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True Believer (1989)

by Wesley Strick.
Shooting draft.

More info about this movie on IMDb.com


FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY


EXT. OSSINING CORRECTIONAL FACILITY - EARLY MORNING

Mist shrouds the prison.

C.U. - EYES

Closed. Then the lids fly wide open.

INT. CELL

An ASIAN MAN sits up on his cot, coming out of sleep with a 
gasp. SHU KAI KIM is in his late 20s. With a muscled torso 
and shaved head meant to inspire fear. And to hide it.

INT. CELLBLOCK - LATER

The electrified doors slide OPEN. Shu steps out of his cell. 
ORTEGA -- a rugged young Chicano -- steps out of a nearby 
cell. The two cons trade small nods.

INT. CORRIDOR

The CONS walk in single file. Ortega is behind Shu. Ortega 
speaks softly, with barely perceptible lip movement.

		ORTEGA
	Fear will kill you.

Shu's replies are like a ventriloquist's, as well. The two 
men are running through some sort of arcane drill.

		SHU
	I'm not afraid.

		ORTEGA
	You know I'd stand in for you... But 
	then, believing you are weak, they'd 
	come for you anyway.

		SHU
	No. I want this.

		ORTEGA
	Good. Right after chapel... it's 
	going down in the yard.

Now Shu and Ortega file into:

INT. PRISON CHAPEL - MORNING

On the dais, the MINISTER leads a small CONVICT CHOIR.

REVERSE - THE CONGREGATION

The cons have segregated themselves into sullen groups of 
black, white, and brown.

CLOSE - FOUR CONS

At the rear. SHU is flanked by TWO stringy CHICANOS. Ortega 
sits behind Shu. All four stare ahead with an intense 
blankness.

ANGLE - FROM THE SIDE

Now we see what's really happening: Shu grips two sharpened 
spoons. The Chicanos wrap duct tape around Shu's fists -- so 
that even if he wanted to, he couldn't let go of the knives.

ANGLE - A WHITE CON

In front. DUANE LINDEMAN is burly, with long blond locks, 
his arms decorated with SWASTIKAS. Tattooed on one cheek are 
three black teardrops. Lindeman is surrounded by OTHERS like 
him. All SINGING a hymn to the Lord Jesus.

THROUGH THE CHAPEL DOORS

A disturbance out in the hall: we hear THUMPS, loud CURSING.

DUANE LINDEMAN

and FRIENDS just keep on singing.

WIDE

The rest of the Congregation turns around, to see what's 
going on. The TWO CORRECTIONS OFFICERS at the rear of the 
Chapel venture to the door and peer out, truncheons drawn.

TWO WHITE INMATES spring out of opposing back row aisle seats 
and SLAM SHUT the Chapel doors on the C.O.s -- who immediately 
start POUNDING on the doors with their STICKS.

ONSTAGE - A hulking WHITE member of the CHOIR discreetly 
moves to block the fire exit offstage.

SHU AND ORTEGA

turn back around to face what appears at first glance to be 
a grotesque apparition:

DUANE LINDEMAN

seems to be flying from the front of the chapel toward them, 
blond hair flowing, arms waving, a warlock...

In fact, he's racing from the top of one pew-back to the 
next -- and his HANDS are duct-taped, too, around not 
sharpened spoons, but long, serrated blades.

		ORTEGA
	Motherfuckers! Not in here!

A SIREN WAILS as Lindeman leaps at Shu -- who executes a 
perfectly timed karate throw, sending Lindeman over his 
shoulder to land sprawling in the aisle.

Lindeman's tattooed ACCOMPLICES move to help. Ortega holds 
them off. Before Lindeman can right himself, Shu pins the 
blond Goliath. Brings a fist to Lindeman's neck, sharpened 
spoon pressed against the neo-Nazi's jugular.

Outraged, the MINISTER claws his way through the crowd of 
rubbernecking cons.

Shu is breathing too hard to demand that Lindeman concede. 
But his message is clear. Now, in gasps:

		LINDEMAN
	Kill... me.

Instead, Shu lifts the sharpened spoon away from Lindeman's 
neck. Carefully climbs off, steps back.

Lindeman lies there defeated. Then looses a startling banshee 
SCREAM and springs, blades flashing, at Shu.

They're like two snarling cats. Wrestling so furiously, we 
see only a blur of flesh, glint of metal. Splash of blood.

A RING of INMATES forms around the combatants. Some CHEER, 
others SHOUT for the fight to stop. None dare interfere.

Now the BACK DOORS virtually fly off their hinges as a HALF-
DOZEN C.O.s in RIOT GEAR charge the Chapel.

It takes all six to drag the bloody cons apart. Shu 
immediately goes limp; Duane Lindeman is slack, twitching.

Horrified, the Minister backs off, vestments soaked in gore.

							CUT TO:

EXT. JFK AIRPORT - MORNING

A CAB merges onto the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

AERIAL SHOT - MANHATTAN ISLAND

We PAN to the Brooklyn Bridge and PICK UP the CAB as it hits 
Mannattan.

INT. CAB

In the back seat, face pressed to the glass, is ROGER BARON. 
A 25-year-old whose persona straddles two worlds: In his 
Brooks Brothers suit he'd be welcome in any boardroom. With 
his Buddy Holly glasses and conceptually cropped hair, he's 
someone you'd want in your band. Roger checks his watch.

		ROGER
	Could I give you some extra money, 
	have you drop me at the Courthouse 
	and bring my luggage to the hotel?

The CABBIE turns around, at a red light. No creepier than 
the average New York Cabbie. He is smiling.

		CABBIE
	No problem.

Roger smiles back. Big problem.

EXT. 100 CENTRE STREET

Manhattan's fortress-like Criminal Courts Building. Roger 
climbs out of the cab, lugging a suitcase, a briefcase, a 
duffel bag and a garment bag.

INT. COURTHOUSE CORRIDOR

To a COURT OFFICER:

		ROGER
	I'm looking for the court where Edward 
	T. Dowd is defending a Mr. Nevins.

The Court Officer consults the docket sheet.

		ROGER
	That's the Edward Dowd.

The Court Officer blinks at Roger.

		COURT OFFICER
	Part 73, Room 1113.

Then, deadpan:

		COURT OFFICER
	That's the Room 1113.

INT. COURTROOM

An Assistant D.A. stands before the JURY, in mid-summation.

		D.A.
	Edward Dowd is an inventive lawyer. 
	I'm sure he'd like you to believe 
	that the pound of pure cocaine found 
	in his client's home was intended 
	for personal, recreational use.

Several JURORS stifle snickers.

		D.A.
	He may claim that the many pounds of 
	baby laxative were intended to help 
	Mr. Nevins stay regular.

More muted SOUNDS of amusement, from the gallery, as Roger 
ENTERS. He quietly deposits his luggage in the empty back 
row, then moves to the front row, behind the defense table. 
Seated there is a slick, natty DEFENSE ATTORNEY. Next to him 
is a wired and weird-looking DEFENDANT in a threadbare suit, 
the cut decades out of date.

		D.A.
	What will Mr. Dowd say the defendant 
	weighed on his laboratory scales? 
	Oh, he'll think of something... But 
	bear in mind that you jurors control 
	the scales that really count -- the 
	scales of justice. Only you can ensure 
	that the defendant -- a man who sells 
	dangerous drugs to teenagers, for 
	profit...

ANGLE - THE DEFENDANT

winces. He's in his mid-40s, his face framed by a MANE of 
HAIR that hangs to his shoulders. His vintage suit accented 
by an embarrassingly wide and loud floral-print tie.

		D.A. (O.S.)
	...will pay a penalty. Be wise, be 
	fair, and have courage. Thank you.

As she crosses to the Prosecution Table:

		JUDGE BAUM
	Thank you, Ms. Jessum. Mr. Sweeney, 
	may I have a word with you?

As Mr. Sweeney -- the Court Officer -- confers with the Judge, 
Roger leans forward. Whispers to the Defense Attorney:

		ROGER
	Roger Baron. Sorry I'm late.

The Defense Attorney looks mildly baffled. Regardless, Roger 
extends a hand.

		ROGER
	This is an honor. And a thrill.

		DEFENSE ATTORNEY
	Really?

But what the hell: he shakes with Roger.

Now the DEFENDANT turns, to see what's going on. Trying to 
breathe as much empathy as he can into the one syllable:

		ROGER
	Hi.

The Defendant has fixed Roger with the sort of soul-piercing 
stare it takes many acid trips to perfect. So, delicately:

		ROGER
	What're you, um, accused of?

		DEFENDANT
	All sorts of things. How 'bout you?

		ROGER
	Me? N-no, I'm a lawyer, I'm here to 
	work with Mr. Dowd...

Nodding at the Defense Attorney. We HEAR a POUNDING gavel.

		JUDGE BAUM
	Mr. Dowd, would you care to make 
	your closing argument?

Roger pats the Defendant's shoulder. Reassures:

		ROGER
	You're in good hands.

The Defendant lifts his eyebrows, as though to say "Is that 
so?" Turns back around. And, for some reason, he rises.

		DEFENDANT
	I would, your Honor.

ROGER

Confused, at first -- then mortified: omigod, that's Dowd!

EDWARD C. DOWD

takes three long, crooked strides over to the Jury Box, hands 
clasped behind his back, hair streaming.

		EDDIE
	Brian Nevins' pound of pure cocaine 
	was quite clearly intended for sale.

The JURORS look surprised. So does the D.A. So does BRIAN 
NEVINS.

		EDDIE
	The baby laxative -- dealers use it 
	to dilute their coke before selling 
	it. They can -- quadruple their 
	profits...

NEVINS throws a jittery glance at the jury.

		EDDIE
	...and of course you can't sell 
	cocaine without a laboratory scale.

Eddie strikes a tone of cosmic lamentation.

		EDDIE
	Cocaine is evil. Selling cocaine is 
	evil.

Nevins checks his mental Rolodex for a great appeals lawyer.

		EDDIE
	Pity this foolish merchant. Dislike 
	him if you must. But despise the 
	tactics the police employed to snare 
	Brian Nevins... Don't lose sight of 
	what's really on trial here -- our 
	basic personal freedoms, our quality 
	of life...

"Freedoms" and "life" are rendered as startling SHOUTS that 
make the Jurors sit up straight.

		EDDIE
	Sublime concepts, such as "the right 
	of the people to be secure in their 
	persons, houses, papers, and effects, 
	against unreasonable searches and 
	seizures..."

Eddie's delivery suggests an unholy but hard-to-dismiss hybrid 
of rabbi and diva.

		EDDIE
	For when we condone the bugging of 
	our citizens' bedrooms, when we allow 
	the police to enter our citizens' 
	homes with specious warrants, when 
	we invade our citizens' privacy in a 
	frenzied quest for a wicked white 
	powder, aren't we capitulating to 
	the evil, aren't we surrendering to 
	the drug? Aren't we saying cocaine 
	is more potent than our Constitution?

EXT. COURTHOUSE - AFTERNOON - LATER

Roger maintains a discreet distance behind Eddie and Nevins 
as lawyer and client stroll down the steps.

		NEVINS
	Wow, that speech... It was beautiful. 
	Amazing horseshit.

		EDDIE
		(tight smile)
	Amazing client.

Nevins isn't sure how to respond. So he gives Eddie a quick, 
vigorous, almost hostile hug.

		NEVINS
	Eddie Dowd... Everybody should own 
	one.

OMIT

Nevins spins away, hops into his girlfriend's double-parked 
Porsche. As the happy couple blasts off down the block, Roger 
draws even with Eddie. 

OMIT

		ROGER
	About the mix-up back there... I, 
	ah, never saw your photo, I just 
	read every civil liberties brief you 
	filed in the '60s...

Eddie distractedly nods. Then rotely sticks out his hand.

		EDDIE
	Hey, it was nice meeting ya. Gotta 
	get back to the office.

It takes Roger a beat to realize the awful truth.

		ROGER
	Roger Baron, Oberlin undergrad, 
	Michigan Law? None of this rings a 
	bell?

Exactly. Amused, now, by the absurd series of missteps:

		ROGER
	You hired me? To clerk for you? My 
	letter...? Top 5 percentile, Law 
	Review, salary is no object...?

This last detail apparently jogs Eddie's memory.

		EDDIE
	That's right.

They start trudging to the subway station. Roger awkwardly 
lugs his suitcase, garment bag, duffel bag and briefcase.

		EDDIE
	Here, lemme help you.

He grabs the briefcase.

EXT. SHERIDAN SQUARE - LATER

Several streets converge here; so do gays, yuppies, and 
diehard bohemians. As Eddie and Roger emerge from the IRT 
station, and cross 7th Avenue:

		ROGER
	...read your Chase Manhattan bombing 
	case summation in the '71 Leftist 
	Law anthology...

Eddie lives and works over a landmark cigar store and an 
eyesore of an all-night deli. As he unlocks the downstairs 
door, Roger takes in the seedily picturesque Square.

		ROGER
	So this is Greenwhich Village?

Eddie smiles. Somewhere between sarcastic and self-effacing:

		EDDIE
	Yes Roger. You've arrived.

He starts up the stairs. Roger follows.

INT. LAW OFFICE

Balding rugs, macrame hanging things, birdcages, Salvation 
Army couches. TWO leather-clad SCARECROWS pace; a teenage 
GIRL with blue hair squats on the floor, comforting her 
SQUALLING INFANT. Then there's the slick young COUPLE in 
Ralph Lauren Polo ensembles, here with a furtive STRAIGHT-
ARROW who scans the Wall Street Journal.

A crew-cutted secretary (BILLY) types with one hand, grabs 
the RINGING PHONE with the other. To judge by her typing and 
telephone skills, she was hired for her capacity to manage 
this menagerie.

Roger has struggled up the stairs, behind Eddie. Though he 
quickly notes the office's squalor and questionable clientele, 
what catches his eye is the trio of cracked and yellowing 
PHOTOGRAPHS tacked on a wall in the foyer.

Eddie in his late-'60s glory days: On a dais, igniting an 
anti-war rally. Hugging a pair of Black Panthers outside a 
courtroom, his face suffused with joy. In a swarm of student 
activists outside a Federal courthouse, held on the shoulders 
of the crowd like a conquering hero.

As his gaze lingers on the photographs:

		ROGER
	...and re-read that summation til I 
	knew it verbatim. You were my age 
	when you defended that case.

Eddie edgily pushes Roger past the photos.

		EDDIE
	I was never your age.

The SCARECROWS clamor for Eddie, e.g., "You gotta call my 
parole officer!" and "Did we get the continuance?" Eddie 
ignores. Addresses his secretary.

		EDDIE
	Billy -- this here's Roger, the new 
	assistant.

Eddie wheels away, answers the RINGING PHONE (grunting a 
perfunctory promise into it), then gestures for Straight-
Arrow and Slick Couple to come into his inner office. Roger 
starts to follow, but Eddie shuts his inner office door behind 
him.

		BILLY
	You want to be an "assistant" or an 
	"associate"?

Roger turns to see Billy tugging on her denim jacket.

		BILLY
	Some of them like "assistant," some 
	like "associate". Up to you.

		ROGER
	-- How many others are there?

As Billy, wearing a slight smirk, bustles out the door:

		BILLY
	You're the current one.

Roger wistfully watches her go. OS, he HEARS:

		MAN'S VOICE
	You Eddie's new partner?

SCARECROW 1 is standing a tad too close for comfort. Still, 
Roger is grateful for the attempt at friendliness.

		ROGER
	Not exactly. Well, kind of.

Roger flinches, lets out an involuntary YELP as Scarecrow 
grabs his lapels, shakes him.

		SCARECROW
	You gotta call my parole officer!

							CUT TO:

INT. COURTHOUSE CORRIDOR - DAY - A FEW WEEKS LATER

A spruce ASSISTANT D.A. (GLENN FULTON) jauntily exits a 
courtroom. Followed by a grim-faced Eddie, with Roger and 
CLYDE GRUNER, a sullen, street-hardened PUNK.

		EDDIE
		(to his client)
	Clyde, you wait here.
		(to the D.A.)
	Glenn, got a minute?

		FULTON
	I had a minute before the Mapp hearing -- 
	but I couldn't get you on the phone, 
	Eddie...

		EDDIE
	Yeah, well I had reasonable cause to 
	believe the judge might've heard of 
	the Fourth Amendment.

We TRACK with Fulton, Eddie and Roger as they thread through 
the THRONG of milling lawyers, clients, relations and cops.

		FULTON
	Hey -- Gruner was caught with three 
	pounds of methedrine. The legality 
	of the search and seizure was the 
	only issue. The Judge refused to 
	exclude the evidence. No deal.

He turns a corner. So does Eddie.

		EDDIE
	No it's not the only issue. There's 
	another issue, for the jury. What 
	about entrapment?

		FULTON
	What about entrapment?

Fulton veers into the Men's Room. Eddie follows.

INT. MEN'S ROOM

Roger enters, behind Eddie.

		EDDIE
	Glenn, the government sent an 
	undercover cop to dangle the lure of 
	fantastic profits before Clyde 
	Gruner's eyes. Anyone so sorely 
	tempted might succumb!

Roger lingers at the sink as Eddie follows Fulton to the 
urinals.

		EDDIE
	We don't prosecute people because in 
	the abstract they might be weak. 
	Judge Brandeis said it best: 
	Entrapment is a "dirty business!"

		FULTON
	Can't I take a simple piss without --

Eddie's voice trembles with outrage and inspiration.

		EDDIE
	Don't you see? Planting the idea of 
	being a criminal is just one step 
	away from planting the evidence!

Fulton flushes. Grudgingly:

		FULTON
	Haven't heard that one before, Ed.
		(zips up, sighs)
	But I guess I'll be hearing it again.

		EDDIE
	Not necessarily...

Roger backs out of the bathroom.

INT. CORRIDOR

Clyde is standing out here. Roger has nothing to say to Clyde. 
He goes to the water fountain for a very long sip.

							CUT TO:

INT. LAW OFFICE - EARLY EVENING

At this hour, the office is empty. As EDDIE and ROGER enter:

		BILLY
	Nevins stopped by. It's on your desk.

As he lopes toward his inner office:

		EDDIE
	We pleaded out Clyde Gruner to five 
	years' probation.

		BILLY
	Score another point for truth and 
	justice.

Eddie stops, shoots Billy a "fuck you too" look. Then turns 
to Roger and staunchly reaffirms:

		EDDIE
	The last struggle for constitutional 
	rights is being waged over drugs...

INT. INNER OFFICE

Atop his desk is a package wrapped in newspaper. Eddie tears 
it open, revealing small bills bundled with rubber bands. As 
he counts the cash:

		EDDIE
	And we're in the ring, Roger, doing 
	battle with Big Brother.

Roger turns away from the drug money, embarrassed and ashamed.

							CUT TO:

INT. OUTER OFFICE - NIGHT - LATER

Now Billy is gone as well. ROGER sits in his cramped anteroom 
of an office, mechanically making notes. OS, there's a KNOCK.

		ROGER
	'S' open.

He doesn't bother looking up -- who cares which East Village 
doper or Yuppie coke dealer it is? But then he hears:

		WOMAN (O.S.)
	...Edward Dowd?

ANGLE - TWO ORIENTAL WOMEN

are in the outer office. One is college-age, assimilated. 
The other is in her early 40s, with the aspect of an 
immigrant. A vinyl satchel is slung over her shoulder. The 
younger woman has come -- reluctantly, it seems -- to 
translate for the older.

		TRANSLATOR
	Edward Dowd, please.

Roger gets up from his desk. Hurries into the big room.

