Recap / Law And Order S 17 E 7 In Vino Veritas

Two officers in a cop car turn on the siren and lights; they want a car ahead of them to pull over. They place bets on what's wrong with the driver; one officer bets $10 that it's a DUI, the other bets $20 that it's some rich guy who can't drive. When the car stops they approach. The guy inside hands over his license and registration and tries to play off his condition by saying he just had a glass of wine a while ago, but he's obviously inebriated. When the officers tell him to step out of the car, he at first refuses, saying that he's Mitch Carroll, an important person. When the officers insist, he gets out, and the officers see that he's covered with blood. Carroll is arrested.

At the precinct, Carroll is pacing the interrogation room. Cassady comes in, and Carroll explodes at her.

"Screw YOU, sugartits!"
—Mitch Carroll

Carroll threatens Cassady's career, saying he's got powerful friends. Cassady tells him that she needs to know why he's bloodied and if someone is hurt or dead, but Carroll just keeps insulting her.

"Are you a Jew? You're a Jew!"
—Mitch Carroll

He goes on an anti-semitic rant, interspersed with more threats against Cassady's career. Outside, Van Buren tells Green to make sure that he records all of Carroll's slurs and threats.

An hour later, an Inspector from police headquarters shows up. The Inspector says that they need to worry about Carroll's comments derailing the investigation, and notes that the police are already getting calls about Carroll's arrest. He orders them to write a sanitized version of the arrest report, with the comments redacted. Van Buren isn't comfortable with that, so the Inspector assures her that it's just until trial, at which point the real report can be released — the goal is just to minimize the possibility that the anti-semitic comments will cause trouble during the investigation in the event the report is leaked. He orders them to find Carroll's crime quickly before the press gets too bad. Once he leaves, Van Buren tells Green that she's keeping copies of both the real and sanitized reports in her own files.

In interrogation, Carroll rants to Green that he's been locked up for an hour. He makes more comments about Jews being leeches and sending money from America to Israel so that Israel can build bombs and matzoh. Green wants a blood sample, even though Mitch doesn't want to give one.

"You can sit down or I can sit you down."
—Ed Green

Nurse Esposito, who is taking the sample, begs Green to make Carroll shut up. Carroll says he wants to call his son John, but Green tells him he needs to wait until his blood sample is taken.

"Tell him I'm screwed."
—Mitch Carroll

The next morning, the cops talk to John Carroll. John says he was asleep last night, and when the detectives say that Mitch called John, John says that his dad just said that he'd be home late. Green then gets a call from CSU tech Julian Beck — Mitch's car has been analyzed. At the garage, Beck shows them trace amounts of blood in the trunk. He says the pattern indicates that a wrapped up body was put in the trunk, and a little blood seeped through. The wrapping also explains why no hairs or fibers were found. Beck also found a bag belonging to a club called Novocaine.

A waitress at Novocaine says that Mitch was there from 8 to 12:30 PM the night before. She praises Carroll, saying he's genuine and funny. He claimed that he had to leave to check on his son, which the waitress found sweet.

In interrogation, Carroll claims no memory of the night before. He insists this even when Green brings up the calls to John. Cassady asks him about his anti-semitic comments, but Carroll denies ever saying them.

"She's Irish, by the way, in case you want to get something else off your chest."
—Ed Green

Carroll says that he took a sleeping pill and woke up in jail; he doesn't remember a thing. He lawyers up. At that moment, another officer comes in — a body was found.

At the docks, an officer leads Green and Cassady to a female body. The lack of blood indicates that the body was dumped, and Green notes that Carroll's cell phone signal bounced off a nearby tower. The officer says that they found the wrapping — a high-quality Egyptian rug. Another officer finds a purse in a dumpster. Cassady reads the ID in the purse, which reads 'Danielle Hertzberg.' Cassady says that the victim was Jewish.

At Hertzberg's apartment, Green notes that the door wasn't forced, so Mitch was let into the apartment. Beck identifies where the body fell, and shows the cops a bullet he found.

"Now all you gotta do is find the gun."
—Julian Beck

Cassady reports that the neighbors were all away for the night; no one saw anything. Another officer finds Hertzberg's Blackberry; she was supposed to have dinner with a man named Don Hamilton the night she was killed.

Hamilton says that he and Danielle were working on a television pilot together, and he had wanted Carroll to play a main character. Hertzberg refused. The two had bad blood between them based on a previous show called 'Twenty-Five to Life' in which they'd worked together. Hamilton tries to get Carroll and Hertzberg to make up, but Hertzberg refused, and Hamilton eventually agreed not to consider Carroll. Hamilton doesn't know why exactly Hertzberg didn't like Carroll, but says he's confident it was related to Twenty-Five to Life.' He adds that every other actor on the show has moved on to other things, but Carroll hasn't had steady work in two years. He sends them to Bobby Gold, another star of Twenty-Five to Life who Danielle had liked.

