Late at night, a custodian named Johnny Cobb sits in a room full of machinery at a high school. He is talking on the phone to a friend, Jackie, and discussing romantic plans. Cobb gets another call and takes it. This second call is a Mr. Aronson, who, after confirming that Cobb is about to leave, asks if his wife is still around the building. Cobb says that he doubts it but he will check before he leaves. He goes to Sarah Aronson's room, an art studio, and enters through an unlocked door, but when he turns on the lights, he finds her dead on the floor. A uniformed officer tells Curtis that Cobb found the body at about 9:30. No one else was in the building, and the alarm was set. Cobb tells Briscoe that he saw Aronson alive at 7:00. Briscoe asks if Cobb checked on Aronson the first time that her husband called; he says that he walked by the classroom and saw that the lights were off, so he assumed she'd left. He went in the second time because he noticed that the door was unlocked, but Aronson always locked up when she left. He confirms that Aronson often works late, and sighs that it's unfortunate that such a good person as Aronson was killed. Briscoe says thanks Cobb and gives him a pat on the back as the officer takes him away from the crime scene. Curtis coughs, and Briscoe says that he thought Curtis would call in sick.
"Can't afford to give up the sick days before Christmas."Briscoe takes Curtis into the art room and tells him Aronson's name, that she was twenty-eight, and that she taught art and art history. He adds that CSU Technician Bailey placed the time of death as two hours previous, about 7:30. Bailey says that Aronson was strangled with her handbag strap, and no money or valuables were stolen. Curtis wonders if it was a sexual assault, but Bailey says no. Bailey notes that Sarah is bloody but has no visible wounds, so the blood must have come from the attacker. Curtis asks if Aronson had a weapon.
"Okay, so when I get your cold, is your wife going to make me chicken soup?"
—Reynaldo Curtis and Lennie Briscoe
"Yeah, we found a piece of chalk."He tells Bailey to bag Aronson's body, and he and Curtis walk away a few steps. He asks Curtis if he took art in high school; he says he took physics.
"An art teacher, who'd she ever hurt?"The next day, the detectives talk with the principal of Aronson's school, Dr. Alvin Sabloff. Sabloff says that Aronson taught at the school (called Advanced Studies) for three years and was very active regarding clubs and sports teams. He thinks that a criminal from the neighborhood broke in and killed her; there were break-ins the previous year during which equipment was stolen and rooms were vandalized. Curtis notes that nothing was stolen or vandalized, and Briscoe says that there's no sign of a break-in. Sabloff doubts that anyone at the school would kill Aronson. Briscoe says there surely must be some problem students, but Sabloff responds that all students at the school are recruited from the best and brightest in the city, so they don't let in bad people. Curtis points out that the building alarm didn't go off, so whoever killed Aronson must have turned it off before leaving. He asks who has a key to the alarm, and Sabloff responds that the faculty and some staff members have one, but he insists that the police are looking in the wrong direction if they suspect a staff member of murdering Aronson. He points out that Aronson herself had a key, so whoever killed her could have used that to escape. Mr. Aronson tells the detectives that Aronson told him that she was having dinner with Lana Halstead, another teacher. She was supposed to return home by 9; when she didn't, he called Cobb. He asks when he can recover the body, as the Aronsons are Jewish and he wants to arrange the funeral before the Sabbath. Briscoe says that they'll tell the coroner to hurry. Curtis asks why Mr. Aronson called the school if he thought his wife was eating with a friend. Mr. Aronson replies that he called Halstead first, but Halstead told him that his wife never showed up and guessed that she was grading at Advanced Studies. Curtis asks if Mr. Aronson thought his wife was having an affair. He rejects the possibility that she was doing this, but does say that they'd been getting a lot of hang-up calls in the past two weeks.
"Yeah, an algebra teacher I could understand."
—Reynaldo Curtis and Lennie Briscoe
"Once a man called, asked for Sarah, and they wouldn't leave a message."Mrs. Aronson laughed off the calls, and Mr. Aronson can't think of who made them. As they walk through a park, Halstead tells the detectives that she was supposed to eat dinner with Aronson and isn't covering for her. Briscoe tells her that lying won't help Aronson, but she insists that she is telling the truth.