		ROGER
	I'm Roger Baron -- Mr. Dowd's 
	associate. Can I help you?

The Immigrant anxiously peers past Roger. She knows he's not 
Edward Dowd.

		TRANSLATOR
	Mrs. Kim needs a lawyer. Her son 
	stabbed a man to death.

In response Mrs. Kim -- who evidently understands English -- 
makes a passionate point, in a foreign tongue.

		TRANSLATOR
	It was self-defense. In prison.

This clarification elicits another burst from Mrs. Kim.

		ROGER
		(calls)
	Eddie...

		TRANSLATOR
		(amends)
	He didn't belong there in the first 
	place. Eight years for a murder he 
	didn't commit.
		(adds)
	I'm her neighbor's daughter.

Without turning away:

		ROGER
	Eddie...

Finally Eddie comes striding in from his office. Waving away 
a cloud of pot smoke that's followed him out. He gives the 
women his patented reassuring smile.

		EDDIE
	I'm Eddie Dowd. What's up?

Mrs. Kim starts in again, rapid-fire. The Translator spews:

		TRANSLATOR
	Her son didn't shoot anybody. He's 
	the wrong guy. You meet him, you see 
	he wouldn't stab a guy for fun.

		EDDIE
	He shot a man and stabbed a man?

Mrs. Kim violently shakes her head as she chatters.

		TRANSLATOR
	He didn't shoot anybody! Eight years 
	in jail! The wrong guy! A good boy. 
	From a fine home in Seoul, Korea. 
	Shu Kai Kim.

Mrs. Kim finally quiets. The Translator takes a breath. And 
explains:

		TRANSLATOR
	That's his name. Shu Kai Kim.

Eddie nods, solemnly taking all this in. Then:

		EDDIE
	I'll bet he's a wonderful boy.

Roger watches Eddie, to see where he's going. Hides his 
disappointment when he hears:

		EDDIE
	But I can't help him. You see I have 
	a specialty. Lawyers specialize, 
	Mrs. Kim, and these days I do 
	mostly...

He doesn't bother explaining.

		EDDIE
	Anyway, I couldn't even go see your 
	son without looking at the files on 
	his case, first.

In response Mrs. Kim swings her satchel -- bulging with Shu's 
files -- into Eddie's arms. It's like taking a medicine ball 
to the chest. When he catches his breath:

		EDDIE
	How did you find me?

		TRANSLATOR
		(over Mrs. Kim)
	She went to all the courthouses. She 
	talked to pot smokers, pill sellers... 
	They all speak of you, they all say 
	the same thing.

Eddie can't help but puff up a little.

		EDDIE
	What do they say?

Mrs. Kim answers in Korean. Translator hesitates. Then:

		TRANSLATOR
	You do cases cheap.

Roger stifles a laugh. Eddie lowers Mrs. Kim's satchel to 
the floor and places a hand on her shoulder.

		EDDIE
	Tell you what. Mr. Baron and I will 
	review your material and get back to 
	you as soon as possible.

Mrs. Kim intently peers at Eddie to gauge his sincerity. He 
boldly meets her gaze as he steers her to the door.

		EDDIE
	Thank you for stopping by.

Evidently convinced, Mrs. Kim makes a parting remark.

		TRANSLATOR
	She thanks you in advance for saving 
	her son.

Eddie flashes one last smile, then closes the door on the 
women. Roger shakes his head, bemused and moved.

		ROGER
	"She thanks you in advance for saving 
	her son."

He picks up the vinyl satchel, starts pulling out papers.

Eddie feels compelled to poison the moment.

		EDDIE
	Talk about hard-sell, huh?

He snorts, incredulous, as he crosses the room.

		EDDIE
	Show me a guy who's not somebody's 
	son.

Roger looks up at this remark. Then sets down the satchel.

INT. EDDIE'S INNER OFFICE

Eddie has re-lit his evening joint. As he settles back to 
enjoy it, there's Roger in the doorway.

		EDDIE
	-- Hit?

Rather than reach for the joint, Roger mops his brow.

		ROGER
	Whew. That was close... We almost 
	defended a guy who wasn't a dealer. 
	Who knows, might even be innocent.

Eddie chuckles, defensive. Then:

		EDDIE
	We have a full caseload, Rog.

		ROGER
	Right, I forgot... We're pledged to 
	protect every mid-level drug dealer 
	in the Tri-state area.
		(shivers)
	It's an awesome responsibility.

		EDDIE
	I don't venerate drug dealers, Roger. 
	To the contrary.

		ROGER
	Of course.

THE OUTER OFFICE

		EDDIE
	...through use of informants, 
	eavesdropping, unreasonable search 
	and seizure...!

		ROGER
	Right. You're right.

		EDDIE
	Damn right I'm right.

Roger starts for the door. Stops. Turns.

		ROGER
	It's just... I leave behind friends, 
	family, a coupla good job offers in 
	Chicago and in three dizzying weeks 
	I've helped acquit a coke dealer, a 
	speed dealer --

		EDDIE
	I specialize, Roger...

		ROGER
	-- an angel dust dealer --

		EDDIE
	I'm not a kid anymore, I can't be 
	all over the map --

		ROGER
	-- a speed manufacturer --

		EDDIE
	So go take your job on Wall Street.

		ROGER
	Don't tell me where to work. I moved 
	to New York to work for Edward Dowd. 
	But I can't believe that Edward Dowd 
	has nothing better to do these days 
	than invoke exalted legal issues to 
	get off guilty little --

		EDDIE
	Hey. You plan to be a criminal defense 
	attorney, know this going in: 
	Everybody's guilty.

This buys Roger's silence, for two beats. Then, sadly:

		ROGER
	You wouldn't've said that ten years 
	ago.

He grabs his briefcase. Starts for the door. As he swings it 
open he HEARS:

		EDDIE
	Ten years is a long time.

		ROGER
		(stops, turns)
	Look -- I'm tired, I'll see you in 
	the morning, Eddie.

Eddie watches him walk out. Drops the joint and vengefully 
grinds it out on the floor. To the closed door:

		EDDIE
	Long time.

Alone, now, he surveys his shabby domain and sighs, deeply. 
As he exhales, Eddie seems to be trying to blow away all the 
pot smoke that has clouded the room and shrouded his heart.

Then he shambles across the office and through the door that 
leads to his living quarters. We TRACK with EDDIE past a 
kitchenette equipped with no labor-saving devices into:

INT. BEDROOM

Small, and beyond spartan. Single bed in one corner, plain 
wooden bureau opposite. The only color is provided by Eddie's 
festive trial ties, casually strewn. Eddie's bedroom is not 
unlike a cell we saw at the beginning of the movie.

Eddie stands at the window, trying to stare past the security 
bars into the New York night. But all he can see is his 
reflection.

							CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL ROOM - EARLY NEXT MORNING

ROGER is roused from sleep by a persistent KNOCKING. He 
stumbles out of bed, staggers to the door.

		ROGER
	-- Yeah?

		EDDIE'S VOICE
		(through the door)
	We're late. Let's get going!

Roger opens up. Eddie looks alarmingly revved.

		ROGER
	Where?

		EDDIE
	Ossining Correctional Facility. Sing 
	Sing. Everybody's innocent there, 
	man... Just ask 'em...

EXT. ROUTE 9 - LATER

Wending north along the Hudson. ANGLE Eddie's rusty old Buick 
Riviera as it wheezes its way upstate. OVER:

		ROGER'S VOICE
	At 16 Shu Kai Kim emigrated with his 
	family from Korea to New York...

INT. RIVIERA - MOVING

Roger extracts the pertinent info from the newspaper clippings 
in Mrs. Kim's files.

		ROGER
	Kim got busted at 19 for burglary. 
	At 20 he was convicted in the shooting 
	death of a young Chinese gang lord... 
	The prosecution claimed Kim did it 
	to get into "the Joe Boys"?

		EDDIE
	Chinatown street gang.

		ROGER
	Kim denied it. But he admitted the 
	gun was his, and he got life. Seems 
	to have been an okay prisoner for 
	eight years, til the... incident 
	with Duane Lindeman.

		EDDIE
	-- The Nazi he knifed?

But Roger is staring ahead now, speechless.

THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD

The turrets and watchtowers of the Ossining Correctional 
Facility loom... all too real...

							CUT TO:

INT. PRISON

TWO CORRECTIONS OFFICERS lead the lawyers through a security 
checkpoint.

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM

The room is large and bare but for a long wooden TABLE, four 
chairs. Leaden light leaks through one high, barred window. 
Eddie and Roger, on one side of the table, anxiously wait. 
Roger jumps at the CRUNCH of a deadbolt lock, turning.

Two hefty OFFICERS enter escorting SHU, in manacles. One 
pulls out the chair for Shu, the other sits him down. Eddie 
waits for them to back out of the room and re-lock the door.

		EDDIE
	I'm Eddie Dowd. I'm a lawyer. This 
	here's Roger Baron -- also a lawyer.

Shu's eyes, beady and suspicious, bore into Roger.

Roger wants to smile. But he can't. He stares down at his 
notebook.

Now Shu peruses Eddie's long hair, peculiar suit.

		SHU
	My mother find you?

		EDDIE
	That's right.

		SHU
	Figures.

		EDDIE
		(undaunted)
	Want to tell me what went down here?

		SHU
		(very slowly)
	Racist asshole came at me.

		EDDIE
	Exactly what happened then?

		SHU
		(coolly)
	I killed the motherfucker.

		EDDIE
	...Okay...

Roger is now furiously scribbling notes; we can almost hear 
him whimper.

		EDDIE
	The night that kid was shot to death 
	in Chinatown, you were... where?

Shu doesn't answer. Eddie reaches into his jacket pocket, 
pulls out a pack of cigarettes. Offers one to Shu. Shu 
wordlessly plucks the cigarette from his fingers, careful to 
avoid any contact. Eddie lights it.

Now Roger wills himself to look up from his notebook.

		ROGER
	At the trial, you said you were at 
	your apartment that night. Alone.

		EDDIE
	-- Remember?

		SHU
		(stubbornly)
	That's eight years ago. Long time.

He studies his cigarette. No -- he's staring at the shackles 
on his wrists. Stares for one, two, three beats. Gravely:

		SHU
	Real long time.

Eddie's eyes flicker: He's heard that phrase, or one quite 
like it, somewhere before.

							CUT TO:

EXT. PRISON - LATE AFTERNOON

The lawyers head for Eddie's Riviera, in the visitor's lot.

		ROGER
	...So what would we claim? He stabbed 
	Duane Lindeman in self-defense?

		EDDIE
	With two knives taped to his hands? 
	Forget it, Rog.

Roger sighs. Shrugs.

		ROGER
	I feel like I've been mugged... Guy 
	scared the shit out of me. You made 
	your point, Eddie... I'm relieved 
	we're not taking the case.

		EDDIE
	We're taking the other case.

		ROGER
	What other case?

		EDDIE
	Eight years ago. The Chinatown hit.

Roger stares, baffled, as Eddie orates.

		EDDIE
	Some gang punk gets wasted in front 
	of the tourists. The mayor pressures 
	the cops. The cops pressure the rival 
	gang -- the Joe Boys. The Joes give 
	up Shu Kai Kim -- the schmuck kid 
	from Korea who's been pestering 'em 
	to get in.

		ROGER
	You really think that's what happened?

		EDDIE
	I don't know but it makes one hell 
	of an opening statement.

As they reach the Riviera, Eddie's in his all-the-world's-a-
courtroom mode; i.e., he shouts, does semaphore.

		EDDIE
	We prove Shu should never have been 
	imprisoned in the first place, D.A. 
	'll back off the Lindeman charge...!

The lawyers climb in.

OMIT

		ROGER
	-- Easy as that, huh?

		EDDIE
	Easy? No... We have to find some 
	piece of evidence that got buried, 
	to reopen the sucker.

		ROGER
	...Are you sure we want that?

Eddie shifts into gear. Pensive, now, as he steers out of 
the prison parking lot:

		EDDIE
	He's a victim, Roger. He deserves to 
	see the sun again, breathe the air. 
	He's been in prison too goddamn long.

							CUT TO:

EXT. STREET - LATE NIGHT - A FEW DAYS LATER

A block of warehouses in lower Manhattan, under the shadow 
of the West Side Highway. Out of the drizzly darkness comes 
the RIVIERA, headlights doused. The car GROANS to a halt. 
Eddie and Roger climb out. Furtively glance around...

Roger follows Eddie to the fortified ENTRANCE of one of the 
warehouses. Eddie KNOCKS (in a pattern) on the reinforced 
steel door. Three sets of TUMBLERS TURN. The door opens.

Filling the doorframe is the imposing silhouette of a MAN in 
Nikes, chinos and windbreaker that must be standard issue 
for plainclothes cops. In a Darth Vader voice:

		COP (TOMMY)
	Okay. C'mon.

INT. WAREHOUSE

BLACK. Then Tommy flicks ON a row of OVERHEADS, lighting a 
long, tall aisle of gunmetal gray LOCKERS. Aisle after aisle, 
in shadow, to either side. Reverently, to Roger:

		EDDIE
	...the Exhibit Warehouse.

END OF THE AISLE - LATER

Tommy paces, checking his Timex.

Eddie and Roger squat on the asphalt, sifting through piles 
of paper. Each has two large boxes to process.

		ROGER
	Transcript... transcript... 
	exhibits...

He pauses to to contemplate a grisly photo.

INSERT - THE PHOTO

A man's face, in 3/4 profile, with gaping entrance wound 
above the left eye. The man is young, Asian, very dead.

SCENE

Roger hurriedly tucks the picture away. But the next item he 
comes upon is:

		ROGER
	-- The murder weapon.

He gingerly holds a sealed plastic bag sagging with the weight 
of a handgun.

		ROGER
	They found four of Shu's fingerprints 
	on this thing.

Eddie impatiently glances over.

		EDDIE
	When did you start working for the 
	goddam D.A.?

		ROGER
	Eddie... I don't know about this...

But Eddie has already resumed his search.

										DISSOLVE TO:

An hour later. Roger holds a form, yellowed with age.

		ROGER
	Eddie... What's a DD-5?

		EDDIE
	A Complaint Follow-Up form.

		ROGER
	-- Listen: "November 5, 1980. Cecil 
	Stipe walked into 5th Precinct. Says 
	he witnessed Chin shooting, saw 
	suspect's picture in Post. Says Shu 
	Kai Kim wrong man."

		EDDIE
	"Cecil Stipe"? Have we seen any 
	affadavit with that name?

Roger looks at Eddie, slowly shakes his head. Time stops. 
Roger looks back down at the memo. Reads:

		ROGER
	"Also says he knows who killed 
	Kennedy."

Time starts again. Roger lets the memo flutter to the floor.

		EDDIE
	Keep looking. Something'll turn up.

										DISSOLVE TO:

EDDIE'S HANDS

Reaching for another sheaf of documents. Rifling through the 
pages, running his index finger down columns of text...

END OF THE AISLE - DAWN

Piles of paper everywhere. By the lawyers' haggard looks, we 
know something didn't turn up. Tommy surveys the mess.

		TOMMY
	Clean-up time.

Eddie looks up, exhausted -- but scheming, still.

		EDDIE
	How's your brother, Tommy?

		TOMMY
	You kept him out of the slammer and 
	I thank you, Dowd. But if you're not 
	gone before the day shift shows up, 
	I'm back to emptying parking meters.

Eddie surveys all this evidence, that they've been through 
twice. Looks over at Roger.

		EDDIE
	That DD-5.

		ROGER
	What, the lunatic who --

		EDDIE
	"Cecil Stipe." Find it.

							CUT TO:

EXT. MACDOUGAL STREET - MORNING - TWO DAYS LATER

KITTY GREER strides down the West Village street. Kitty's 
40, once cute, now simply sexy, and not apologetic about it.

INT. CAFFE REGGIO

The hangout that time forgot. Kitty finds the table where 
Eddie and Roger sip espresso. With studied detachment:

		KITTY
	Hi Eddie.

Eddie stands. Pulls out Kitty's chair.

		EDDIE
	Roger Baron, Kitty Greer.
		(to Kitty)
	Roger's my new associate. Top of his 
	class at Michigan Law.

Kitty smiles at Roger.

		KITTY
	You read Eddie's Chase Manhattan 
	Bombing summation in the Leftist Law 
	anthology?

		ROGER
	-- Eddie told you?

Eddie clears his throat. Kitty smiles some more.

		KITTY
	My skip-trace turned up two Cecil 
	Stipes. One's in Butte, Montana. 
	Other's at Riverhead Veterans 
	Psychiatric.

		ROGER
	I'll take odds on Cecil Number Two.

		KITTY
	So what'd this guy do? Snitch off a 
	dealer?

		EDDIE
		(casually)
	Murder witness.

		KITTY
	You're doing a murder case?

		EDDIE
	It hasn't been that long.

Kitty disagrees. She starts counting the years, to herself, 
on her fingers. Before she can run out of fingers:

		EDDIE
	Stipe was just one of four 
	eyewitnesses who came forward, Kitty. 
	Y'oughta start looking for the 
	others...

		KITTY
	Eddie, I'm not working on this case. 
	You boys have fun.

She checks her watch.

		KITTY
	I have business back on Planet Earth.

She stands.

		EDDIE
	Lemme guess. Some corporate V.P.'s 
	banging his secretary over lunch and 
	you have to focus your camera and 
	plug in your little tape recorder.

		KITTY
	Beats getting paid in twenties by 
	slimedogs selling angel dust to high 
	school seniors.

		EDDIE
	Kitty, where exactly do you place 
	the microphone to catch the most 
	incriminating moans?

Roger is trying to disappear behind his espresso cup.

		KITTY
	Just which Constitutional amendment 
	protects our right to peddle PCP?

		EDDIE
	Forget it. You've blown your chance 
	to participate in this case, Kitty.

		KITTY
	I'm kicking myself, Eddie... Right 
	out of here.

She briskly exits the coffeehouse.

Eddie turns to Roger. Wearing a little grin.

		EDDIE
	We got her.

							CUT TO:

EXT. RIVERHEAD VETERANS PSYCHIATRIC - DAY

A gray edifice just outside a blue-collar Long Island town. 
As Eddie and Roger ENTER:

		EDDIE
	You have to gently pressure a guy 
	like this to test whether he'll keep 
	it together on the stand...

INT. DAYROOM - CLOSE ON CECIL STIPE

Hollow-eyed, tousle-haired, late-30s. In pajama bottoms and 
an olive-drab t-shirt.

		STIPE
	Dr. Berger said you g-guys needed to 
	talk to me...?

WIDE - THE DAYROOM

Depressing in proportion to the attempts to make it cheery. 
Eddie and Roger sit at a round wooden table we last saw in 
nursery school. As he pulls out a chair, for a wary Stipe:

		EDDIE
	'lo, Cecil.

		STIPE
	See-cil.

		EDDIE
	See-cil. I'm Eddie Dowd, this is 
	Roger Baron. We're lawyers.

Stipe looks at Roger. Then at Eddie. To Eddie:

		STIPE
	You're a l-lawyer?
		(beat)
	I... I haven't had my meds, or m-my 
	vital signs t-taken yet. I...

		ROGER
	Mr. Stipe. A young man named Jimmy 
	Chin was shot to death eight years 
	ago, in Chinatown. Do you remember 
	talking to the police?

		STIPE
		(beat, then)
	That guy they arrested -- he was the 
	wrong g-guy.

		EDDIE
	Cecil, we want to reopen the case, 
	and we can't without your testimony. 
	I want to use what you have to say 
	so badly -- but I must add, my friend, 
	that I think you're fucking full of 
	shit.

