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#105 : Coupable

Titre VO : Unreasonable Doubt

Johnny est désigné juré dans un procès pour meurtre impliquant un jeune de la rue. Tout accable le jeune mais Johnny a des visions qui le laissent penser qu’il est innocent. Johnny est le seul à voter non-coupable parmi tous les jurés mais réussit à les convaincre en apportant des preuves confirmant ses visions.

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Coupable

 

[EXT. MAINE ESTABLISHING - DAY (STOCK)]

[EXT. SMITH NEIGHBORHOOD – DAY]

(We're tracking along with a young boy who's wearing a miniature motorcycle cop's helmet as he furiously peddles a "Big Wheel"-style tricycle along a stretch of sidewalk. There's a tongue-in-cheek echo of the Big Wheel sequence in "The Shining" as plastic wheels thrum over sidewalk cracks, dip and rise across driveway aprons, until our rider spots an obstacle up ahead: big wheel rider's POV – two hapless guys walking along and none too fast. One's even got a cane. Close on big wheel rider Steely eyes squint, then a little hand reaches for an impressive apparatus on the handlebars. There's a sudden siren burst -- WHOOP! WHOOP! WHOOP! Johnny and Bruce jump aside as the police-themed Big Wheel plows by.)

 

JOHNNY: Jeez! (They resume walking) Didn't think I was going fast enough to get pulled over.

 

BRUCE: Believe me, you ain't.

 

JOHNNY: C'mon, I'm smoking' here.

 

(Now a speed-walking 70-yeat-old woman wearing headphones and carrying hand weights breezes past. Johnny sighs.)

 

BRUCE: "Smoking'?"

 

JOHNNY: Okay. The summer Olympics are out.

 

(He looks up ahead and his expression darkens. Johnny’s approaching pov – a mailbox looms at the end of his driveway, leaning slightly on its post like some ominous totem. (Note: The PT Cruiser should be parked in the driveway)).

 

JOHNNY: Wonder what it will be today.

 

BRUCE: (teasing) Another rubber rattlesnake… or maybe a live one.

 

(They come to a stop by the mailbox and a recycling bin.)

 

JOHNNY: (catching his breath) I'd settle for snakes. It's those bubble-wrapped "offerings" that creep me out. (Mock shudder) "Can you touch this chew toy and find my Kathy's poodle?"

 

(During the above, Bruce has opened the mailbox, pulling out a slim stack of mail.)

 

BRUCE: No bubble wrap. You're in luck. (Thumbing through) Bill. Bill. Credit card.

 

(He holds up a colourful "Publisher's Clearing House"-type sweepstakes envelope, reads off it.)

 

BRUCE: "You may have just won ten million dollars!"

 

(He makes like "The Great Karnack," closing his eyes and holding the envelope to his forehead for a studied beat.)

 

BRUCE: Nope.

 

(Johnny opens the recycling bin and Bruce tosses it in.)

 

JOHNNY: Not bad, Karnack.

 

BRUCE: Beginner's luck. (Studies last item) County Courthouse. Any overdue tickets?

 

(Johnny shrugs gives him a little nod. Bruce opens it, pulls out a pink summons, scans it and reacts.)

 

BRUCE: It's a jury summons. (Off Johnny's surprise) Don't worry, I'll write you a doctor's note. "Still recovering from coma."

 

(Johnny smiles, reaches for the summons. But as his hand closes on it…)

 

WOMAN JUROR (O.S.): Guilty.

 

(Johnny turns toward the sound, only now he's in :)

 

 

[INT. JURY ROOM - DAY – VISION]

(A dramatic series of close-ups as the camera frames a succession of jurors -- including a sixtyish man in a motorized wheelchair (Vic), a fortyish African-American businessman (leading citizen), a pierced and tattooed 20- year-old (Goth Guy), a nerdy fellow with glasses (Fan man) -- as each says "Guilty." The vote proceeds around a table until it reaches: Johnny who's looking distracted. A beat, then :)

 

MARTHA (O.S.): Number Twelve…?

 

(Johnny turns to see a prim woman (Martha) -- the jury foreman -- and the other ten jurors eyeing him expectantly.)

 

MARTHA: Mister Smith? Your vote?

 

(Johnny seems about to answer… when the vision ends.)

 

 

[MATCHING SHOT - JOHNNY – TODAY]

(As he looks up from the summons, clearly intrigued by this mysterious, open-ended vision.)

 

JOHNNY: Save the note. I think this is one court date I'd better keep.

 

(And as they head up the driveway, Bruce eyeing him curiously…)

 

 

END OF TEASER

 

 

ACT ONE

 

 

[EXT. BANGOR, MAINE - DAY – ESTABLISHING]

[EXT. PENOBSCOT COUNTY SUPERIOR COURTHOUSE - DAY (STOCK)]

(A red brick and colonnaded edifice that harks back to colonial times.

 

 

[INT. COURTHOUSE LOBBY - CLOSE ON A TALL MURAL OF THE BLINDFOLDED GODDESS OF JUSTICE PUSHING IN]

(Slightly on the classic figure, holding her balanced scales in one hand, a sword in the other, as -- Johnny jury summons in hand, steps closer. In the b.g., other prospective jurors clutching their tell-tale pink summonses, along with lawyers and litigants, crisscross the busy lobby, crowd into an elevator and hustle up and down a broad staircase. But Johnny's attention is on Lady Justice's scales -- something's a little off about them -- and he doesn't hear a mechanical WHINE behind him. He turns into the path of VIC -- a 50ish man in a motorized wheelchair, and another juror from his vision -- Johnny lightly bumping his wheelchair as Vic stops short…)

 

 

[A JOHNNY FLASH - INT. PRISON VISITORS ROOM – DAY]

(A grim-faced Vic, in a wheelchair but several years younger, listens MOS through a telephone to a still younger Male Prisoner facing him across a glass partition.)

 

 

[RESUME – LOBBY]

(The collision has caused Vic to spill some coffee on his lap. He dabs at it with a napkin.)

 

VIC: Back to the dry cleaner's.

 

JOHNNY: Sorry.

 

VIC: Not your fault they didn't put a cup holder on this thing.

 

(He notes Johnny's summons, his general unease.)

 

VIC: Your first time, too? (Off Johnny's nod) Vic. Vic Goodman.

 

JOHNNY: Johnny Smith.

 

(Johnny looks back at the mural.)

 

JOHNNY: Am I wrong, or is one side of those scales a little lowers than the other?

 

VIC: (smiles) Makes you wonder if someone's got their thumb on 'em, doesn't it. (An elevator opens) Whoops! There's our bus.

 

(He rolls forward amidst a crush of people. Johnny hesitates, watching Vic do a neat 180 as he backs in.)

 

VIC: Why walk when you can ride?

 

JOHNNY: Tell that to my physical therapist.

 

(The doors close and Johnny turns back to the mural and those slightly lopsided scales. A crowd's murmuring fades up, followed by the SOUND of a BANGING gavel, as we…)

 

 

[INT. COURTROOM - DAY - CLOSE ON THAT BANGING GAVEL…]

(…then panning up to reveal its owner, an aging and quirky judge who's trying to silence a noisy crowd. Finally :)

 

JUDGE: Quiet, already!

 

(The crowd shuts up. And now we see that the gallery is filled with prospective jurors, who, along with a young public defender and his still younger client, Carl Winters (17, African-American) plus eleven more jurors seated in the jury box (already selected for this trial, and comprised of Vic and the other jurors from Johnny's first vision), are all craning for a look at Johnny, standing sheepishly in a back row. The Judge addresses a slight, balding prosecutor.)

 

JUDGE: Mister Eddy, would you please repeat your question… (Eyeing gallery) …and this time I'd like to be able to hear the young man's answer.

 

(The Prosecutor turns to Johnny.)