"Sarah was not the type to have an affair."Halstead says she'd have known if Aronson was cheating on her husband. Curtis brings up the phone calls and mentions that one of them was from a man, which stuns Halstead to the point where she stops walking and sits on a bench. Halstead finally says that Aronson was having issues with the Advanced Math teacher, Richard Kovax. Kovax, according to Halstead, mentored Aronson during her first year, and while she held no romantic feelings for him, he hoped they were closer than just friends. Kovax has been with the school for eighteen years and is involved with all of their important fundraising opportunities, so, says Halstead, he's become arrogant. Kovax tells the detectives that he got along with Aronson and that she had no problems with him. Curtis asks why she talked about him with Halstead, so Kovax says that he doesn't know.
"My experience is, it's an equal-opportunity character flaw."
—Lana Halstead and Lennie Briscoe
"I may not be God's gift to women, but I'm not surprised I'm a topic among the female staff here."Kovax says that Aronson was smart, exciting, and a great artist, so he paid attention to her. He begins to say that Aronson may have mistaken that for something deeper, but Curtis interjects to say that she might have found it sinister, and demands to know if Kovax called her at home. He cautions him not to lie, since the police can just look it up. Kovax says that he may have called her during the previous week to discuss the outreach program. Curtis asks for an alibi, and Kovax says that he was at the gym, warming up for a session with his personal trainer. He remained there, he says, until 10. The trainer says that Kovax has a regular appointment from 8 to 10. She arrived at 7 and went to the whirlpool to work on her knee. She saw Kovax at 7:50. She didn't notice any defensive wounds on him, but he usually wears a sweatshirt when he works out anyway so that people don't see a scar on his chest from a bypass surgery. Asked about his mood, she says that he's been in a bad mood for the past few weeks, including the previous night. The trainer thinks that his girlfriend dumped him; Kovax used to come in with her, but she switched her time slot right before Kovax became grumpy. Curtis notes that this is when Aronson started receiving the hang-up phone calls. He asks for the girlfriend's number. At Architectural Maneuvers, Kovax's ex-girlfriend says that she knew Kovax would get in trouble, but didn't think that it would come so quickly. Briscoe asks what would get him in trouble, and she says that he was dating one of his students.
"Well, we got the impression that your animal magnetism wasn't on the agenda."
—Richard Kovax and Lennie Briscoe
"So, what happened? Did he run off with her to Vegas?"Briscoe asks if she really means it, and the girlfriend says that, when she was at his house a few weeks prior, he went outside for a moment and someone left him a message. The message came from a young girl, Mattie, and it was an apology for getting Kovax in trouble. Mattie had tried to keep some secret of his, the message claimed, but hadn't been able to thanks to Sarah Aronson. Kovax told his girlfriend that she was jumping to conclusions, but she didn't believe him and left him.
"I know I didn't phone my high school teachers at home on Sunday mornings."At the precinct, Curtis thinks that the girlfriend is right, but Briscoe, on hold on the phone, says that women often suspect adultery or cheating for no good reason. He also notes that they don't know Mattie's actual age. Van Buren comes in with the analysis of the blood found at the scene.
"The perp's male, most likely Caucasian."The blood also indicates a predisposition to diabetes. Curtis says that, if Kovax had a bypass, he might have also had diabetes. Briscoe gets taken off hold and is given some information — a Mattie Braverman is a student in Kovax's class. He also gets her address. Curtis says that Kovax could only have gotten in one kind of trouble with a sixteen-year old girl, but Briscoe is still skeptical and wants to ask Kovax what happened. Van Buren vetoes this, telling them to ask Braverman first in case they're wrong. Briscoe says that Van Buren would be better at asking a young girl about her love-life, and she takes the paper with Braverman's address. Van Buren leads Braverman into a conference room at the precinct, saying that it shouldn't take long. Braverman says that she's willing to look at photos, but she didn't see anyone odd at the school on the day that Aronson was killed. Van Buren says that Braverman isn't there to look at photos. She asks about Braverman's relationship with Kovax. Braverman pretends that Kovax is just a teacher of hers, and when Van Buren reveals that she knows about the message Braverman left him, Braverman denies even knowing Kovax's number. Van Buren threatens to look at her phone records, and then threatens her directly if she doesn't tell the truth. Braverman is silent, so Van Buren says she needs to get Braverman's mother.
"So far that's me."
