Jack.
McCoy: You give me way too much credit.
Connie: I don't think so. You cleaned house.
McCoy: Not really. You're forgetting Erin Garrett had a Jamaican nanny.
McCoy: When we send our soldiers - no, strike that - when we send our children to fight in a war of choice, don't we have the moral obligation, the patriotic duty, to care for those who come home alive, whatever the cost?
Branch: [to McCoy] I just got off the phone with the U.S. Attorney's office. They're seeking contempt charges against you. Talking about jail time.
Connie: I'm gonna go bake you a cake. Put a hacksaw in it.
Connie: [her closing argument] There is nothing imagined about the wrongs of Trina's childhood. Whatever she was in her adult life, she learned from a master. Randall Bailey had a pathological need to abuse his daughter. A need that he finally took to its logical, deadly conclusion. And thanks to a tricked-up claim of self-defense that has been a staple of crime fiction for decades, he thinks he can get away with it. But consider this. 6-foot, 180 pounds vs. 5' 5", 110 pounds. Consider 13 deep, devastating stab wounds vs. 8 pin pricks. Consider what it took to drive this knife through meat and bone into the body of his own daughter. [stabs a book with Senator Bailey's knife repeatedly] Not once. Not twice. But 13 times! This was not paternal love, or instinct! No! It was murderous rage! [stabs once more]
Senator Bailey: [after his conviction] You're a hack, Dilwynn! You're a pinheaded idiot! I'm gonna make it my business to see you thrown off the bench!
[McCoy has accused Lethem of sabotaging the case against Rodchenko for political reasons]
Lethem: So... there it is. Some of us were wondering how long it'd take the real Jack McCoy to rear his shaggy, hippie liberal head. You know, when Arthur left, the Attorney General told me he wanted me sitting in that chair.
McCoy: And the mayor wanted somebody else... But I was the guy next in line for the job. This way, everybody's hands are clean... And I don't have to grind anybody's axe.
Lethem: Except your own.
McCoy: Josh, I think you've said enough.
Lethem: It's too much power for you, Jack. You can't be trusted.
McCoy: If you really believe that you shouldn't be working for me. You can resign or I can fire you. Either way, clean out your desk tonight. You're done here.
McCoy: What an idiot! Where did I get the idea I could do this job without the politics and stay above the fray? Now I know why Adam Schiff was so grumpy.
McCoy: If there's a law, I will enforce it. If there's a crime, I will prosecute it. And if there is a victim, I will speak for that victim.
Cutter: Now that we can establish Yost's motive, the defense is likely to do something unconventional.
McCoy: Such as?
Cutter: Putting lethal injection on trial. An appeal to the jury's political beliefs.
McCoy: It shouldn't be a problem.
Cutter: [sarcastically] Because Lord knows something like that never works!
Cutter: I'm sorry for your loss, Mr. Yost. I can't imagine what you've been through. But it doesn't justify what you did. [to the jury] The defendant coolly and methodically tracked Dr. Garrison down filled with a rage he knew could easily spill over into violence. This wasn't post-traumatic stress; this was a thirst for revenge, the revenge he couldn't have against Lionel Hartigan. Now, we all saw what's left of Mr. Hartigan in this courtroom. Wasn't that enough retribution? Does killing an innocent man bring back the defendant's family? Or is it just another wasted life? Mr. Yost knows better than anyone in this courtroom that the person responsible for the pain and the sadness inflicted on Dr. Burns' family should pay, and pay dearly.
[Lupo is unhappy with Cutter for browbeating a young witness into testifying against her mother.]
Lupo: Is this some sort of sport to you?
Cutter: [pauses] Stick with your law books, detective. On the page, the law is a much purer thing.
McCoy: [to Dr. Olivet] You're working for the other side now. The gloves will have to come off.
Cutter: 'People v. Fisher.' He smashed his fiance's head in with a hammer. A dozen people saw him do it, he was covered in blood, brain matter... he was acquitted. It wasn't my first case, or my tenth. It happened 4 years ago. There is no such thing as a slam dunk.