 

PROSECUTOR: Are you the same "Johnny Smith" who recently assisted the Sheriff's office? And by assisted I mean in a "psychic capacity."

 

JOHNNY: (a beat) Yes.

 

(The crowd murmurs again. ("It is him!" "I told you so!" "What's he doing here?") The Judge bangs his gavel.

 

JUDGE: Folks, this isn't Jerry Springer. (Motions to lawyers) Approach, gentlemen. You too, Mister Smith.

 

(At sidebar as the Judge steps down from the bench and Johnny and the two lawyers approach.)

 

JUDGE: Breath mint, anyone?

 

(He pops one in his mouth, and then holds out the tin. Johnny declines but the lawyers feel compelled to partake, making the Prosecutor, in particular, looks that much more hapless as the Judge eyes him.)

 

JUDGE: I take it you have a problem with Mister Smith here.

 

PROSECUTOR: (puzzled) Well, yes, he claims to be a psychic, your honour.

 

JUDGE: He does, doesn’t he? (To Johnny) Okay, I'm thinking of a number between one and ten…

 

JOHNNY: Actually, it doesn't work that.

 

JUDGE: (suspicious) You're not like that fat lady on TV, you know with that "psychic network?"

 

JOHNNY: No, um... who?

 

JUDGE: (relieved) Wife loves her. Drives me nuts. Ever been committed?

 

JOHNNY: No.

 

JUDGE: And you're not on any antipsychotic medication...?

 

JOHNNY: No.

 

PROSECUTOR: Your honour, at the very least Mister Smith's notoriety will distract the jury… (Eyes Public Defender) …it could even set up grounds for appeal.

 

(The Judge considers the argument a beat, then, to Johnny :)

 

JUDGE: Mister Smith, is the defendant guilty or not guilty?

 

JOHNNY: (reacts) I... I don't know.

 

JUDGE: Good answer. (More gravely) Far as I'm concerned, we've all got a "sixth sense." It's called our conscience. Can I count on you to use yours and judge this case fairly?

 

JOHNNY: Yes, sir.

 

(The Judge eyes the Prosecutor, who shrugs wearily.)

 

JUDGE: Mister Smith, you're Juror Number Twelve. (Indicates jury box) We saved you a seat.

 

(Camera follows Johnny as he approaches the jury box, Vic welcoming him with a little smile. As he sits in one of the last remaining seats, he turns to look at the sullen defendant, as now we prelap.)

 

PROSECUTOR (V.O.): Meet Carl Winters…

 

 

[INT. COURTROOM - DAY - A FEW HOURS LATER]

(The trial now under way, the gallery crowded with family and friends of the defendant and victim, as the Prosecutor makes his opening statement to the jury (which now includes two Alternates). Winters' mother, sitting right behind her son, occasionally dabs her tears with a handkerchief that she holds throughout.)

 

PROSECUTOR: He's seventeen. The defence will tell you that he's a high school junior who enjoys movies and sports... like a lot of youngsters you may know -- your neighbours' kids, maybe even your own. So how, you may wonder, did this clean-cut young man wind up here, accused of armed robbery and murder?

 

(He approaches the rapt jurors, his tone growing harder.)

 

PROSECUTOR (CONT'D): The answer will become apparent when you meet the other Carl Winters. The one who runs with a gang of young thugs… who enjoys terrorizing those weaker than himself…

 

(Overlapping audio seamlessly changes to the voice in the next shot…)

 

 

[ANGLE ON THE WITNESS STAND]

(Where a female witness is testifying…)

 

FEMALE WITNESS: I ran for my life outside to the parking lot… that's when I heard the gunshots… Again we overlap audio from angle on a TV monitor.

 

(Showing a security video of a gang of teens including winters harassing the Female Witness at a Mom & Pop style convenience store… a Pakistani clerk tries to stop them… moving to find Johnny and the jury watching…)

 

PROSECUTOR (O.S.): The gun is clearly visible in Carl Winters' belt... He was the only one in that store who could have shot the clerk... And once again overlap audio to --

 

 

[ANGLE - THE DEFENSE LAWYER]

(Making a closing argument to the jury…)

 

PUBLIC DEFENDER: My client, Mr. Winters does not deny being at the store, he does not deny his misbehaviour but that's all it was - misbehaviour. He did not kill anyone. Those were not gunshots the witness heard, they were bottles breaking in the store…

 

(And finally one more overlap to…)

 

 

[ANGLE - THE JUDGE]

(Instructing the jury…)

 

JUDGE (O.S.): You must consider the evidence and testimony…

 

(Johnny turns once again to eye winters who shifts restlessly in his seat… his mother cries…)

 

JUDGE: …decide for yourselves what the facts are…

 

(Winters turns to see Johnny watching and returns his look, the teen's own expression anxious yet defiant.)

 

JUDGE: …and render a verdict…

 

(And as we push in on Johnny and the boy, neither willing or able to break the connection…)

 

JUDGE: Guilty or not guilty.

 

 

[INT. CORRIDOR CONNECTING TO JURY ROOM - LATE AFTERNOON]

(We're moving with Johnny down the narrow corridor, as he overhears Brassy and Leading Citizen, just ahead of him.)

 

BRASSY: Can't believe he's making us start this late. And on a Friday.

 

LEADING CITIZEN: Guess he doesn't expect us to be in here long.

 

(Fan Man, who often pushes up his glasses as they slip down the ridge of his nose, catches up to Johnny.)

 

FAN MAN: Mister Smith! I just wanted to tell you what an honour it is to be serving with you.

 

JOHNNY: An "honour?"

 

FAN MAN: Absolutely! I've followed your career. You see...

 

(He digs out a business card that features a website address, and as Johnny takes it.)

 

 

[A JOHNNY FLASH - INT. FAN MAN'S BEDROOM – DAY]

(Fan Man works intently at a computer in the corner of the small bedroom... glasses bright with the reflection of a monitor that displays a website called ObscureTruth.Com full of UFO and occult headlines... behind on the wall over his bed are posters of Houdini, and contemporary sciif icons...)

 

 

[RESUME – CONTINUOUS]

 

FAN MAN (CONT'D): …The occult is sort of a hobby of mine.

 

JOHNNY: 'Occult'. I never thought of myself as…

 

FAN MAN: (not letting him finish) Say, if you wouldn't mind answering a few questions for my website later…

 

(Johnny reacts as they enter…)

 

 

[INT. JURY ROOM – CONTINUOUS]

(…where a Bailiff is placing legal documents (affidavits, instructions and reports) on the jury table, while a Guard arranges some other items (the defendant's Keychain with the letter "C" attached; an evidence-tagged gun; two squashed bullets in a Ziploc baggie; a large photo of the convenience store exterior and a diagram of its interior, with a small outline of a dead body near the counter) on a small display table. Goth Guy takes a seat at the long conference table leans back and puts his feet up with a contented sigh. Martha frowns as she takes a seat at the adjacent end of the table indicates his feet.)

 

MARTHA: I think you know that's inappropriate.

 

GOTH GUY: Gosh, gee, I'm sorry, Mom.

 

(He opens his notebook and begins doodling on a page already filled with comic book-style sketches of trial scenes. Martha turns to Night School as he sits beside her.)

 

MARTHA: Did you hear that? Night School just shrugs "let it go"… as camera pans, finding Pinkie showing Brassy an unnaturally stubby little finger…

 

PINKY: …twenty-three pounder, claws the size of catcher's mitts.

 

BRASSY: Ouch! …then moving on to show Sports Nut and Agatha moving toward the table from a water cooler, cups in hand…

 

AGATHA CHRISTY: Personally, I had hoped the case would be more "twisty," you know, like a good mystery. Sports Nut shrugs…

 

SPORTS NUT: Least we should be out of here fast… (Conspiratorial) I got a big ball game tonight. Pedro's pitching against the Yanks.