—Anita Van Buren and Lennie Briscoe
"This is a murder investigation, and you're a material witness. The less you cooperate, the worse it gets."Braverman stops Van Buren and begs her not to get her mother involved. She reveals that Aronson, her advisor, had called her in a few weeks ago to talk. Aronson had noticed that she (Braverman) was getting A's in Advanced Math, Kovax's class, but Aronson knew that Braverman wasn't that good at math and had gotten C's and worse the previous year. Aronson had thought that Braverman was sleeping with Kovax for better grades, and had threatened to go to the administration about it. Braverman hadn't been sleeping with Kovax, but had been paying him off for better grades, and confessed this to Aronson so she wouldn't tell the administration that she was sleeping with him.
—Anita Van Buren
"Excuse me?"Van Buren looks at her disapprovingly, so Braverman says she can name a half-dozen other students who are also paying off Kovax. Braverman finishes by saying that Aronson told her that she'd confront Kovax. In interrogation, Kovax says that he's won teaching awards, so his students are getting good grades because he's a great teacher, not because he's selling them. Briscoe says that they don't believe him; Braverman's friends back up her story. Curtis calculates that Kovax makes over $4000 a year just off of Braverman and the half-dozen she knows of. Kovax wants to invoke his right to an attorney.
"I was giving him $300 a semester. I had to, to bring up my GPA. Or forget about Vassar!"
"You say the word, we'll let you make the call. Right after we book you for bribe-receiving. And murder."Kovax says that he didn't kill Aronson, and that Sabloff saw him leave the school an hour before Aronson died. Curtis points out that Kovax could have returned later. Briscoe says that Kovax's blood is all over the classroom, and wonders if Aronson fought back while he strangled her. Kovax says that his blood can't be at the crime scene because his blood type is O-Negative.
"Thanks for the cooperation, Richard. It's my duty to inform you that your blood type matches the type found at the scene."The detectives go to arrest Kovax, but Kovax stops them, offering to explain. He admits that Aronson told him that she knew what he was doing. He says that he told her he would stop, and did so, telling his students that he would no longer accept their money. However, he also told them that it was Aronson that was making him stop. He continues, saying that, a few days ago, Aronson told him that she was getting anonymous threats.
"She wanted to know who was responsible. I told her I didn't know. I teach seven classes, it could have been any one of thirty kids."He swears that he didn't kill Aronson. Curtis then lets him know that they just tricked him.
"Well, we believe you, Mr. Kovax. Turns out we got everything mixed up. Your blood type doesn't match after all."Sabloff shows the detectives Aronson's locker, where she kept spare clothes. They break the lock and find an envelope with threats.
"Open your big mouth, Jew bitch, and you'll die."The third note is an image of a man with a swastika tattoo beheading a kneeling, pleading woman. The detectives have an art expert from the Met compare the third note to drawings made by Aronson's students, to see if he can determine who drew the note. He says that her students are very strong in technique but are corrupted by their heavy metal music into drawing evil things. The expert determines that the note was drawn in one continuous line in the freehand calligraphy style, and was definitely inspired by Japanese sumi-e painting. He finds a drawing on one of the walls in Aronson's studio with a very similar style to the note, down to the particular way the folds in each figure are drawn. The one on the wall bears the name Edward Camarillo. In interrogation, Camarillo is defiant.
"Hitler was right. Burn with the rest of the mud people."
"Yeah, I drew an angel for a school project. Is that some kind of violation of church and state?"Camarillo is a white boy of Spanish heritage. The detectives get angry at his attitude. He says that someone must have copied him when they made the note, and denies drawing it. He also denies harassing Aronson, but Briscoe says that Kovax confessed that he sold grades to Camarillo. Camarillo says that Kovax is lying and that he earned his grades in math.
"Oh yeah? how 'bout a little pop quiz, Eddie? Let's see. You're eighteen. Why don't we add twenty-five to that, 'cause that's the going rate for murder."Camarillo turns to Curtis and says something in Spanish, and Curtis grabs Camarillo, pulls him up by his lapels, and tells him not to mouth off. He threatens that, if the fingerprints on the drawing match Camarillo's, Camarillo will be sent to jail and raped in Sing Sing. Camarillo maintains his ignorance, about both the note and the identity of the murderer. He adds that his dad will verify that he (Edward) was working in the family store that night. Curtis tells Van Buren that customers at the shoe repair place that Mr. Camarillo owns verified that Edward was there until 8:00 PM the night of the murder. Camarillo's parents, though, were furious when the detectives showed him the drawing he sent Aronson. Curtis says that it's out of character for Camarillo — his mother lent the detectives Camarillo's yearbook, and Camarillo had numerous honors. Briscoe looks at the yearbook and sees the 'favorite quote' from Camarillo — 'LAL.' None of them know what it means, so they look for other people with similar quotes. A Randy Ashton has the quote 'KIL', and Ashton and Camarillo are both on the wrestling team, so they look up the quotes for the remaining wrestling team members. Rick Niels' quote is 'KES,' and the last one, from Matt Hastings, is 'LKI.' Van Buren writes down all the letters, and they try to figure out what they mean.
