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Getting Away With Murder In St. Louis
by Bruce C. Cohen (BCCPlays@hotmail.com)

Rated: R   Genre: Drama   User Review:

A criminal defense attorney, who makes his living by knowing the angles, finds a huge loophole in Missouri jurisprudence which allows him to murder his wife. But success does not equal happiness.

This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.

A. Andrew (Andy) Jackson (mid-fifties, graying at the
temples) and his trophy wife Billie Jean (B.J.)(thirty,
blonde, chesty) are playing tennis on a backyard court.
After a short rally, B.J. finishes the play with a strong
overhead volley. B.J. rushes the net with her arms raised
in victory. Jackson takes a moment with his hands on his
knees to catch his breath, then walks slowly to the net.
That's game, set and match to the
defending and still champion
Billie Jean King Jackson!
(still winded)
No fair. I was weighted down.
No excuses! I had the same
breakfast you did. You lost fair
and square. So you get to go with
me to the mall.
No, it was not fair! I told you I
was weighted down.
Yeah, right. So how were you
weighted down?
I had to carry this around all

(reaches into his pocket and
takes out a diamond tennis


Jackson puts the tennis bracelet on B.J.. B.J. grabs him
across the net for a kiss.
I love you, A. Andrew Jackson!
And I love you, B.J. Jackson.
Happy Birthday, Baby!

(drops his hands from her
back down and under her tennis

We don't have to take a shower
right away, do we?

Jackson is caught in a highway traffic stoppage.
                       RADIO ANNOUNCER
(VO) The jury is expected to give
its verdict in the Lehman double
homicide this morning. It looks
like it's going to be another
sizzler. And the Cards are at home
tonight against the Cubbies. All
this and more, coming up right
after the national news.
B.J. sits on the toilet wearing only one of Andy's
unbuttoned dress shirts. B.J. holds and stares at an opened
home pregnancy test. She turns and drops the test into the
trash. Tears run down her cheeks.


Jackson crosses Central Street from the east parking lot
towards the Court House. News Crews (including Jessie
Minton--female, late twenties) line Central St.(east of
Court House)-all try to get a statement from Jackson. As
Jackson reaches the curb, several reporters approach him and
thrust out microphones in his direction.
                       REPORTER 1
(with microphone extended)

Mr. Jackson. What do think the
jury's going say? Could you give
us your opinion?
                       REPORTER 2
Is there any truth to the rumor
that the Prosecution has a
conclusive video tape that you
were able to keep out of the
Is it true, Mr. Jackson, that you
don't talk to reporters?
(stops and smiles at Minton)

Yes, that I'm willing to state on
the record.
Jackson ignores the other questions, and walks into the
Court House.
St.Louis County Court Room--Packed court room. Buzzer
All rise.


Everyone rises. County Judge enters, and takes seat behind
the bench.
                       CO. JUDGE
You may be seated.

(everyone sits)

In a moment I am going to ask the
Bailiff to bring in the jury. It
is my understanding that they have
reached a verdict. Whatever that
verdict may be, I expect everyone
in this court room to maintain

(turns to Bailiff)

Would you please bring in the
Bailiff rises and exits through the back door of the
courtroom. Bailiff returns immediately, and leads twelve
jurors to the jury box where they take their seats.
                       CO. JUDGE
Has the jury reached a verdict?
                       CO. JURY FOREMAN

Yes, your Honor. The jury has
reached a verdict.
Foreman hands the written verdict to the Bailiff. Bailiff
hands the written verdict to the Judge. Judge takes a moment
and reads it.
                       CO. JUDGE
Will the Defendant please rise and
face the jury?

(Defendant rises and faces the

What is the jury's verdict?


                       CO. JURY FOREMAN
We find the Defendant not guilty.
Bedlam in the court room. Defendant hugs Jackson. Judge
pounds gavel furiously.
                       CO. JUDGE
Order! Order! Quiet down! Quiet
now! Court is still in session!
                       COUNTY PROSECUTOR
Excuse me, Your Honor.
                       CO. JUDGE
Yes, Ms. Hamilton.
                       COUNTY PROSECUTOR
In accordance with Missouri Rules
of Criminal Procedure, Rule
29.01(d), the State requests that
the jury be polled.
                       CO. JUDGE
You have that right.

(turns to crowd)

I want it quiet in here,
immediately, or I'll clear the
court room.

(beat, crowd settles down)
What is this? What the fuck are
they doing?
The verdict has to be unanimous.
The State wants to make sure that
everyone agreed.
They can do that?


Yes, they can. And they would be
crazy if they didn't.
                       CO. JUDGE
(to jury)

The State has requested that I
conduct a poll of the jury to
ensure that you all agree with the
verdict. I am going to ask each of
you in turn whether you agree with
the verdict. Simply answer yes or
no. Do not state any reasons or
offer any other explanations. Will
you please rise?

(jury stands)

After you have answered, please be
seated. I will begin with the
first row, and I will start with
you Madame Foreman, then continue
to your left. Do you agree with
the verdict?
                       CO. JURY FOREMAN
Yes, Judge.
                       CO. JUDGE
You may be seated.

(Foreman sits. Judge looks at
Juror 2)

Do you agree with the verdict?
                       JUROR 2
Yes, your Honor.

                       JUROR 3
I agree, too.

(starts to sit)


                       CO. JUDGE
Wait a moment.

(Juror 3 stands back up)

We need to make a clear record. So
I need to ask you, do agree with
the verdict?
                       JUROR 3
Sorry. Yeah, I agree.

Camera pans over to Jackson who is putting away his papers.
The polling of the jury continues off screen in the
background while Jackson and Defendant talk.
                       CO. JUDGE
(O. S.)

Do you agree with the verdict?
                       JUROR 4
(O. S.)

Yes, Judge.
                       CO. JUDGE

Do you agree with the verdict?
                       JUROR 5
(O.S., beat)

Yes, I agree.
                       CO. JUDGE

Do you agree with the verdict?


                       JUROR 6
(O. S.)

Yes, sure, I agree.
                       CO. JUDGE
(O. S.) Do you agree with the
                       JUROR 7
(O. S.)

Yes, Judge.
As camera pans over to Jackson and Defendant, Defendant is
standing to Jackson's right looking at the jury. Defendant
looks at Jackson and sees Jackson putting away his papers.
(grabs Jackson's sleeve)

What are you doing? You got to
watch this!
Relax. None of the jurors are
going to change their minds at
this point. They would be too

(steeples his hands)

The ball game is over. The
prosecutor can stamp her feet and
hold her breath, but it really
does not matter. All the angles
are covered. You are a free man.
Trust me on this one.
Camera pans back over to the Judge. Only Jurors 8 through
12 are still standing.
                       CO. JUDGE
(to Juror 8)

Do you agree with the verdict?


                       JUROR 8
Well, I agree, but I want you to

(Judge cuts her off).
                       CO. JUDGE
(holds up his hand to get Juror
8's attention)

Stop. You need to give the Court a
simple answer of yes or no. Do you
agree with the verdict?
                       JUROR 8

Yes, I agree.