[McCoy gave Cutter information about Dr. Olivet that he used to try to discredit her during the trial]:
Dr. Olivet: Not your finest moment, Jack.
McCoy: Nor yours.
Waxman: I am a rock in a sea of chaos I will not be bullied or broken.. I'm a rock in a sea of chaos...
[McCoy needs to call the state governor as a witness in a case that is likely to destroy the governor's political career]
Gov. Shalvoy: Jack, we need to talk. I just got served a subpoena signed by Michael Cutter.
McCoy: I know, I told him to do it.
Gov. Shalvoy: You told him?! What the hell were you doing?!
McCoy: Helping to convict a murderer. You have maybe 10 days before this goes public. Now go home to your family, to -
Gov. Shalvoy: My family is none of your business! My personal life is not anybody's business! You worry, Jack. You worry how you're going to get elected without me. It's thanks to me that you have this job in the first place. Nobody wanted you!
McCoy: I'd rather be an unemployed lawyer than a well-fed pet.
Gov. Shalvoy: [angry] You're a fool. I had high hopes for you.
McCoy: I had high hopes for you! How could you do this?! To the people who work for you, the people who elected you?! How could you be so reckless with their trust? [hoarse, emotional] I respected you, Donald... respected you.
[Darvey has holed up in the Iranian Embassy, making it legally impossible for him to be arrested]
Cutter: So a killer sits in there eating caviar while we do... nothing?
Barsett: We're trying to negotiate the Iranians out of building nuclear weapons. We don't need to be distracted by a common criminal.
Lt. Van Buren: Common murderer. Darvey left his suitcase in the cab with a gun inside. Ballistics are a near-perfect match.
Barsett: I'm sorry. We have to respect the treaty.
McCoy: And if we don't, what are they going to do? Invade our embassy in Iran and take 50 hostages? Oh, wait - they already did that.
Chappell: [during a press conference] It's outrageous. Our elected officials should be bringing every pressure to make the Iranians respect our laws. Now, if I'm elected district attorney, I won't take no for an answer in a case like this.
Connie: [aside, to Bernard] If he's elected district attorney, I'm resigning, and burning down my office on the way out.
McCoy: Shutting down a Christian charity. Maybe I can still get the Buddhist vote.
Gardner: My lawyer says that anything I say under oath can be used against me by any of the 10,000 plaintiffs who will file lawsuits against me, and I won't open myself up to that kind of liability. [starts to leave]
McCoy: Sit down, Mr. Gardner. If you refuse to testify, you'll be held in contempt, and you won't get out of it by writing a check.
Gardner: Put me on the stand. I'll take the Fifth.
McCoy: Take the Fifth, and I'll give you something other than a few lawsuits to worry about. I have a whole building full of broke prosecutors who'd love nothing more than to put you in their sights.
Gardner: What do I get out of it?
McCoy: Have you ever done something for nothing? Here's your chance.
McCoy: We'll offer David Sutton a plea to Man-2. 6-12 years.
Cutter: For a first-degree murder?
McCoy: Have you looked at your evidence lately? 6-12, Mike. In an medium security prison. And make the offer tonight.
Cutter: You wanna tell me why we're carrying water for the Feds?
McCoy: It's called banking an IOU, which I can use in the Delacroix bank fraud case, where we'll need the Feds' help. I don't know how to break this to you, Mike, but yours is not the only case on my plate!
Cutter: Trade leniency for a murderer for help for a bank fraud case.
McCoy: A $2 billion bank fraud case, and your murderer still goes to prison. That's the kind of math I have to do in this job.
Cutter: Jack says the deal's off the table.
Connie: Well, that's good, seeing as that's what you already told David's lawyer.
Cutter: What do you think? Catholic Children's Charitable Trust might have popped Decker and Prescott?