Bobby explains what happened — at the final wrap party, Carroll got drunk and began blaming everyone for why the show was canceled. Hertzberg told him to calm down, and Carroll blamed Gold's Jewish ethnicity for the show being canceled.

"He said, the reason the show was canceled was because 'no one wanted to watch a rat-Jew bastard' like me."
—Bobby Gold

Gold says that Carroll often made Jewish jokes, and greeted him with 'Shalom.' He compares it to white people using racial slurs. Green asks if other people heard about this, and Gold says everyone in the business knows. He at first implies that Jewish people really do control the media, but eventually scales this back and says that Danielle in particular helped Gold after 25 to Life ended because he was Jewish, and blacklisted Carroll, telling everyone in the business that she knew what had happened.

In jail, Carroll's lawyer tells Rubirosa and Cassady that Mitch drank alcohol and took Zolofin, a powerful sleeping pill.

"I find it hard to believe that he killed someone in his sleep."
—Connie Rubirosa

Carroll says that he talked with Hertzberg a few times about getting a part in the show. He says that he made amends to Hertzberg, but Rubirosa says he's lying. Carroll changes his story — he says that he's broke and he begged her for the job until she agreed to let him try out. She said she'd go out and he should come back later. When he came back, at around 1, he found her lying dead. He admits to dumping the body, saying that he became paranoid after drinking and thought everyone would think he killed Danielle. Rubirosa points out that Hamilton said that Carroll was out of contention, but Carroll maintains his story.

The police search Mitch's place.

"Bachelor pad of the rich and famous. He's gonna love our redecorating."
—Nina Cassady

Green finds a gun that fires the same sort of bullet found in Hertzberg's place. Cassady sees posters for a white-supremacy music group in John Carroll's room, and Green points out that John could have committed the murder. He's at his mom's; the cops go to arrest him.

In interrogation, Green says that they found Hertzberg's blood on John's sneakers. His mom Amanda says that they can't be serious. John doesn't want to answer any questions, even when his mother insists. He tells her to shut up, and says she can't handle the truth. Cassady asks what that means.

"That the Jews run everything. They control all the money, all the jobs, they think they own this city. That's why Dad hasn't worked. They hate him cause he's not one of them."
"Did you kill her, John?"
"Damn right."
—John Carroll and Ed Green

John says that he took his dad's gun, followed Hertzberg inside, and shot her.

"Only needed one shot to put her down."
—John Carroll

He says that his father didn't tell him to do it, but that he told him when he (Mitch) came home. Mitch went to dispose the body, and told John to say that he was home all night. Amanda Carroll is horrified, but John says that he was standing up for his dad and his race. He asks why his mom cares; since Hertzberg was Jewish, he says, it doesn't matter if she lived or died. Amanda says they need a lawyer, and begs John to be quiet.

"Please be quiet now. Please."
—Mrs. Carroll

In court, Mitch Carroll is arranged on charges of tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution. Judge William Koehler recognizes Mitch's new lawyer, Mr. Rosenthal. Rosenthal lives in LA but flew to New York to take Carroll's case.

"Anything for a good friend and client."
—Mr. Rosenthal

When Rubirosa says that Carroll tried to cover up a hate crime, both Carroll and Rosenthal say this is false. Rosenthal goes further.

"Miss Rubirosa has just single-handedly prejudiced my client before the court of public opinion. How is Mitch Carroll going to get a fair trial after that grandstanding?"
—Mr. Rosenthal

Bail is set at $100,000. Rosenthal and Carroll share a big hug.

John is arranged immediately afterwards; the charge is murder. His lawyer, Justine Bailey, pleads him not guilty. Rubirosa says that the prosecution wants a hate crime enhancement added to the charg and wants remand. Bailey says that John is a child and lives with his family in the city, and so won't flee, but Rubirosa points out that John Carroll already confessed to murder. Koehler remands John, over Bailey's objections.

Outside, McCoy pushes past a crowd of reporters. He comments that Rubirosa stirred things up with the hate crime enhancement talk, but Rubirosa says she wasn't going to pull any punches. Bailey approaches McCoy and says that she wants John tried as a minor. McCoy says the charges are too serious, but Bailey says that John's a victim of his father's anti-semitism. She argues that John can be saved and rehabilitated if he's removed from Mitch's care and given psychiatric care, but McCoy wants John to discuss his father's role in the killing first. Bailey says that John won't talk,and McCoy says there won't be any deals without testimony. Bailey promises to submit a motion to remove the case to Family Court.

