In the episode, Bobby Donnell, the senior partner of a Boston law firm specializing in criminal defense (played by Dylan McDermott, center of the picture above) was preparing for his closing arguments in a case involving a small time but old bookie. It seems that the defendant had knowledge of some major crime activities in gambling, yet he wasn't willing to talk about them, saying that his "friends" wouldn't like it and they would probably kill him for it. The state prosecutor decided to take him to trial for his bookie operation and throw the book at him, not because he cared about the petty crime in the old man's bookie operation, but to force him to tell what he wouldn't. Donnell knew the old man, knew he was a family man, lived well within the law excepting his small operation which never caused physical harm to anyone, and took him on as a client. The case didn't go well, pretty much a slam dunk, and Donnell didn't know if he could pull the case out of the fire so that the old man could live out his life with his family instead of in prison.
Enter actor Steve Harris (top left in the photo above) as attorney Eugene Young, who is asked by Donnell to handle the closing argument, feeling that Eugene, a man who grew up on the streets and had private investigative experience in his background, might have just the right approach to work a miracle. Young steps up to the plate and delivers a summation which not only portrayed his acting skills but to the layman's eye would make a good defense lawyer. He explains to the jury just what dirty tricks the prosecution has carried out, that the case isn't about justice at all and that all of the jury members have probably gambled, many through a bookie and other's through state approved gambling, such as the lotto, horse racing and other sporting events that allow a wager. Then he talked about the old man, who was well liked in his neighborhood and helped friends and neighbors in time of need, contrasting that with the prosecutor's actions. And then, in his final words, he stated that we just don't operate this way in the United States of America, that this kind of behavior is what is done in a land of tyranny. After a quick deliberation by the jury, they returned a verdict of not guilty.
Now I understand that this was just television drama, but I have to admit as it ended I thought to myself that this is just the same thing that is going on in Washington today and my wife agreed. And if we Americans want to remain free, we have to stand fast by using the law for justice, not as a means of destroying anyone you need to use while you try to get to someone that is really the target. And what if you use false documentation as a basis for establishing probable cause? Well, regardless of your political or social views, how would you like to be on the receiving end of such a travesty? After all, if it can be used on someone else, it can be used on you. We need to think about that and what it means in what is supposed to be a free society. If it goes unchecked, it likely means we all will be trading freedom for chains.