"A secret code for wrestlers?"Van Buren guesses that it's one single message, and Curtis suggests putting the quotes on one line, in the order of the students' names.
"Maybe we get Vanna White in here."
—Reynaldo Curtis and Lennie Briscoe
"KILL ALL KIKES."At wrestling practice, Niels and Ashton (two white boys) say that the quotes were a joke to see if the yearbook editors were paying attention. They deny any knowledge of either the notes or the murders, and leave to shower. Outside, they talk to Hastings, another white boy, who says that the quotes were free speech.
—Randy Ashton, Edward Camarillo, Matt Hastings, and Rick Niels
"That doesn't cover death threats, Matt."Hastings says that he never threatened anyone.
"Oh yeah. 'Kill all kikes.' I guess you meant that in a nice way."Hastings protests that it was a joke, arguing that Ezra Pound and Hemingway made fun of Jewish people. He leaves as well. In his office, Sabloff is dismayed at his students' actions. Curtis says that Camarillo has an alibi, but the other three are suspects. Sabloff recalls that, about a month ago, he came by the school at night and saw Hastings leaving through the front door. Hastings said that he was working on a science project and had gotten a key for the alarm from another teacher, Ms. Miller. Miller later denied giving him the key. Sabloff had assumed that Miller was lying to avoid being reprimanded for giving a student a key, but now he believes her.
"You took a student's word over hers?"Curtis tells the prosecutors that they tried, and failed, to obtain a search warrant for Hastings' home. Fingerprints were found on the notes, but none of the four students had ever had fingerprints taken, so there was nothing to compare the note fingerprints too. Curtis says that they have blood found at the crime scene, but they can't force Hastings for a sample. McCoy points out that the blood was found to indicate a predisposition to diabetes. Diabetes can be detected in urine, but Curtis says that doesn't help, because they would need a warrant to force Hastings to give them a urine sample. McCoy says that the school can ask the wrestling team to submit to a drug test; the police can then use the urine from the test to see if Hastings has diabetes. Briscoe is surprised that this would be allowed, but Kincaid cites a recent Supreme Court decision allowing the testing of high school athletes without a warrant. At the school, the police make a note when Hastings' sample is brought in. Sabloff tells a Board of Education lawyer, who is watching the proceedings, that he should be uncomfortable at the proceedings.
"Not just any student. Matt Hastings was in the top one percentile. He was class president last year. There was talk of making him valedictorian."
—Lennie Briscoe and Alvin Sabloff
"These students have rights."The lawyer says that the Board was okay with it. A forensic technician says that the school had very few drug users; one student tested positive for THC, and one for alcohol.
"We're looking for sugar."The technician explains that, whenever someone tests positive for alcohol, another test is run to see whether the alcohol was produced externally (in liquor, for example) or within the body (as can happen with diabetic people). Hastings' urine has sugars produced internally, indicating that he has diabetes. In Hastings' home, his father Joe demands to know what's going on, but Briscoe tells him to stay out of it. Hastings is arrested for murder. In a conference room, Hastings' attorney, Alice Marsdale, says that this is a free speech issue.
"Sugar? My mother warned me, one day the sugar police would show up."
"Yeah, well, we finally got here. So, did you find any?"
—Reynaldo Curtis, forensic technician, and Lennie Briscoe
"You know, Jack, I half-expected to look out your window and see Tiananmen Square."McCoy thinks that this is ridiculous.
"He's a political prisoner?"McCoy says that William Kunstler would be spinning in his grave (see: White Rabbit (episode)). Marsdale says that Kovax and Camarillo were both viable suspects, asks why McCoy is targeting Hastings, and answers her own question, saying that Hastings expressed viewpoints that McCoy found abhorrent. Kincaid says that Hastings' crime had nothing to do with his opinions, but rather with his action of killing Aronson because she stopped him from getting good grades from Kovax. Hastings says that he could have gotten good grades with Kovax anyway if he just worked harder; he paid him, he says, because he was lazy, not incompetent. Marsdale tells Hastings to be quiet, and they argue briefly, before Joe Hastings interjects that Matt was home with him that night. McCoy doesn't believe him, and instead says that, if Hastings admits that other people were involved, McCoy will ask that he get leniency.