 

 

[OMITTED]

[INT. JURY ROOM – CONTINUOUS]

(In the b.g., the Bailiff and Guard exit… as camera once again finds Johnny, who can't escape Fan Man…)

 

FAN MAN: (sotto) So just between us: he's guilty, isn't he? I mean you probably knew the moment you sat in the jury box, right…

 

(Johnny is saved by Martha's call to arms :)

 

MARTHA: If the rest of us could take seats… and I think that should be by numbers, starting on my right…

 

GOTH GUY: Who elected you?

 

MARTHA: I'm just trying to get us seated properly so we can elect a foreman.

 

LEADING CITIZEN: C'mon, let's cooperate, people. We've got work to do here.

 

(The seated jurors grumble as they rearrange themselves. Johnny moves to his appointed seat, which is on Martha's right, but finds himself blocked by Feather, who's going the other way. As their eyes meet, she meekly looks away, then brushes by him. Once again, Johnny reacts.)

 

 

[JOHNNY FLASH - EXT. ALLEY – NIGHT]

(A quick shot of Feather being held from behind by one young Male Assailant -- her eyes wide in fear above the hand clamped over her mouth -- while a Second Assailant rips her blouse.)

 

 

[RESUME - JURY ROOM]

(Johnny looks after her, reacting to this far more disturbing flash, as they each take their seats.)

 

NIGHT SCHOOL: Well, anyone actually want the job?

 

(Martha clears her throat, but before she can speak…)

 

FAN MAN: I don't know if he's interested, but I nominate Mister Smith.

 

FAN MAN (CONT'D): (off surprised looks, Johnny's included) Well, I think it makes sense to put a certified psychic in charge.

 

BRASSY: Sure, if we wanted our fortunes told. (To Johnny) No offence.

 

(This gets some chuckles, but the uneasiness with Johnny's presence is palpable. Leading Citizen seems particularly annoyed by this foolishness.)

 

LEADING CITIZEN: Look, can we please be serious here…

 

(Martha sees her opening.)

 

MARTHA: Not to slight Mister Smith's "credentials," but I am the president of my PTA…

 

BRASSY: Sister, if you want it, you can have it.

 

(A murmur of assent seals the deal as meanwhile… Johnny finds his eyes drawn to the evidence exhibits on the table Idly, he reaches out and starts to sift through them…)

 

SPORTS NUT: (impatient) Great, she's elected. Let's vote.

 

MARTHA: (nods) I'll start and we'll proceed by number.

 

 

[RESUME]

 

MARTHA: (beat) Guilty.

 

(She looks to her right, toward Juror #2, Feather, who takes a beat and then, very quietly :)

 

FEATHER: Guilty.

 

(The camera now begins panning around the table, framing the other jurors as they also vote "Guilty" in the same sequence as in Johnny's original vision. We intercut with Johnny as he realizes this. At about the same time, he picks up the defendant's Keychain and as he does… At one end of the table, the "guilty" vote continues; but on Johnny's end -- as if the table is a pier protruding into another reality -- a new setting takes shape :)

 

 

[EXT. PRISON YARD - DAY – VISION]

(A convict in a bright orange jumpsuit moves behind Carl Winters and knifes him in the back with a shiv. He goes down. (Note: the prison garb should be notably different than the earlier prison shot involving Vic.))

 

MARTHA: Number Twelve...?

 

(As Johnny turns to her. Only now the prison is gone and the other jurors are looking at him expectantly.)

 

MARTHA: Mister Smith? Your vote?

 

(A beat as Johnny makes a difficult decision. Then :)

 

JOHNNY: Not guilty.

 

(As the others react with surprise and suspicion…)

 

 

END OF ACT ONE

 

 

ACT TWO

 

 

[INT. JURY ROOM – CONTINUOUS]

(The other jurors are still reeling from Johnny's vote.)

 

MARTHA: That's eleven votes for guilty, one for not guilty.

 

PINKY: We've all got ears.

 

SPORTS NUT: I just don't believe mine.

 

GOTH GUY: Did you just walk out of a different courtroom than the rest of us?

 

JOHNNY: (and this is difficult) I'm not saying the defendant's innocent… but there's a lot of evidence to consider…

 

BRASSY: Yeah and it all says he's guilty.

 

JOHNNY: Maybe. But I think we should go through it all once more.

 

MARTHA: (tight, motherly) All right. Mr. Smith wants to go through the evidence again. How do we all feel about that…?

 

(A beat. No one is thrilled.)

 

LEADING CITIZEN: (diplomatic) Mr. Smith, may I call you, Johnny? My name is Ben Cartwright. Not the one from the Ponderosa. As you might have guessed.

 

(He smiles trying to be friendly but it comes off as vaguely patronizing.)

 

LEADING CITIZEN: Johnny, we just heard three days of evidence. I, for one, didn't hear anything that would begin to raise the first hint of doubt in my mind. Ten people at this table agree with me. You want to go through the evidence again. Fine. I'll go down that road with you. But at least give us a reason why you still have doubts. Because that's the fundamental issue here: Reasonable Doubt.

 

(Johnny nods, he understands and he has no answer… he continues to sift through evidence in front of him…)

 

JOHNNY: I just want to be sure we haven't missed anything before we return a verdict that could cost this young man his life.

 

SPORTS NUT: "His life?" The guy's gonna get twenty five years at the most, which means with parole he'll be out in fifteen.

 

LEADING CITIZEN: Witnesses, gunshots, video tape… where is the reasonable doubt, Johnny?

 

(The other jurors nod, murmuring their agreement… and displeasure with Johnny…)

 

JURORS: (ad lib, overlapping) He's right… We already heard the evidence… three whole days in that courtroom… etc.

 

(Johnny also knows that what happens to the defendant in prison, no matter how terrible, is not relevant to these proceedings… but then his hand touches… Close on affidavit we see the words: "Witness Statement to Police, Walter Beckly, 75..." (And although we don't need to see it, this document would have been signed by the witness.) CLOSE ON JOHNNY as he goes into a vision :)

 

 

[22 22 EXT. CONVENIENCE STORE PARKING LOT - NIGHT – VISION]

(Johnny, hunched over slightly and dressed in an old man's clothes, is walking a tiny dog along the edge of the parking lot when an old convertible tricked out with chromed rims and a bright paint job barrels into the lot. Winters is at the wheel, a tough-looking teen-aged buddy riding shotgun, another in the back. Rap music booms from multiple speakers, overwhelming the faint strains of classical music coming from an old transistor radio clipped to the breast of Johnny's jacket. Irritated, Johnny watches the convertible pull up in front of the convenience store, passing a parked econo car. The three boys spill out and rambunctiously enter the store. Johnny's about to walk away when he notices a third vehicle -- an old Chrysler Sedan -- idling in a far corner of the lot. The car has a subtle "Christine" vibe - an ominous feeling we can pick up on. Johnny eyes it curiously, trying to see if anyone's at the wheel, but it's too dark. Then his dog tugs on the leash and he walks on.)

 

 

[CLOSE ON JOHNNY]

(As he turns... revealing we're back in the jury room… only a second has passed in real time.)

 

JOHNNY: There were three cars.

 

(A beat as the others fall silent, puzzled by the non sequitur.)

 

LEADING CITIZEN: Three cars? What do you mean, three cars?

 

JOHNNY: (repeating) There's a discrepancy in the witness testimony. (beat) Both witnesses said there were just two cars in the parking lot, but one of them -- the Old Man -- actually saw three.

 

NIGHT SCHOOL: Two, three, what's the difference?

 

(Johnny's doubt is largely instinctive; a response to that ominous car, but Agatha Christy immediately understands what it means :)

 

AGATHA CHRISTY: The difference, if it's true, is there could've been another witness who didn't come forward… or even another suspect.

 

GOTH GUY: (puzzled, to Johnny) Wait a second. I heard the old guy say in court there were two cars, didn't I?

 

VIC: I heard it too.