Roger winces: this is "gentle pressure"?

		ROGER
	I think what Eddie wants to say is --

		STIPE
	No! They g-got the wrong guy! I saw 
	it! The killer wasn't Chinese.

		EDDIE
	Oh come on, Cecil.

		STIPE
	Hey, Chinese people have this energy 
	field that vibrates at a particular 
	frequency.

Eddie and Roger trade glances. Then:

		ROGER
	Uh, Cecil... What's all this about 
	the Kennedy assassination?

Stipe's voice goes hollow. He should've known.

		STIPE
	You're from the Company.

He anxiously peers past the lawyers -- as though looking for 
a hospital orderly, as though looking for help.

		ROGER
		(incredulous)
	CIA?

		STIPE
	Telephone.
		(sarcastic)
	I suppose you don't know the phone 
	company killed Kennedy because he 
	was trying to b-break it up -- and 
	they'll never let that happen. They 
	control everything: what you say in 
	the mouthpiece is never exactly what 
	comes out the other end, and --

		ROGER
	The phone company was broken up.

		STIPE
		(with muted contempt)
	And you b-believe that.

		EDDIE
	-- Cecil.
		(places his hand over 
		Stipe's)
	Are you what heroes are made of?

Stipe looks down at Eddie's hand, touching his own. Waits 
for a lethal bolt of electricity. But nothing happens.

		STIPE
	I did two tours in 'Nam...

		EDDIE
	Good. Now we're going to take an 
	affadavit from you, but only 
	concerning the facts of the Chinatown 
	shooting. We honestly don't give a 
	shit about the Kennedy assassination.

Stipe considers whether Eddie and Roger might be on the level.

		EDDIE
	Are you willing to testify that the 
	man you saw shoot Jimmy Chin was not 
	the man the cops arrested?

		STIPE
	They g-got the wrong g-guy.

		EDDIE
	When the D.A. hears I filed the writ, 
	he'll send someone here, maybe 
	claiming to be a journalist. That 
	person will ask you lots of questions. 
	Just be truthful, Cecil, okay? To 
	all of us?

		STIPE
	I always t-tell the truth.
		(sad smile)
	That's why I'm here.

							CUT TO:

INT. FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT - MORNING - SIX WEEKS LATER

No jury. CECIL STIPE on the stand. Hair freshly cut, beard 
trimmed. In a suit no worse than Eddie's best.

Eddie speaks softly, so as not to excite the mental patient.

		EDDIE
	...You told the Desk Sergeant you 
	were certain Mr. Kim wasn't the 
	killer?
		(Stipe nods)
	You left your telephone number?

		STIPE
	Y-yes, sir.

		EDDIE
	Did the police make any attempt to 
	phone you, to follow up?

		STIPE
	No, s-sir.

		EDDIE
	Thank you, Mr. Stipe.

Eddie rejoins Roger at the defense table.

		JUDGE
	Mr. Rabin? You may cross-examine.

Assistant D.A. DEAN RABIN, 30, jumps up -- alert and vigilant, 
as though he were the bodyguard of Justice herself.

		RABIN
	Mr. Stipe, for how long have you 
	been a patient at the Riverhead 
	Veterans Psychiatric Hospital?

Overlapping, Eddie leaps up, ROARS:

		EDDIE
	Objection, your Honor! The fact that 
	the witness is currently a patient 
	is immaterial!

		JUDGE
	Sustained.

		RABIN
	Alright. Mr. Stipe, how long have 
	you resided at the Riverhead Veterans --

		JUDGE
	Mr. Rabin, you're out of line. The 
	question is stricken.

But so, unfortunately, is Stipe: his whole body twitches. 
Now Rabin moves in for the kill.

		RABIN
	Mr. Stipe: you're under oath to tell 
	the truth and nothing but the truth. 
	Who killed President Kennedy?

		EDDIE
	-- Objection! Irrelevant! The witness 
	is not an expert in --

		RABIN
		(overlapping)
	Your Honor, the question relates 
	directly to the witness's bail-

		STIPE
		(overlapping; tremulous)
	I'd l-like to answer the question.

		EDDIE
	Mr. Rabin has no right to --

CLOSE - STIPE

He's answering. But, given the din of the lawyers' battle, 
he can't be heard. Until the Judge POUNDS his gavel.

		STIPE
	Lee... H-Harvey... Oswald.

To mouth this hideous lie has taxed all Stipe's strength and 
self-control.

In mid-argument, Eddie stops shouting. He sits.

		RABIN
	Never mind, your Honor.

He's left sheepishly smiling at the Judge, who's wondering 
what the hell that was about.

							CUT TO:

INT. PRISON CELL BLOCK - THAT AFTERNOON

Shu is escorted along the tier by TWO C.O.s.

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM

Enter the two C.O.s, with SHU. EDDIE and ROGER wait here.

		EDDIE
	Shu, the judge has ordered a retrial 
	in the Chinatown murder case.

Shu's lips move. No sound emerges.

		ROGER
	If we can prove reasonable doubt on 
	your imprisonment eight years ago, 
	we feel sure the D.A. will reduce 
	the charge in Lindeman's death. You 
	may get out of here much sooner.

Now Shu is standing, breathing hard.

		SHU
	Do I -- have to be in the courtroom?

Eddie knows that Shu isn't eager to relive the last trial.

		EDDIE
	The State won't want to retry an 
	eight-year-old case... At the pre-
	trial conference, an offer'll be 
	made. Odds are we'll cut some kinda 
	deal.

Roger is searching Shu's face for a ray of hope. Instead he 
hears, constricted:

		SHU
	-- I can't pay you.

		ROGER
		(gently)
	That's okay, Shu. We're not billing.

This makes Shu even more uncomfortable. His eyes bore into 
Eddie's, searching for an answer.

Finally Eddie supplies it.

		EDDIE
	You've done enough time, Shu.

Shu holds Eddie's gaze for a beat. Then he nods. And then, 
without expression, he backs out of the Conference Room.

							CUT TO:

CLOSE - X-RAY POSITIVE

As we contemplate a man's shattered skull we hear:

		ROGER
	According to the evidence, the bullet, 
	the wound, the powder burns, Shu's 
	gun -- they're a perfect match.

INT. EDDIE'S INNER OFFICE

Eddie sits at his desk, across from Roger.

		EDDIE
	Hey. The cops tell the eyewitnesses, 
	"Don't doubt your ID, we got 'em 
	dead on the gun." Meantime they tell 
	their ballistics expert, "Hey, it's 
	cool -- three people saw the guy 
	fire the gun." It's a game, man. And 
	you know what?

As Eddie continues, Roger queasily flips through a stack of 
forensic exhibits. We SEE x-ray positives of Jimmy Chin's 
skull, prints of microscopic autopsy slides...

		EDDIE
	In the eight years since the first 
	trial, advances in forensic ballistics 
	analysis will enable us to piss on 
	the evidence.

The phone starts RINGING.

Now the door swings open -- it's KITTY. As she casually strips 
off her overcoat:

		KITTY
	Of the prosecution's three original 
	eyewitnesses, one's dead, one's moved 
	to Montreal and won't budge...

Kitty catches Roger watching her with a look of pleasant 
surprise. With a little smile:

		KITTY
	You getting this?

		ROGER
	-- Every word.

		KITTY
		(sits)
	But they've still got Laura Gordon -- 
	and she was the closest, about 20 
	feet from the killer.

Eddie appears untroubled.

		EDDIE
	Gee, maybe she saw the gun.

He pulls a joint from the desk drawer and lights up.

		ROGER
	Do you have to do that?

		EDDIE
	"Have to"? No...

He takes a hit. Then turns to Kitty.

		EDDIE
	Start looking into the Joe Boys -- 
	who assigned the hits in 1980, what 
	rank generally did the hits...
		(pointedly)
	Your extensive law enforcement 
	contacts should be of some use.

		KITTY
		(to Roger)
	I was never politically correct enough 
	for Comrade Dowd.

The phone starts RINGING again. Shouting through the wall:

		EDDIE
	Billy...

No result. So Eddie picks up, as Kitty and Roger continue 
TALKING, in b.g.

		EDDIE
	Yeah. Who?

Eddie grinds out his joint. Signals his colleagues to shut 
up. His customary braggadocio giving way to bafflement:

		EDDIE
	Put him through.
		(then)
	Speaking.
		(listens, then)
	Sure. Fine. See you then.

Eddie hangs up.

		EDDIE
	That was Donald Reynard.

Roger has heard of Reynard. With a trace of incredulity:

		ROGER
	The Manhattan D.A.?

							CUT TO:

EXT. NEW YORK ATHLETIC CLUB

On Central Park South. Where Manhattan's oligarchs go to 
stay hungry. Several generations of WASPs stride in and out, 
attache cases in their left hands, racquets in their right.

EDDIE hurriedly enters this sanctum of health and wealth, 
too self-conscious to notice the startled WASPs noticing 
him.

INT. CLUB BAR

With a Rare Book Room ambience. A MAITRE D' steers an edgy 
Eddie past POWER BROKERS who stop brokering, briefly, to 
gape at this bizarre interloper. Excepting one self-absorbed 
MAGNATE who pontificates on the trade gap at FOUR REPORTERS.

Eddie is delivered to a table in the center of the room. 
Settled here, sipping a scotch, is Manhattan D.A. DONALD 
REYNARD: mid-40s, sharp-featured, soigne. At Reynard's elbow 
sits Dean Rabin. Wearing a vindictive little grin.

		MAITRE D'
	Mr. Reynard...?

Head bowed, Eddie awkwardly thrusts out a hand.

		EDDIE
	Edward T. Dowd.

		REYNARD
		(shaking)
	Don Reynard.

He offers Eddie a seat. Indicates the human terrier at his 
side.

		REYNARD
	Of course you know Dean Rabin, one 
	of my Assistant D.A.s. Dean generally 
	handles nuisance cases like the... 
	what's the man's name?

		EDDIE
	Shu Kai Kim.

		REYNARD
	You won't remember this, but in '72 
	I was one of several prosecutors 
	assigned to the Black Panther-Police 
	Shootout.
		(laughs)
	We had a whole team, and you walked 
	into court by yourself and kicked 
	our collective butt.
		(beat)
	So what've you been up to since then?

		EDDIE
	This and that.

		REYNARD
	My staff tells me it's been mostly 
	drug pushers... I said that can't be 
	the same Edward Dowd.

		EDDIE
		(evenly)
	It's in the area of narcotics, Mr. 
	Reynard, that the government tramples 
	on the Fourth Amendment.

		REYNARD
	Let's not drag the Constitution into 
	this.

Rabin can contain himself no longer.

		RABIN
	Mr. Dowd, you used the testimony of 
	a paranoid schizophrenic to overturn 
	a murder conviction that had stood 
	unchallenged for eight years. Now we 
	don't intend to sit back and --

Reynard holds up a palm, silencing Rabin.

		REYNARD
	What you did was very cynical. I'm 
	annoyed with you, Ed.

Clearly a supreme understatement.

		EDDIE
	I'm sorry if I've ruined your day, 
	Mr. Reynard. But my client's had a 
	rough eight years behind bars and --

		REYNARD
	Your client is guilty. Don't dick 
	around with me.

Rabin glows. He's getting revenge, albeit vicariously.

		REYNARD
	Back in the Seventies I spent years 
	putting away gangsters in a Colombian 
	syndicate called "the Ochoa". These 
	guys are very dangerous, Ed. When I 
	hear that a small-time dope lawyer 
	is conniving to spring one of these 
	guys, I see red.

		EDDIE
	I'd have that checked, Mr. Reynard.

Reynard is not amused.

		REYNARD
	Now maybe you got this case reopened 
	because you see yourself as a thorn 
	in society's side, or you want to 
	walk into any restaurant in Chinatown 
	and get free dumplings...

		EDDIE
	Are you implying that my motives are 
	less than sincere?

		REYNARD
	Yes, but that's not the issue. What's 
	on your wish list, Ed? Pleading Kim 
	out to first degree man on both 
	homicides, with an agreed sentence 
	of 15 to life running concurrent? 
	Come on... What're you looking for 
	here?

		EDDIE
	What am I looking for? You're the 
	one talking deal.

		REYNARD
	Friday's the drop-dead date on the 
	offer.

		EDDIE
	Please don't bullshit me, Mr. Reynard. 
	You've got witness problems, you've 
	got proof problems...

		REYNARD
	You're my only problem, Ed. What 
	does it take to make you go away?

Eddie doesn't have to ponder long.

		EDDIE
	8-1/3 on both counts to run 
	concurrent, and credit for time 
	served.

Reynard pretends to do some calculations.

		REYNARD
	I see: He'd walk out next month.

		EDDIE
	That's right.

		REYNARD
	We reconvict, your man's looking at 
	25 years on two counts, served 
	consecutively. So what I'd like to 
	ask, Ed, is: Are you joking?

		EDDIE
		(rising)
	I never joke about waiving a client's 
	Sixth Amendment right to trial.

		REYNARD
	You're pissing me off again, Ed.

		EDDIE
	You know you're very tense, Mr. 
	Reynard. Y'oughta take a week off, 
	fly the wife and kids to Oahu.

Eddie turns. As he lopes away --

		REYNARD
	Don't forget: after Friday, no deal.

ANGLE - A REPORTER

at the Trade Gap table sniffs a story.

INT. CORRIDOR

Eddie waits for the elevator. And HEARS a confidential:

		REPORTER
	Excuse me... Len Davis.

Eddie turns.

		REPORTER
	Looks like you've wriggled up 
	Reynard's ass... What gives?

		EDDIE
	You're not a reporter...?

		REPORTER
	Daily News.

He reaches for his press card. The elevator arrives.

		EDDIE
	I can't talk to you.

Eddie boards. Slow enough that the Reporter has time to follow 
him in. The door closes.

INT. LOBBY - ON THE ELEVATOR DOOR

as it opens; Eddie and the Reporter step out. The Reporter 
madly scribbles notes as Eddie declaims.

		EDDIE
	...not saying there was a conspiracy. 
	Law enforcement is too disorganized 
	for that... No, I suspect sloth was 
	the culprit -- lassitude... My client 
	made a convenient patsy...

They stride past CAMERA, Eddie just warming up, as we:

							CUT TO:

INT. CAFFE REGGIO - NEXT NIGHT

At this hour, the espresso has given way to red wine. KITTY, 
EDDIE, ROGER and assorted West Village characters have taken 
over a table in the middle of the room.

		ROGER
	"Edward C. Dowd, retained to defend 
	Mr. Kim, has disclosed that a witness 
	will corroborate Mr. Kim's alibi"?

Roger reads from the Daily News -- everyone at the table has 
a copy. On an inner page is a file photo of Eddie under the 
headline "Stunning Revelations in 'Wrong Man' Murder Case."

		EDDIE
	I embellished.

		KITTY
	"Dowd also reports that his team of 
	private investigators..."?

		EDDIE
	I embroidered.

		KITTY
	"...are close to naming the man they 
	believe actually killed Jimmy Chin"?

		EDDIE
	I lied.

Roger gives Eddie a thin smile.

		ROGER
	Shoulda told the one about Shu being 
	the bastard child of Mother Theresa.

		EDDIE
		(smiles back)
	Saving it for the Sunday Times.

Eddie stands, stretches.

		EDDIE
	I'm heading home -- get some sleep...

EXT. MACDOUGAL STREET - NIGHT

As Eddie starts north, a STREET DEALER calls from the shadows: 

OMIT

		STREET DEALER
	Hey Eddie... Loose joints? Buy one, 
	get one free.

		EDDIE
	I get 'em all free.

ON SHERIDAN SQUARE

Eddie crosses Seventh Avenue. Pulls out his keys, to let 
himself into his building. OS, hears:

		VOICE
	Hey, Eddie.

A MAN stands, silhouetted, at the top of the subway stairs.

		MAN
	Spare a quarter?

EDDIE

reaches back into his pocket. And gets RAKED across the jaw 
with a short length of PIPE.

HIS ASSAILANT

is a muscular PUNK in a black sleeveless t-shirt. Two black 
teardrops tattooed on his cheek. In a WHISPER:

		PUNK
	Race traitor. Gook lover.

INT. SUBWAY STAIRS

The Punk flings a stunned Eddie halfway down the stairs, to 
continue the beating out of plain sight. On the landing, the 
men bob back and forth, drunken dance partners --

-- and then Eddie manages to grab the Punk's face, squeezing 
it with his ebbing strength, SMUDGING the TEARDROPS.

EDDIE

puzzles, for an instant, at the smeared "tattoos".

THE PUNK

senses something's awry. In his eyes, a flicker of panic.

SCENE

Then the Punk's eyes go cold again as he smashes Eddie's 
head against the tile. As Eddie collapses:

		PUNK
	Enemy of the Aryan People.

Punctuated with a kick of his combat boots. Eddie curls up 
to protect himself.

		PUNK
	Commie. Faggot. Motherfucker. Jew.

		EDDIE
		(gasps)
	-- Only half.

For this, Eddie gets another kick. Then the ultimatum, told 
as a "Confucious say" joke:

		PUNK
	Aryan Warriors say: If the Chink 
	goes to trial, you die.

Eddie groans, his eyes roll back. FADE to BLACK. While the 
SCREEN stays BLACK, we HEAR:

		DETECTIVE 1'S VOICE
	In my humble opinion, Mr. Dowd, you 
	opened a Pandora's box of ugly shit.

INT. POLICE HEADQUARTERS - NIGHT - LATER

EDDIE, in the Detective Bullpen -- ice pack pressed to his 
bruised jaw -- leafs through a mugbook. ROGER, beside him, 
addresses a DETECTIVE, across the desk.

		ROGER
	Oh, Eddie deserved this. I guess 
	rape victims want to get laid at 
	gunpoint.

But Eddie could care less. Indicating the mugbook:

		EDDIE
	These are all the known Aryan Warriors 
	in New York?

IN THE BOOK

Mugshots and descriptions, four to a page. Several subjects 
sport the teardrop tattoos.

		DETECTIVE (O.S.)
	Every last delightful one.

SCENE

Eddie stops paging. Squints.

CLOSE - A MUGSHOT

of the Punk. Sure enough, no teardrops on his face. His name: 
CHUCKIE ROEDER.

Eddie's HANDS enter FRAME. His fingertips still smudged with 
black ink, from Roeder's cheeks.

BACK TO SCENE

Eddie studies the photo, his fingertips. Abruptly shuts the 
mugbook.

		EDDIE
	Y'don't mind, I'll look some more 
	tomorrow. Starting to see double.

EXT. POLICE HEADQUARTERS

As they emerge, Roger grips Eddie's upper arm, to steady 
him. Quietly:

		EDDIE
	His name is Chuckie Roeder. But 
	something's very weird.

		ROGER
	-- You found his mugshot?

They round the corner. In b.g. is the County Coroner's Office; 
official AMBULANCES are double-parked in front.

		EDDIE
	The tears... they weren't real.

Roger gives Eddie a questioning look.

OMIT

							CUT TO:

EXT. EXPRESSWAY - LATE NIGHT

As we TIGHTEN on Eddie's wheezing RIVIERA we HEAR, OVER:

		ROGER'S VOICE
	I don't believe we're going to talk 
	to a bunch of Nazis. At night.

		EDDIE'S VOICE
	They only think they're Nazis.

INT. RIVIERA - MOVING

Roger drives. Eddie, in the passenger seat, massages his 
swollen jaw. In his free hand are scribbled directions.

		EDDIE
	They're just frightened, fucked-up 
	losers that prison fucked up worse.

		ROGER
		(tense, snaps)
	I didn't ask for a closing argument.