"Did I ask for a handout?"Kincaid says that Hastings' fingerprints were found on one of the threats that Aronson received. Hastings says that he was just trying to scare Aronson into letting Kovax continue with his grade-selling scheme, so Kincaid continues by saying that his blood was found at the crime scene and that Sabloff told them that he (Hastings) has a key to the school. Hastings says that Miller gave it to him, but McCoy says that Miller disagrees.
—Alice Marsdale and Claire Kincaid
"If you're going to kill people, you shouldn't advertise the fact in your yearbook."Marsdale calls the yearbook quotes a dumb prank, and says that McCoy acted worse when he looked at Hastings' urine sample — in fact, she calls it a Fourth Amendment violation. She's moving to suppress the drug test results.
"Trampling on the rights of a minor. How low can you get?"In court, Marsdale says that the Supreme Court only allowed warrantless drug tests of high school athletes in order to combat drug use; the purpose was not to identify murder suspects. McCoy says that the search was for illegal drugs and was properly conducted. Marsdale doubts that the police could be looking for drugs but come up with diabetes, so McCoy says that the predisposition for diabetes was in plain view. He explains how sugars indicating alcohol were found in Hastings' urine; further testing, to determine whether the alcohol was imbibed or produced internally, indicated that Hastings' body had produced them. Judge Horace Busey agrees with McCoy, so Marsdale moves to her next argument, that the precedent ruling only allowed random testing, and this test was not random. She cites the affidavit of the technician who administered the test (and who also did the sugar analysis), which indicates that the officers singled out which individual they were interested in. McCoy says that the officers only asked for the number of Hastings' sample when the samples were collected.
"There was no intent to corrupt the testing procedure."The drug test is suppressed, as is all of the evidence found because of the test (such as the blood match to the crime scene and fingerprints on the notes, as they relied on samples that were only obtained from Hastings because he was arrested based on the drug test), and the case is dismissed. Schiff gripes about the error.
"I don't care about their intent."
—Jack McCoy and Horace Busey
"These officers. A couple of Chatty Cathys."McCoy says that the officers were desperate, as the drug test was their only option. Schiff says that they still have the yearbook and the threatening notes, so they can rebuild the case. Kincaid notes that the police found hate literature in Hastings' room, as well as hate music.
"White power music."She reads the lyrics, which are about killing Jewish people. Schiff notes that these things happen in free societies, and asks about Hastings' alibi. McCoy says that his dad is saying that Hastings was home all night, so Schiff tells them to start there. At her job at a hospital, Mrs. Hastings says that she came home on the night of the murder at about 11, and Joe and Matt were both there. Matt's sister, Carlie, had a sleepover at a friend's house. She is sure that Matt was home, because Joe told her so, plus she trusts Matt.
"Let me guess: Wagner."
"Yeah, you won't be hearing this at the Met."
—Claire Kincaid and Adam Schiff
"[Matt]'s nothing like they say in the papers. Those people think we're all anti-Semites."Kincaid asks who 'those people' are, and Mrs. Hastings just says that Kincaid knows what she means. Kincaid brings up the yearbook, so Mrs. Hastings says that Matt was just trying to get a rise out of people. She says that Matt feels unhappy because he's a minority at Advanced Studies. Kincaid then wants to talk about the hate literature, so Mrs. Hastings says that Matt just reads voraciously.
"He doesn't have a problem with Jews. For God's sake, he was seeing a Jewish girl."The ex-girlfriend, Loren Nadel, tells Kincaid that Matt used to praise Jewish people when he was dating her; he repeatedly talked about how intelligent they were. She initially found it flattering, until she heard that he'd told his friends that he was dating her to improve his own image — he thought that she'd help him become friends with the other Jewish students. This mattered to him because he wanted to become class president and have other positions that would improve his college application. He did get into Princeton with a scholarship, so Nadel thinks that his plan worked. Kincaid asks if they broke up because Nadel was tired of being used, and she says yes. He denied it, she says, and he blamed the other Jewish students for spreading lies about him. She concludes by saying that this was typical for Hastings, in that he never took responsibility for his own actions. Kincaid repeats her question as to whether or not Hastings is an anti-Semite. She says that he is, and that he gets it from his parents.