 

JOHNNY: We all did. But it's not what he told the police in his affidavit.

 

(And he puts the document back onto the table. A beat of surprise, then Agatha Christy sceptically picks up the document, dons her reading glasses and starts turning the pages, using her index finger to guide her through the text... Her pov - close on the affidavit. As seen through the magnifying lenses: the text enlarged, the field of view slightly distorted around the edges. The tip of Agatha Christy's index finger moves down a paragraph describing the Old Man's account -- and stops on the word "three." as she looks up, surprised.)

 

AGATHA CHRISTY: Why, he's right. The witness did tell the police there were three cars.

 

PINKY: Then why'd he change his story when he testified?

 

FEATHER: Maybe he just made a mistake at first.

 

JOHNNY: I don't think so.

 

(They all look at him, incredulous… Johnny notes Fan Man staring at him; he tries to avoid the look but it's impossible…)

 

BRASSY: If it was so important, the defence would have said something about it in court.

 

JOHNNY: Lawyers make mistakes too.

 

LEADING CITIZEN: It's a detail. We can't let a killer go based on some technicality.

 

FAN MAN: You saw that third car, didn't you?

 

(Johnny hesitates a beat…)

 

FAN MAN: You did, didn't you…?

 

PINKY: (to Goth Guy) What's he talking about?

 

(Goth Guy shrugs as Fan Man turns to the others…)

 

FAN MAN: He never read the affidavit… I was watching him… he just picked it up…

 

BRASSY: So?

 

FAN MAN: So, that's what he does… He touches things and has 'paranormal cognitive episodes'… (Off looks) …you know, visions… (Awed) …and I watched this one happen!

 

LEADING CITIZEN: (to Johnny) Is that what this is about?

 

JOHNNY: It doesn't change the fact that the police report says…

 

FAN MAN: (to the others, triumphant, overlapping) I told you so!

 

SPORTS NUT: You gotta be kidding me.

 

GOTH GUY: ("Rod Serling") You are about to enter another dimension, a dimension of –

 

BRASSY: Cool it, okay? (To Johnny) Look, Johnny, right? I mean never mind whether all of us actually believe this freaky psychic hoodoo…

 

MARTHA: …this is completely inappropriate…

 

BRASSY: …but we're supposed to be looking at the evidence.

 

(Sports Nut is studying the affidavit now, a few other jurors leaning to look over his shoulder…)

 

SPORTS NUT: Jeez… he's right, though.

 

LEADING CITIZEN: Is this part of your nightclub act? If so, pick another venue next time, will you?

 

(Johnny sighs. If the others are going to make an issue over this -- over him -- then he's going to at least put the emphasis where he believes it belongs.)

 

JOHNNY: We're here to find out the truth. I can't just ignore what I know.

 

(Now, for the first, Leading Citizen begins to lose a little of that rigid self-control…)

 

LEADING CITIZEN: What you "know?" (To others) Do you believe that? "What he knows." (Growing frustration) That kid Winters is guilty. We have to find him guilty. And no sideshow "medium" is going to convince me otherwise.

 

FAN MAN: "Psychic."

 

LEADING CITIZEN: What?

 

FAN MAN: Mediums communicate with the dead, or, more accurately, their disembodied spirits. Mister Smith's visions, as I understand them, are touch-initiated and involve abilities such as "psychometric," or sensing images, histories and impressions from objects; "clairvoyance:" sensing events in the past and future; some "clairsentience" perhaps…

 

(He realizes the others are staring at him as if he just grew a third eyeball. Even Johnny's taken aback.)

 

FAN MAN: …abilities which are generally considered "psychic." (Meekly) Generally.

 

(A long beat as he stares down at the table. Then Leading Citizen rises, barely able to contain his disgust at the direction these deliberations have taken.)

 

LEADING CITIZEN: Fine.

 

(He stands and crosses to the small evidence table…)

 

LEADING CITIZEN: If you think that Carl Winters didn't kill that man, then please…

 

(He picks up the gun, smacks it down in front of Johnny.)

 

LEADING CITIZEN: …tell us who did.

 

(He steps back a bit and eyes Johnny. An odd, expectant beat as Johnny studies the gun in front of him, and then, somewhat gingerly, picks it up… Suddenly the scene pivots around Johnny and changes to…)

 

 

[INT. CONVENIENCE STORE - NIGHT – VISION]

(Now Johnny's wearing a dark, nondescript jacket and pointing the gun at a 30ish Pakistani clerk who stands facing him near the counter, a telephone receiver in his hand, frozen with fear. We can hear the sound of rap music coming from the kids' convertible outside the store.)

 

JOHNNY/SHOOTER: (cold) Open the register.

 

(The Clerk's still too scared to move. Johnny takes a step forward, cocks the pistol.)

 

JOHNNY/SHOOTER: I said, open the register.

 

(And when the Clerk still doesn't move… tracking around Johnny to find, in a split reality, the jury in the background, in the jury room, watching him…)

 

FAN MAN: Well, was it Winters or not?

 

(Close on the gun as Johnny's index finger tightens on the trigger, the jury in the background. CLICK! The hammer hits an empty cylinder. Only now, as we pull back, we see we're back in :)

 

 

[INT. JURY ROOM – CONTINUOUS]

(Johnny still holds the gun, out of the vision. Some of the jurors are eyeing him sceptically, others with an anticipation they can't fully hide.)

 

JOHNNY: I… don't know.

 

(A few jurors chuckle, shake their heads. Johnny's still disturbed by what he experienced.)

 

JOHNNY: (struggling) He was wearing a dark sweatshirt… jeans…

 

SPORTS NUT: (sarcastic) And what color were his socks?

 

NIGHT SCHOOL: Carl Winters was wearing a dark sweatshirt that night.

 

JOHNNY: The man who did this… he'd done it before… robbed small convenience stores…

 

BRASSY: Like you have to be a psychic to figure that out.

 

JOHNNY: But they're always privately owned, not chain stores… because there's less security in Mom and Pop stores…

 

GOTH GUY: Man sounds like a professional.

 

LEADING CITIZEN: A gun makes you a professional in this business.

 

JOHNNY: The cashier was too slow. He killed a man just for being… too slow.

 

(A sombre beat around the table.)

 

LEADING CITIZEN: (impatient) Look at the gun in your hand, my friend. It's the murder weapon, is it not?

 

JOHNNY: Yes, this was the murder weapon.

 

LEADING CITIZEN: We saw the defendant with that gun on the security video…

 

JOHNNY: (correcting him) We saw the defendant with "a" gun on the tape. We don't know if it was this one. There's nothing -- no fingerprints, no hard evidence -- proving this was Winters gun.

 

AGATHA CHRISTY: Perhaps he wiped it before he tossed it in the dumpster.

 

PINKY: Sure, he's not a complete dummy.

 

LEADING CITIZEN: Does anyone here buy the defendant's story that the gun on the tape was a toy? And that he can't find it now? (No responses) Of course not. Because there's only one gun. That one. The murder weapon.

 

(Fan Man eyes Johnny.)

 

FAN MAN: Nothing else, Johnny?

 

(Johnny looks around at the other stony faces.)

 

PINKY: Face it. He's guilty.

 

(Concurring nods all around.)

 

MARTHA; I think it's time we vote again, and if Mr. Smith is still the only hold-out… (Looking at Johnny) …then I hope he will act responsibly and change his vote. I believe that's how the jury system is supposed to work, Mr. Smith.

 

(Johnny looks around the table at the others…)

 

JOHNNY: I've never been on a jury before. Probably no one like me has. But I have a doubt. Is it reasonable?

Or not? I don't know yet.

 

(But even Fan Man is against him at this juncture…)

 

FAN MAN: If you saw someone else doing it when you held the gun… ('but you didn't' implied)

 

(The others just eye him with growing irritation. Only Vic seems affected. As Johnny takes note of this…)

 

MARTHA: Once again, all those who believe the defendant is –

 

JOHNNY: Mister Goodman… (When Vic turns) What if your brother was innocent?