                       CO. JUDGE
(to Juror 9)

Do you agree with the verdict?
                       JUROR 9
Sure, your Honor. I agree, too.

                       CO. JUDGE
(to Juror 10)

Do you agree with the verdict?
                       JUROR 10
Yes, Sir.

                       CO. JUDGE
(to Juror 11)

Do you agree with the verdict?


                       JUROR 11
Yes, I do.

                       CO. JUDGE
(to Juror 12)

Do you agree with the verdict?
                       JUROR 12
Yeah, I agree.

                       CO. JUDGE
Pursuant to Missouri Rules of
Criminal Procedure, Rule 29.01(d),
at the request of the State, the
Court has polled the jury, and in
accordance with said poll, finds
that the verdict of not guilty is
unanimous, and so shall be

(to Defendant)

You are a free man. Court stands
All rise.
Jackson is sitting at a tall bar table on a high stool
watching a pool match between a large man and a small man.
The small man makes a shot. He then misses an easy shot, and
leaves the cue ball in position to set up a run for the big

Jackson is sipping ginger ale. Reporter Jessie Minton comes
up to the table.


Mr. Jackson. My name is Jessie
Minton. May I sit down?
(without looking at her)

I know who you are. As we
discussed briefly this morning, I
don't talk to reporters. But yes,
feel free to sit down.
Thank you.

(takes a seat, watches Jackson
watching the pool match)

What is so fascinating?
(turns to look Minton)

That depends on one's perspective.
Are you asking as a reporter?
Obviously not. You don't talk to

(puts her hand out)

Hi, I'm Jessie Minton, girl about
town with a few hours to kill
before going home to feed her cat.
(shakes her hand)

Pleased to meet you, Jessie
Minton, girl about town. I am A.
Andrew Jackson. Andy, to my
Pleased to meet you, Andy.


You asked me what is so
fascinating about the pool match.
Yes, I did. It doesn't look like
much of a match. The little guy is
getting slaughtered.
Actually, the little guy is a
superb player. He's hustling. He
makes just enough shots to keep
the game interesting, then
carefully sets up his opponent's
next shot.

(signals the Waitress)

What can I getcha, Mr. J?
(points to his glass)

I'd like another one of these,
please, Katie.

(turns to Minton)

And what would you like?
I'll have what he's having.

Are you sure?
This is ginger ale, Jessie.



                       JACKSON (cont'd)

I don't drink.
Jackson and his First Wife are driving on a dark, wooded
road. First Wife is brunette, mid-forties, made up for a
holiday party. Jackson is driving.
He had his goddamn hands all over
                       FIRST WIFE
Christ, Andy! Sometimes you are
just too goddamn possessive! He
was not feeling me up. He just
had a little too much to drink.


And he sure as hell isn't the only

What the hell is that supposed to
                       FIRST WIFE
You know goddamn well what it
means. You're a mean drunk, Andy.
I was not...

(deer runs into the middle of
the road)

Shit! Hold on!



Jackson swerves to avoid the deer. The car heads off the
road, and crashes into the trees.
The crash site is lit by Police and Emergency Medical
Services vehicles and portable floodlights. Jackson is
strapped on a portable emergency gurney. EMS attendant is
wiping blood off of Jackson's face. A police officer is
standing by Jackson's gurney, carrying a portable
breathalyzer unit.
Let me see her! Is she okay?
                       EMS TECH
Please calm down, Mr. Jackson.
Goddamn it, let me fucking see my

(grabs the EMS Tech's shirt)
                       EMS TECH
Mr. Jackson, please relax.
Police Officer helps EMS Tech remove Jackson's hand, and
settle Jackson down on the gurney.
                       POLICE OFFICER
Mr. Jackson, look at me.

(Jackson looks at the

I have some bad news, sir.
Continuation of bar scene with Jackson and Minton.
Oh. Well, er, that's fine.


Okay. I'll be right back.

You've been in here before,
haven't you?
Once or twice. But let us not
digress from the subject of the
pool match. It is an extraordinary
study in human nature.
So tell me what I'm watching.
On both the physical and the
mental sides, this match is a game
of angles. As with most things in
life, whoever has the keener grasp
of the angles, will prevail.
So the little guy has a better
grasp of the angles.
You have taken your first steps
towards enlightenment,
What about this angle? When the
big guy finally loses big time,
he's gonna beat the shit out of
the little guy.
Waitress comes up, places the drinks on the table. Jackson
slides her a five dollar bill, and waves off the change.


Thanks, Mr. J.
Wow. You're a regular Diamond Jim
Brady. So, what about that angle,
That angle is covered also. Do you
see those two gentlemen in the
(Minton looks over to two men
seated in back corner of the bar)
Those gentlemen are with the
little guy. Once again, having the
keener grasp of the angles, will
allow the little guy to prevail.
Such is the way of all things.
All things?
(takes a sip of his ginger ale)
Yes, Grasshopper. All things.
So everything is just a matter of
who is best at identifying the
angles. How would the ability to
identify angles apply to, say, the
practice of law, for instance?
(steeples his hands on the bar
table, with his palms together)

There are an infinite number of
angles. Some are acute.

(opens the hands with finger
tips still touching, until palms
are an inch apart)



                       JACKSON (cont'd)
Other angles are obtuse.

(continues to open the hands
past 90 degrees)

Those who tend to be more obtuse
angle identifiers gravitate
towards the less sagacious fields,
such as family law. Conversely,
those who tend to be acute angle
identifiers lean towards the more
perspicacious fields, such as the
practice of criminal law.
Anyone ever tell you, you talk
funny, Andy? Well, what happens if
there are no angles?
Well, Grasshopper, that is the
simplest case of all. If you have
no angles, then all that is left
is a flat line. And when you flat
line, it means that you're dead.
Lunch at a crowded outdoor cafe. Shot opens on two women,
age contemporaries of Billie Jean Jackson and her friend
Ogden, at a table by the railing. Billie Jean (B.J.) Jackson
and Ogden are seated a couple of tables away. B.J. and Ogden
are very close in physical appearance, including hair color,
style, and length. B.J. is wearing her tennis bracelet.
                       DINER 1
(puts her hand over her mouth)

I don't believe it!
                       DINER 2
What? What?
                       DINER 1
It's the Boobsey Twins!


                       DINER 2
No! You're kidding!

(turns to look)

                       DINER 1
Over on the right, near the
service door.
                       DINER 2
You're right. It has to be them.

(turns back to Diner 1,

I haven't seen them in years.
                       DINER 1
It's hard to believe they aren't
                       DINER 2
Actually, it's hard to give a damn
one way or the other. Well, at
least they're not dressing the
same any more.
                       DINER 1
You know, that B.J. married that
attorney that was in the news this
morning for getting that killer
off in the Lehman murders.
                       DINER 2
Really! He must be at least twice
her age.
Camera leaves the two diners, and pans over to B.J. Jackson
and Ogden. Ogden is admiring the tennis bracelet.
It's gorgeous. Can I try it on?


