The Practice
Life Sentence

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Life Sentence

Time for Richard's closing. He admits to taking some emotional satisfaction in Michael Whittier's death, if he actually raped and murdered Jessica Berg, but emphasizes that we don't know that, because he was executed before he ever got his day in court. The reason we have laws is to keep people from running around with guns and acting out of extreme emotion. (Yeah, the US is doing a hell of a job on that front.) "I sympathize with Sally Berg, as I know you do, but she wasn't acting out of insanity that day. She made a series of conscious choices." She opened a combination lock, loaded a revolver, drove a car without getting in an accident, et cetera et cetera. "She willfully, deliberately, with malice aforethought, committed a premeditated murder. I don't think there's any doubt about that. The only real question here is whether you'll embrace her vigilantism by becoming vigilantes yourselves, or you'll instead uphold the law you swore to uphold. This is your trial, now, ladies and gentlemen. This is your society." Kind of a weak ending, if you ask me. Ellenor's turn. She begins, "I am not a psychiatrist. Neither is Mr. Bay. But I know of no medical opinions or studies that say rage automatically makes you act wildly. Sometimes, if the rage is profound enough, I would imagine it could take you over, to a place where you're even capable of cold, methodical vengeance. This is the kind of profound rage, and grief, that took over Sally Berg. I won't pretend to know what was going on inside her head. I have never had a child raped and murdered, and I would guess that none of us here would presume to know such horror." She turns and walks over to an empty easel next to the witness stand, and puts up a very large photograph of an adorable little blonde girl holding a large greyish-brown teddy bear. Ellenor continues, "This is Jessica Berg. She loved to collect and trade Pokemon cards; she liked her stuffed animals more than her dolls; she -- she loved to play soccer." Of course, Sally is crying again. Richard looks mildly annoyed. Helen, of all people, tries to wipe away a tear without letting the jury see it. Ellenor says, "I would like to take a moment, and ask you to try and imagine the last few minutes of her life." There's sad, dramatic music as we see the serious faces of the jurors, Sally's tears, Judge Hiller trying not to break down, a long shot of Jessica's face, Helen still trying not to cry openly, and Eugene looking uncomfortable. After a few moments of silence, Ellenor says softly, "Imagine being her mother." Ellenor goes back to her seat as Richard glares at a teary-eyed Helen, disgusted that she's crying in front of the jury. Judge Hiller looks like she's going to need a stiff drink. She can have one during the commercials.

Back at the ranch, we get a shot of a door and we can hear Rebecca's voice asking, "You're going to elope?" Then Lindsay peeks out from between the Venetian blinds inside Bobby's office and says, "Shh . . . he'll hear you." She tells Lucy and Rebecca that she's planning to surprise Bobby with an elopement. She says it's the best way to handle the invitation fiasco; they can tell people they're already married, and then have a small formal ceremony later with just the people they really wanted to invite. Lucy asks hesitantly, "Am I one of those people?" Princess simpers at her but says nothing either way. Now, of course, after treating both of them like crap day in and day out, Princess needs their help to pull it off. Rebecca and Lucy suddenly sprout backbones and tell Princess where to stick it. No, of course not. Better yet, Princess is planning to do it tonight. Rebecca can't believe it.

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The Practice

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