 

(And as Johnny stares at Vic, who looks back at him, floored - As the others jurors react angrily.)

 

PINKY: What's this now?

 

SPORTS NUT: The man won't give up!

 

GOTH GUY: Brother, what brother?

 

NIGHT SCHOOL: What's that got to do with anything?

 

(But Vic's still staring incredulously at Johnny.)

 

VIC: How do you know about my brother?

 

(Off Johnny…)

 

 

[MEMORY FLASH - INT. PRISON VISITORS' ROOM]

(As seen in the first act opening, the grim-faced Young Vic again talking to the convict we now realizes is his brother.)

 

 

[RESUME]

(Johnny doesn't answer directly, just holds his look.)

 

JOHNNY: I know twelve people like us sent him to prison. Maybe they were in a rush to get home too. And didn't give him the benefit of a doubt…

 

BRASSY: Enough already. Know when to quit.

 

MARTHA: All those who think the defendant's guilty, raise your hands.

 

(Ten hands go up, but Vic, now lost in thought, looks like he hasn't even heard her.)

 

MARTHA: Mister Goodman? Mister Goodman?

 

(Finally Vic turns to her, his voice sombre.)

 

VIC: I'm not saying I believe everything he's said.

 

VIC (CONT'D): But I'm going to give him a chance to prove us wrong. (Beat) I'm changing my vote. For the moment. To "not guilty."

 

(Angry reactions :)

 

JURORS: (ad lib, overlapping) That's not fair… got nothing to do with the case… now whatta we do?...get the Bailiff!

 

(Amidst the tumult, Johnny and Vic exchange a look. He finally has an ally.)

 

 

END OF ACT TWO

 

 

ACT THREE

 

 

[EXT. COURTHOUSE - NIGHT – ESTABLISHING]

[INT. JURY ROOM – NIGHT]

(The Judge studies a handwritten note while the Bailiff stands in the doorway, arms crossed. A longish beat, then the Judge looks up at the jurors, who are beginning to look tired and dishevelled. Clutter has accumulated on the table, further evidence that some time has passed.)

 

JUDGE: Well, this has to be the oddest case of "jury tampering" I ever heard of.

 

(He looks back at the note, trying to puzzle it out.)

 

JUDGE (CONT'D): What did he do? "Brain wash" Mister Goodman?

 

VIC: He didn't force me to change my vote. I made my own decision.

 

(The Judge considers the bizarre situation.)

 

JUDGE: This may make for an interesting appeal after all. But in the meantime, why don't you all give it another shot.

 

(Leading Citizen reacts with surprise.)

 

LEADING CITIZEN: Your honour…?

 

(But the Judge is already considering another topic as he stands…)

 

JUDGE: In fact, since it's getting late, let's put in a supper order for you. My treat. (Eyes the Bailiff) The rest of us were thinking Thai, but there's a new Italian joint that might be worth a –

 

LEADING CITIZEN: Your honour, excuse me. I don't think you understand what's been going on in here. This man is refusing to deal with the facts.

 

JUDGE: Well, that is a serious charge. Mister Smith…?

 

JOHNNY: I have questioned some of the testimony, but only to determine what the "facts" really are.

 

JUDGE: Such as…

 

MARTHA: Mr. Smith had a… a… (She's embarrassed to say the word) …'vision'… that suggested there were three cars at the crime scene instead of two…

 

FAN MAN: Witness reports confirmed that the old man walking his dog had changed his story.

 

(The Judge muses a beat…)

 

JUDGE: Sounds to me like the process is working pretty well.

 

(Reactions. The Judge eyes Johnny.)

 

JUDGE: Just remember, this case has to be decided on its merits, Mister Smith, not on yours. Now then, what's the verdict? (Off looks) Thai or Italian?

 

 

[OMITTED]

[INT. JURY ROOM – LATER]

(The Jurors are serving themselves from a Thai smorgasbord of take-out containers set up on the jury table. They're all morose and frustrated.)

 

SPORTS NUT: (to Night School) I can't believe this. The bailiff just told me Pedro Martinez is perfect through seven innings against the Yanks… and I'm locked in a room with no TV…?

 

(Night School shrugs sympathetically as Pinky dubiously picks up a skewer of "Pork Satay.")

 

PINKY: I still say we shoulda gone Italian.

 

LEADING CITIZEN: Fortunately, we only needed a majority to decide on dinner.

 

(He eyes Johnny, who pulls an AQUAFINA bottle from a bag.)

 

JOHNNY: (pleasant) You had the water, right?

 

(As an annoyed Leading Citizen takes it from him --)

 

 

[A JOHNNY FLASH -- INT. CAR - MOVING POV ANGLE – DAY]

(A stylized shot from inside a slow-moving SUV as a passenger-side window power down. Through it, we glimpse Leading Citizen in a warm-up suit at an outdoor basketball court, where some younger boys are playing a supervised game. A few bandannaed teen-aged boys loiter on an inner city sidewalk nearby.)

 

 

[OMITTED]

[RESUME JURY ROOM - CONTINUOUS (INCLUDES FORMER SC. 31)]

(As Johnny reacts.)

 

LEADING CITIZEN: You want to keep us here all night with your "visions," be my guest. I have as much time as you do, friend. And I'm not going to let you hijack this jury.

 

(Johnny tries to walk away, but an angry Brassy follows him, holding her plate --)

 

BRASSY: This is crazy… that Judge is crazy… you're crazy, this whole thing is…

 

GOTH GUY: ("Austin Powers") …Ca-raa-zy, baby, we get it.

 

LEADING CITIZEN: (turning on him) You think it's a joke?

 

GOTH GUY: Hey, man. Chill.

 

LEADING CITIZEN: This is supposed to be a court of law.

 

(Feather's been watching the argument with growing unease.)

 

FEATHER: I don't think we should be fighting. It's not helping.

 

SPORTS NUT: And this curry isn't helping my digestion.

 

LEADING CITIZEN: We have a responsibility here!

 

(And there's a depth of feeling to this exclamation that quiets the others.)

 

JOHNNY: I agree with you, sir.

 

(Leading Citizen studies Johnny…)

 

LEADING CITIZEN: Don't you patronize me. Don't you dare patronize me. You have no idea what it means to be a black man on a jury voting to send a black kid to prison. And now the "dinner break" has gotten quite serious indeed.

 

LEADING CITIZEN (CONT'D): But that's my responsibility. I have to send a message - every black kid out there has to hear it - my kids have to hear it: Actions have consequences. This kid Winters has to face the consequences for what he did. (Beat) I moved my family here from New York… to get away from the gangs and street crime. But here it is again, right here in Penobscot County and it makes you wonder if there's anywhere left in this country where we really feel safe any more. You know exactly what I mean. When was the last time anyone here went to an ATM at night? That comedian, Chris Rock, has a whole routine about it -- about looking over his shoulder for the "nigger" who's gonna rob him? I sat in an audience in New York and the whole place was laughing, blacks and whites, howls of laughter. Yeah, it's all a joke. (A long beat, simply) If I don't change it, it won't change. I'm just a man on a jury. But I know my responsibility. It's to send Carl Winters to prison for the crime he committed.

 

(A long quiet beat. Everybody is moved. Martha checks her watch.)

 

MARTHA: Let's say another five minutes and we get back to work.

 

(She takes her purse and heads to the rest room. A beat as some of the others exit to the rest rooms as well. Vic moves by Johnny, pauses…)

 

VIC: At least, nobody's rushing to convict anyone now. That was our first responsibility, Mr. Smith. You were right about that.

 

(Johnny gives him an appreciative smile, but still seems troubled as Vic moves away.)