"Like one time his dad starts asking about this family, the Abramsons. Like all us Jews were supposed to know each other or something. He said that they cheated him out of his printing business and that it was their fault he couldn't afford to send Matt to prep school."Nadel doesn't think that Hastings could have killed Aronson, despite his anti-Semitism. She thinks that it's more Niels' and Ashton's style. As for Camarillo, he just follows Hastings around. The two of them had been friends since freshman year, and used to break into the school on the weekends to lift weights. Kincaid asks how they got past the alarm system, and Nadel says that Camarillo made a key at his dad's store. In interrogation, McCoy override Camarillo's denials and threatens to charge him as an accomplice to murder. Briscoe adds that this has a twenty-year sentence. McCoy offers leniency in exchange for Hastings. Camarillo says that he can't betray a friend, but Curtis points out that Hastings is a white supremacist and so doesn't respect Camarillo (who is Spanish).
"That's you, Eddie. That's you and me. We're the mud people."Camarillo says that he has Spanish ancestry, which counts as white to him and Hastings, but Curtis rejects this. He says that, if the white supremacists get their way and get rid of all the other ethnicities, the Spanish will be next. This convinces Camarillo, who says that Aronson recognized his drawing and told him (Camarillo) privately that she'd give them a chance to turn themselves in. Hastings knew that this would cost him his scholarship, so he said he wanted to talk to Aronson. Camarillo thus lent him his key. McCoy authorizes Hastings' re-arrest. Marsdale enters McCoy's office to complain.
"I'll never doubt the law of averages again. Arrest someone often enough, and sooner or later, it'll stick."Kincaid adds that, once Camarillo told the lawyers and police what he knew, all of the other evidence was re-admitted under the 'inevitable discovery' rule. McCoy says he's willing to discuss a plea, but Marsdale says that she's not there to talk about that. Rather, she's informing McCoy of Hastings' new lead council, Roy Payne. Payne enters the room as Marsdale introduces everyone.
"It had more to do with the law of inevitability."
—Alice Marsdale and Jack McCoy
"Roy Payne? You recruited a Klan lawyer."Payne shrugs this off, saying that he only filed some briefs for The Klan but isn't actually a member. He says that he and Marsdale will argue that Hastings is being framed by Jewish conspirators in order to cover up the real murderer, Kovax (who is also Jewish).
"The Jews got together to protect him. And I'll prove it."McCoy says that a judge won't even let him present this case. Payne argues to Busey that they're within their rights, and furthermore, have an obligation to present an alternate theory to the crime if they have one. McCoy interjects that such a theory must be credible and not a paranoid fantasy. He says that there's no evidence supporting such a claim. In response, Payne says that the lead detective (Briscoe) is Jewish, that a Jewish suspect (Kovax) was dismissed from investigation for no good reason, another Jewish teacher (Halstead) lied to implicate Hastings, and that the forensic technician was also Jewish and let his evidence be contaminated. McCoy says that the only goal of the defense is to confuse the jury. Busey agrees that the case is offensive, but says that the objection is premature. He'll weigh the evidence before it's presented to the jury, to see if Payne can produce an offer of proof. As everyone leaves, Payne catches McCoy and says that everyone is into conspiracy theories, because they help people make sense of an irrational world. McCoy says that the theories are what make the world irrational. He says that Payne has no proof, but Payne responds that he has reasonable doubt.
"You go outside with me right now, we'll ask twelve people on the street what they think about Jews. And all I need's one."At voir direnote , Kincaid asks a Mr. Carson if he's ever used a slur to describe a Jewish person. Carson says that he might have, but never did so to someone's face.
"I respect the Jewish people."Payne asks Carson if he has Jewish friends. Carson does not, but does have a Jewish landlord. Payne asks a Mr. Baron if he had ever been the victim of a racially-motivated attack. Baron has not. Payne then asks if Baron is Jewish, and McCoy leaps to his feet with an objection. Busey has them go to his chambers. McCoy tells Busey that a juror can't be excused based on race or religion, so Payne has no business asking the question. Payne says that Hastings has a right to know if Jewish jurors can set aside their bias in this case. The two argue, with Payne continuing to make offensive statements.
"I simply want to put them under heightened scrutiny."Busey tells Payne to be quiet, but then tells McCoy that he has to allow for bias, and that Jewish people could well be predisposed to dislike or disagree with Payne's defense. Payne can inquire as to whether jurors are Jewish. Later, Kincaid vents to McCoy and Schiff that Payne already won by making the judicial system complicit in Hastings' bigotry. McCoy says that it's Payne's bigotry that was relevant in the argument.