		EDDIE
	There's no one else to talk to. The 
	tattoos were phony!

		ROGER
	-- Yeah?

		EDDIE
	So an upstanding member of the Aryan 
	Warriors wouldn't paint them on. 
	They take those teardrops seriously -- 
	they're badges of courage, of honor. 
	Only their most vicious killer elite 
	get to wear them...!

		ROGER
	I feel much better now.

		EDDIE
	Hey, Clyde Gruner sold these guys a 
	pound of crystal meth at cost. We're 
	Clyde's buddies, it's cool.
		(checks the directions)
	Next exit.

							CUT TO:

EXT. ROW HOUSES - LATE NIGHT

A desolate, sub-working-class-outpost on Staten Island.

Eddie KNOCKS on a door. Roger waits with trepidation. The 
door is answered by:

A BOY

Towheaded, in pajamas. No more than eight years old.

		EDDIE
	Hi there. Is your daddy home?

INT. ARYAN WARRIOR HOUSE

The little boy GIGGLES, then leads Eddie and Roger through a 
nightmare LIVING ROOM strewn with pizza cartons, shotgun 
shells and dogshit. A MAC-10 submachine gun is propped in a 
corner. In another corner, an old b&w TV. Flickering across 
the screen: a rerun of "Love, American Style." TWO ARYAN 
WARRIORS were slumped in front of it, swigging generic beer 
while ogling the '60s bikini queens. Now they sit up straight 
and reach for the guns as the lawyers pass, into:

INT. BEDROOM

The little boy wraps his arms around a pair of legs. ANGLE 
UP on a young man whose face is marred by a single teardrop 
tattoo.

		EDDIE
	I'm a friend of Clyde Gruner's...

The walls are decorated with white power posters, portraits 
of Hitler and Jesus.

		TEARDROP
	We know who you are. You're the race 
	traitor who's defending the gook.

O.S. we hear:

		MAN'S VOICE
	You've got balls coming here.

Eddie and Roger turn. Behind them another Aryan Warrior has 
materialized. Chewing a Slim Jim.

		SLIM JIM
	We respect balls.

Roger exhales.

		EDDIE
	Who's Chuckie Roeder?

		TEARDROP
	Chuck? Rhymes with suck?
		(cackles, then)
	Chuckie Roeder is no longer a comrade 
	in the resurrection of our nation. 
	We expelled that faggot junkie last 
	year.

Eddie and Roger trade glances.

		EDDIE
	Do you know where he can be found?

		TEARDROP
	Hanging with his tongue out and a 
	sign around his neck says "I Betrayed 
	My Race" along with the rest of 
	society's scum, on the Great Day of 
	the Rope.

		ROGER
	Um... prior to the Great Day of the 
	Rope, where can Chuckie be found?

		TEARDROP
	Mixing with mongrel races.

		EDDIE
	-- A job? An address?

Teardrop doesn't answer. Hoping to help him out:

		SLIM JIM
	Art supplies, right?

Teardrop shoots a look at Slim Jim. If looks could kill, 
Slim Jim's brains would be decorating the walls.

Teardrop turns back to Eddie and Roger.

		TEARDROP
	Now get the fuck out of here.

Instead Eddie steps forward, in Teardrop's face.

		EDDIE
	A man jumped me tonight. He said he 
	was an Aryan Warrior, and you're 
	saying he wasn't. I have to hear it 
	really clear: You guys weren't behind 
	this.

Very slowly, so Eddie gets it straight:

		TEARDROP
	If we were, you wouldn't be standing 
	here, asking.

							CUT TO:

INT. RIVIERA - MOVING - EARLY MORNING

Route 9, North. An excited Roger drives, a little wildly, on 
the empty road. Eddie stares out into the night.

							CUT TO:

EXT. OSSINING CORRECTIONAL FACILITY - DAYBREAK

ROGER is asleep, in the back seat of the Riviera. PAN TO:

		EDDIE
	At the main gate, that isn't open 
	yet. Eddie stands still, head bowed, 
	hands clasped behind his back. A 
	supplicant. Waiting to get in.

INT. VISITORS ROOM - MORNING - LATER

Eddie and Shu are separated by a plexiglass pane. They talk 
over telephones. Shu strives to remain impassive as he HEARS:

		EDDIE (O.S.)
	Shu, the D.A.'s offered us a deal. I 
	can make a counter-offer I know he'd 
	accept. You'd be free in four years.

Shu's response:

		SHU
	Who did that to you?

Eddie worries his discolored jaw.

		EDDIE
	An Aryan Warrior with black teardrops 
	painted on his face.

		SHU
	"Painted"?

Eddie nods.

		SHU
	That wasn't an Aryan Warrior.

Eddie nods.

		EDDIE
	But why would a guy would do that? 
	Paint black teardrops on his face?

		SHU
	I guess he... wanted you to think he 
	was... somebody he wasn't.

		EDDIE
	But why?

		SHU
	Maybe... because someone's afraid.

		EDDIE
	Afraid of what?

		SHU
	I don't know. The truth, maybe.

		EDDIE
	-- About what?

		SHU
	About Chinatown. What went down.

		EDDIE
	What went down?

		SHU
	You tell me, man.

		EDDIE
	No. You tell me, Shu.

		SHU
	How can I tell you what I don't know!

		EDDIE
	You can't. So tell me what you do 
	know -- say it!

		SHU
	I don't know shit, man! Goddammit --

		EDDIE
	Well I know that you're innocent, 
	Shu -- even if you forgot.

Shu sucks in a breath. The curses are like stifled sobs.

		SHU
	Shit... fucking... bitch bastard...

Tears are spilling down Shu's rock-hard cheeks.

Eddie brings his palm up against the plexiglass divider. 
He's breathing hard too.

		EDDIE
	Shu. We take this deal, that's the 
	end. I don't look for the scumbag 
	that jumped me, don't get him on the 
	stand to tell the court who put him 
	up to it, don't go after the fuck 
	who put him up to it -- the fuck who 
	did the crime and let you do the 
	time... We take this deal, we walk 
	away without knowing what really 
	went down, never get a shot at nailing 
	some guilty bastard's balls to the 
	wall.

Shu swipes at his face, roughly wiping it dry.

		SHU
	No.

		EDDIE
	"No," what?

Now Shu raises his palm. Presses it against the plexiglass, 
where Eddie's palm is. Slowly, emphatically:

		SHU
	Fuck the D.A.'s deal.

							CUT TO:

EXT. CHINATOWN STREET - DUSK - VARIOUS SHOTS

Hungry tourists, hyper street vendors, harried locals... 
Roasting chicken carcasses, counterfeit merchandise 
aggressively hawked, tiny old ladies bent over bins, squeezing 
strange fruits... The air a shivaree of piped-in flutes and 
drums, dissonant mercantile chatter, clogged honking 
traffic...

On Pell Street we FIND Eddie striding down the sidewalk, 
nose in trial transcript. To himself:

		EDDIE
	Jimmy came east on Pell. He stopped 
	on the corner to a let a car go by.

Eddie stops.

		EDDIE
	At the last instant he must've sensed 
	something. He turned --

Eddie looks up from the text, turns his head. There's:

ROGER

About twenty feet away. He looks up from his transcript.

		ROGER
	Laura Gordon stood here. No bus stop, 
	phone booth, stop sign in the way...
		(chagrined)
	She had a perfect view of the killer's 
	face.

Eddie adamantly shakes his head as he moves to Roger.

		EDDIE
	But she couldn't have, could she, 
	because she thinks she saw Shu and 
	now we know she didn't see Shu...

Roger looks dubious. Eddie grabs his shoulders, marching him 
east on Pell, the way Jimmy Chin came...

		EDDIE
	You're cruising along without a care 
	but now I'm stalking you, I'm right 
	behind you, there's rage in the air. 
	You feel the rage, like an electrical 
	charge -- you turn --

He yanks Roger's head around.

		EDDIE
	I pull out a loaded gun --

Eddie shapes the fingers of his right hand like a gun.

		EDDIE
	-- Time contracts, space explodes, 
	perceptions can't be trusted when I --

Eddie violently whips his finger-gun into Roger's face. Roger 
flinches -- we HEAR a shattering GUNSHOT -- and we're in:

INT. FORENSIC BALLISTICS LAB - A FEW DAYS LATER

A forensic ballistics expert (GEORGE) has just test-fired 
Shu's gun into a long wooden box. He and Roger remove their 
ear-protectors. (Eddie hadn't bothered wearing one.) To Roger, 
as he opens the box's lid:

		GEORGE
	Some guys in the field, they'll try 
	to bullshit you that comparison 
	microscopy's an exact science.

		ROGER
	...Not exactly.

		GEORGE
	I'm saying, we need to finesse a 
	little, we'll finesse.

Eddie adamantly shakes his head.

		EDDIE
	George -- I told ya -- ! We don't 
	need to finesse this one!

		GEORGE
	Jesus! Jump back...

He recovers the bullet with a pair of sterile forceps.

		GEORGE
	You wanna hang out, Eddie, I'll have 
	something preliminary in an hour.

		EDDIE
	My associate'll wait, George. I've 
	got good news of my own to deliver.

							CUT TO:

EXT. CRIMINAL COURTS BUILDING - DAY - LATER

The D.A.'s office is on the south side of the building.

		RECEPTIONIST (V.O.)
	Is Mr. Reynard expecting you?

INT. REYNARD'S RECEPTION AREA

Reynard's Receptionist is politely but terminally skeptical.

		EDDIE
	This'll only take a minute.

		RECEPTIONIST
	I'm sorry but Mr. Reynard is running 
	about an hour behind schedule.

		EDDIE
	Then just leave word: Mr. Dowd and 
	Mr. Kim plan to proceed with trial.

INT. CORRIDOR

Grand, marbled. Eddie's footfalls ECHO as he lopes to the 
stairs. And now he hears a deep, sepulchral:

		MAN'S VOICE
	...Ed?

ANGLE - ROBERT REYNARD stands at the far end of the corridor, 
shirt-sleeves rolled up, arms akimbo.

		REYNARD
	Did my girl hear your message 
	correctly?

Eddie ambles toward Reynard.

		EDDIE
	I guess so, or you wouldn't be 
	standing there, am I right?

The D.A. shakes his head, disappointed in himself.

		REYNARD
	Why did I think I could deal 
	reasonably with a man who defends 
	coke pushers for free?

The lawyers face off, salvos reverberating.

		EDDIE
	Coke pushers pay cash. That subsidizes 
	the pot possession cases.

D.A.s slip past, careful to stay out of the line of fire.

		REYNARD
	But now you've strayed from your 
	area of expertise -- dope -- into 
	street assassins. A subject on which 
	you're dangerously ignorant.

		EDDIE
	But I'm a quick study. Tell your 
	Deputy D.A. -- Rabin? -- that I'll 
	see him in court.

		REYNARD
	No, Mr. Dowd, you'll see me in court. 
	I'm prosecuting this case.

Eddie takes a beat to absorb the news. Then:

		EDDIE
	Why am I surprised? It's consistent.

Reynard nods in solemn accord.

		EDDIE
	You seem to have a talent for putting 
	non-whites behind bars...

A frost settles on the District Attorney's face.

		REYNARD
	I'll prosecute anyone who fucks up. 
	If that makes me look racist, it's a 
	trade-off I'll live with, Ed.

		EDDIE
	That's big of you, Bob.

He gives Reynard a farewell-for-now salute.

		EDDIE
	I'll see vou in court.

He does a little pirouette. Reynard's words, swelling out, 
follow him as he dances down the hall.

		REYNARD
	I'll beat you, Ed. You can hide behind 
	the whole Bill of Rights...

Eddie hurriedly descends the stairs.

							CUT TO:

EXT. WEST VILLAGE - THAT NIGHT

As we PAN the quaint townhouses and tenements we HEAR, OVER:

		EDDIE'S VOICE
	You guys shoulda been there.

FIND a WINDOW in which THREE SILHOUETTES are seen. In the 
context of the cityscape, there's a poignant -- even fearful -- 
sense of their smallness and isolation.

		EDDIE
	The fuckin' D.A. himself.

INT. OUTER OFFICE

Eddie paces, gesticulates.

		EDDIE
	Dude was quaking.

Finally Roger feels compelled to deliver bad news.

		ROGER
	Uh, Eddie? The, um, ballistics guy, 
	George...? He called, and...
		(uneasily)
	His tests show that Shu's gun fired 
	the bullet that killed Jimmy Chin.

		EDDIE
	George is a fucking burnout case. I 
	didn't want him on the stand anyway. 
	Get more names from Billy.

Eddie turns to Kitty.

		EDDIE
	Did you find me an expert witness on 
	the Joe Boys?

Kitty is nearly as reluctant as Roger.

		KITTY
	The best expert in New York is a Soc 
	professor at Columbia...
		(carefully)
	Apparently doing a hit was the way 
	to get into the Joe Boys.

Eddie levels a "So what are you telling me?" look at Kitty.

		KITTY
	So there goes your theory about the 
	Joes giving up Shu to protect their 
	trigger man.

		EDDIE
	But I like that theory. And since 
	I'm not putting Twerp Professor on 
	the stand, and since I don't have a 
	better theory, I'm sticking with 
	that theory. Meantime I want pictures 
	of the Joes. What'll you bet there 
	was a guy in the gang looked enough 
	like Shu to fool the eyewitnesses!

Kitty and Roger halfheartedly nod. Eddie tries a pep-talk.

		EDDIE
	Our guy is innocent. We prod in enough 
	places, I don't care how solid this 
	case against Shu looks -- there's a 
	weak spot somewhere and when we hit 
	it the whole hideous thing collapses. 
	Better yet, we get our hands on 
	Chuckie Roeder, we don't have to 
	grope in the dark. Chuckie is the 
	answer man!

Kitty snakes her head.

		KITTY
	I've phoned every art supply retailer 
	and wholesaler in the Tri-state area. 
	No one's heard of Chuckie Roeder.

		EDDIE
	Have you considered that Chuckie 
	Roeder's not calling himself Chuckie 
	Roeder these days? Get his mugshot 
	from one of the many law officers 
	who've got hotpants for you... then 
	canvass those art supplies places. 
	We're gonna win this one, Kitty, but 
	ya gotta believe...

ROGER

Uneasy with Eddie's optimism, he stands, wanders back toward 
the bathroom. Then notices that the door leading to Eddie's 
living quarters is slightly a jar.

THROUGH THE OPEN DOOR

Roger sees a single bed in one corner, plain wooden bureau 
opposite. But on the walls, something strange and beckoning. 
As Eddie exhorts in b.g., Roger slips into:

INT. EDDIE'S BEDROOM

Hung on a hundred hooks and nails are as many TIES. The wide, 
thrift-shop kind that Eddie wears to court. From a distance 
we can't distinguish the prints; the room is lit only by a 
blinking neon across the street. As Roger sifts through the 
ties, we go in CLOSE on the big amoebas, the zaftig mermaids, 
the oddball, dated patterns and paintings. It's as though 
each tie stands for a case won or lost, but fought. As though 
each loud, shameless tie is a piece of Eddie himself.

Now, as he pulls the ties from their hooks to examine them, 
Roger exposes old PHOTOS tacked to the wall and forgotten.

THE PHOTOS

are mostly yellow, cracked, faded. Here is EDDIE twenty-five 
years ago, hair cropped, a Princeton undergrad. Five years 
later he's sprouted a beard and is posed with his graduating 
class at Yale Law School.

Now it's the glory days of the mid-sixties and Eddie's in 
his prime, a longhaired defense attorney in denim and 
leather... At a press conference, flanked by Abbie Hoffman 
and Jerry Rubin. In Washington Square Park, igniting an anti-
war rally.

At a Sheep Meadow Be-in, arm around a lovely young woman, 
toddler balanced on his shoulders, infant cradled in her 
lap. Eddie's family on a long-ago spring day.

And here is Eddie, about 30, in a swarm of student activists 
outside a Federal courthouse, clearly after winning an 
acquittal, held high above the crowd like a conquering hero. 
Now we BRING UP an excited BUZZ of VOICES -- as though the 
crowd, in the photo, were somehow coming to life. OVER:

		JUDGE'S VOICE
	Matter of People vs. Shu Kai Kim.

							CUT TO:

INT. SUPERIOR COURT - MORNING

We've hit the big time; it's clean, spacious, echoic. The 
previous courtrooms were, by comparison, mere vestibules.

JUDGE QUEALY BANGS his GAVEL.

		JUDGE
	This case has been tried before, but 
	you the jurors must make no...

Now the Judge notices something amiss. He squints --

AT THE DEFENSE TABLE

There's SHU. With his new bristly growth of head-hair and 
oversized suit, he appears thin and mild-mannered, almost 
bookish. At Shu's left sits ROGER, looking around, bemused. 
The chair at Shu's right is empty.

		JUDGE
	-- Where is Mr. Dowd?

INT. MEN'S ROOM

Eddie is alone in here, at the sink. He's just doused his 
face. He examines his reflection in the dirty mirror, trying 
hard to like what he sees. HOLD for several silent BEATS as 
Eddie gathers his strength and courage. Then:

		REYNARD (V.O.)
	You will hear from the detectives 
	who arrested Shu Kai Kim and found 
	the murder weapon in his apartment.

INT. COURTROOM - A FEW MINUTES LATER

Eddie has now taken his seat beside Shu. Reynard is in the 
midst of his opening statement.

		REYNARD
	An eyewitness will testify that she 
	saw Mr. Kim shoot Jimmy Chin in cold 
	blood. An expert who examined Kim's 
	gun, and the bullet that tore through 
	Jimmy Chin's brain, will testify 
	that Shu Kai Kim was the killer.

He strides over to the jury box.

		REYNARD
	But this trial is about much more 
	than Mr. Kim's guilt. It's a test of 
	our legal system -- the fairest, 
	most liberal in the world, in world 
	history... So fair and liberal that 
	lawyers like Mr. Dowd can manipulate 
	it on a whim to re-try convicted 
	killers. Well that's a trade-off we 
	can live with, provided we have the 
	courage to meet our civic obligations. 
	You twelve are all that stand between 
	society and every Shu Kai Kim itching 
	to get free. Quite a responsibility. 
	But one I know that each of you can 
	handle.

										TIME CUT:

EDDIE paces off a large circle -- a territorial act in which 
he is claiming the courtroom as his.

		EDDIE
	Picture this. In a part of town that 
	thrives on its spirit of 
	celebration... good food, friendly 
	faces... one young man walked up to 
	another, out on the street, in front 
	of the tourists, and committed murder.

As Eddie pivots, we see that his hair is pulled back with a 
bright blue ribbon. The Jurors see this, too. If he didn't 
have it before, Eddie's now got their full attention.

		EDDIE
	I wonder if Chinatown's shopkeepers 
	and restaurant owners pleaded with 
	the Mayor... I wonder if the Mayor 
	put pressure on the Police 
	Commissioner...

Eddie jigs over to the jury box.

		EDDIE
	What do you think the Mayor said to 
	the Police Commissioner? I think the 
	Mayor said, "Arrest somebody...

He's trailed off; the last word is whispered. As he opens 
his mouth again --

-- TWELVE JURORS crane forward to hear.

		EDDIE
	...ANYBODY!"

An older woman GASPS. The others merely flinch.

										TIME CUT:

The homicide detectives lead off. First up is MONTELL. Early 
40s, beefy, black, with a tough-but-fair persona.

Reynard concluding his direct.

		REYNARD
	And so, having brought Mr. Kim in 
	for booking, you arranged a line-up 
	with six other Asian males.

		MONTELL
	That's right.

		REYNARD
	And the results of the line-up?