 

(For the moment, no one pays Johnny any mind as he moves to the small evidence table… eyes the photo and the diagram… and finally the two bullets in the evidence baggie. A beat... then he picks up the bag, removes one of the slugs -- and is in a vision.)

 

 

[INT. CONVENIENCE STORE - NIGHT – VISION]

(A cash register drawer slides open, a hand reaches in for some coins, and we pan up to reveal Johnny -- now dressed as the clerk -- as he makes change for a female customer (female witness). The door opens and Winters and his two pals -- local kids affecting a ghetto hip-hop style -- burst in, full of thuggish energy, laughing and roughhousing. (Note: Winters' clothes should roughly match the ones Johnny wore in the earlier gun vision.) Winters shoulders the woman aside as he addresses "Johnny/Clerk.")

 

WINTERS: Yo, Apu, gimme two packs of Nubucks.

 

JOHNNY/CLERK: Are you eighteen?

 

WINTERS: C'mon, man, I'm 25, hook me up.

 

KID ONE: Whoa, Cheetos, my favourite.

 

(He's yanked the chips from the woman's grocery bag. Scared, she tries to leave, but another kid blocks her.)

 

KID TWO: What's the rush, baby?

 

(He runs his hands over her arms.)

 

KID TWO: Don't you like us?

 

FEMALE WITNESS: Please…

 

(She backs away -- right into Kid One, who's moved behind her. Now he wraps his arms around her shoulders as he nuzzles her ear.)

 

KID ONE: Yeah, stick around. We're gonna have a little party.

 

(All the kids laugh as the woman struggles to get away.)

 

JOHNNY/CLERK: Leave her alone! The camera's recording you!

 

(He points up at a video camera mounted on the ceiling. The kids turn to look, giving the woman a chance to break free and run out the door. And as Johnny/Clerk watches helplessly and the kids laugh. Kid Two leaps onto the counter and pulls a can of spray-paint from his baggy jeans. In the b.g., Winters crosses to a beer fridge. Johnny/Clerk shouts at Kid Two --)

 

JOHNNY/CLERK: Hey, what are you doing? Get down from there!

 

(The teen ignores him, leering into the lens as he shakes the can, then mimicking Al Pacino in "Scar face" --)

 

KID TWO: Say hello to my little friend!

 

(He spray-paints the lens.)

 

JOHNNY/CLERK: I'm calling the police!

 

KID ONE: Hey, chill out, bitch, we're going.

 

(But as they laugh and start to leave, Johnny/Clerk notices that Winters has used the distraction to slip two quart bottles of beer under his jacket. He quickly crosses to him and grabs his arm.)

 

JOHNNY/CLERK: I saw you stealing! You put them back.

 

(The bottles hit the floor with a crash, along with Winters' keychain.)

 

WINTERS: Man, look at that mess. "Yo, Apu, clean up in Aisle Two."

 

(Johnny/Clerk shakes his head ruefully then notices a shadow shifting slightly at the back of an aisle… And now time slows, as if Johnny's awareness is highlighting this brief moment of seeing this shadow, which for the clerk was no big deal. Another customer, perhaps, hidden by a rack of snack items… we'll never know because the vision ends.)

 

 

[RESUME INT. JURY ROOM - ON JOHNNY]

(As he comes out of the vision, intrigued by what he's seen but frustrated by what he didn't. Vic and Fan Man are watching him now as he takes the bullet to the jury table, sits, then picks up the gun again with his other hand. He holds each of them in his palms, like a human scale, and then he's back in the vision --)

 

 

[INT. CONVENIENCE STORE - NIGHT – VISION]

(Johnny, now dressed as the shooter, is again pointing the gun at the terrified Pakistani clerk as we hear the sound of rap music coming from outside.)

 

JOHNNY/SHOOTER: I said, open the register.

 

(Again, the Clerk doesn't move, but this time when Johnny's finger tightens on the trigger, the gun fires - BAM! And now we go to extreme slow motion as – the bullet Halts its flight midway between Johnny and the Clerk while, simultaneously, the scene pivots on the bullet’s axis and Johnny again becomes the terrified clerk, eyes fixed on the still-spinning slug, now the literal focal point of the scene, pivoting again to assume Johnny/Clerk's pov -- the face of the real killer holding the gun blurred beyond recognition behind the spinning bullet. Then normal motion resumes and the bullet slams into its destination and our subjective shot tumbles to the floor, eyes facing a sideways angle toward the front door… and as we see the killer’s legs moving past him on the way to the cash register… hear the cash register open behind him, the last thing the dying eyes see is Winters' car roaring out of the parking lot. The vision ends.)

 

 

[RESUME - JURY ROOM]

(As Johnny exhales, his hand unclenches, and the slug he was clutching rolls onto the table, stopping in front of an amazed Fan Man. Everyone knows he had another vision.)

 

JOHNNY: (integrating the information, almost to himself) The convertible was leaving the parking lot when the clerk was killed. (With import) It was leaving the parking lot. It was the last thing the clerk saw before he died.

 

FAN MAN: Omigod. Testimony from the dead man.

 

NIGHT SCHOOL: If it's true, Winters is innocent.

 

LEADING CITIZEN: (quietly) If you people go down this road, I'm going right back to the judge.

 

JOHNNY: He's right. I'm not a witness, so whatever I may've seen isn't relevant…

 

(Leading Citizen's momentarily silenced as Johnny rises himself and knocks on the door.)

 

JOHNNY: …that is, unless I can find real evidence to back me up. (To Martha) Madame Foreman, would you ask the bailiff to let us view the security video again?

 

(Off Martha's reaction…)

 

 

[LATER - CLOSE ON A VIDEO MONITOR]

(As it soundlessly displays a scene we've just seen -- the Clerk making change for the Female Witness -- as it was in turn "witnessed" by the store's security camera.)

 

LEADING CITIZEN (O.S.): Satisfied?

 

(Revealing the jurors clustered around the monitor and VCR, which have been wheeled in on an av cart, Sports Nut working the remote, but Leading Citizen keeping a sceptical distance. The debris from dinner has been removed.)

 

LEADING CITIZEN: No one's hiding in there. The camera doesn't lie.

 

(But Johnny continues patiently watching the tape.)

 

NIGHT SCHOOL: It also doesn't cover every corner.

 

(Fan Man nods, indicates the nearby convenience store diagram.)

 

FAN MAN: It doesn't even cover the back door.

 

(Meanwhile, on the monitor, Winters and his gang have barrelled in through the front door (which may or may not be included in the camera's field of vision) and begun soundlessly harassing the Female Witness. Feather reacts with quiet anger.)

 

FEATHER: Look what they're doing to that poor woman.

 

(Johnny glances at her, perhaps recalling the earlier vision of her own attack.)

 

SPORTS NUT: Gun… right in his waistband there.

 

(He's frozen the image at the point where Winters' "gun" -- real or replica -- is exposed. (And on the video we might note that the gun is in the Female Witness' line of sight, but not necessarily the Clerk's.))

 

LEADING CITIZEN: That sure doesn't look like a "toy" to me.

 

(Sports Nut advances the tape to the point where Kid Two jumps on the counter, leers into the lens, then spray paints it, causing the screen to be obscured.)

 

SPORTS NUT: That's all she wrote.

 

JOHNNY: (to Sports Nut) Can you reverse it?

 

SPORTS NUT: (shrugs) You're the director.

 

(He reverses the tape, and now Kid Two hops back down from the counter, the gang "reverse-harasses" the Female Witness, then backs out of the store.)

 

PINKY: I still don't see anything.

 

(The reverse motion continues: Female Witness backs away from the register, returns her purchases to racks in the front of the store, and exits backwards as well. Suddenly :)

 

GOTH GUY: Wait! I mean freeze it! (When Sports Nut does) Man, this is totally cool! Check it out -- in that back corner.

 

SPORTS NUT: What? There's nothing –

 

GOTH GUY: (pointing) That mirror -- the kind they use to snag shoplifters. I think I saw something in it.