"Mr. Payne simply wants to exclude them. That's unconstitutional, even for preemptory challengesnote ."
"If I find some unbiased Jews, then by all means, they're welcome to stay. Anyway, this issue won't come up very often. Most of them are smart enough to avoid jury duty in the first place."
—Roy Payne and Jack McCoy
"Only difference between Payne and Hastings is a law degree. Turn back the clock, he'd be drafting the house rules at Auschwitz."Schiff tells them to stop complaining about Payne's anti-Semitism and to focus on the case. He doesn't want the case becoming an argument over whether Hastings used slurs or not. Kincaid says that Hastings used the word 'kike' and meant it, and she guesses that he called her that word when he killed her. Schiff says that Aronson was destroying his scholarship.
"He would have killed her if her name was McGinty."He orders them to make sure the jury knows that Hastings had motives besides anti-Semitism to attack Aronson. A forensic technician, Mr. Rosen, testifies that blood at the scene matched Hastings' blood. The odds that the blood came from another person were one in one million people. Payne asks Rosen when the test of the blood at the crime scene was conducted (specifically, whether the test was performed before or after Hastings' arrest). Rosen checks in a binder and finds that the test was conducted after Hastings was arrested. Payne asks who gave Rosen the blood sample from Hastings; according to the binder, it was Briscoe. Rosen also has to admit that Briscoe also had access to the blood samples from the crime scene in the lab. Rosen finally admits that it's possible that Briscoe had access to the blood samples from the crime scene before the test was performed. As Curtis testifies, Briscoe enters the courtroom and sits in the gallery. Curtis is saying, in response to McCoy's question, that he accompanied Briscoe to the lab to drop off the blood sample. Payne, on cross-examination, then asks if Curtis was with Briscoe the whole time, or if he ever went to the bathroom, made a phone call, or was otherwise distracted. Curtis admits that he called the precinct to report their location, and this took about a minute. Payne reiterates that Curtis was not with Briscoe for that moment. Payne then asks if Curtis was convinced, after Kovax's interrogation, that Kovax was no longer a suspect in the crime. Curtis admits that he was not, and when asked why, says that he had a strong motive and a weak alibi. Payne asks if he and Briscoe talked after Kovax's interrogation, and then began to look for other suspects, and Curtis admits to this.
"So is it fair to say you were overruled by your senior partner?"He then asks if Briscoe is Jewish; Curtis says that he does not know. Sabloff testifies that Kovax was the go-to person for asking foundations to donate money to the school. Payne asks how much money Kovax raised. When Sabloff won't answer, saying he doesn't know, Payne asks for (and receives) permission to treat Sabloff as hostile note . Payne asks if the school received nearly three million dollars due to Kovax's actions. Payne reiterates that Kovax was a great teacher and fundraiser, and so was a valuable asset to the school. Payne asks if Sabloff told Briscoe this, and Sabloff says that he did. Payne then asks if Briscoe called him to ask about Kovax's whereabouts on the night of the murder. Sabloff remembers this; it was when he told Briscoe that he'd seen Kovax leave at about 6:30.
—Roy Payne and Jack McCoy
"And that's when you learned, your top fund-raiser was a murder suspect."Sabloff says that he only learned of this from Briscoe, but Payne accuses him of fabricating the alibi. When Sabloff denies this, Payne says that Sabloff only remembered that Hastings had a key to the school after he learned that Kovax was a suspect. Sabloff contends that he only didn't mention the key earlier because he didn't believe one of his students could be involved in the killing, but Payne has him admit that he changed his mind on this once he saw the yearbook message.
"As a Jew, your passions were so inflamed by that message, you made up a lie to implicate my client, isn't that true?"Sabloff says that this is absurd, but Payne keeps going, saying that Sabloff and Briscoe made up Kovax's alibi. Sabloff denies this.