Connie: American Poetry Foundation. That's a cutthroat bunch.
Delaney: 35 years ago, I won an Overseas Press Club Award for my coverage of the fall of Saigon. Now, I make happy talk with morons in low-cut dresses. My career has been dead for a long time, I just – I just haven't had the decency to bury it.
Bernard: Do you think New York City would hire a mentally ill woman?
Lupo: It would explain a few things about the tax code.
Connie: [to Teale] You're an infant. You think your life sucks now, Mr. Teale? Just wait and see where you wake up tomorrow. And unlike your sister's condition, this will be a nightmare of your own making.
Amato: I did a job for Halliwell, and then I decided to stay in town and enjoy the sights.
Connie: The sights? From where, Zagat's Guide to S&M Dungeons?
McCoy: Seems like every day we hear about another corrupt civil servant. Corrupt banker, businessman, athlete. Seems like behind success story of the last 10 years, a scandal is exploding. We're facing a rising sea of corruption, and we wonder, who will be the next to be drowned? Who will be saved? And what will become of our good works? When will it stop, Donald, and who will stop it?
Gov. Shalvoy: If you expect me to implicate Rita and jeopardize my family...
McCoy: Your family? They're campaign props you used to get elected. They mean as much to you as balloons and bumper stickers. Your whoring proves it!
Gov. Shalvoy: Be careful, Jack. I'll attribute that to the stress of your campaign. I know you're in a dead heat with Joe Chappell. I also know a few things about Joe, maybe could swing them numbers your way.
McCoy: You're trying to buy me off?
Gov. Shalvoy: You're worried about your good works, Jack. How are you going to safeguard them if you're not in the game anymore?
McCoy: [raises a glass before the election] May we live to fight another day.
Speight: [of the charges against her clients] It's a daisy chain, your honor. They're going to end up connecting my clients to Kevin Bacon.
Sameer: I lied because I want to stay here, because this is the place that I love. But when I became an American citizen, I took an oath: "I will support and defend the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic." And that's what I'm doing now, even if it means I will stop being a citizen and be sent away, and America will go on without me.
Cutter: Woll says that he and Connie had... a sexual relationship. He did everything but show me the dirty pictures.
McCoy: Did you ask her side of the side of the story?
Cutter: It would be crossing the line. I don’t have sex with people that I work with and I don’t ask them about their sex lives. We’re supposed to be smarter than that here, aren’t we? I mean, who’d put themselves in a situation like that?
McCoy: You mean besides me?
Cutter: It is worse for a woman, Jack. To sleep with a teacher, a boss, it demeans them, and a calls into question everything they have accomplished.
McCoy: Do you still think she is competent?
Cutter: Of course I do, but we're coworkers, not lovers... [McCoy looks surprised with this "confession"] ... and that is the way it is supposed to be.
[McCoy tries to persuade a reluctant witness to tell the police about a former teacher who is planning to shoot up a school]
McCoy: Ms. Scott, I'm Jack McCoy, the District Attorney. We need you to talk to us.
Kralik: I know you know what a subpeona is.
McCoy: Just how far up your ass is your head? A member of your union is threatening to shoot up a school!
Kralik: [sarcastically] Really? I find it hard to believe that any teacher could be pushed over the edge. What do you think did it, Mr. McCoy? Was it being micro-managed by the Department of Education, or having all of the responsibility and none of the authority? Or is it having to dig into their own pockets to pay for classroom supplies? Or maybe it's being abused and assaulted daily by students and their parents!
McCoy: You get no argument from me there. But if your obstruction allows a massacre to happen, I will crucify you, Mr. Kralik. I will charge you with negligent homicide, and after you're convicted, I'll resign my job and represent the victims in a wrongful death suit against you and the union. By the time I'm done, you'll be finished. So my advice to you is GET OUTTA MY WAY!!
Lt. Van Buren: [after receiving good news about her cancer; final lines of the series] Thank you, thank you...