(takes off the bracelet, hands it
over to Ogden)

Course you can. Would I deny my
bestest friend anything?

(Ogden opens her mouth, B.J.
holds up her hand to stop her)

Anything within reason?
(smiles, shakes her head no, takes
and puts on the bracelet, holds it
up in the sunlight)

Not bad.


No, not bad at all.

(takes off the bracelet and
hands it back to B.J.)

You should turn thirty more often.
(taking a sip from her drink, sets
down the glass, takes the bracelet
and puts it back on)

Okay, spill. What is so important
that you could not tell me over
the phone?
(leans forward and whispers)

I'm having an affair.

You're what!


Almost two months. It's
You're kidding, right? I mean, you
and Bill....


I mean....


Are you leaving him?

I've been thinking about it, but I
still don't know. All I know is
that this is right for me right
now. You should try it.
Me? Have an affair?
Sure. It won't kill you.
Yeah, right.

(beat, looks down and plays
with her glass)

B.J.. Honey, you still with me?


(looks up at Ogden)

Yeah, I'm still with you. I just
don't want you to get hurt.
It's okay. Really.

Well, then, tell me. What's he
(smiles broadly)

What do you think? You know what I
Hmmm. Let's see.

(beat, holds her hands twelve
inches apart with her index
fingers extended)

Ahhh. He's really, really big!
(taking a drink, sputters)

You bitch! That's not it!


Actually, that is pretty damn

(holds her hands out fifteen
inches apart with her index
fingers extended)

But there is more. Don't look at
me like that. There is! He's


                       OGDEN (cont'd)
kind, and interested in what I
have to say.


He's just right for me right now.
You said that already. Are you
trying to convince me or you?
No, I'm sure. But he's married
too. Until we decide whether this
is going to be a long term deal,
we have to be extra careful. He
thinks his wife is starting to
take an unusual interest in his
schedule, and she is reviewing his
credit card bills.

(leans across the table and
takes B.J.'s hand)

Remember what you said a couple of
minutes ago, about my being your
bestest friend.
Sure. I'm not senile. Who are you,
Hey, I'm serious. I need to ask
you a really big favor.
B.J.and Ogden are at a high end cosmetics counter sampling
products. Ogden finishes applying a bright coral or peach
lipstick that is terrible for her complexion. Ogden turns
to B.J.


There. What do you think?
Well, if you really want
something special for Halloween,
we still have time to hit the
dollar store.
I thought it was cute!
But sometimes, honey, your
thinking is not very good. Try a
different color.
Okay, Mom!
Ogden wipes her mouth, then picks up a new test applicator
and grabs another color more suited to her complexion. B.J.
and Ogden continue sampling the products for few moments
without speaking.
I couldn't do it.
Couldn't what?

(smudges the lipstick)


(cleans off smudge and reapplies
the lipstick)
Have an affair.


Of course not. B.J. is a good

(checks herself in the mirror,
then turns to B.J.)

What about this one?
I like it.
Me too. As I was saying, B.J. is
a good girl. But Cassie on the
other hand....
Two young girls, YOUNG B.J. and YOUNG OGDEN (age five) are
standing in a living room by a broken vase.
                       YOUNG B.J.
No, Mommy! Cassie did it!
Jackson is in the elevator of his office building, rubbing
his eye with his handkerchief. The elevator doors are
closing. Camera shows just a flash of a blond that looks
like B.J. Jackson (Ogden) on the arm of another man. Jackson
hits the open door button several times, but the elevator
doors close. Jackson hits the next floor button, and gets
out on the next floor. Jackson runs down the stairs, but the
couple is gone. Jackson bends over to catch his breath.
Jackson is meeting in his office with a husband and wife,
prospective clients.


He's really a good boy, Mr.
The hell he is, Margaret. The kid
has turned out to be a little
snot. But he is our son, which is
why I'm prepared to pay you a five
thousand dollar retainer this
I appreciate the offer. It's more
than reasonable. But it is not the
money. I do not take cases in St.
Louis City. Period.
Couldn't you make an exception?
Just this once?
No. I'm sorry. I recommend that
you call Michael Herbster. My
secretary will get you his number.
If he is unavailable, I can give
you the names of several other
attorneys who will do a fine job
for your son.
Well, we appreciate your taking a
few minutes to give us an idea
what we can expect.

(reaches out to shake hands.
Jackson rises and shakes)

We'll give Mr. Herbster a call.
Jackson escorts the couple to his door. As the couple exits,
Jackson addresses his secretary off screen.


Karen, please give them Mike
Herbster's number and address. I
hope everything works out well for
your son.
Scene opens with Jackson at his front door, fumbling for his
keys. B.J. opens the door. Once inside, B.J. gives him a big
Okay, how much did you spend?

(B.J. punches him in the arm)

Wimp! I can't show how proud I am
of my man when he returns with his
shield rather than on it.
(taking off his jacket and tie)

Oh, that.
Yeah, oh that. And the way you
actually made eye contact with the
cameras when you gave your
traditional post trial "No
Comment", oooh. It gave me the
Really? I've been working on that.

(takes a deep sniff)

Ummm. That smells wonderful.


(turns down hallway)

Your timing is excellent. I just
took out the spinach pie, and the
chops will be ready in two
minutes. Go wash up, and I'll meet
you in the dining room.
How about you take the chops off,
and we go wash up together?
(OS--from the kitchen)

Sorry. There's no time. I've got a
surprise for you, so get your ass
to the dining room.

Yes, Dear.
Jackson walks to the dining room and takes a seat at the
table. The table is set for two, including a wine glass at
B.J.'s place setting. There is a cuckoo clock on the wall
that shows the time as just before seven. B.J. enters with a
bottle of Roditys and a corkscrew, and hands them to
Make yourself useful. Open this
for me, while I take out the
B.J. runs back into the kitchen. Jackson opens the wine.
So what is the big surprise?



I have none.

(pours B.J.'s glass of wine)

So what is the surprise?
(enters carrying steaming spinach

Hot. Hot. Hot.

(sets it down on a trivet on
the table)




(beat, cuckoo clock cuckoos
seven times)

Ta da!
That's the surprise? You fixed the
cuckoo clock?
(comes over and hugs him)

You were just so upset when you
broke Mama's clock. I looked all
over town for someone that could
fix it.
(gives B.J. a kiss, turns her
around and gives her a swat on the

Now go get the chops.


                       JACKSON (cont'd)

(B.J. runs back to the

(looks at the cuckoo clock,
continues to himself)

It took me six months to find an
opportunity to knock you off the

(points his finger like a gun
at the clock)

Next time you won't be so lucky.
Jacksons' bedroom--Jackson and B.J. are in bed. B.J. is out
cold. Jackson is tossing and turning.


