The Practice
Life Sentence

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Life Sentence

Thank God we get to go back to the trial. It's pretty sad when the trial of a woman who killed a man who raped and murdered her child is more entertaining than feuding fiancé(e)s. A camera operator is testifying; as a videotape plays, he's commenting on it. This videotape, however, is shot from a different angle than the one played during the cop's testimony. The person who shot this tape was facing Sally, and the videotape shows her approaching from across the street, pulling out a gun, shooting Whittier at point-blank range, then quickly dropping her gun and raising her arms in a gesture of surrender. The cops immediately grab her and cuff her; her face, both on the tape and in the courtroom, remains relatively expressionless. We get a shot of some guy in the back of the courtroom with a dubious look on his face.

In one of the breakout rooms, Dubious Guy turns out to be the shrink, Dr. Tippett. He's withdrawing from testifying. He claims he never thought Sally was insane to begin with, although he was prepared to say that she might have been. But having seen the tape, which he never saw before (which certainly seems like poor prep on the part of DYD&F), he thinks Sally was very clearly calm and composed. Ellenor doesn't think that proves she wasn't in a rage. Dr. Tippett allows that she may very well have been in a rage, but they're asking him to testify that she couldn't distinguish between right and wrong, and he will not do it. He feels that her gesture of putting her hands up indicates that she expected to be arrested, and that means she knew what she was doing was wrong. Ellenor's mad, but Tippett claims that the defence was already a stretch and he simply can't stretch it that far. Eugene says that he's done it before. Tippett says, "No, I haven't, Eugene! And certainly not on television!" So I suppose you'd be willing to do it if you weren't on television? Nice ethics. Then he's on about his professional reputation, blah blah blah. Ellenor complains that they are paying him (ten grand) for the testimony; he says he'll refund the money. Eugene and Ellenor both argue at once that he can't jump ship, and that he's their only expert witness. Tippett says he will not commit perjury, and pretty soon he's outta there. When he leaves, Ellenor asks, "Now what?" Eugene says they should get Dr. Lanning. Jimmy asks, "Dr. Dope?" Eugene replies, "At least he'll say what we want. Let's page him. He should be here for Sally's testimony." Ellenor's pretty unhappy.

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The Practice

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