		MONTELL
	All the eyewitnesses picked Kim.

										TIME CUT:

Eddie smiles broadly at Montell, who smiles back. Then:

		EDDIE
	Isn't it a fact that the "six other 
	Asian men" in the line-up were all 
	of the classic Mongoloid type, whereas 
	Shu has the distinct facial bone 
	structure of a Korean?

		REYNARD
	Objection. The witness is not an 
	expert in racial classification.

		EDDIE
	Isn't it a standard trick to pack a 
	line-up with men who resemble each 
	other but look different than the 
	suspect, so the suspect will stand 
	out for the eyewitnesses?

		REYNARD
	Argumentative.

		JUDGE
	Sustained.

Eddie takes a beat, flashes another smile. Montell 
reciprocates. Now Eddie shifts into his empathetic mode.

		EDDIE
	You had to use less than scrupulous 
	methods, true? The Mayor was pushing 
	you hard for an arrest, wasn't he?

Montell sadly shakes his head. As empathetic as Eddie:

		MONTELL
	I don't want to disappoint you. But 
	the Mayor and I have never spoken.

A few TITTERS in the GALLERY.

		EDDIE
	I was being metaphorical, Detective 
	Montell.

		MONTELL
	Is that a fancy way of being wrong?

The half-dozen REPORTERS can barely suppress their snickers.

INT. COURTROOM - NEXT DAY

Next up is SKLAROFF, a coiled, rangy cop in his late 30s.

		EDDIE
	Exactly what information led you to 
	arrest my client just two-and-a-half 
	hours after the shooting took place?

		SKLAROFF
	We had a description of the suspect.

		EDDIE
	A "description"? What, Asian male 18 
	to 30, black hair, brown eyes?

From the prosecution table --

		REYNARD
	Badgering.

		SKLAROFF
	We had intelligence.

		EDDIE
	You had intelligence...?

Phrased to sound as likely as peace in Beirut. Sklaroff 
struggles to contain his resentment. Carefully:

		SKLAROFF
	We had information bearing on Mr. 
	Kim's desire to gain admission into 
	the Joe Boys by assassinating a member 
	of a rival gang.

		EDDIE
	Didn't this "information" come from 
	the Joe Boys themselves -- did they 
	not all but hand you Shu Kai Kim, a 
	Korean, an outsider?

		REYNARD
	Objection! Your Honor, this isn't 
	cross-examination, it's Mr. Dowd's 
	opening argument again -- and again, 
	it's pure fabrication.

		JUDGE
	Sustained.

Eddie essays another line of attack.

		EDDIE
	Isn't it unusual for a man who's 
	just committed a murder in plain 
	sight to bring the weapon back to 
	his apartment?

		REYNARD
	Calls for speculation.

		JUDGE
	Sustained.

But Sklaroff has weathered enough abuse. Indignantly:

		SKLAROFF
	You're implying that I planted a 
	gun?

		EDDIE
	Not at all --

		SKLAROFF
	Kim's prints were all over it -- He 
	admitted it was his gun, f'r godsake!

		EDDIE
		(hastily)
	Your Honor, the witness' response 
	was non-responsive... I ask you to 
	strike it from the record...!

As Judge Quealy does just that, OS, Eddie backs away from 
the excitable detective.

		EDDIE
	No more questions.

As he drifts back to the defense table, Reynard stands.

		REYNARD
	The People call retired Detective 
	Vincent Badalato.

Eddie sits. Wearing a confident grin for the benefit of any 
jurors who may be watching. Only Roger and Shu can HEAR:

		EDDIE
	...I'm dying out there.

		SHU
		(quietly reassures)
	It's okay, Eddie.

The Bailiff escorts the last homicide detective into court.

		ROGER
	You've got another shot.

ANGLE - DETECTIVE BADALATO

enters. In a wheelchair, pushed by his sister CONNIE. He's 
overweight and droopy-eyed, probably on pain pills. She's 
got the gait, physique and complexion of a spinster alcoholic.

ANGLE - THE DEFENSE TABLE

		EDDIE
		(sotto, to Roger)
	A fucking wheelchair?

		ROGER
		(explains)
	A spinal injury, in the line of duty. 
	It was in Kitty's report...

										TIME CUT:

Reynard concluding his direct. Mellifluous and caring, a 
pediatrician to a kid with mumps.

		REYNARD
	And you left the murder scene...?

Badalato clutches his original report. His eyes rake the 
page, find the relevant section. He adjusts his glasses. His 
voice is a whisper thickened by painkillers.

		BADALATO
	At, un, ten-thirty, sir.

		REYNARD
	And then what did you do, Officer?

As Badalato replies we FLASH BACK TO:

EXT. CHINATOWN STREET - NIGHT, NOVEMBER 2, 1980

The scene has been secured, photos and statements taken. 
Police tape holds back GAWKERS. Jimmy Chin's shrouded BODY 
is loaded, on a stretcher, into the rear of the paddywagon.

FIND BADALATO -- young, fit -- at the driver's side door of 
the paddywagon, discreetly conferring with the DRIVER. Now 
the DRIVER steps out, and Badalato climbs in, in his place. 
As he pulls the paddywagon away we HEAR, OVER:

		BADALATO (V.O.)
	I proceeded with Decedent's body to 
	the office of the County Coroner.

		REYNARD (V.O.)
	Thank you. No further questions.

INT. COURTROOM - EDDIE

questions the disabled detective, careful to be cordial.

		EDDIE
	Detective Badalato. You reached the 
	County Coroner's and signed over the 
	body, when?

Badalato finds the relevant section of the report. Focuses. 
Fusses with the pages. Starts to answer -- then succumbs to 
a terrible coughing fit. COMPASSIONATE MURMURS from the JURY.

The Bailiff hurries over, gently pats Badalato's back, pours 
him a cup of water. Badalato downs it with effort. Then:

		BADALATO
	...Eleven-thirty.

Eddie opens his mouth, to continue his cross. But now his 
eyes dart to the jury box, and what comes out is:

		EDDIE
	No more questions, your Honor.

							CUT TO:

INT. COURTHOUSE - AFTERNOON

Eddie hurries past Reynard, in the rotunda, surrounded by 
REPORTERS. Looking well pleased with himself, the D.A. is 
engaged in a spontaneous, genial Q & A.

Roger and Kitty catch up with Eddie, making for the exit.

		EDDIE
	A fucking wheelchair?

		KITTY
	I didn't put him in a wheelchair. 
	Reynard did. He can get around without 
	one -- it's all in my report.

		EDDIE
	I don't have time to read every word 
	in every report, I'm too busy getting 
	killed in court... Meantime my 
	crackerjack investigator can't find 
	the goddam art supplies store where 
	Chuckie-fucking-Roeder works!

EXT. 100 CENTRE STREET - AFTERNOON

As the trio descends the steps:

		KITTY
	I'd love to chat but I'm meeting a 
	cop for drinks. He'll be bringing 
	the Joe Boys' mugbook, circa 1980.

Eddie tries not to look overly impressed.

		EDDIE
	And I need an expert on the Joes I 
	can put on the goddam stand!

Kitty pulls a BAG from her pocketbook.

		KITTY
	Eddie? Stick this up your ass.

She hops into an idling CAB.

Eddie pulls a length of PIPE from the bag. He and Roger trade 
baffled looks. Then Roger notices the PRINTING on the BAG.

CLOSE - BAG

As Roger reads.

		ROGER (O.S.)
	"Art's Supplies."

SCENE

Suppressing a smile, Eddie reads the rest.

		EDDIE
	"Everything For The Plumber".

							CUT TO:

ESTABLISHING - LONG ISLAND CITY - EARLY EVENING

Light manufacturing and loft-dwelling refugees from SoHo, 
separated from Manhattan by the East River. TIGHTEN ON:

		"ART'S SUPPLIES"

as Eddie and Roger enter the warehouse.

INT.

Roger notes the PLAQUES that line the walls, from the Chamber 
of Commerce, Urban League, etc., naming Arturo Esparza "Equal 
Opportunity Employer of the Year". At the front desks are 
three tough-looking SECRETARIES.

		EDDIE
	Is "Art" around?

SECRETARY 1 squints at this bizarre interloper.

		SECRETARY 1
	He expecting you-all?

		EDDIE
	No, but this won't take long.

ANGLE

A coffee-colored YOUNG WOMAN gets up from her desk in the 
far corner. She hurries over to rescue the Receptionist.

		WOMAN
	I'm Mariquilla Esparza -- Art's wife.

Eddie is abashed at her fine, radiant features. Roger tries 
not to stare.

		EDDIE
	"Mariquilla"? It's a lovely name.

Marquilla turns her face, to hide her blush.

		MRS. ESPARZA
	Thank you, Mister...

And then a compact, powerful-looking LATINO (bald, bearded, 
bespectacled) charges INTO FRAME.

		LATINO
	Art Esparza. How can I help you?

He nods at Mariquilla -- she makes herself scarce.

		EDDIE
	Eddie Dowd.

		ROGER
	Roger Baron.

They wander past Esparza, and into:

THE WAREHOUSE

A multi-tiered space crowded with sinks, toilets, tubs... 
Black, white and brown MEN load skids, ride forklifts.

		ESPARZA
	You can't come back here... Anything 
	happens to you I'm liable.

		EDDIE
		(pleasantly)
	I'm a lawyer. The firm is thinking 
	about renovating. Everything dates 
	back to the Sixties.

		ESPARZA
	I noticed.

		EDDIE
		(to Roger)
	Do you see a toilet here you think 
	is really me?

Roger joins in the snowing of Esparza.

		ROGER
	We're considering one of those high 
	tech designs, what do you call it, a 
	"lowboy"?

		ESPARZA
	Excuse me but we're not a store and 
	we're not a showroom...

Eddie has slipped away. Hoping to distract Esparza:

		ROGER
	Didn't I read it's healthier? To sit 
	lower on a toilet? Y'know, with your 
	knees up, and --

Esparza is suddenly -- angrily -- aware he's been had. 
Sharply:

		ESPARZA
	-- Where's your friend?

ON EDDIE

Striding down a long AISLE bounded by tall walls of piping. 
He ducks around a SKID stacked with industrial sinks... Runs 
into a waist-high CONVEYOR BELT loaded with large cartons. 
Starts to back away -- then sees, below the conveyor belt --

PAIR OF BOOTS

The combat boots that he last saw aimed at his eye.

EDDIE

Freezes, for a beat -- then takes off down the length of the 
conveyor belt... But the belt goes on and on, and so Eddie 
drops down and scuttles under it. As he gets to the other 
side and leaps up, he sees --

CHUCKIE ROEDER

Who sees Eddie, lets out a startled cry and drops the carton 
he was checking, then spins on his heels and sprints away...

EDDIE

gives chase, slipping on the contents of the spilled carton... 
scores of loose spigots... Then he finds his footing, and 
races after Roeder down another:

AISLE OF PIPES

This one about thirty yards long. Now from the other end, 
moving quite fast, comes a FORKLIFT. Roeder dives out of its 
way, climbing up the wall of pipes.

Eddie clambers after him as the forklift DRIVER frantically 
downshifts -- and the point of a prong catches Eddie's 
pantleg, tearing it, as --

ROEDER

scurries over the now-collapsing wall of pipe, onto a double 
skid of horizontally stacked HOT WATER HEATERS...

SCENE

Eddie stumbles after him... Both men struggling to stay 
balanced... Now, just as Eddie is about to seize him, Roeder 
reaches a steep ladder -- he breathlessly climbs up to:

A CATWALK

Eddie claws his way up the ladder, right behind... He takes 
a flying leap at Roeder, grabbing hold of his belt...

But the catwalk sways, sickeningly, and Roeder kicks free, 
nearly sending Eddie over the side. Now Roeder bolts to the 
far end of the catwalk, fairly flying down the ladder there...

Meantime, Eddie takes a breath and drops off the catwalk... 
twenty feet down, and just an arm's length from Roeder. But 
as he thrusts out his hand, a HUGE MAN intercedes, hurling 
Eddie to the concrete.

ROEDER

dashes across a sea of TUBS, his boots CRACKING several... 
Then OUT a BACK DOOR, disappearing into the night.

SCENE

Eddie -- winded and disoriented -- is yanked to his feet by 
a flushed Art Esparza.

		ESPARZA
	You fool.

Muscular EMPLOYEES, brandishing pipe-wrenches, etc., have 
formed a menacing ring around Eddie.

		ESPARZA
	Everything's cool! Back off... take 
	five!

He starts briskly walking Eddie back to the front office.

		EDDIE
	Look, I'm a lawyer and --

		ESPARZA
	-- I don't care who you are. You 
	could've been killed. Every man and 
	woman in here has done hard prison 
	time. And we look out for each other.

		EDDIE
	"We"?

		ESPARZA
	I did five years in Attica. Lot of 
	cons helped me in the joint. But I 
	never got help from any lawyer... I 
	built this business for guys like me 
	who couldn't get a break anywhere 
	else. "Art's Supplies" is for ex-
	cons. Not lawyers.

They're reached:

THE FRONT OFFICE

Roger is waiting here.

		EDDIE
	Chuckie Roeder's a material witness 
	in a murder case, Mr. Esparza.

Esparza is pained to hear it.

		ESPARZA
	Chuckie... Never learn...

Then remembers he's with civilians. Collects himself.

		ESPARZA
	"Art's Supplies" is founded on trust, 
	Mister --

		EDDIE
	Dowd. Eddie Dowd.

		ESPARZA
	If you'd had the sense to ask for my 
	help, I might've helped you. But 
	you've probably scared Chuckie Roeder 
	off for good, I have a whole bunch 
	of jumpy employees to handle and 
	you're both going to be on your way. 
	Now.

EXT.

As Eddie and Roger cross to the Riviera:

		EDDIE
	Goddam it... the little punk bests 
	me again, I get thrown down and 
	lectured at and where the hell were 
	you?

		ROGER
	1530 Rivington Street.

		EDDIE
	-- What?

		ROGER
	Chuckie's address. I sneaked a peek 
	at the Rolodex.

		EDDIE
	You sneaked a peek at the Rolodex.
		(then)
	Nice.

							CUT TO:

EXT. RIVINGTON STREET - EARLY EVENING

Eddie parks at a hydrant, the lawyers hop out. Eddie goes to 
the trunk, forces it open, finds what he was looking for. 
Tucks the tire iron into his pants.

Roger was already checking the addresses on this stretch of 
lower East Side transient hotels and pawn shops.

		ROGER
	...Eddie? 1530 Rivington...

ANGLE - 1530 RIVINGTON

A hole in the ground, surrounded by a fence that's decorated 
with a fanciful sketch of a luxury condominium that'll never 
be built and some pretty words about urban renewal signed by 
His Honor Edward I. Koch.

ANGLE EDDIE

on the corner pay phone.

		EDDIE
	Kitty, when they demolish a 
	residential hotel, the city has to 
	relocate the tenants! Housing 
	Authority'll have records of --
		(then)
	You taught me that? So why'm I wasting 
	my breath?

							CUT TO:

INT. LIVING ROOM - EVENING

Pleasant, middle-class decor. We haven't been here before. 
We HEAR a persistent KNOCKING.

KITTY crosses to the door, squints through the peephole and 
sighs. Then opens the door. ENTER:

		EDDIE
	-- Find him?

		KITTY
	Eddie, these things take time. 
	Particularly at this hour...

Eddie's all over the room, edgily picking up odds and ends.

		KITTY
	My guy at Housing's waiting at home 
	for a pass to get back in his office.

Meantime Eddie has found a BINDER on Kitty's coffee table.

		EDDIE
	The Joe Boys in 1980...!

		KITTY
	A number of them are dead, three are 
	in prison, one's a waiter... Two -- 
	you'll enjoy this -- two are actually 
	members of the Chamber of Commerce.

ON THE MUGBOOK

Like the one the cops showed Eddie. But instead of sneering 
tattooed whites, here are sneering tattooed Asians.

SCENE

Eddie looks up from the book.

		EDDIE
	Doesn't do me much good unless I 
	know what Shu looked like back th--

Kitty hands him a photocopy of Shu's 1980 mugshot.

		EDDIE
		(studying it)
	Whoa.

THE MUGSHOT

An ornery-looking Shu Kai Kim wearing a greasy shag haircut. 
A far cry from Mrs. Kim's "Small, Small World" photo.

SCENE

		EDDIE
	Boy, I was right about the distinctive 
	facial bone structure of a Korean. I 
	thought I was bullshitting.

He's all over the room, waving Shu's photo, fulminating:

		EDDIE
	The odd man out always takes the 
	fall! Haven't I been saying all along 
	that --

Suddenly aware that Kitty's watching him play Edward C. Dowd, 
Legendary Hell-For-Leather-Lawyer, he falters, embarrassed. 
But Kitty's expression is affectionate, approving -- this is 
just the spirit that drew her to Eddie years ago.

Sensing this, Eddie relaxes. His voice softens.

		EDDIE
	I haven't thanked you for your work, 
	Kitty. You're doing good work.

		KITTY
	I'm a professional, Eddie. Getting 
	paid is all the thanks I require.

		EDDIE
		(realizes)
	I haven't paid you.

		KITTY
		(little smile)
	Right.

A beat passes between them that's both intimate and awkward.

		EDDIE
	Got any booze in the house?

		KITTY
	You don't drink "booze".

		EDDIE
	You do.

		KITTY
	Eddie, if I wanted to make love with 
	you again, I'd do it sober.

Eddie gently places his big hands on Kitty's slim shoulders.

		KITTY
	Eddie this is silly... are we supposed 
	to pretend nothing's happened in the 
	last ten years and --

		EDDIE
	Nothing has. But that's all changing.

Touched by Eddie's optimism, Kitty kisses him. It's meant to 
be quick and light but he embraces her and the kiss continues.

							CUT TO:

BLACK. A phone RINGS. It's answered. Groggily:

		KITTY'S VOICE
	...Yes?
		(then)
	Oh. Great...

							CUT TO:

EXT. DELANCEY STREET - LATE NIGHT

Kitty repeats Roeder's current address, in VO.

		KITTY'S VOICE
	913 Delancey...

As Eddie's Riviera pulls up to a Bowery flophouse. He goes 
to his trunk, for that tire iron.

INT. LOBBY

The ancient NIGHT CLERK is asleep, his head resting on the 
Front Desk. Gimlet-eyed, Eddie peers at the NAMES taped to 
the mailboxes behind him.

UPSTAIRS CORRIDOR

Musty, narrow, dimly lit. Muffled, debauched LAUGHTER... 
Eddie squints at one door, then another, then: Room 2D.

He takes a breath, pulls out the tire iron, KNOCKS with it. 
No answer. Eddie tries the door. It's unlocked.

INT. ROOM

CHUCKIE ROEDER sits quietly at a plain wooden desk in the 
darkened, unadorned room. Scattered across the floor are 
well-thumbed copies of Guns & Ammo and Blueboy.

		EDDIE
	-- Roeder?

CLOSER - ROEDER

Waxy and still -- like a Duane Hanson sculpture. Right hand 
suspended over the left forearm.

EDDIE

sharply inhales as he ventures closer.

CLOSER

A SYRINGE in Roeder's right hand, needle jammed in a vein. 
The left arm is dotted with track marks.

SCENE

Eddie slowly backs away from the upright corpse. Gripped not 
by horror, but the strangest sort of pity.

							CUT TO:

INT. MORGUE - MORNING

Chuckie Roeder is laid out in a locker drawer. On one side 
stands a MORGUE TECH; on the other, Detective 1 (from the 
police headquarters scene).

Roger is off in a corner, giving a statement to Detective 2.