In the office, Rubirosa says that it shouldn't matter where John picked up his anti-semitism; only his actions matter, not his words. McCoy points out that the hate-crime enhancement means that his words and thoughts do come into play. McCoy predicts that Bailey will blame Mitch Carroll, saying his anti-semitism was a form of child abuse that corrupted John. Rubirosa thinks this is idiotic. McCoy talks about his bigoted father, and when Rubirosa points out that McCoy doesn't believe the hateful things his father did, McCoy says that only happened because he didn't like his father very much.

"If I'd respected him more, I might have listened."
—Jack McCoy

Rubirosa says she doesn't buy the hatred as abuse, but McCoy asks her to find out..

Amanda tells Rubirosa that it used to not be so bad, but after the sitcom got canceled, Mitch became more and more prejudiced and hateful. Rubirosa asks if John began to pick up on this hatred, and Amanda recalls an incident when John was beaten out for a spot on a tennis team by a Jewish boy. John said that his dad told him to fight the boy, rather than just letting a Jewish person beat him, so he punched the boy. The boy's jaw had to be wired. Afterwards, Mitch bought John a $400 racket. She also remembers Mitch saying a lot of bad things about Danielle Hertzberg to John.

Rubirosa tells McCoy and Branch that John has been in three private schools, transferring every time due to fighting with Jewish students. Carroll also gave his son shooting lessons. Rubirosa is starting to buy the child abuse defense. Branch wonders if Mitch was involved, and McCoy doesn't think John could do it all himself. It was Mitch's motive, after all, and he went to a bar to establish an alibi while his son killed someone. Branch says that they need John's testimony, and McCoy says that they're going to need all the leverage on John they can, so he wants to keep the case in federal court. Rubirosa objects that John could end up refusing to testify anyway and risking a huge sentence while Mitch gets off scot-free, but McCoy is okay with that risk.

In court, Bailey asks John about what his father taught him. John says that his father told him to watch out for Jewish people, and would refer to being cheated in business as being 'Jewed.' Bailey asks why he was sent to a school with a lot of Jewish people, and John repeats more stereotypes his dad taught him — that Jewish people are super-smart and fill all the good schools, that they make good lawyers and accoutants, etc. In the courtroom, Mitch looks uncomfortable.

Judge Madeline Drake says that McCoy can cross-examine, but on a limited scope. McCoy says that he doesn't want to try to disprove John's anti-semitism, since it only bolsters his contention that John committed a hate crime and must be tried as an adult. Bailey protests that John was under his father's control, and cites expert opinions to support her claim of abuse. Drake clarifies that John is 14, and then says that the case is so heinous that John must be tried as an adult. Mitch leaves without saying anything to John, but Amanda tries to talk to him. Bailey tells McCoy that she hopes McCoy did this to gain leverage, not just send a 14-year old boy to prison, and McCy agrees, but says he needs John to flip on his father.

In jail, Bailey tells John that jail is now a real possibility. Rubirosa points out that John confessed, and McCoy says that John will be serving at least 20 years if convicted. John says this isn't fair, and McCoy says he can reduce the sentence if he flips on his father.

"You want me to betray my dad?"
"Hasn't he already betrayed you? How many times has he even come to see you in here, John?"
—John Carroll and Jack McCoy

McCoy says that Mitch is using John as a shield so that he won't have to suffer for his crimes. Rubirosa adds that Mitch needs to answer for what he did. John finally admits that his father told John that he wanted Danielle dead, which was when John decided to kill her. Mitch didn't know exactly what was going on, but when John asked if Danielle really deserved to die, Mitch said that it wouldn't hurt to kill another Jew.

At a television studio, Mitch Carroll apologizes on TV.

"These remarks do not represent my true feelings."
—Mitch Carroll

He blames the alcohol and sleeping pills, and asks for everyone's forgiveness, including the anchor, Barry Bishop, who is Jewish. Bishop says he appreciates Mitch's courage. Once the cameras stop rolling, he hugs Carroll. Then the police arrest Mitch.

"You have the right to remain silent."
"And you might want to try that this time."
—Ed Green and Nina Cassady

In jail, Rosenthal says that Caroll was indicted for accomplice murder just for being a bigot. Rosenthal says that Carroll can hate whoever he wants, but McCoy says that killing someone goes beyond hate. Rosenthal puts it all on John. Carroll says that John's a good boy, but not very bright, and that he must have misunderstood Mitch's words. Rubirosa says that Mitch taught John to shoot and allowed him easy access to a gun.