Repeat the start of the scene in Office Elevator. When the
elevator doors start closing, Jackson gets a flash of B.J.
who is naked this time on the arm of the other man. Doors
close. Jackson hits various control buttons. The elevator
doors open, but no one is there. The elevator doors start
closing. Jackson gets a flash of B.J. going down on the man.
The elevator doors close. Jackson hits the control buttons
again. Nothing happens. Jackson frantically pushes the
control buttons. The elevator doors open. B.J. is there in
the same dress as at dinner when Jackson got home from work.
B.J. smiles. She is holding a large wrapped present.
(hands the present to Jackson)

This is for you, Dear.
Jackson unwraps the present. It is the Cuckoo Clock from the
Dining room. The clock door pops open. The bird comes out,
and silently calls out three times.


(VO, synchronized with the Cuckoo)

Cuckold! Cuckold! Cuckold!
Jacksons' bedroom. Jackson starts awake, and suddenly sits
upright. A digital clock by the bed shows 12:00 a.m.. The
dining room Cuckoo clock can be heard for the last three
"cuckoos". Jackson is breathing heavily. He looks over at
B.J., then puts his hand on her ass. She moans, but does not
wake. Jackson staggers out of bed, and walks to the rest
room. He does not turn on the light. Jackson fills a paper
cup with water. He opens the medicine cabinet, and takes out
a prescription bottle of Buspar that is clearly shown.
Jackson opens the bottle, takes a couple of pills, and
swallows them with the water. Jackson crushes the paper cup,
and drops it in the trash.
Jackson is sitting in traffic. Overcast day.
                       RADIO ANNOUNCER

Time to bring in the plants. Looks
like frost is on the way, but at
least no rain for
trick-or-treating.. The Rams lose
their kicker for at least three
weeks. All this and more, coming
up right after the national news.
Stay tuned.
The Jackson's driveway. Ogden is getting her son, JASON
(age six), out of the car. Jason is dressed in a Halloween
superhero costume. Ogden and Jason walk to the front door.


Do I have to have an apple?
No. You don't have to have
anything. But if you want
something to eat, then you may
have an apple.
Jason! What have I told you about
They reach the front door which cracks open before they
knock. Very long black finger nails curl around the door,
and slowly open it revealing B.J. in a black vampiress
outfit, complete with very long black fingernails, black
eyeshadow, and a black wig with hair down to her waist.
      (with Bela Lugosi
       Dracula accent)
I've been expecting you. Please
come in.
Aunt B.J.?
      (laughs, normal
It's me, honey. It's just a
costume, like yours, for
Halloween. You look great!

(bends over and gives Jason a hug
and kiss)
      (nudges Jason)
She just said something nice to
you. What do we say?


Thank you.
I love it! Turn around. Let me see
B.J. spins around.
That wig is just too much! Are you
going to wear it to the party?
I'm not going to the party.
Oh, no! What happened?
Andy won't be home in time. There
was a bomb scare. They had to
leave the building for over three
hours. The case isn't even going
to the jury until this evening.
Andy will be lucky to catch a
plane home tonight.
Well, you can still come with Bill
and me.
Thanks, but I don't want to go
without Andy.

(to Jason)

I just made some chocolate chip
cookies. They're still hot. Would
you like one?


I told him he could have an apple.
B.J. takes Jason's hand, and starts down the hall towards
the kitchen. She looks back over her shoulder.
      (with Bela Lugosi
       Dracula accent)
My castle, my rules! Ha, ha, ha,
ha, ha!
Taxi pulls out of Jackson's driveway. Jackson walks up to
the door, and lets himself in. Jackson drops his brief case
in the foyer, and tosses his suit cout over the stair
Don't pay the ransom. I'm home.
      (O.S.--from the
       living room)
In here.
Jackson walks into the living room. B.J. is shown from the
shoulders up from behind. She sits on the couch holding a
glass of wine, and watches a fire in the fireplace. She
wears the long black wig. Jackson takes a step into the
room, then stops and stares at B.J.
      (without looking
       at Jackson)
I'm afraid B.J. was called away
for the evening.

(sets down the glass, rises and
turns to Jackson, naked except for
the wig)

I'm Cassandra. You may call me


                       B.J. (cont'd)

(slinks over to Jackson)

Let me help you with your tie.
B.J., dressed only in bra and panties, holding a home
pregnancy test, paces in the bathroom. She pauses and looks
at the test.
C'mon! C'mon! C'mon!
B.J. resumes pacing. She looks at the test again.
Damn it!
B.J. throws the test down.
Jackson is seated at his desk, finishing a phone call.
Secretary (Karen, white haired matron) enters and hands him
some letters. Jackson signs the letters while finishing the
call. A large picture of Jackson with his arms around B.J.
is on the desk.
Sorry, I can't. I've got a
deposition at two. How about the


Good. The twenty-third, then, at


Right. I've got to get to court. I
look forward to meeting you. Bye.


                       JACKSON (cont'd)

(hangs up)
No, you don't.
(hands Secretary several signed
letters. Rises and starts
gathering files for his briefcase)

Don't what?
Have to get to court. The clerk
just called. The judge was just
rushed to the ER. They think it
might be his appendix.
Very funny. But don't give up your
day job. Wait a minute. This is
your day job.
Say, that's right. But, the clerk
really did call. Your trial's off.
You're serious, aren't you?
If you're pulling my leg, you're
Again? Well, first of all, I'm
telling you the truth, the whole
truth, and nothing but the truth.
Second, you can't fire me because
you don't know how to use the
coffee machine.



                       SECRETARY (cont'd)
(starts out of office, mumbles
to herself)

Besides, slaves have to be sold.
I heard that!

(collapses into his chair)

I don't believe this. Karen, get
me Dr. Adelman's office.

Already called the Doctor's office
and apologized. And I reached Mr.
Gmerek and told him you are off
for today, and probably for the
rest of the week, but that he
should call here after 4:00 to
Thank you, Karen.

(takes a deep breath, then
exhales loudly. Picks up his
calendar, looks at it then sets it

Screw it.
Jackson rises, walks over to a coatrack, grabs his jacket,
exits the office. Camera follows him out into the reception
area. Secretary is running copies.
No one expects me to be in today,
so I'm gone for the day.
What about the Coleridge brief?


I know. I know. I'm going to go
home and surprise B.J. and take
her to lunch. Then I will spend
the rest of the afternoon locked
in my home office finishing the
Coleridge brief. Okay?

(Points a finger at

You know, Karen, you keep this up
and one of these days I might just
learn how to make my own coffee.
(looks upward)

From your mouth...
Jackson enters his house.
B.J.. Honey, I'm home.

(hangs up his coat. Walks
back to the kitchen)

B.J.. You home? Shit.
Jackson goes to the bedroom, taking off his tie as he walks.
As he enters the bedroom, he sees that the bed is unmade,
with the sheets and blankets bunched at the end of the bed.
He walks over and flips the blankets and sheets back towards
the head of the bed. Jackson sits down on the bed, and takes
off his shoes. He walks over towards his dresser, and steps
on a cufflink. Jackson bends over, picks up the cufflink,
and examines it.
What the fuck?