"Jews don't conspire with each other to protect Jewish criminals. It's ridiculous."Payne, beginning to shout, brings up the case of Jonathan Pollard, a Jewish man who was convicted of spying on America for Israel. McCoy objects on the grounds of relevance, but Payne keeps going, steadily getting louder, asking if Sabloff knows of campaigns by American Jewish organizations to free Pollard. McCoy demands that Busey do something, and Busey sustains the objection. Payne ends his questioning. On cross-examination, McCoy asks if Sabloff lied to the police or anyone during the case, and he says no. McCoy asks if Kovax is still raising money, and Sabloff again says no; he was fired as soon as the school found out about him selling grades. Outside, Briscoe asks McCoy when someone will begin to rebut Payne's allegations about his corruption. McCoy says that he knows it must be annoying, but that other attorneys have questioned Briscoe's integrity. Briscoe says that, after twenty-five years as a police officer, he's used to being accused of planting evidence, but Payne's arguments are a new low.
"What I resent is the implication that anything, besides my badge, dictates the way I do my job."Briscoe wants to testify. McCoy says he won't call him. Briscoe says that it's too late for that, but McCoy won't budge.
"I repeat, Detective: this trial's not about you. I'm sorry."McCoy and Kincaid turn to leave, but Briscoe stops them by saying that only his mother was Jewish. His father wasn't, and he was raised Catholic.
"But like you say, it's not about me."In court, Hastings says that he was at first fine with most of the other students at his school being Jewish, but that he soon learned that they saw themselves as superior to him. He testifies that he was called a 'goy' as an insult because he was Christian, that the Jewish students acted like they knew more than him, and that they didn't care about his opinion. He adds that the staff were biased against him too; he says that he should have captained the wrestling team, but the spot went to a boy named Stan Shatenstein. Payne asks if Hastings tried to get along with the Jewish students, and he says that he did, even going out with Nadel, but she broke up with him because other Jewish students spread rumors about him.
"See, I don't have a problem with Jews. They have a problem with me."Payne ends his questioning. McCoy has Hastings read the message that he and the other wrestlers put in the yearbook.
"Can you explain what you meant when you put that message in your yearbook?"Hastings protests that it was a joke, and furthermore, it was Niels' and Ashton's idea, and that he just went along with it.
"So you're not to blame, that's what you're saying?"Hastings, when asked about the threats to Aronson, says that they were Aston's idea.
—Jack McCoy and Matt Hastings
"Also not your fault?"McCoy then asks about the scholarship, asking who gets credit for that. Payne objects and McCoy withdraws. He instead asks what Hastings thought when he learned that Aronson had found out that he'd sent death threats. Hastings testifies that he didn't know. McCoy asks if he worried about losing his scholarship; Hastings again says no. McCoy presses, asking if he'd worried about having to go to a community college. Hastings says that this situation would never happen. McCoy begins quizzing him on where other students are going to college. A Michael Tobis, McCoy says, is going to Brown. Asked about John Pesner, Hastings admits that he knows that Pesner is going to Harvard. He also knows that a Gary Chaikin is going to Yale. McCoy asks if most of the Jewish people in Hastings' class were going to Ivy League schools, and Hastings acknowledges this.
—Jack McCoy and Matt Hastings
"And where did you think you'd be?"Hastings says that he didn't think of that, but McCoy keeps going, saying that he couldn't even blame anyone else this time.
"I don't know."
"Well, you wouldn't be at Princeton, would you?"
—Jack McCoy and Matt Hastings
"Your fault! You bought grades. You sent death threats."Hastings maintains that he's being framed, so McCoy asks who is framing him. Is it, McCoy wonders, the same Jewish people that 'stole' his father's business? Payne objects, but McCoy doesn't wait for a ruling, instead saying that Hastings' stupidity landed him in this trouble. Busey begins to tell McCoy to be quiet, but he won't listen.
—Jack McCoy and Matt Hastings
"Sarah Aronson doesn't have a damn thing to do with it!"Hastings cracks.
"No! It was her fault! That kike was going to ruin my life!"In the gallery, Mr. Aronson watches. Meanwhile, Hastings still denies killing Aronson, and McCoy ends his cross-examination. Later, Busey finds that the jury is deadlocked, and declares a mistrial. Hastings, thrilled, hugs Marsdale. He then goes to his parents while Marsdale and Payne begin to talk quietly. Later, McCoy, smiling, says that Marsdale is willing to discuss pleading out the case. It seems that Payne won't be available for the retrial.
"As in the kikes you joked about killing."
"He got his headlines. He's hitting the Klan lecture circuit."Schiff is amused, and smiles. Kincaid knocks and enters the room. CNN just interviewed a juror; the vote was eleven to convict, one to acquit.
"I wonder which one."Schiff says that it doesn't matter.
"Well, whichever it is, they blended right in."
—Jack McCoy and Claire Kincaid
"What else is new? Next case."