The Practice
Liberty Bells (2)

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

After some more words from our sponsors, Ellenor's on the phone speaking to some flunky from Supreme Court Justice David Souter's office. She's trying to impress upon this person that the execution date is tomorrow, and she wants that brought to Souter's attention. She hangs up and says, "Supreme Court Justices aren't even made aware of these requests. Their law clerks just stamped 'denied' and then they go out and play basketball!" The phone rings again and Mary grabs it, and passes it to Ellenor, saying that it's the doctor from the lab. There's a lot of tension while everyone waits for her to get off the phone. When she does, she tells them that there was DNA on the nightshirt: two semen stains, neither of which match Stuart's DNA. Everyone looks grateful, especially Mary, who whispers, "Thank you, God. Thank you, thank you, God."

Ellenor and Eugene go back to speak to the DA, who looks somewhat flabbergasted to be receiving these results. Ellenor says that they can document chain of custody, and adds that the doctor who performed the tests is an expert the DA's office uses. Good thinking. Ellenor says, "I'm hoping we can offer a joint recommendation asking for Stuart Donovan's release." Platt's not so sure he can do that; Ellenor thinks this is conclusive proof that Stuart didn't commit the crime. Platt asks if the doctor put the information into the national database, but no match had been made. Platt admits that he's surprised by the results, but that he doesn't feel it clears Stuart, only that it means somebody else could have been there with him. They start arguing over the evidence given by the alcoholic witness, and the jailhouse informant. Ellenor interjects, "I don't believe I'm hearing this! You still plan to execute?" Platt holds to his theory that it only shows somebody else could have been there. Well, if so, mightn't that person be responsible for the murders, even if Stuart was present? He also suggests that the stain could be older than the day of the murders, which is a much stronger objection if you ask me. Platt maintains that it doesn't disprove the evidence against Stuart Donovan. Ellenor says nothing but seethes silently.

Back at defense HQ, the team meets again. Mary can't believe the DA is not accepting the results as exculpatory. Eugene says they need to go back to court, but not federal. Mary's really unhappy about going back to Judge Wood, but Eugene says he's all they've got. Ellenor starts giving orders to Lucy and Jimmy, but Mary's still objecting. Ellenor holds her hand up to kind of block Mary out, but Mary's persistent: "Why Judge Wood?" Ellenor finally explodes, shouting, "Would you shut up?" Mary looks stunned; Eugene and Lucy and Jimmy look concerned. Ellenor apologizes in a very soft voice, "I'm sorry . . . it's just . . . I'm so sorry." She walks away. Eugene starts telling everybody what to do; Mary fiddles with the index cards on one of the bulletin boards. Eugene goes and asks Ellenor if she wants him to argue. Ellenor says she'll do it. Then she walks over to where Mary is and says, "Mary . . ." Mrs. Donovan turns around, and with a sigh and a very drawn look on her face, says gently, "It's okay."

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The Practice

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