Eddie stands nearby, moodily contemplating the demise of his 
last, best hope. OS, he HEARS:

		MAN'S VOICE
	-- I guess you found him.

ART ESPARZA has entered. His face is flushed with emotion.

		ESPARZA
	He had no family. I have to I.D. 
	him. I'm his family.

Eddie nods, not sure what to say. Esparza grimly regards 
Roeder's corpse, then nods at Detective 1. A tear slides 
down his cheek as the MORGUE TECH slams shut the drawer. 
Esparza turns to Eddie. His voice thick:

		ESPARZA
	You won't be able to use him now, 
	will you?

Roger wraps an arm around Eddie's shoulder.

		ROGER
	C'mon, Eddie, let's go.

		ESPARZA
	-- That's goddam tragic, isn't it?

He starts for Eddie, who doesn't speak or even move to defend 
himself. Detective 1 grabs Esparza in time, holds him back.

		DETECTIVE 1
	C'mon, get outta here, Dowd.

EXT. MORGUE - MORNING

Eddie and Roger exit with Detective 2. They're in the City 
Hall district, not far from the Criminal Courts Building.

As the Detective crosses, returning to Police Headquarters, 
adjacent:

		DETECTIVE 2
	You're in over your head, Dowd... 
	Don't you defend pot smokers?

Eddie ignores. He and Roger keep walking, the other way.

		ROGER
	So what're we gonna do?

		EDDIE
	...What do you mean?

		ROGER
	Well, I mean, Roeder's gone, now... 
	A dead end. Believe me, I'm sorry 
	too, but...

		EDDIE
	But what?

		ROGER
		(breaks the news)
	I've heard from the last ballistics 
	expert on the list. It's an even ten 
	who say Shu's gun killed Jimmy Chin!

		EDDIE
	That's why I hate experts.

		ROGER
	Eddie... it's one thing to compare 
	Clyde Gruner to Jesus Christ. It's 
	even okay to claim that Shu Kai Kim 
	is just slightly holier than the 
	Pope... as long as you don't really 
	believe it!

		EDDIE
	Hey -- you believe what you want. 
	Shu Kai Kim is innocent.

		ROGER
	-- Eddie...

		EDDIE
	You know how I know? 'Cause Reynard 
	says he's guilty, and Reynard's full 
	of shit! Look --

Intoxicated by his illogic, Eddie yanks out his battered 
wallet. Tugs out one of his two photos of Shu -- the "Small, 
Small World" snapshot from Mrs. Kim.

		EDDIE
	It's not the face of a killer!

He hands it to Roger, who hands it right back.

		ROGER
	You're carrying that around like it 
	was a picture of your girlfriend!
		(blurts)
	I don't want to see your heart broken 
	when this case crashes and burns!

		EDDIE
		(grim resolve)
	That's not gonna happen. I'm gonna 
	create reasonable doubt. Buckle your 
	seatbelt and watch me work.

Eddie steps into the street, into traffic. Cars wildly swerve 
around him, drivers HONKING in outrage. Roger looks both 
ways, dashes out. Catching up:

		ROGER
	But Roeder's dead. Ballistics says 
	it's Shu! We don't have one witness -- 
	unless we put Cecil Stipe on the 
	stand...

		EDDIE
	I'm not that desperate.

		ROGER
	I am. Eddie -- we've got nothing.

		EDDIE
	I've got a meeting in Chinatown.

		ROGER
		(resigned, sighs)
	Let's get a cab.

		EDDIE
	-- Roger -- ?

Indicating with a gesture that they're only blocks from 
Chinatown. Puzzled, Roger peers back the way they came.

		ROGER
	That's weird -- I pictured the morgue 
	being way across town.

After two beats he turns around to find Eddie gone.

							CUT TO:

INT. CHINESE RESTAURANT - LATE MORNING

Empty but for a banquet table Eddie shares with SIX PILLARS 
(ranging in age from 30 to 80) of the Asian community. The 
table is laden with delectable dim sum dishes. Eddie is the 
only one not eating -- he's too busy sucking up to his hosts.

		EDDIE
	We need you in court. The jury'll be 
	swayed by your support. You men are 
	the backbone -- the conscience -- of 
	your community!

The Pillars are unmoved. Eddie lightens up.

		EDDIE
	Only people who've sat on my side of 
	the courtroom so far are a wino trying 
	to stay warm and a bail bondsman I 
	owe money to.

Nothing.

		EDDIE
	C'mon, guys -- the dignity of your 
	race is being threatened here!

Finally he gets a reaction.

		PILLAR 1
	If the dignity of our race is 
	threatened, it is threatened by your 
	reopening of this ugly case.

		PILLAR 2
	When a violent thug is taken off the 
	street, our quality of life -- and 
	commerce -- immeasurably improves.

The other Pillars nod. Eddie's gorge rises as they resume 
eating, sipping tea, quietly conversing in Cantonese.

		EDDIE
	"A violent thug"? I happen to know 
	that two of you were once Joe Boys.

This gets the table's full attention.

		EDDIE
	But I'm not here to point the finger. 
	I did dumb things when I was 19 too -- 
	we all did. Wrong time, wrong place, 
	everybody here could've made a perfect 
	fall guy instead of our lives turning 
	out how they did. This case is about 
	all of us. And you're gonna feel 
	like a bunch of goats when the truth 
	comes out.

Clearly, one wouldn't try to bully such a venerable bunch 
unless one were desperate, unhinged, or a bit of both.

		EDDIE
	You'll kick yourselves for standing 
	on the sidelines while the D.A. made 
	you out to be fungible!

Now PILLAR 1 whispers to PILLAR 2, who whispers to PILLAR 3.

		PILLAR 3
	Excuse me. But what is "fungible"?

		EDDIE
	Interchangeable. As in, "Hey, maybe 
	we got the wrong guy but what the 
	hell, one slanty-eyed sonovobitch is 
	the same as the next"!

Eddie stands.

		EDDIE
	Enjoy your dumplings, gentlemen.

He lopes out of the restaurant.

							CUT TO:

INT. COURTROOM - A FEW DAYS LATER

Reynard concludes his direct examination of the Police Gang 
Expert, a florid, 50ish Irish Detective.

		REYNARD
	So according to your information, 
	Detective, the Joe Boys normally 
	used aspiring members -- like Shu 
	Kai Kim -- to do the "hits"?

		GANG EXPERT
	That's how you got into the gang.

		REYNARD
	Thank you. Your witness, Mr. Dowd.

REVERSE

In the GALLERY, on Eddie's side of the room, sit the SIX 
PILLARS. Some have brought their equally dignified WIVES. 
And several sweet-looking CHILDREN.

EDDIE rises INTO FRAME as he stands at the defense table, 
newly energized. he straightens his mermaid tie and assumes 
a look of collosal incredulity.

		EDDIE
	You're the police expert in Chinatown 
	gangs?

		GANG EXPERT
	...For ten years, now.

		EDDIE
	Do you speak Cantonese, Mandarin, or 
	both?

		GANG EXPERT
	-- Me? Neither.

Eddie cups his ear.

		EDDIE
	Pardon... Which dialect do you speak?

		GANG EXPERT
	Neither.

Eddie turns to the gallery.

		EDDIE
	Neither?

The hoped-for HUBBUB among the Pillars et al. SHU cranes to 
see, heartened and slightly amazed at the support.

Turning back to the government witness:

		EDDIE
	You don't speak any Chinese dialects? 
	Then you get your intelligence from 
	snitches?

		REYNARD
	Badgering.

		GANG EXPERT
		(between gritted teeth)
	They're Chinamen who speak English. 
	We call them informants.

		EDDIE
		(thunders)
	And I call your testimony hearsay. I 
	have no more questions for you.

										TIME CUT:

On the wall opposite the jury hang TWO POSTERS. Apparently 
identical photos of a spent BULLET, deformed by impact. In 
front of them, wielding a pointer, stands Reynard's venerable 
BALLISTICS EXPERT.

		BALLISTICS EXPERT
	Bearing in mind that every gun barrel 
	leaves a distinctive mark on the 
	bullet it fires, we must conclude 
	that the bullet that killed Jimmy 
	Chin was fired from Mr. Kim's .38.

		REYNARD
	And the powder burns at the site of 
	the victim's entrance wound...?

		BALLISTICS EXPERT
	...Can also be linked to the bullet.

		REYNARD
	Thank you. Your witness.

ON EDDIE

as he jigs over to the wall and grabs the pointer.

		EDDIE
	The photo on the left shows the bullet 
	that killed Jimmy Chin, true?

		BALLISTICS EXPERT
	True.

		EDDIE
	And the one on the right is the bullet 
	you test-fired from Shu's gun?

		BALLISTICS EXPERT
	Correct.

Eddie contemplates these apparently identical photos. And 
manages to sound a note of outraged disbelief.

		EDDIE
	You would have the court believe 
	that these two bullets were fired 
	from the same gun?

		BALLISTICS EXPERT
	Absolutely.

Eddie presses the tip of the pointer to a thin smudge along 
the lower edge of the right bullet.

		EDDIE
	I see a groove here. I don't see a 
	groove here.

Pointing, now, to the lower edge of the left bullet.

		BALLISTICS EXPERT
	It's not a significant difference.

Eddie's pointer finds another mark on the rear of the right 
bullet. Or maybe it's the shadow cast by the pointer.

		EDDIE
	And what about this? I don't see 
	this on the other bullet.

He points to something else on one of the enlargements -- 
but so quickly, we're not even sure what he was pointing at.

		EDDIE
	Or this -- is this a significant 
	difference?

		BALLISTICS EXPERT
	No it is not, Mr. Dowd.

As though baffled by the Expert's criteria, Eddie sets down 
the pointer.

		EDDIE
	To the best of your recollection, 
	were you sober when you performed 
	the tests?

		REYNARD
	Objection.

A GIGGLE from the Jury Box.

		EDDIE
	Forensic ballistics isn't an exact 
	science, is it?

		BALLISTICS EXPERT
	It most certainly is.

		EDDIE
	Isn't there a ten to fifteen-percent 
	margin of error?

		BALLISTICS EXPERT
	Absolutely not. No more than seven 
	percent.

		EDDIE
	In other words, seven times out of a 
	hundred, you're wrong!

The EXPERT stews.

The PILLARS nod.

							CUT TO:

INT. COURTROOM - NEXT DAY

On the stand: LAURA GORDON, the young white eyewitness.

		REYNARD
	Would you tell the court exactly 
	what you remember seeing on that 
	evening?

		MS. GORDON
	I'll never forget it. I was walking 
	east on Pell Street...

As she continues, we FLASH BACK TO:

EXT. PELL STREET - EVENING, NOVEMBER 2, 1980

		MS. GORDON (V.O.)
	A man walked past me. I noticed him 
	for two reasons.

HER POV

The KILLER hurries by. ONSCREEN for only a second -- but 
long enough for us to see he looks a lot like Shu.

		MS. GORDON (V.O.)
	He was walking very fast and his 
	hand was shoved inside his jacket. I 
	was in front of a restaurant called 
	Andy Lee's... Something told me to 
	turn...

We watch the Killer's back as he races to an intersection 
where several PEDESTRIANS wait for the Walk signal. We glimpse 
his face again as he pulls a gun... The YOUNG MAN in front 
of him whirls, there's a sharp CRACK and then the YOUNG MAN 
is lying in the street, blood welling around his head.

The Killer takes off running.

BACK TO COURTROOM

		REYNARD
	And the man whom you saw murder Jimmy 
	Chin. Is he in this courtroom?

Ms. Gordon nods at Shu.

		MS. GORDON
	That's him sitting right there.

										TIME CUT:

EDDIE stands before the witness box.

		EDDIE
	Ms. Gordon. I have studied the 
	diagrams and the photographs and I 
	have visited the murder scene and 
	the conclusion I keep reaching is... 
	and I hate to have to say this... 
	You weren't even close enough to see 
	the killer's gun.

Ms. Gordon is shocked by the rawness of Eddie's accusation.

		REYNARD
	Does Mr. Dowd have a question?

His eyes boring into Ms. Gordon's:

		EDDIE
	Come now. Did you see the gun?

		MS. GORDON
	I can describe it.

		EDDIE
		(scoffs)
	Oh really?

		MS. GORDON
	It was silver, with a stubby barrel... 
	snub-nosed, I think they call it... 
	It wasn't automatic, it had one of 
	those... cylinders...

		EDDIE
	You can't remember that -- !

		MS. GORDON
	I can see the hammer still, it was 
	cocked...

		EDDIE
		(as though pained)
	How can you remember that?

		MS. GORDON
	I didn't take my eyes off it!

		EDDIE
	Ah.

Eddie is facing the JURY -- only they can see the smile that's 
sprouted on his face.

		EDDIE
	Thank you, Ms. Gordon.

A HUSH in the COURTROOM. And now Ms. Gordon realizes she's 
been tricked. As Eddie returns to the defense table:

		MS. GORDON
	Not the whole time, of course. I --

		EDDIE
		(sitting)
	No further questions.

SHU turns to Eddie. The look on his face says "Hell, we're 
actually holding our own."

As the frustrated eyewitness is led off the stand we HEAR a 
calm, resonant --

		REYNARD
	Your Honor... The People wish to 
	call a witness whose name does not 
	appear on the witness list. He --

Eddie's smile evaporates. He leaps up.

		EDDIE
	Your Honor, that's trial by ambush!

		REYNARD
	We just discovered him, your Honor! 
	His appearance is critical to a fair 
	presentation of our case! He is an 
	inmate at Ossining Correctional and --

		EDDIE
	-- Objection, your Honor! This case 
	has no connection with any subsequent 
	act my client may be charged with!

		REYNARD
	The witness will substantiate Mr. 
	Kim's modus operandi. It's 
	circumstantial evidence in the case 
	at hand!

As Judge Quealy ponders, the D.A. keeps up the pressure.

		REYNARD
	The witness is recalcitrant, your 
	Honor -- I had to personally make a 
	body attachment this morning -- it 
	took two Marshalls to drag him here!

		EDDIE
	The great personal sacrifices endured 
	by Mr. Reynard have no bearing on 
	the legal issues, your Honor -- !

		REYNARD
	Your Honor, I know as much about 
	these gangs as anyone; I'm well aware 
	of the secrecy in which their 
	machinations are cloaked... I assure 
	you this witness offers the court a 
	rare opportunity to place the 
	defendant's crime --

		EDDIE
	-- alleged crime --

		REYNARD
	-- in a context.

The lawyers anxiously wait as Judge Quealy considers. Now:

		JUDGE
	I will allow the witness to testify. 
	With the understanding that your 
	questions are confined to the area 
	of Mr. Kim's modus operandi.

		EDDIE
	-- With objection!

		JUDGE
	So noted.

Eddie skulks back to the defense table.

		REYNARD
	As their final witness, the People 
	call Richard Ortega.

The Bailiff swings open the rear door. Escorted by the a 
forementioned MARSHALLS, enter ORTEGA, from the opening scene. 
He looks resentful and scared.

										TIME CUT:

Reynard begins his direct examination.

		REYNARD
	Mr. Ortega, you've known the defendant 
	at Ossining Correctional for how 
	long?

		ORTEGA
	I would tend to plead the Fifth.

		JUDGE
	Invalid invocation, Mr. Ortega. What 
	I call "name, rank and serial number" 
	questions are not covered by the 5th 
	Amendment. You must answer counsel.

REYNARD looks pleased; ORTEGA, grim.

		ORTEGA
	Five years.

		REYNARD
	Mr. Ortega... What is "La Compania"?

		ORTEGA
	A Cubano army, basically... inside 
	and outside prisons.

		REYNARD
	And its purpose?

		ORTEGA
	Fighting the Aryan Warriors and the 
	Black Guerrillas, basically.

		REYNARD
	For control of the prison drug trade?

		ORTEGA
	I would tend to plead the Fifth.

		JUDGE
	Mr. Ortega, you've already answered 
	questions about La Compania. You 
	cannot now selectively invoke the 
	5th Amendment.

Reynard glows with satisfaction.

		EDDIE
	Your Honor, that's not fair -- !

		JUDGE
		(testy)
	Complain to the Bar Commission.

Judge Quealy turns back to the witness.

		JUDGE
	Answer the question, Mr. Ortega. 
	Your unserved time can double...

The prospect of an extra day in prison fills Ortega with 
despair.

		REYNARD
	Do the rival gangs compete for control 
	of the prison drug trade?

		ORTEGA
	Yeah, we do some of that.

		REYNARD
	What is your rank within La Compania?

Ortega hesitates. With a tight smile, Reynard reminds him:

		REYNARD
	"Name, rank and serial," Mr. Ortega. 
	Let's not hide behind the Fifth.

		ORTEGA
		(surly)
	I'm a soldado in the G-Wing Regiment.

		REYNARD
	And what does a soldado -- a soldier -- 
	do?

		ORTEGA
	A soldado, he runs messages and 
	materiel between the regiments...

		REYNARD
	"Materiel"? What do you mean by that?

		ORTEGA
	Cigarettes, candy bars...
		(then, concedes)
	PCP, crack...

		REYNARD
	If a member of the Aryan Brothers 
	tries to cut in on your distribution?

		ORTEGA
	...A soldado, he takes care of it.

		REYNARD
	By "takes care of," you mean "kills".

		ORTEGA
		(a beat, then)
	That's right.

At the Defense Table, Shu stiffens. So does Eddie.

		REYNARD
	Mr. Ortega, what is Shu Kai Kim's 
	rank within La Compania?

		ORTEGA
	Soldado.

		REYNARD
	Isn't it unusual for an Asian to be 
	accepted into a Cuban prison gang?

		ORTEGA
	Shu's the only one I know of...

		REYNARD
	And why was an exception made?

		ORTEGA
	Chinatown. Sounded pretty cold...

		REYNARD
	You mean to say Mr. Kim told you 
	that he murdered Jimmy Chin?

		EDDIE
	Objection. Leading.

His tone is stern. But for once he doesn't stand.

		JUDGE
	Overruled.

Ortega looks past Reynard, at Shu. Mournfully:

		ORTEGA
	Man, they got me all fucked up here.

Judge Quealy POUNDS his GAVEL.

		JUDGE
	Mr. Ortega! I warn you...

		REYNARD
	-- Did Mr. Kim confess to you that 
	he killed Jimmy Chin?

		ORTEGA
	...I think he mentioned it, yeah.

Reynard turns to face the jury.

		REYNARD
	In other words Shu Kai Kim is, and 
	always has been, a killer for hire.

Reynard's epithet reverberates in the courtroom.

		EDDIE
	Objection.

		JUDGE
	Sustained.

		REYNARD
	Withdrawn. The People rest.

AT THE DEFENSE TABLE

Shu stares down at his penny-loafers. Eddie rises. Dully:

		EDDIE
	I move that the witness's testimony 
	be stricken. He has clearly been 
	terrorized by the prosecution, he's --

		JUDGE
	The testimony will remain in the 
	record. Do you wish to cross-examine?

Before Eddie can answer, Ortega jumps up and SHOUTS, at Shu:

		ORTEGA
	I'm sorry, man -- ! Motherfuckers...

The Bailiff rushes to the witness box as Judge Quealy POUNDS 
his GAVEL. And suddenly SHU leaps to his feet.

		SHU
	Take me outta here! I never wanted 
	this -- !

The Marshalls obligingly drag Shu toward the prisoners' 
entrance, behind the bench.

The JURORS appear shocked and alarmed. The SPECTATORS stare, 
transfixed.

		JUDGE
	Court is hereby adjourned until ten 
	a.m. tomorrow!

