The Practice
Liberty Bells (2)

Episode Report Card
Deborah: B | 3 USERS: A
Liberty Bells (2)

Ellenor is back in Smokin' Judge Wood's court to ask him to order the exhumation of Alyssa Kearns so that the nightshirt can be retrieved. She argues that the nightshirt is new evidence. Platt, the DA, argues that it's not new evidence and that with due diligence, the defense could have tracked it down years ago. Ellenor states that it was not foreseeable that the nightshirt would be buried with Alyssa according to ancient Jewish custom. Ellenor says, "I would submit that we have a right to post-conviction discovery." Platt says that can only happen under exceptional circumstances. Ellenor thinks the fact that Donovan is about to be put to death qualifies. I must agree. Platt says she doesn't know that there's any DNA evidence to be gotten from the nightshirt. Ellenor says to Platt, "If there's not, what are you afraid of? You still get to execute him and you don't have to cancel your party plans." Platt brings up Commonwealth v. Kivlin, and Eugene quickly hands Ellenor a relevant document. In that case, a request for exhumation was denied because the existence of the evidence sought was "speculative and uncertain." Ellenor counters that the Kivlin case involved a search for gunpowder traces and did not even approach the scientific certainty offered by DNA evidence. Platt resorts to accusing the defense lawyers of wanting to desecrate a grave and victimize Alyssa Kearns one more time. Ellenor objects to that. Platt goes on to inform the court that the legal action surrounding Stuart Donovan's case has now cost the taxpayers more than one million dollars, and enumerates the many petitions and motions made by the defense team. "Now they come in looking to dig up the victim. Where in God's name does it stop?" Smokey the Judge finally says, "The nightshirt may very well be new evidence. But there's no offer before me that it even contains any DNA evidence, much less exculpatory." Ellenor interjects, "Because nobody looked!" The judge continues, "Even so. Under Kivlin, I can't re-open on speculation. And, that's all you're barking with. Your motion is denied." Mary squeezes back some tears.

Ellenor speaks to Stuart in prison, updating him and explaining that they're still trying. She says they're going to approach Alyssa's father about exhumation. Stuart asks, "Why would any father agree to let his daughter get dug up?" Ellenor has no answer for that. Stuart says evenly, "It's over." He asks where his mother is "off crying" now; Ellenor says she's at home. After a long pause, Stuart, misty-eyed, says, "I never believed it would happen. Even when I got sentenced, I figured, you know, it's a mistake, it'll get cleared up. But . . . we're there. The day is here." Ellenor tells him that they're going to inspect "the equipment" in the vague hope that they can find something wrong with it. She doesn't actually finish this thought, but just trails off, realizing that there's probably not much she or anyone can do to help him now.

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The Practice




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