Flashback to Elevator Scene of glimpse of the woman on the
man's arm.

A court room. A blindfolded "Lady Justice" with a balancing
scale is standing in the middle of the court room. Jackson,
shown from the back, approaches from right, and places the
cuff link (from Jackson's bedroom) on the right tray of the
scale. B.J. Jackson approaches from the left, and places her
wedding ring on the left side of the scale.

Jackson's bedroom. Jackson starts awake. He looks over at
B.J. and shakes his head. Jackson walks to the bathroom and
opens the medicine cabinet. He takes out the Buspar, pops
the lid and spills the pills into his hand. There are four
and one half pills. He takes two and puts the rest back in
the bottle.

Jackson is examining remote wireless video equipment. After
a few seconds, a clerk comes over to assist.
                        ES CLERK
May I help you with anything?
I'm interested in wireless video
                        ES CLERK
Is this for interior or exterior


Interior use, in my home. I've
seen those pop-up ads on the
computer for remote cameras, but I
don't want a camera sitting out
where anyone can see it.
                        ES CLERK
Well, if something is in your
home, we can probably fit it with
a camera. But if you already have
a stereo or a "VCR" or a "DVD"
player, you might want to consider
substituting one of our units with
a motion sensitive recording
A motion sensitive recording
                        ES CLERK
Right. The advantage is that you
don't have to wade through hours
of tape where nothing happens.
With a hidden camera broadcasting
to a remote recorder, you may have
hours of tape with the same scene,
and nothing going on.
That makes sense.
                        ES CLERK
Please understand though, that
these systems are quite a bit more
expensive than your simple remote
broadcast cameras.
That's not a problem. What do you
have in the way of VCR's with
motion sensitive recording?
Clerk leads Jackson over to look at a wall display.


Jackson is sitting at his desk with an unopened bottle of
scotch. There is a small television hooked up to a VCR.
Jackson is fast-forwarding through a video tape. The tape
has the date and progressive time indicated on the bottom of
the display. The first entry on the tape shows B.J. come
into the bedroom, make the bed, then exit. Next the tape
entry shows B.J. walk across the bedroom to the bathroom.
The tape immediately shows B.J. leave the bathroom and walk
out of the bedroom. The tape next shows B.J. come into the
bedroom, lay out and change into tennis clothes, then exit.
The next item shows B.J. come in, strip off her tennis
clothes, and walk naked to the bathroom. B.J. then comes out
of the bathroom with her hair wet, and wrapped in a towel.
B.J. dresses, and leaves the bedroom. The tape next shows
Jackson walking up to the VCR, and reaching up. The tape is
blank past that point. Jackson opens his desk drawer, takes
out the cufflink and stares at it. The handle to a handgun
is visible in the open drawer. There is also a prescription
bottle for Buspar lying on its side. Jackson sets down the
cufflink, and picks up the prescription bottle. He opens the
bottle, but it is empty. Jackson takes a deep breath, then
exhales loudly.
Jackson is pulling up to his parking garage gate.
                       RADIO ANNOUNCER

The Blues finished November with
the best record in team history.
They play in Detroit tomorrow. All
this and more, coming up right
after the national news at mid
day. Stay tuned.
Jackson turns off the radio as he pulls into his garage.


Jackson inserts key card, passes through the gate, and
starts up the divided entrance/exit ramp. As he starts up
ramp, car coming down exit ramp has couple (Ogden and Man)
that was outside the elevator. Jackson slams on the brakes
to try to look at the receding car with the couple. The car
behind Jackson hits the car horn.
Son of a bitch!
Jackson sits at his desk, and watches and fast forwards the
surveillance video tape. The scotch bottle is almost empty.
The first entry on the tape shows B. J. come into the
bedroom, strip the sheets off of the bed and remake it, then
exit. Next, B.J. enters, changes into a white tennis outfit,
brushes her hair and fixes her makeup at her dresser mirror.
She walks to the closet, rummages around, and steps back
holding the black Halloween wig, then exits. Next, a couple
enters. The woman wears a white tennis outfit and the black
Halloween wig. The man sits on the edge of the bed, with his
back to the camera. The woman kneels between his legs.
Images show flashes of long black hair, but never the
woman's face. The couple undresses and frolics on the bed,
until the woman is on top facing the camera, but her face is
turned away. The man reaches up and draws the black hair
behind her. Jackson throws the scotch bottle through the
television screen.
Back in the dream court room with the blindfolded "Lady
Justice" and her scale. B.J. Jackson approaches and places
her wedding ring on the left side of the scale. Jackson
approaches and places the cuff link (from Jackson's bedroom)
on the right side of the scale which then tips heavily to
the right. The camera focuses on the scale. Jackson plays
the roles of Judge and Jury.
                       JUDGE JACKSON (O.S.)
Have you reached a verdict?
                       JACKSON FOREMAN (O.S.)
Yes, your Honor. Guilty!


No! Please poll the jury, your
Cut to the bench to show Jackson as judge.
                       JUDGE JACKSON
Mr. Foreman, do you agree with the
Cut to tight shot of Jackson as jury foreman.
                       JACKSON FOREMAN
I do, your Honor.
                       JUDGE JACKSON
Juror Two, do you agree with the
Cut to tight shot of Jackson as Juror Two.
                       JACKSON JUROR 2
Of course, your Honor.
                       JUDGE JACKSON
And the rest of you?
Camera shows the jury box. All of the remaining jurors are
nodding Jackson "bobble-head" dolls.
B.J., wearing a bathrobe and fluffy slippers, and holding a
home pregnancy test, paces in the bathroom.
If your best friend could do it
when she didn't mean to, you know
you can do this, B.J..

(slowly raises and checks the
pregnancy test)



                       B.J. (cont'd)

(jumps up and down)

Omigod! We did it!
B.J. sits at a table with a large frothy coffee drink. She
looks out the window at snow flurries. Ogden rushes up to
the table, peeling off a scarf, hat and gloves.
      (shivers and blows
       on her fingers)
It's going to be a long winter!

(drops into a chair, looks at
B.J.'s coffee)

Where's mine? Oh, never mind.

(reaches over and puts both hands
around B.J.'s cup)

Whew. Much, much better. What a
day! Jason lost a glove. We
couldn't find it, so I got out
some mittens. But he threw a fit
because mittens are for little
kids. By the time we found the
glove, he missed his bus. So I had
to drive him to school. Traffic
was outrageous. It took almost
forty-five minutes! You'd think
there was a blizzard out there.
Oh, sorry. Hi to you too.


It's a beautiful day. A glorious,
wonderful, fabulous day!
Honey, my hands are too cold to
check your forehead for a fever.
Are you okay?
I'm just wonderful, thank you.
This isn't a Stepford Wives come
to west county thing, is it?
What's going on, B.J.?
I thought you'd never ask!

(takes Ogden's hands)

We did it! I'm pregnant!
Ogden jumps up and hugs B.J..
I don't believe it! I'm so happy
for you!