Eddie just stands there. The sky has fallen on him. Now 
Reynard rises at his desk. He catches Eddie's eye.

		REYNARD
	I hope you've learned something, Mr. 
	Dowd.

Then he and Rabin briskly exit the courtroom together.

							CUT TO:

INT. COURTHOUSE CORRIDOR - LATER

The spectators -- including KITTY -- emerge. The PILLARS and 
their FAMILIES disperse quickly, silently.

Here comes EDDIE. What has seemed a merry jig in court now 
looks like a limp.

ROGER behind Eddie. He moves to catch up, but sees that Eddie 
is moving toward Kitty, waiting at the exit door. So Roger 
hangs back.

But without even slowing down or giving a sign, Eddie moves 
right past Kitty, and out of the building.

Shocked, Roger goes to Kitty. Gently touches her arm.

		KITTY
	It's okay. It was always like that.

		ROGER
	Shouldn't one of us...?

		KITTY
	No -- leave him be. It's better for 
	everyone.

Roger nods, resigned -- and then someone else in the departing 
CROWD catches his eye.

A WOMAN

Furtive and alone, hurrying away.

SCENE

Roger turns to Kitty, an odd look on his face.

		ROGER
	...Would you excuse me?

Kitty shrugs: sure.

							CUT TO:

INT. PRISON VISITORS ROOM - EVENING - LATER

The lawyer and his client face each other through a pane of 
bulletproof plastic. Each has a telephone in front of him; 
both fretfully finger their receivers. Eddie picks up first.

		EDDIE
	Quite a bit you didn't tell me.

		SHU
	When I joined up I took an oath of 
	secrecy. I told you what you needed 
	to know.

Eddie's words hiss, like steam escaping.

		EDDIE
	I didn't need to know that a man I'm 
	defending on a gang-murder rap is a 
	prison soldier who kills over drugs?

		SHU
	It was self-defense.

		EDDIE
	Jimmy Chin? Was that self-defense 
	too?

In response Shu hangs up. Eddie POUNDS on the plastic, to 
get him to pick up again. Shu does, provisionally.

		EDDIE
	I'm sorry, it's just -- You'll laugh 
	but there was awhile when I thought, 
	Hey, we're two sorry assholes who 
	need each other. Who can help each 
	other.

As though he couldn't possibly have heard this right:

		SHU
	-- How could I help you?

		EDDIE
	By trusting me. Shit, man...

He trails off, momentarily defeated by the magnitude of what's 
been lost. Now:

		EDDIE
	I got my face kicked 'cause I trusted 
	you. I couldn't find an expert to 
	say it wasn't your gun killed Jimmy 
	Chin but it didn't matter... I went 
	up against the goddam D.A. himself 
	but I didn't care because I trusted 
	you, because I believed in you, 
	because I thought there was a bond 
	between us!

Like a spurned lover who can't let go, Eddie implores Shu, 
through the plastic:

		EDDIE
	Didn't you feel that?

Shu looks at Eddie is though he were an alien life form.

		SHU
	You're out there and I'm in here. My 
	bond -- my trust -- is with the dudes 
	in here that watch my ass. I took an 
	oath of loyalty to them. You're out 
	there. Who are you to me?

As he continues, a simmering resentment heats up his words.

		SHU
	When you leave this place you're 
	going out to dinner or a movie or 
	get laid. Where's our bond? I'm going 
	back to my cell and wait to die. So 
	tell me: Where's our bond?

		EDDIE
	For awhile we had this dream we were 
	innocent. That was our bond... but 
	then we woke up. And now I'd like to 
	hear everything.

Shu's eyes narrow.

		SHU
	What do you mean, "everything"?

With exaggerated calm, to cover the rage:

		EDDIE
	Tell me about Chinatown, Shu. Tell 
	me the tr--

Shu hangs up. Rocks to his shackled feet. And shuffles out 
of the room, to return to his cell.

							CUT TO:

EXT. ART'S SUPPLIES - EVENING - LATER

Through the gated window, a WOMAN and MAN -- surely Art and 
Mariquilla Esparza -- are seen in silhouette. Business hours 
are over; the couple is alone in the front office. Mariquilla 
sits at her desk, Art paces the office. Now, as he passes 
her chair, Art leans down and kisses the top of his wife's 
head. She involuntarily stiffens.

Art takes umbrage. MUFFLED WORDS. Mariquilla rises, grabs 
her raincoat. Art touches her shoulder, entreating. Mariquilla 
shakes her head.

EXT. STREET - ROGER

Watching this shadow play from the opposite curb. In b.g., 
the shimmering lights of the 59th Street Bridge and 
Manhattan's skyscrapers seem worlds away from this misery.

BACK TO "ART'S SUPPLIES"

As Mariquilla exits the building.

EXT. STREET - EVENING - WITH MARIQUILLA

As she hurries along, lost in her thoughts. Now Roger falls 
into step beside her.

		ROGER
	...Mrs. Esparza?

She startles slightly, then quickly recovers her composure.

		MRS. ESPARZA
	What do you want?

		ROGER
	I'm Roger Baron. I work with Edward 
	Dowd.

Mariquilla gives no sign that this means anything to her.

		ROGER
	What were you... Why were you at 
	Shu's trial this afternoon?

		MRS. ESPARZA
	-- What trial?

Her pace quickens.

		ROGER
	I followed you here from court.

		MRS. ESPARZA
		(flustered)
	I knew Jimmy Chin. The boy who was 
	shot. Okay?

		ROGER
		(trying to make sense)
	...And you were at the trial to... 
	to see that justice was done?

		MRS. ESPARZA
	That's right.

She briskly rounds a corner. Roger stays on her.

		ROGER
	Then it was your idea to have Chuckie 
	Roeder scare Eddie off the case?

		MRS. ESPARZA
	-- Why don't you ask Chuckie?

		ROGER
		(reminds her)
	Chuckie OD'd, Mrs. Esparza. He's 
	dead.

Mariquilla seems to flinch.

		ROGER
	Art didn't tell you...?

Mariquilla abruptly stops and turns to him. Imploring.

		MRS. ESPARZA
	Look. Mister --

		ROGER
	-- Roger --

		MRS. ESPARZA
	You mustn't talk to Art. You mustn't 
	tell Art that I was at the trial. Do 
	you hear me?

There is animal fear behind Mariquilla's eyes.

		ROGER
	But you lost a friend... You've got 
	a right to...

A realization forms.

		ROGER
	Wait... Were you and Jimmy Chin...?

Mariquilla gazes into Roger's open, questing eyes. They're 
the same age, but one has lived much longer than the other.

		MRS. ESPARZA
	I can't talk to you anymore. Go away, 
	please... Never come back.

With that, she crosses the street. Slipping into darkness.

ROGER

watches her disappear. And then, after two beats, he resumes 
walking, back the way he came, toward the subway station.

REVEAL

A figure, lurking in the shadows, lights a cigarette. As the 
match flares we make out the face of ART ESPARZA.

							CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY - LATE NIGHT

A glassy-eyed Eddie KNOCKS and KNOCKS. Finally the door, 
still chained, opens a crack. An eye peers out.

		WOMAN'S VOICE
	Oh, Christ.

		EDDIE
	...Do you realize I haven't gotten 
	stoned since the trial started?

The door closes. Then reopens, unchained. Kitty stands there 
in a robe she's thrown on.

		KITTY
	Eddie... A guilty client's not the 
	end of the world...

		EDDIE
	EXACTLY!

He slams his fist against the wall. OS, NEIGHBORS SHOUT for 
him to shut up.

		EDDIE
	It's liberating! I feel free!

More COMPLAINTS, OS. Shouting back at the neighbors:

		KITTY
	Go fuck yourselves.

Kitty turns back to Eddie. Tenderly:

		KITTY
	Eddie... go home. Get some sleep.

		EDDIE
	I don't need sleep!

		KITTY
	I need sleep. Some of us are mere 
	mortals.

		EDDIE
	Screw you too, Kitty.

He turns, and skulks back down her hallway into:

EXT. KITTY'S BUILDING - EARLY MORNING

A converted brownstone in Chelsea. Eddie sinks down on the 
stoop, head in hands. Presently KITTY emerges, and sits down 
next to him. Several silent BEATS. Then Eddie speaks., looking 
straight ahead, not at Kitty.

		EDDIE
	For years I've defended scumbags. 
	Dealers. Hitters... And somehow it 
	seemed fine until this kid came along 
	who knew me as a true believer who'd 
	fought the good fight and... but... 
	he seemed so damned disappointed in 
	who he found... and then, out of 
	nowhere, here we were fighting to 
	free an innocent man -- an innocent 
	man, I don't see many of those in my 
	line anymore and I thought, Wow, the 
	kid brought me good luck, y'know? 
	For one minute I was a true believer 
	again. Well, my minute is up, Kitty. 
	I'm going back to defending 
	scumbags... But not just dope dealers 
	anymore. From now on: Child molesters. 
	Porno merchants. Repeat drunk drivers, 
	and I'm gonna get 'em all off. Hit 
	men... Send me every contract 
	killer... None of 'em does time ever 
	again.

He rises, faltering a little. Kitty stands, steadies him.

		KITTY
	Eddie. We can discuss this... after 
	you get some sleep.

Eddie shakes his head. As he stumbles down the steps:

		EDDIE
	I told you, Kitty -- no more sleep 
	for me.

							CUT TO:

EXT. GROVE STREET - NIGHT - LATER

Eddie wanders up to his funky building.

There's a SLEEPING BUM curled up in front of the door. Eddie 
wearily leans down, to nudge the Bum aside. But it's ROGER.

		EDDIE
	The hell're you doing here?

Roger awakens very fast. He jumps to his feet.

		ROGER
	Eddie -- it's Art Esparza!

		EDDIE
	What's Art Esparza?

		ROGER
	I think he hired Shu to kill Jimmy 
	Chin... It wasn't a Chinatown gang 
	hit -- Jimmy Chin and Art's wife 
	were lovers! She just about told 
	me...!

		EDDIE
		(baffled)
	You phoned up Art Esparza's wife?

		ROGER
	I followed her from the courthouse.

Eddie blinks.

		EDDIE
	Esparza's wife was at Shu's trial?

Roger nods.

		EDDIE
	And you spotted her in the crowd?

Roger nods. Eddie takes a breath.

		EDDIE
	What're you, trying to show me up 
	here?

							CUT TO:

INT. POLICE HEADQUARTERS - LATE NIGHT

DOLLY PAST the odd HOOKER and VAGRANT being led from booking 
to the bullpen. The unnatural quiet bespeaks the late hour.

CAMERA PUSHES into Records, closed for the night... Pacing 
here is TOMMY, the cop who'd opened up the Exhibit Warehouse 
for Eddie, earlier. Tommy appears to have been dragged out 
of bed. Under his car coat is a flannel pajama top. Between 
tense puffs on his cigarette:

		TOMMY
	Dowd... We're even now...

PUSH PAST Tommy, to TWO FIGURES huddled at a desk in the 
corner. ROGER looks on as EDDIE rifles through a DOSSIER.

		EDDIE
	Esparza's security clearance to go 
	inside the jails for parole hearings.

CLOSE - PHOTO

A passport-type snapshot of the chubby, bald, bearded, 
bespectacled ART ESPARZA.

		EDDIE'S VOICE
	Wonderful work Esparza does...

INTERCUT EDDIE AND ESPARZA'S FILE

Pictures, warrants, complaints. We can't make out the fine 
print, only the PHOTOS as Eddie flips through them.

		EDDIE
	Skipping back two years.

THE NEXT PHOTO - A grainy telephoto shot of Esparza emerging 
from Art's Supplies. His hair was thicker, he was thinner. 
Wore a walrus moustache.

		EDDIE
	Esparza was being watched by Narco. 
	Suspected of using his warehouse as 
	a drug drop... Surveillance 
	terminated.

NEXT PHOTO - A set of mugshots. Esparza is dramatically 
thinner here. Lots more hair. Aviator glasses.

		EDDIE
	Four years ago. Esparza charged with 
	assault. Dismissed.

NEXT PHOTO - More mugshots. Esparza even thinner. Hair 
thicker, longer.

		EDDIE
	Accessory to extortion. Dismissed.

Eddie flips, faster, through the file.

		EDDIE
	Dismissed for lack of evidence. 
	Dismissed, dismissed...

Roger looks questioningly at Eddie.

		EDDIE
	This little prick is protected.

He glances, suddenly skittish, at Tommy -- who picks up on 
Eddie's paranoia and promptly reciprocates.

		TOMMY
	That's it -- I'm outta here. You owe 
	me one, Dowd.

Frowning, Eddie returns his attention to the file.

		EDDIE
	Dismissed...

CLOSE ON ESPARZA'S FACE

As he gets younger, the moustache shrinks. Seven years back, 
and it disappears.

		EDDIE
	...dismissed. Shit!

Eight years ago: Esparza's black hair is cut in a shag, and 
the glasses are gone.

		EDDIE
		(softly)
	Shit.

Something new in Eddie's voice commands Roger's attention.

		ROGER
	-- What?

		EDDIE
	I've seen this picture before.

He reaches into his wallet, pulls out Shu's old mugshot. 
Holds the two mugshots next to each other. Hushed:

		EDDIE
	They could've been brothers. It's 
	why the eyewitnesses picked Shu.

		ROGER
	Christ... Shu is innocent.

INSERT - THE PHOTOS

Given that they're of different races, the resemblance between 
Art Esparza and Shu Kai Kim, in 1980, is startling.

		ROGER
	"The killer wasn't Chinese"... Cecil 
	Stipe was right. .!

		EDDIE
	Everyone else was wrong and the one 
	fucking lunatic was right!

Roger wears a tense smile.

		ROGER
	Does this mean Kennedy was killed by 
	the phone company?

INT. HEADQUARTERS CORRIDOR

The two lawyers hurry out. Roger smiles at the DESK SERGEANT 
with exaggerated amiability.

		EDDIE
		(quiet intensity)
	But Shu's gun is an absolute match...! 
	How could that be, goddammit?

EXT. POLICE HEADQUARTERS - LATE NIGHT

The lawyers bound down the steps, dart into the street-- 

-- and are nearly run down by an AMBULANCE that whizzes past, 
pulling into the garage of the County Coroner's Office.

		ROGER
	...Jesus!

		EDDIE
	Least we'd already be at the Morgue.

Briskly shaking off their brush with eternity, Eddie and 
Roger proceed down the block.

		ROGER
	Let's make a citizen's arrest of 
	Esparza! We'll need back-up... Who's 
	the meanest motherfucker you ever 
	got off?

As Roger ducks into a phone booth:

		EDDIE
	Fuck that, Rog. Esparza's nobody. 
	This goes higher than him...

Roger feeds the phone.

		ROGER
	Gotta start somewhere. Gimme a name -- 
	any client who owns a Magnum.
		(beat)
	Eddie?

Eddie's staring at the PHONE BOOTH. It's pagoda-style, with 
Chinese-red pent roof.

		EDDIE
	Wait a second.

Eddie squints down the street...

ANGLE

Even at this late hour we see enough decoration and signage 
to recognize Chinatown, not seven blocks uptown.

		EDDIE
		(softly)
	How long did it take Badalato to 
	drive Jimmy Chin's body from Chinatown 
	to the morgue?

		ROGER
	... An hour.
		(realizes)
	That's why I thought the morgue was 
	on the other side of town.

Eddie fairly pushes Roger out of the phone booth. Thumbs 
through the White Pages, finds the page he's looking for, 
tears it out and stuffs it into his pocket.

As he races for his Riviera, parked in a towaway zone:

		EDDIE
	Roger... I may be late for court 
	this morning.

He hops in, revs the old heap.

		EDDIE
	Fill in for me, huh?

And Eddie peels out.

							CUT TO:

EXT. STUYVESANT TOWN - LATE NIGHT

A mammoth '50s housing project by the East River. The 
monolithic buildings are like giant tombstones jutting into 
the night sky.

INT. BEDROOM

Dark. The front door buzzer BUZZES. We HEAR a groggy:

		WOMAN'S VOICE
	-- Who the hell...?

A frowzy CONNIE BADALATO snaps ON a LIGHT. Reflexively reaches 
for the bottle of Seagrams on her night-table.

AT THE DOOR

stands the long-haired creep from last week's murder trial.

		EDDIE
	Hope I didn't wake you. I'm Edward 
	C. Dowd. You're Mrs. Badalato?

Connie waves her bottle of scotch like a weapon.

		CONNIE
	Ms. Vin's sister.

		EDDIE
	I have to talk to your brother.

		CONNIE
	The hell you do. At this hour?

As he brushes past her, Connie grabs his ponytail. Eddie 
whirls and grabs Connie's bottle -- waves it over her head.

		CONNIE
	Gimme back my bottle.

		EDDIE
	Let go of my hair.

Connie lets go, Eddie relinquishes her bottle. As he backs 
up, toward Badalato's bedroom, he points a finger.

		EDDIE
	-- Stay.

Like a good dog, Connie hangs back. Whimpering, slightly.

INT. BADALATO'S BEDROOM

Eddie gasps -- stops short.

Badalato lies propped up in his robe and socks. He's staring 
at the test pattern of a TV on his bureau. He's dead.

No he's not... Expressionless, still staring ahead:

		BADALATO
	Do I know you?

Eddie crosses to the inert ex-cop.

		EDDIE
	I'm Eddie Dowd. I cross-examined 
	you.
		(beat)
	But not very well.

Badalato's eyes are shiny as marbles. On his night-table we 
notice a half-dozen prescription vials.

		EDDIE
	What did you do with Jimmy Chin's 
	body?

Badalato's lips part, but there's no sound. Eddie shakes 
him.

		EDDIE
	What did you do with Jimmy Chin's 
	body?

Badalato's lids flutter.

		BADALATO
	I brought it... to the coroner.

		EDDIE
	An hour after you picked it up!

Badalato reaches for a vial, casually fishes out two pills. 
Drowsily concedes:

		BADALATO
	An hour later...

He pops the pills.

		EDDIE
	From Chinatown... Which is right up 
	the street from the morgue! Where 
	did you go with the body? What did 
	you do with it?

		BADALATO
	Please... I need to sleep...

Eddie slams Badalato up against the headboard.

		BADALATO
	You're fishing. You don't know shit.

		EDDIE
	I know about Esparza.

A cloud crosses Badalato's face. OS, we HEAR:

		CONNIE'S VOICE
	-- It wasn't Vin's idea.

Connie has advanced to the doorway.

		EDDIE
	Whose idea was it?

Badalato tries to focus on his sister.

		BADALATO
	Connie get outta here... this is 
	official business...!

		CONNIE
	You were pressured... Tell the man!

		BADALATO
	Dammit Connie -- go back to bed!

As she backs out of the room, to Eddie:

		CONNIE
	The little guys always take the rap 
	for the big shots.

		BADALATO
		(growls)
	Connie!

Connie leaves. Eddie turns back to Badalato. Before he can 
resume his inquisition:

		BADALATO
	Montell... one of my partners... he 
	said it'd work if it was a thru-and 
	thru.

Eddie inhales sharply. Lets go of the ex-cop. His voice 
shrinking to a near-whisper:

		EDDIE
	What's a "thru-and-thru"?

Badalato reaches for another pill.

		BADALATO
	I have this chronic pain...

He pops the pill, leans back.

		BADALATO
	Eight years I'm waiting for some 
	genius to notice it took me an hour 
	to drive seven blocks.

He lets his eyes close. One, two, three beats. Then:

		BADALATO
	I drove Chin's body to The Firing 
	Line. Pistol range, near the Battery. 
	Lotta cops used to go there...