 

(Sure enough, there's a convex security mirror in a back corner, angled so it could be seen from the register.)

 

JOHNNY: Run it forward, slow as you can.

 

(Sports Nut slowly rotates a thumb wheel on the remote, and we push in on the monitor, zeroing in on that little mirror, until something darkens it… a shape!)

 

JOHNNY: Stop.

 

(The image freezes. Johnny turns to Agatha Christy.)

 

JOHNNY: Mrs. McArthur, can I borrow your glasses?

 

AGATHA CHRISTY: Oh, yes... yes, of course.

 

(She excitedly hands them to Johnny, who uses one of the thick lenses as a magnifier, holding it over the screen.)

 

SPORTS NUT: Damn. Will you look at that.

 

(Ecu - TV image through the lens magnified so each pixel is visible. And what they reveal is the blurry image of a man in a dark coat standing at the back of an aisle. Sports Nut slowly rotates the remote's thumb wheel back and forth, and as the blurry figure shifts slightly, exhibiting a chilling hint of life…)

 

 

END OF ACT THREE

 

 

ACT FOUR

 

 

[INT. JURY ROOM – NIGHT]

(Still more time has passed, adding to the room's clutter and the jurors' dishevelment, and now another vote is taking place. Moving around the table :)

 

MARTHA: Not guilty.

 

FEATHER: Guilty.

 

AGATHA CHRISTY: Not guilty.

 

NIGHT SCHOOL: Not guilty.

 

PINKY: Not guilty.

 

BRASSY: Not guilty.

 

LEADING CITIZEN: Guilty.

 

SPORTS NUT: (beat) Not guilty.

 

(Leading Citizen glares at him. Sports Nut shrugs.)

 

GOTH GUY: Not guilty.

 

VIC: Not guilty.

 

FAN MAN: Not guilty.

 

JOHNNY: Not guilty.

 

MARTHA: Well. We now have ten votes for not guilty and two for guilty.

 

LEADING CITIZEN: I'm voting guilty because the evidence is overwhelming that he's guilty. This doesn't prove a thing.

 

NIGHT SCHOOL: It doesn't have to prove anything, Mr. Cartwright. You said it yourself -- it only has to establish reasonable doubt.

 

PINKY: There was another man in that store… someone who seemed to be deliberately avoiding the security camera…

 

AGATHA CHRISTY: (nods) And another suspect is definitely reasonable doubt.

 

FEATHER: It could have just been someone who was scared, hiding back there…

 

NIGHT SCHOOL: Then why didn't he come forward to testify?

 

LEADING CITIZEN: Some people don't like to get involved…

 

BRASSY: Look, the Prosecution staked their case on one simple fact: that Winters was the only one who could have shot the clerk…

 

FAN MAN: …and Johnny proved them wrong.

 

SPORTS NUT: (nods) Give the man credit, he came up with the goods.

 

LEADING CITIZEN: I'm not changing my vote.

 

PINKY: Doesn't seem like you've got a choice.

 

(Johnny's been sitting quietly, letting the others blow off steam. But now he interjects.)

 

JOHNNY: Sure he does.

 

(The others turn to him.)

 

JOHNNY: He has every right to stick to his opinion… just like I did when the vote was ten to two the other ways. (Looks at Feather) Same goes for you. But I would like to hear why you still think he's guilty.

 

(Feather looks like a deer caught in the headlights. But she tries to collect herself… Indicates the Female Witness' affidavit, which she's been leafing through.)

 

FEATHER: This woman, she said she heard gunshots… before the boys came out of the store.

 

LEADING CITIZEN: She's right.

 

NIGHT SCHOOL: The defence lawyer argued that what she heard was the beer bottles breaking.

 

LEADING CITIZEN: Come on, use your heads. Of course, he's going to argue she heard the bottles breaking. Otherwise, he has no case! Since when do bottles sound like guns?

 

FEATHER: (quiet conviction) She said she heard gunshots… and I believe her.

 

LEADING CITIZEN: (pleased) See, there's another vote you're not going to change.

 

(But Johnny's eyes are on Feather as she puts the affidavit down and nervously sips her coffee. He picks up the document himself. Close on affidavit. We see the words: "Sworn testimony of Emily Tager, 30…" as a vision begins :)

 

 

[INT. CONVENIENCE STORE - NIGHT – VISION]

(Once again, a cash register drawer slides open and a hand reaches in for some coins. But this time we pan up to see the actual clerk, who then hands the change to Johnny, who's dressed as the Female Witness. And yes, it seems comical for an instant but only an instant because the horror is very real for Johnny/Female Witness when the door opens and Winters and his crew burst in and move to the counter. This time the angles are different as we replay the scene, emphasizing the teens' menace from "Johnny's" perspective. Winters shoulders Johnny/Female Witness aside as he addresses the clerk.)

 

WINTERS: Yo, Apu, gimme two packs of Nubucks.

 

CLERK: Are you eighteen?

 

WINTERS: C'mon, man, I'm 25, hook me up.

 

KID ONE: Whoa, Cheetos, my favourite.

 

(He's yanked the chips from Johnny's grocery bag. And now Johnny/Female Witness' heart is starting to pound as he tries to leave, only to find another thuggish teen blocking him.)

 

KID TWO: What's the rush, baby?

 

(He runs his hands over Johnny/Female Witness' arms as the camera brings us in close -- and it isn't just weird, it's unsettling and distressing, as though we're also feeling what it's like to be trapped and pawed like this.)

 

KID TWO: Don't you like us?

 

JOHNNY/FEMALE WITNESS: Please…

 

(He backs away -- right into Kid One, who wraps his arms around Johnny/Female Witness' shoulders as he nuzzles his ear.)

 

KID ONE: Yeah, stick around. We're gonna have a little party.

 

(Johnny/Female Witness struggles to get away but the boy holds him easily, laughing… and then they're all laughing, as the boys' faces start to whirl around Johnny/Female Witness and 'she' glimpses the gun in Winters's waistband… until finally the Clerk shouts :)

 

CLERK: Leave her alone! The camera's recording you!

 

(And as the kids turn to look up at the camera, Johnny/Female Witness is finally able to wrench free and rush out the door!)

 

 

[EXT. CONVENIENCE STORE - NIGHT - VISION – CONTINUOUS]

(As Johnny/Female Witness -- terrified, humiliated -- rushes from the store. 'She' gets to her car, fumbles frantically trying to unlock the door, as she sees Kid One and Kid Two exit and get into the convertible. Finally, she gets the door open -- just as there's a muffled "popping" sound from inside the store. (We've heard the sound of the beer bottles breaking in Johnny's prior vision and that's what we're hearing here.) Johnny/Female Witness is behind the wheel now, trying to start the engine as Winters exits, jumps in the driver's seat and high-five Kid One. He starts up his car -- and the rap music blasts again (and this would presumably cover the sound of the real gunshot, which will happen in the next moment) -- before he backs up and roars out of the lot. And as we rotate into a dual reality -- to see the jury sitting at their table, seemingly in the parking lot, looking at Johnny who turns to see - in a rack focus - the face of Feather… and we're back --)

 

 

[INT. JURY ROOM – CONTINUOUS]

(As Johnny comes out of the vision, shaken but with an insight not only into this witness, but into Feather as well. The impact of this vision is particularly profound because it's the first time he's ever known what it feels like to be a woman, to feel in danger of being raped… he looks at Feather with great compassion, speaks softly to her and only her… his eyes locked on hers…)

 

JOHNNY: I can only begin to understand the terror. How… completely helpless the woman in the store felt when that gang grabbed her.

 

(No man could ever know what it's like to be threatened that way. Feather's eyes narrow as he seems to be able to see into her soul… she breaks eye contact with him…)

 

JOHNNY (CONT'D): She was running for her life when she heard the sounds from the store - two 'quick pops', she said in court… and sure, it must've sounded like gunshots… after all she saw a man with a gun inside -- it's a logical conclusion… (Beat) But could anyone trust their senses at a time like that? When your heartbeat is pounding louder than any sound in the real world?