(sits back down)

Finally! I was beginning to worry
that you and Andy might not, you
know, know how to do it. I
thought I was going to have to
come over and explain things to
Well you can stop worrying,
because we know how to do it very,
very well.
Have you told Andy yet?


No, I just found out this morning.
Saturday's our anniversary. I'm
going to tell him when we get home
from dinner.
Jackson and B.J. are finishing their coffee and dessert.
There is a partially filled wine glass in front of Jackson.
B.J.'s wine glass is full and untouched.
You haven't touched your wine.
That's not like you.
I just don't feel like it tonight.
This was wonderful. Thank you.
You're welcome, of course. But the
best is yet to come.
I know. I have something to tell
Oh, really. I have something of
interest for you as well. But you
No, not here. Later.
Go ahead. Who knows? You may not
have a chance to come clean later.
I think I'll take my chances.


Suit yourself.
Jackson reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out a small
gift wrapped jewelry box, and slides it across to B.J..

Can I open it?
Absolutely, please do.
(carefully opens the package, then
opens the jewelry box revealing
the cufflink)

What is this?
Just desserts.
Jackson takes out a gun and shoots B.J. three times in the
chest. Patrons make panicked exits. Jackson reaches into his
jacket and takes out a video tape, and two hand lettered
cards, "Motive" and "Means". He rises, picks up the
cufflink, takes the cufflink and the video tape and places
them on top of the card that says "Motive". He places his
gun on top of the card that says "Means".
La mort, sans phrases. Death,
without rhetoric. Abbe Emmanuel
Joseph Sieyes, 1793.
Jackson sits back down and finishes his coffee.
Jackson in orange prison jumpsuit is seated at a bare table.
Michael Herbster is pacing.


(turns and slams his fist on the

God damn it, Andy! They are asking
for the death penalty!
Of course they are, Michael.
Wouldn't you if you were in their
Yes. Yes, I would. But, frankly,
I'd expect the case to be pled out
long before I started working on
my opening remarks. Andy, you
cannot represent yourself!
I appreciate your concern,
Michael. But I am going to
represent myself.
Fine. But before you do anything
else, see Dr. Adelman. I already
called him. He'll clear his
schedule and see you immediately.
Thank you, Michael. You are a good
friend. But I have no intention of
calling Dr. Adelman. I was
perfectly competent when I shot
B.J. I am perfectly competent to
stand trial today. So there is no
point in incurring the expert
witness fees.
Christ! Do want to die? Why in the
hell didn't you just shoot


I'm not suicidal.
The hell you're not! You're
already half way strapped in! Stop
for a minute, Andy, and think like
a defense attorney. What would you
advise a client who was sitting
where you are now?
Where I am now?
Yes, where you are right now!
Oh, that's easy. I'd tell him I
don't take City cases. Call Mike
Herbster. He's the best there is
in the City.
Great! I'm flattered. So why the
hell won't you call me?
For the same reason that I've
never taken a City case.
Okay, now we're getting somewhere.
And what is that reason?
(shakes his head no)

Sorry, Mike. I'm taking the Fifth.
This is ridiculous! We've known
each other for over thirty years.
I am not going to just stand by
and watch you kill yourself.


(steeples his hands)

I don't plan to, Mike. But
whatever floats your boat.


Actually, Michael, there is
something that you could do for
What do you want, Andy?
I am going to waive the
preliminary exam. But I need you
to prepare a change of venue
motion. With all the pretrial
publicity, I don't think I can get
a fair trial in St. Louis.
Christ, Andy! A change of venue is
about the least of your concerns.


If I prepare the motion, will you
call Dr. Adelman?
No, Michael. This case does not
require Dr. Adelman's services.
Don't worry about the motion. I
can do it from here.
Martyrdom does not suit you, Andy.
Not at all.


You'll have the motion in the


                       HERBSTER (cont'd)

(heads to the door)


(turns back to Jackson)

You know, thirty years is a long
time. At least promise me that for
my sake, if not your own, you will
think seriously about calling Dr.
Adelman, and allowing me to enter
an appearance on your behalf.
Thank you, Michael. I promise you
I will give your counsel the
deepest contemplation.
(shakes his head)

Asshole. You'll have your motion
in the morning.
A different lockup interview room. Jackson is seated with
Why did you agree to see me?
Why wouldn't I see you? I'll see
anyone who comes to visit.
Because you know goddamn well that
I'm here as a reporter, and you
don't talk to reporters.
Well, perhaps I'm willing to make
a limited exception in your case.


                       JACKSON (cont'd)
But only if you earn it. You may
ask one question. Don't waste it
on "did you kill your wife" or
"why did you shoot her?"
Oh, thank you Dr. Lector.


One question, huh?


Okay, try this one. Have you flat
lined, Andy?
Michael Herbster is seated at his desk. He is talking to
Jesse Minton (O.S.) on a speaker phone.
I'm afraid there isn't much that I
can tell you, Ms. Minton. As I
said earlier, Mr. Jackson has
refused to let me enter an
appearance on his behalf.

I understand that, Mr. Herbster. I
am calling you because Andy is
planning something, and I want to
make sure he isn't getting himself
into even more trouble. But I
admit, I can't even imagine how he
could get into any more trouble.
Just what is it that you expect me
to do, Ms. Minton?



Hell if I know. I know you and
Andy are friends and we both just
want to help him if we can. So I
guess I'm just asking you to hear
me out. Maybe then you can figure
out what is going on.
Fair enough, Ms. Minton.

Please call me Jessie. I'm not
calling you as a reporter.
Fine, Jessie, what can you tell

I met with Andy yesterday
afternoon. You know how he gets
that stupid smug expression and
likes to steeple his hands before
he makes a final decisive point?
Sure, I'm familiar with that
particular mannerism. It can be
really irritating.

Well, I met Andy after the Lehman
acquittal last summer. We met at
a bar in Clayton. He explained to
me his theory that all of life is
just a matter of playing the
angles. Anyway, he told me that


                       MINTON (cont'd)
when there are no angles, then you
have a flat line, and when you
flat line you're dead. So I met
with him yesterday primarily to
see how he was doing, but for my
boss's sake also in my capacity as
a reporter. Andy told me that I
could ask him one question, so I
asked whether he had flat lined.
Well, all he did was smile and
steeple his goddamn hands. After
that, all he was willing to talk
about was sports. He thinks he
has some kind of angle. But I
think maybe he's not all there.


Are you serious about wanting to
help Andy, or are you just looking
for a scoop?

I like Andy. I really would like
to help if we could.
Can you meet me at Andy's office
this afternoon?

Any time you want.