FLASH BACK to NOVEMBER 2, 1980:

BADALATO'S POV - MOVING - MIDNIGHT

As he pulls the paddywagon into an alley, marked by a sign 
overhead: "THE FIRING LINE". The SHOT has the floating quality 
and irresistible forward motion of a dream.

		BADALATO (V.O.)
	Sklaroff brought Shu Kai Kim's gun. 
	Montell was already there...

INT. PADDYWAGON

Badalato (younger, fit) lifts his end of the stretcher bearing 
the sheet-covered corpse. Slides it out, to Montell.

		BADALATO (V.O.)
	He said we'd only have three hours. 
	After that, with the body cooling, 
	and the clotting... it wouldn't look 
	right to the pathologist.

INT. PISTOL RANGE

The cops squat beside the stretcher. Badalato strips the 
bloody sheet down to the corpse's waist. Sklaroff grips Jimmy 
Chin's shoulders and carefully hoists his torso upright. 
Chin's head lolls, empty eyes staring.

		BADALATO (V.O.)
	Chin was hit once in the forehead by 
	Esparza's .32. The bullet exited 
	clean.
		(beat)
	That's a thru-and-thru.

Badalato gingerly tugs on a hank of Chin's hair, to raise up 
the corpse's head.

		BADALATO (V.O.)
	All Montell had to worry about was 
	firing Kim's .38 at the same angle.

Montell, with gloved hand, brings Shu's gun to Jimmy Chin's 
forehead. Tilts it, just so. And FIRES.

INT. BEDROOM - BADALATO

The ROAR of the GUN-BLAST, no less loud as it echoes in his 
head eight years later, has startled open Badalato's eyes.

		BADALATO
	We recovered the bullet and that was 
	it -- an airtight case...

Eddie is trying to wrap his mind around this awful thing.

		EDDIE
	But why? All to protect Esparza?

Badalato reaches, unsteadily, for another pill. His lids 
have drooped again.

		BADALATO
	Nasty little bastard. He stepped in 
	shit...

Badalato's head slumps. The impact of his chin striking his 
chest surprises him awake again.

		BADALATO
	...we had to lick his boots clean.

		EDDIE
		(realizes)
	He was your snitch.

		BADALATO
		(sardonic smile)
	Our own Colombian Connection... For 
	three years... Three years of ball 
	breaking detective work. And we put 
	a lotta bad guys behind bars.

		EDDIE
	And one good guy.

Badalato reaches for the vial again. Eddie grabs it first. 
Reads the label.

		EDDIE
	Demerol? What the fuck is your 
	problem, man? You wanna die?

		BADALATO
	I'm dead. We're both dead.

Eddie hurls the open vial across the room: the pills scatter.

		EDDIE
	Nobody dies till I hear the truth! 
	Who ordered the frame on Shu?

Badalato stubbornly shakes his heavy head.

		EDDIE
	It was wrong, Vinnie -- you know 
	that! But we can make it right... if 
	you'll fucking stand up!

Badalato looks up at Eddie. His eyes fill with tears. Still 
he doesn't move. Eddie grabs the ex-cop's pudgy hands.

		EDDIE
	Get up, godammit!

And Eddie hauls Badalato off the bed.

INT. HALLWAY

Eddie drags Badalato past Connie, chewing her cuticles.

		CONNIE
	Don't hurt him.

		EDDIE
	Where's the nearest hospital?

		CONNIE
	Bellevue. Straight up First --

INT. ELEVATOR

Badalato is slumped in the corner. The car descends with 
painful slowness. Eddie nudges Badalato's shoulder.

		EDDIE
	Stay awake, Badalato. Vinnie... Come 
	on, man, talk to me!

Badalato's response: A faint SNORTING sound.

		EDDIE
	Did I say snort? No, I said talk. 
	Please... I need you to live...
		(an idea)
	Hey: When was the first time you got 
	laid?
		(no answer, then)
	Okay, I sympathize, I blocked mine 
	out myself. She had a moustache...

Finally the car stops. The door creakily slides open. As 
Eddie pulls the hulking ex-cop upright:

		BADALATO
	...Where're we goin'?

		EDDIE
	That-a-boy. Hospital.

		BADALATO
	I don' need a hospital... I feel 
	fine.

		EDDIE
	Too fine, Badalato. The bad news is, 
	you're gonna live.

In response Badalato GURGLES -- it sounds, disconcertingly, 
like a death rattle.

		EDDIE
	Make y'a deal. You clean up, I clean 
	up. No more dope.
		(amends)
	No more dope for a year.
		(amends)
	For the rest of the year.

He hauls Badalato OUT of the elevator, and right into -- 
SKLAROFF AND MONTELL Montell, the burlier of the two, flings 
Eddie against the wall. With an odd, brutal melancholy:

		MONTELL
	Why'd you have to come here, you 
	hippie-dippie fuck?

Meantime Sklaroff helps Badalato down the access stairs as 
he murmurs soothing assurances in the ex-cop's ear.

As Montell roughly pat-searches Eddie:

		EDDIE
	Montell... listen to me: Vinnie took 
	a buncha pills. He needs a hospital.

		MONTELL
	Makes two of ya.

He knees Eddie in the groin, then tosses him into:

INT. ACCESS STAIRS

Eddie tumbles down the short flight. Then picks himself up 
as Montell hurtles after him. Eddie makes a break, into:

INT. UNDERGROUND GARAGE

but ESPARZA's waiting here. He hauls off, smashing Eddie's 
head against the concrete wall.

		MONTELL
	Goddammit Art, get back in the car!

Meantime Sklaroff walks Badalato past a row of dark sedans 
huddled like hearses... Past a mesh gate that guards the 
building's ancient furnaces, crackling with flame, spewing 
steam... To an UNMARKED CAR parked at the far end of the 
garage. Softly, suppressing his unbearable tension:

		SKLAROFF
	Vin... What'd you tell the lawyer?

He opens the back door, maneuvers Badalato onto the seat.

		BADALATO
	Lou...

With infinite kindness, infinite patience:

		SKLAROFF
	I'm here, Vin. So's Dave. We need to 
	know what you told the lawyer.

Badalato nods, slowly. A stoned, beatific smile forms.

		BADALATO
	I came clean...

Pain stabs Sklaroff's face. He pats Badalato's knee.

		SKLAROFF
	Good, Vinnie... You wait here.

As he starts back to where Montell and Esparza stand over 
Eddie, Sklaroff draws the gun from his shoulder-holster.

His face, in the dirty yellow flourescent light down here, 
is a taut, shiny death mask. Quietly:

		SKLAROFF
	Vinnie told 'im everything.

Woozily, as he mops the blood from his brow with a sleeve:

		EDDIE
	What, "everything"? You shot a corpse. 
	I don't give a shit about that -- !

		ESPARZA
	Let's snuff this lowlife!

		EDDIE
		(to Esparza)
	Hey -- the fact you popped Jimmy 
	Chin in broad daylight proves it 
	wasn't premeditated. Jury'll 
	sympathize -- dude was banging your 
	wife, right?

		ESPARZA
	Shut your sewer mouth!

He lunges at Eddie. Montell pulls him back.

		EDDIE
	Killing me in the middle of the trial 
	would cause quite a stink...
		(to Esparza)
	It won't be clean like with Chuckie. 
	What, y'treat him to a match-head of 
	pure smack...?

Esparza shakes Montell loose.

		ESPARZA
	That's right -- I'm a generous guy!

Montell gazes with loathing at Esparza.

		MONTELL
	-- Who'd y'waste now, Art?

Meantime Sklaroff levels the gun at Eddie's face.

		SKLAROFF
	Goddam you.

		ESPARZA
	Do it. So we can go home.

Sklaroff's finger twitches, on the trigger.

		EDDIE
	Still letting your snitch run you?

Sklaroff's eyes flash. Eddie's touched a nerve.

		MONTELL
	Lou... We have to.

		ESPARZA
	Waste him, y'little worm!

Sklaroff's gaze flies from Esparza to Eddie to Montell. All 
four men's faces are slick with sweat.

		ESPARZA
		(draws his .32)
	Okay then I'll put this filthy lawyer 
	freak out of his mis--

Abruptly Sklaroff swivels, jams his gun against Esparza's 
ear and FIRES. As Esparza topples backward, eyes and mouth 
wide:

		SKLAROFF
	Shut up, Art.

Eddie jumps up in horror. Montell blinks at Sklaroff.

		SKLAROFF
	Shoulda done that eight years ago.

Waving his gun at Esparza's ruined head, Sklaroff hoarsely 
shouts at Eddie:

		SKLAROFF
	You see that? You wanna be like that?

		EDDIE
	No. No...

		SKLAROFF
	You fucking swear to shut up!

Montell registers shock at his partner's offer.

		MONTELL
	...We can't trust this fuck...

		SKLAROFF
		(at Eddie)
	You gonna keep quiet -- ?

Eddie considers for a moment that feels like forever. Then:

		EDDIE
	I can't do that... Keep quiet? You 
	can't ask me to do that!

		MONTELL
		(explodes)
	Shoot 'im, f'r Chrissakes!

Desperate, Sklaroff kicks Esparza's corpse.

		SKLAROFF
	That's the motherfucker killed Jimmy 
	Chin. It's justice...!

Eddie nods... he agrees...

		EDDIE
	But I have a client eight years in 
	prison didn't do it...

Montell grabs the gun from Sklaroff.

		MONTELL
	You sorry bastard.

Eyes fixed on the gun, Eddie takes a step back.

		EDDIE
	My guy's gotta walk. You hear me?

Montell swallows hard, then raises the gun.

		EDDIE
	You hear what I'm saying? It's over -- 
	all the bullshit. Your bullshit, my 
	bullshit -- all the lies -- that's 
	it, party's over, enough's enough... 
	Y'live a lie, you die inside -- don't 
	you know that?
		(then, softly)
	I have to go now. I have to be in 
	court.

Eddie turns.

MONTELL'S GUN

Pointed at Eddie's back. His finger tightens on the trigger.

EDDIE

crosses the oil-stained concrete... past the row of black 
sedans, the clanking furnaces... barely able to breathe... 
waiting for the bullet.

MONTELL'S ARM

starts to shake, just slightly. He brings up his other arm, 
to steady the gun.

EDDIE

has traversed this humid half-acre of hell... he reaches the 
unmarked car. A bleary Badalato looks up at him, Eddie holds 
out a hand. His voice catching:

		EDDIE
	Vinnie... You coming?

Badalato reaches up. And takes Eddie's hand.

MONTELL AND SKLAROFF

Sklaroff places his hand on Montell's wrist. He helps his 
partner slowly lower the gun. Party's over.

EDDIE AND BADALATO

awkwardly walk up the ramp. The sun is just rising over New 
York City. The two men squint as they come into the light.

							CUT TO:

INT. COURTOOM - NEXT MORNING

The Pillars have bailed out. Shu sits at the Defense Table. 
Not happy to be here. Roger stands.

		ROGER
	Your Honor, Mr. Dowd indicated that 
	he may be detained this morning... 
	He asked me to fill in for him...

		JUDGE
	This doesn't amuse me, Mr. B--

The door opens. It's EDDIE. Tattered, bruised and tired.

AT THE PROSECUTION TABLE

Rabin nudges Reynard. It appears that the defense has been 
on a titanic bender.

SCENE

The Judge puts on a sarcastic smile.

		JUDGE
	Good morning, Mr. Dowd. Do you think 
	you might be up to cross-examining 
	Mr. Ortega this morning?

		EDDIE
	Your Honor: I imagine that, no matter 
	how careful my questioning, Mr. Ortega 
	would, in his well-intentioned way, 
	dig my client's hole even deeper.

Judge Quealy nods. Not without a trace of compassion.

		JUDGE
	Well then, does the defense have any 
	witnesses?

		EDDIE
	I suppose I could find an inmate 
	who'd say that Shu boasted about 
	Chinatown just to survive in the 
	joint -- though he didn't really do 
	it...

AT THE DEFENSE TABLE

Shu looks up. Interested, again, in the proceedings.

SCENE

		EDDIE
	I guess I could find witnesses to 
	dispute every point made by the D.A. 
	But in the end, would we be any closer 
	to understanding what really happened 
	eight years ago? As Mr. Reynard has 
	said, these matters are cloaked in 
	secrecy... How can we, here in the 
	safety and sanctity of this court, 
	presume to pass judgment on Shu Kai 
	Kim, a refugee...

AT THE DEFENSE TABLE

Reynard trades smug looks with Rabin and starts packing his 
briefcase.

		EDDIE'S VOICE
	...who has spent his young adulthood 
	like a caged animal in a prison where 
	kill or be killed was the code...

SCENE

His impatience tinged with pity:

		JUDGE
	-- Then you don't wish to call any 
	witnesses, Mr. Dowd?

		EDDIE
	I would like to put Shu's alleged 
	crime in a context, your Honor. And 
	we do have the foremost expert on 
	prison and street gangs right here 
	in this room... If it please the 
	court, I'd like to call Mr. Reynard.

AT THE DEFENSE TABLE

DEAN RABIN looks outraged. REYNARD is merely annoyed.

		REYNARD
	I would ask opposing counsel to make 
	an offer of proof that this is 
	anything more than a desperate tactic.

		JUDGE
	Will you both approach the bench...?

Reynard strides up. As Eddie joins him:

		REYNARD
	-- Can't Mr. Dowd find his own expert 
	witness, your Honor?

		EDDIE
	I'd need a continuance. Three weeks 
	at least.

Judge Quealy sighs. He doesn't have three weeks to waste.

		JUDGE
	Your questions would of course be 
	restricted to Mr. Reynard's area of 
	expertise.

		REYNARD
	It's a last-ditch ploy, your Honor... 
	The Defense clearly hopes that my 
	presence on the stand will create 
	the opportunity to call for a 
	mistrial.

He flashes Eddie a grim smile.

		REYNARD
	But the Defense is mistaken.

Reynard proceeds to the witness box. Though it's clearly a 
formality, the D.A. must be sworn in.

		CLERK
	Do you swear to tell the truth, the 
	whole truth and nothing but the truth, 
	so help you God?

		REYNARD
	I do.

Eddie ambles over to the witness box.

		EDDIE
	Let's start by establishing your 
	credentials as an expert witness, 
	Mr. Reynard. In the late '70s you 
	led an investigation into a Colombian 
	crime syndicate called "the Ochoa"?

As though indulging a child:

		REYNARD
	Yes, Mr. Dowd.

		EDDIE
	Didn't this investigation, with its 
	attendant publicity, catapult you 
	into the office you now hold?

		REYNARD
	If I were sitting where I normally 
	sit, I would say "Calls for 
	speculation."

THE JURORS are charmed by Reynard's ironic bonhomie.

		EDDIE
	Did you do any hands-on work or did 
	you just supervise, from on high?

		REYNARD
	Mr. Dowd, I was personally involved 
	with all phases -- and principals -- 
	of the investigation.

		EDDIE
	And who were the detectives who 
	assisted you, Mr. Reynard?

REYNARD

glances into Eddie's eyes, to read what's behind them.

EDDIE

His expression gives away nothing.

SCENE

Reynard, as he answers, manages to sound perfectly casual.

		REYNARD
	Lou Sklaroff, Vin Badalato, Dave 
	Montell.

		EDDIE
	The same three detectives on the 
	Jimmy Chin case.

Judge Quealy perks up considerably.

		REYNARD
	In those days, they often worked as 
	a team.

		EDDIE
	And who was Arturo Esparza?

Reynard hesitates. Then:

		REYNARD
	I don't think I know that name.

		EDDIE
	-- But you just said you were 
	personally involved with all the 
	principals of the investigation.

		REYNARD
	I can't be expected to remember the 
	name of every informant eight years 
	after the fact.

		EDDIE
	I didn't say he was an informant. 
	But since you mentioned it, wasn't 
	Esparza your primary informant?

		REYNARD
		(bristles)
	You're trespassing into the area of 
	witness protection, Mr. Dowd. Such 
	showboating puts lives at risk.

Heedless, Eddie hammers at him.

		EDDIE
	Isn't it true that without Esparza, 
	you had no investigation?

		REYNARD
		(scalding contempt)
	I think you're a dangerous man, Mr. 
	Dowd.

		EDDIE
	I hope so, Mr. Reynard.

Eddie moves in closer.

		EDDIE
	On the night of November 2, 1980, 
	did Art Esparza phone you at home to 
	say, "I just killed a man in Chinatown -- 
	people saw me do it"?

The REPORTERS trade looks, then start to madly scribble.

		REYNARD
		(ice)
	No.

		EDDIE
	No? Then what did he say?

DEAN RABIN

has no idea what's going on. All he knows is that he must do 
something. He stands.

		RABIN
	Objection. Badgering the witness.

Judge Quealy's withering glance causes the Deputy D.A. to 
sink back down and stay down.

		EDDIE
	You'd worked too hard to let Esparza's 
	crime of passion spoil everything. 
	You ordered your team to comb through 
	the mugbooks. Find a patsy. Frame 
	him.
		(beat)
	Protect your case.
		(beat)
	Protect your career. Isn't that so?

The COURTROOM sucks in a collective breath.

		REYNARD
	That's an outrageous accus...

Reynard trails off as, in the back of the courtroom:

VIN BADALATO

is helped into the courtroom by CONNIE. Who pointedly sits 
her brother behind the defense, with Kitty and Mrs. Kim.

REYNARD

A cornered animal. His gaze flicks from Badalato to Eddie.

SCENE

This time Eddie returns Reynard's gaze.

		EDDIE
	Putting away one punk enabled you to 
	keep your informant out of prison 
	and in place.

SHU has gone pale. Tears stream down MRS. KIM's face. KITTY 
reaches an arm around her shoulders, to comfort her.

		EDDIE
	By keeping your informant out of 
	prison and in place, you were able 
	to complete your work. Ultimately 
	you saved scores of lives, didn't 
	you?

No answer. Now Eddie invokes the D.A.'s pet principle:

		EDDIE
	It was a trade-off, wasn't it?

Quietly, with a kind of tragic dignity:

		REYNARD
	A trade-off, yes...
		(then)
	I'd do it again.

Eddie nods. Then returns to the defense table and sits, 
between Roger and Shu. Eddie looks drained but exalted. He 
can sleep now.

		EDDIE
	The defense rests.

							CUT TO:

INT. PRISON CELL - MORNING

Shu Kai Kim sits on the edge of his cot. Listens to the ECHO 
of FOOTSTEPS that grow LOUDER. In eight years of waiting, a 
man learns patience.

The FOOTSTEPS STOP, tumblers TURN. Still, Shu doesn't move; 
moving might break the spell. The cell DOOR slides OPEN.

		C.O.'S VOICE
	C'mon, Kim. Time to go.

EXT. PARKING LOT

Shu emerges from the Main Gate, toting a sad little vinyl 
valise. Blinking, as though he hasn't seen daylight in years. 
He heads toward the concrete depot where a bus will take him 
south, to New York City. How strange to walk without shackles, 
handcuffs, armed guards. OS he HEARS:

		MAN'S VOICE
	Need a lift?

Edward C. Dowd lounges against his Riviera.

Shu cocks his head, stares at the lawyer.

Eddie shrugs, stares down. Three beats. When he looks up --

Shu is standing before him. Searching for words. Failing to 
find them. At last:

		EDDIE
	Shit, man -- let's get out of here.

Now ROGER steps out of the car, holds open the door for Shu.

THE RIVIERA

Spewing clouds of pollution, Eddie's car pulls away.

RISE over the turrets and towers and electrified fences as 
Eddie, Roger and Shu drive away from the prison, to freedom.

										FADE OUT:
				THE END

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