"So he'll cop to first-degree bad parenting."
—Mr. Rosenthal

Rosenthal gives them a motion to suppress the anti-semitic comments, on the basis that Carroll was drunk when he made them. On the way out, Carroll protests that he doesn't hate Jewish people, and that he is in fact friends with many.

In chambers, Judge Nathan Murphy hears the arguments from Rosenthal and McCoy. Rosenthal, now wearing a yarmulke, says that Carroll was drunk, but McCoy points out that, legally,this doesn't qualify to get a statement suppressed. Rosenthal says that intoxication to the degree of mania does get statements thrown out, says that the Zolofin sleeping pill mixed with the alcohol made Carroll manic, and claims that Carroll's remarks were proof of mania. He cites numerous studies documenting weird side effects from Zolofin. Rubirosa, however, points out that the weird behavior is usually disorganized and sloppy, but Carroll had the presence of mind to dispose of a body and make it look like a robbery. Murphy says that he's studied the experts and used Zolofin, and he's going to allow the statements. Rosenthal then asks that Murphy recuse himself — if the statements are in, so is Carroll's bigotry, and Murphy is married to a Jewish lady and is thus biased. Murphy rejects this motion too. Rosenthal then moves for a change in venue.

"This I've gotta hear."
—Jack McCoy

Rosenthal claims that New York has so many Jewish people that Carroll can't get a fair trial.

"New York is home to two million Jews. That's like trying a gay-basher in Provincetown."
"As Hank Greenberg used to say, counselor, three strikes and you're out! Motion denied. We're done."
—Mr. Rosenthal and Nathan Murphy

Outside, McCoy says that Rosenthal is acting like a putz.

In court, Cassady testifies about what they found during their search. She says that the gun was easily accessible to anyone, having no locks or safety features. Rosenthal, still wearing the yarmulke, brings up the anti-semitic remarks in the official police report. He then brings up the redacted report, pointing out that the anti-semtic statements aren't there. Cassady has to admit that they made up a fake report without the comments, and that she signed it. Her attempts to explain backfire.

"The sanitized report was made at the request of the Detective Borough Investigator."
"So he was in on it too?"
—Nina Cassady and Mr. Rosenthal

Rosenthal asks how they can know that the sanitized one isn't the real one — maybe the anti-semitic remarks were made up for the real reports. Rosenthal then points out that Carroll denied making the comments the next day; when Cassady says this was just because he sobered up, and continues talking about the fake report.

John testifies that he broke the jaw of a Jewish boy at his dad's request, and that his dad was proud of him. He admits that Mitch talked a lot about the Jewish people on his show, but he sees his dad in the audience and then refuses to talk about any statements his dad made after the show was canceled. He says that Mitch didn't comment about Danielle. McCoy points out that this contradicts his grand jury testimony. Mitch shakes his head and looks desperate. Bailey, in the audience, looks upset. John says he was lying to the grand jury. McCoy says he needs some time, Rosenthal calls it coaching, and Murphy adjourns the court for the day.

McCoy threatens to revoke John's deal, but Bailey says that John knows what's going on. John says he won't rat out his father and says that McCoy is just working for Jewish people in the government. He maintains that he killed Danielle and won't have his dad suffer for it. McCoy and Rubirosa leave.

McCoy tells Rubirosa to set up a meeting with Rosenthal.

In McCoy's office, Rosenthal says that Mitch will plead to a tampering charge if the murder charge is dropped. Rubirosa says that John perjured himself and is looking at 20 years. Mitch says it's too bad, and insists that he loves his son when McCoy asks him.. McCoy says that Mitch and John can do twenty years between the two of them, and Mitch can decide how much time each one of them does — for every year Mitch does, John's sentence goes down by one year.

"You hate Jews. You love your son. I'm curious which is more important."
—Jack McCoy

Mitch says that John has issues. He says that they never really had a relationship, that he never really knew John, and that he's not responsible for John's actions. McCoy tells him to choose between himself or his son. Mitch says he's too old to go to jail.

"Tell him I'm so sorry."
"Tell him yourself."
—Mitch Carroll and Jack McCoy

McCoy opens the door to reveal John and Bailey, who heard the whole thing. John runs off. Mitch intercepts him, and John points out that Mitch was lying — he wanted John to kill Hertzberg.

"I just wanted you to be proud of me!"
—John Carroll

McCoy says that John will be testifying again. Rosenthal looks defeated.

In court, Mitch Carroll is found guilty.

The lawyers, going home, decide to stop for drinks. Branch jokes that he doesn't want anyone judging him for what he says while drunk.