Jackson's secretary Karen is unlocking the office door. The
elevator doors open. Minton and Herbster step out into the
hallway. Minton and Herbster walk up to Karen. Karen gives
Herbster a hug.
How are you holding up, Karen?
Not good, Mike. He doesn't want
me to go see him.
That doesn't sound like Andy. But
nothing Andy does surprises me at
this point.
All three enter into the office.
I've got some more authorizations
from clients to give you their
files. I'll get them for you
before you leave.
Thanks, Karen. This way, Jessie.
Herbster leads Minton back into Jackson's office.
What are we looking for?
A couple of years ago, I met Andy
for lunch. When I got there, he
was chuckling over a letter to the
editor in the St. Louis Business
Journal. When I asked him what
was so funny, he said "Cassandra
lives." He passed me over the
letter to read. It was about a
problem with the area's gambling
boats. I read the letter, then


                       HERBSTER (cont'd)
asked him what was so funny. He
said, "That's why I don't take
City cases." As I recall, the
letter had something to do with
the Boards of Elections
Commissioners in certain counties
having no authority to act.
I'm not following you. Cassandra
foretold the future, but no one
would listen to her. But, what do
gambling boats and election
commissions have to with Andy's
I'm not quite sure yet, myself.
That day at lunch, I asked Andy
what the hell gambling boats had
to do with his refusal to take
City cases. He got that same dumb
smirk on his face, steepled his
hands, and said nothing more on
the subject.
He's good at that.
He sure is. Anyway, when I met
with him and asked him why he
wouldn't let me enter an
appearance on his behalf, he said,
"for the same reason that I've
never taken a City case." A little
while later, he said, "whatever
floats your boat." In his
inimically perverse manner, Andy
has answered our questions.

(Herbster walks behind
Jackson's desk, and picks up a
cheaply framed photocopy of St.
Louis Business Journal, March 1,
1998, page 47A, Letters to the


                       HERBSTER (cont'd)
Editor, "Will gambling boats in
moats float?", takes a moment to
scan the letter, then reads from
the letter)

"The Missouri Roster 1995-1996
describes these six boards as
'Boards Assigned to the Governor.'
However, there is no
constitutional authority for
assigning boards to the governor,
and in the absence of any
assignment to the Office of
Administration or one of the 15
executive branch departments,
these boards have no
constitutional authority to act in
any manner."

(hands the letter to Minton)

Apparently, this is his defense.
While Minton reads the letter, Herbster pulls a copy of the
Missouri Official Manual or Blue Book, 2005-2006 Edition off
of Jackson's shelf. Herbster opens to the index, then scans
with his index finger under "B" down to "Boards Assigned to
the Governor.


Boards Assigned to the Governor,
page 918.

(opens the book to page 918)

Boards Assigned to the Governor
include Clay County Board of
Election Commissioners, Jackson
County Board of Election

(turns the page)

Kansas City Board of Election,
aha. I'm not sure which, but our
friend Andy is either Brer Rabbit
or the Mad Hatter.
Jackson is with Judge 2 and Prosecutor 2 (Tarasoff). The
jury box and first two rows of seats are filled with
prospective jurors. Judge 2 is holding a printed Jury
Instruction Sheet MAI-CR 300.2 in his hands.
                       JUDGE 2
Periodically, during jury
selection, during the course of
the trial, and before a jury
deliberates on a verdict, it is
the Court's duty to read to you
certain instructions. I am about
to read to you Missouri Approved
Instruction, Criminal, instruction
CR 300.02. Please pay close

(reads instruction)

Today's trial for which you have
been called for jury service is a
criminal case. The State of
Missouri has charged that the
Defendant Allen Andrew Jackson has


                       JUDGE 2 (cont'd)
committed the offense of murder of
Billie Jean Jackson.
Camera pans over to Prosecutor Tarasoff and his aides. Aide
passes over a trial notebook to Tarasoff, and indicates a
passage on the open page. Tarasoff nods.
                       JUDGE 2 (O.S.)
The defendant has pled not guilty
to the charge. Thus, there are
issues of fact which must be
decided by a jury, subject to
instructions concerning the law,
which the Court will give to the
jury. The jury is obligated to
follow those instructions.
Camera pans back to Judge.
                       JUDGE 2
A trial of a criminal case begins
with the selection of a jury of
qualified and impartial people. In
order to obtain such a jury, all
of you have been summoned as
prospective jurors. From your
number, a jury will be selected to
hear the case.
Camera pans over to Jackson. Jackson is drawing stick figure
and caricature portraits of the prospective jurors on a
legal pad.
                       JUDGE 2 (O.S.)
It is necessary that you be asked
various questions. Your answers
will assist the Court in
determining whether it should
excuse you from serving in this
case and will assist the attorneys
in making their selection of those
who will hear the case. Thus, the


                       JUDGE 2 (cont'd)
questions, which will be asked of
you, are not meant to pry into
your personal affairs. Rather they
are a necessary part of the
process of selecting a jury.
Camera pans back to Judge.
                       JUDGE 2
Since this is an important part of
the trial, you are required to be
sworn before questions are asked.
Please rise now and be sworn to
answer questions.
                       BAILIFF 2
Please rise and raise your right

(all prospective jurors rise
and raise their right hands)

Do you swear to tell the truth,
the whole truth, and nothing but
the truth so help you God?
                       JURY PANEL
I do.
                       JUDGE 2
You may be seated.

(jury panel sits)

Please listen carefully to all
questions. Take your time in
answering questions. Some of the
questions may require you to
recall experiences during your
entire lifetime. Therefore, search
your memory before answering. If
you do not understand the


                       JUDGE 2 (cont'd)
question, raise your hand and say
so. If, later on, during the
examination, you remember
something, which you failed to
answer before or which would
modify an answer you gave before,
raise your hand and you will be
asked about it. Your answers must
not only be truthful but they must
be full and complete. If your
answer to any of these questions
involves matters which are
personal or private, you may so
indicate and you will be given an
opportunity to state your answer
at the bench.
Camera pans back to Prosecutor Tarasoff, who is looking over
the jury. Aide passes note to Tarasoff. Tarasoff
looks at jury panel, mouths "you're right".
                       JUDGE 2 (O.S.)
The trial of a lawsuit involves
considerable time and effort, and
the parties are entitled to have
their rights finally determined.
The failure on your part fully and
truthfully to answer questions
during this stage of the trial
could force the parties to have to
retry the lawsuit at some future

(Camera pans over to Jackson
who is busy erasing part of one of
his pencil sketches. Camera pans
back to Judge)

The Court will now read to you an
instruction on the law applicable
to all criminal cases.


                       JUDGE 2 AND JACKSON
      (Togehter. Jackson
       does not look up
       from his drawing)
The charge of any offense is not
evidence, and it creates no
inference that any offense was
committed or that the defendant is
guilty of an offense.
                       JUDGE 2
Mr. Jackson.
      (Looks up from his
Yes, your Honor?
                       JUDGE 2
I usually handle this part solo.
Sorry, your Honor.
                       JUDGE 2
The defendant is presumed to be
innocent unless and until, during
your deliberations upon your
verdict, you find him guilty. This
presumption of innocence places
upon the state the burden of
proving beyond a reasonable doubt
that the defendant is guilty.
Camera pans over jury panel. Several are not paying
attention to the Judge. One is yawning. One has arms crossed
and is staring at the ceiling. Judge 2 continues to speak
off screen as background while Jackson questions JUROR
17-ANA-MARIE RAMIREZ. Jackson picks up the Jury List, and
                       JUDGE 2 (O.S.)
A reasonable doubt is a doubt
based upon reason and common sense
after careful and impartial


                       JUDGE 2 (cont'd)
consideration of all the evidence
in the case. Proof beyond a
reasonable doubt is proof that
leaves you firmly convinced of the
defendant's guilt. The law does
not require proof that overcomes
every possible doubt. If, after
your consideration of all the
evidence, you are firmly convinced
that the defendant is guilty of
the crime charged, you will find
him guilty. If you are not so
convinced, you must give him the
benefit of the doubt and find him
not guilty.