 

(Feather looks back and re-establishes eye contact with Johnny again and as she does…)

 

 

[A MEMORY FLASH OF THE ALLEY]

(We saw earlier: Feather is about to be raped… her assailant's hand clamped over her mouth, her eyes wide with terror.)

 

 

[RESUME]

(Johnny speaks to her intimately…)

 

JOHNNY: It's natural for you to sympathize with that woman. She was a victim here too. But assault is not murder. It's not the crime that Carl Winters is on trial for today. If we're not sure he killed the clerk…

 

(Feather takes it in and is obviously moved by Johnny's argument. But Leading Citizen, sensing his lone support being stripped away, bristles --)

 

LEADING CITIZEN: Shut up! Shut the hell up!

 

MARTHA: Mister Cartwright

 

LEADING CITIZEN: You, too! All of you! Just shut up and listen to me!

 

(The jurors fall silent as Leading Citizen glares at them…)

 

LEADING CITIZEN: We came in here knowing what we had to do, knowing the truth! But then you let this… this nutcase… twist it all around. It's like he's put you in a trance. You're not thinking for yourselves!

 

SPORTS NUT: Whoa, calm down, buddy.

 

LEADING CITIZEN: I'm not your buddy and I'll calm down when I've got a reason. (To all of them) Shadows and broken bottles. That's what he's feeding you! You call that reasonable doubt? I call it unreasonable!

 

(Johnny moves to face him… speaks evenly without any self-satisfaction…)

 

JOHNNY: Ten people in this room disagree with you, sir.

 

FEATHER: Eleven.

 

(Off looks…)

 

FEATHER: I'm changing my vote to not guilty.

 

LEADING CITIZEN: I don't believe this!

 

MARTHA: ("believe it") The vote is now eleven to one in favour of acquittal.

 

(All eyes are now on Leading Citizen.)

 

LEADING CITIZEN: I don't care what the rest of you think. I'm not changing my vote.

 

(Johnny rises to confront him diplomatically…)

 

JOHNNY: Mister Cartwright, if you force the state to try him again, all the evidence we discovered will come out at the next trial.

 

LEADING CITIZEN: At least the next jury won't have to deal with you…

 

(On his last words, Leading Citizen pokes Johnny in the chest with a finger as punctuation… as he does, we ramp to Johnny's face as a vision begins… and perhaps we stutter our way into the following scene with each poke of the finger…)

 

LEADING CITIZEN: …and once you're out of the way… (Another poke) …they'll see the truth… (Another poke)

 

 

[EXT. CITY BASKETBALL COURT - DAY – VISION]

(As before, we see Leading Citizen, in a youth league coach's jacket, as he soundlessly shouts encouragement at a young boy going for a lay-up -- until his eyes go past him to the tricked-out SUV slowly rounding the corner, a passenger window powering down as a young gang banger with a gun leans out. Moving to find Johnny standing there, watching as – Leading citizen is rushing toward the basket, shouting again soundlessly, the boy with the ball turning to him, puzzled, while the teen-agers on the sidewalk behind him duck for cover. And then Leading Citizen is gathering up the wounded body of the boy, overwhelmed with shock and despair… carrying him in his arms to find help… as the vision ends.)

 

 

[RESUME - JURY ROOM]

(As Leading Citizen continues to confront Johnny.)

 

LEADING CITIZEN (CONT'D):…The man is guilty. Guilty.

 

JOHNNY: Who's guilty? Winters, or the gang banger who almost killed your son?

 

(And this time Leading Citizen just stares at Johnny for a stunned instant -- and then lashes out, shoving him hard! The others react with alarm and concern, the men rising to restrain Leading Citizen. Johnny waves them off.)

 

JOHNNY: It's okay. Leave him alone.

 

(He picks up his cane, then steps forward again, silently facing Leading Citizen. A long look between the two men as Leading Citizen absorbs what he's done… a gamut of emotions playing across his face as anger gives way to grief, and the realization that Johnny's right - he's brought his own distinct bias into these deliberations. He turns, takes in the faces of the other jurors -- not judging him, most showing sympathy for what he's going through -- then he sags into his chair, drained.)

 

LEADING CITIZEN: (hoarse) Is it possible? Am I judging the wrong man?

 

JOHNNY: We all enter this room with our pasts, Mr. Cartwright. Every one of us.

 

(A beat, then he nods almost imperceptibly -- an admission less of defeat than of acceptance.)

 

JUDGE (V.O.): Have you reached a verdict?

 

 

[INT. COURTROOM – DAWN]

(The jury is back in the jury box, Martha standing.)

 

MARTHA: We have, your honour.

 

JUDGE: And how do you find?

 

MARTHA: We find the defendant, Carl Winters, not guilty… of all charges.

 

(Winters's side of the courtroom erupts. The Prosecutor reacts with disbelief. Winters is hugged by his mother. The Judge nods, takes it in stride.)

 

JUDGE: Members of the jury, this Court thanks you. You're free to leave.

 

(Off Johnny…)

 

 

[45 45 INT. COURTHOUSE LOBBY - EARLY MORNING]

(Johnny walks from the elevator into the much quieter lobby, his footsteps echoing on the polished floor. In the background, other jurors filing out… Sports Nut telling Feather…)

 

SPORTS NUT: Yanks got to Pedro in the ninth… Bernie Williams pops one over second between three guys and it falls, two runs score and we lose two to one.

 

FEATHER: Curse of the Bambino.

 

(Sports Nut looks Feather over with new eyes and quickly says…)

 

SPORTS NUT: You know, there's a 24-hour sports bar around the corner. We can get some breakfast and watch the highlights…

 

(She smiles tentatively, nods. As Johnny watches them go, Fan Man approaches, still excited…)

 

FAN MAN: That was really intense…

 

(Johnny braces himself for the unsolicited praise, but it never comes, as Fan Man suddenly switches gears --)

 

FAN MAN: (disappointed) …but you couldn't tell us who did it, could you?

 

(Taken aback, Johnny just shrugs. But as Fan Man shakes his head and walks away, he can't help but smile to himself. And now the defendant, family and friends are moving through the lobby and Johnny watches them… behind him, there's a distinctive whine…)

 

VIC: Why don't you?

 

(Johnny turns, looks at Vic.)

 

VIC: Go touch him and see what he's gonna do with his second chance.

 

JOHNNY: (evenly) I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought about it. But you know what? We've done what we can for him. Now it's his turn.

 

(At that moment, Winters glances over and sees Vic and Johnny looking at him... he pauses in his celebration to nod a very clear gesture of appreciation... and in this moment at least, it feels as though he's learned something from the experience. He moves on.)

 

JOHNNY: Well, I'd better go over to Sheriff Bannerman's office to describe the car the real killer was driving… (Pauses, recalling that vision, then) …a sedan from the late sixties… shouldn't be that hard to track down.

 

(He stops to look at the mural of Lady Justice again, noting something that still seems a little "off.")

 

VIC: (a beat, re: mural) Saying good-bye?

 

JOHNNY: Just wondering what she'd look like without the blindfold.

 

(Vic smiles. A beat between the two men, then they turn and move out of frame together. And as the whine of the wheelchair fades, along with Johnny's footsteps, camera pushes in on the mural, moving down from the blindfold, and lingering on those slightly lopsided scales…)

 

 

END OF ACT FOUR

 

 

THE END

 

Kikavu ?

Au total, 18 membres ont visionné cet épisode ! Ci-dessous les derniers à l'avoir vu...

jujume80 
22.01.2018 vers 15h

sanct08 
14.11.2016 vers 11h

cobrate 
30.10.2016 vers 18h

breched 
Date inconnue

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tutu0605 
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