Juror 17, Ms. Ana-Marie Ramirez,
would you please stand up?
Camera shows jury box. ANA-MARIE RAMIREZ, mid-twenties,
attractive Latina with long pinned up hair, rises. Ramirez
wears a jacket and white blouse.
Would you please take off your
Ramirez takes off her jacket. She then follows each of
Jackson's requests.
Now would you please unpin your


Thatís very nice. Now take off
your blouse.




                       JACKSON (cont'd)
And the bra.


Now put your hands behind your


Thatís very nice. You may sit
Ramirez sits. Camera pans back to Judge.
                       JUDGE 2
Is there any of you who, if
selected as a juror, could not,
for any reason, follow that
instruction? If so, would you
please raise your hand.
One male juror raises his hand. Ramirez is shown fully
dressed, with her hair pinned up.
                       JUDGE 2
Yes, Juror 37. Do you have a
problem with the instruction as I
have just read it to you?
                       JUROR 37
Well, yeah. It's kinda stupid. I
mean, the police wouldn't have
arrested him if he didn't do it.
                       JUDGE 2
You are excused.
(to Bailiff 2)

Please escort the gentleman out.

(Bailiff leads Juror 37 out as
Judge 2 continues)


                       JUDGE 2 (cont'd)

Is there anyone else who has a
problem with the instruction as I
have read it to you thus far? If
so, please raise your hand.

(beat, no one raises a hand)

Fine. The comments you just heard
from Juror 37 are not evidence,
and must not be considered in any
manner. Is there any one who does
not believe that he or she can
disregard the comments made by
Juror 37? If so, please raise your

(beat, no one raises a hand)

Fine. Does the Defendant have any
objection to proceeding with this
      (Looks up from his
No, Judge. The Defendant has no
problem proceeding with this
panel. But thank you for asking.
                       JUDGE 2
      (Takes a moment to
       glare at Jackson)
Does the Prosecution have any
problem with proceeding with this
                       PROSECUTOR 2
No, your Honor. The Prosecution
has no problem with proceeding
with this panel.


                       JUDGE 2
Fine. Then I will continue reading
the instruction. It is your duty
to follow the law as the Court
gives it to you in the
instructions even though you may
disagree with it. Are there any of
you who would not be willing to
follow all instructions which the
Court will give to the jury? If
so, would you please raise your

(beat, no one raises a hand.
Judge indicates the Prosecutor)

This is Mr. Pavel Tarasoff, the
prosecutor, who is representing
the State.

(indicates Jackson)

This is Mr. Allen Andrew Jackson,
the Defendant, who is representing

The prosecutor will question you
first and then the defendant will
question you. Counsel for the
state may proceed.
Camera shows the court room clock at 10:20. Fade, clock now
shows 3:55. Camera pans jury panel. Two panel members are
                       PROSECUTOR 2
The State has no further
questions, your Honor.
                       JUDGE 2
Very well, then. Mr. Jackson, you
may address the panel.


Jackson sits with his hands at his chin, his thumbs under
his chin, his index fingers extended in front of his mouth,
and the last three digits on each hand intertwined. Beat.
Jackson slowly lowers, then steeples his hands, then slowly
separates them and places them on the table
Good afternoon. My name is Allen
Andrew Jackson, but I more
commonly go by Andrew or Andy. I
thank you all for your patience
today. I know it has been a long
day. I only have a few questions.
First of all, I'd like you to
think back to this morning, when
you were sworn in. Is there any
one of you who does not believe
that the swearing in of a witness
is important? If so, please raise
your hand.

(no one on the panel raises
their hand)

Good. So, to be very clear, every
one of you understands the
importance of swearing an oath. If
any of you are unsure, please
raise your hands.

(no one raises their hands)

Fine. Now is there any one among
you who does not

(emphasises "not")

believe that the Constitution of
the State of Missouri, the organic
or underlying law of the State, is

(still no one raises their



                       JACKSON (cont'd)
Okay. I have just one more
question. Is there any one among
you who cannot count to sixteen?
Court is in session. A 12 person jury is seated in the jury
box. Two assistant prosecutors are seated at the
Prosecutor's table, which is covered with documents and
files,several books including a copy of Missouri Supreme
Court Rules of Criminal Procedure and "Missouri Approved
Instructions Criminal", several volumes of criminal statutes
in Vernon's Annotated Missouri Statutes (VAMS), the State's
red revised statutes books, a personal computer, and various
bagged evidence including the video tape, cufflink, and
placards from the restaurant. Prosecutor 2 (Tarasoff) is
standing in front of jury box, holding the evidence bag with
the gun, and finishing his opening remarks.

Jackson is seated alone at the Defense's table. Herbster is
in the first row of the audience seated behind Jackson, and
next to Minton. The only items on the Defense table is a
single yellow ruled pad, and two black pens, one red pen,a
pad of sticky notes, and three small piles of paper clipped
white papers which are face down.

The Camera pans over Prosecutor's table, then shows the
Defense table, stopping on the ruled pad. There is a
vertical line drawn down the center of the page. At the top
left, there is the handwritten statement "Pros. Opening
Remarks". There are no other notes.

There is a standing room only crowd.
                       PROSECUTOR 2
(opens in midsentence)

Upon your thorough review of the
evidence, that you will find the
Defendant guilty as charged. Thank

(returns to his seat)


                       JUDGE 2
Mr. Jackson, do you wish to make
an opening statement?

Thank you, Your Honor.

(walks in front of the
Prosecution table, and picks up
the gun, and the video tape. Walks
to the center in front of the jury
box, and faces the jury)

Good morning, Gentlemen and
Ladies. We had an opportunity to
meet a couple of days ago. But let
me take a moment to reintroduce
myself. My name is Allen Andrew
Jackson. I'll be your Defendant
this morning. Like the State, I
want to thank you for your
participation in today's
proceedings. Now you've just
heard the esteemed counsel for the
State of Missouri

(turns and indicates Tarasoff)

tell you all about how the
evidence will show this

(holds out the bag with gun)

and how the evidence will show

(holds out the bag with the



(beat, softly)


                       JACKSON (cont'd)

None of that is going to happen.

(walks back over to the
Prosecutor's table and deposits
the two bags. Walks back to
Defendant's table and sits down)
                       JUDGE 2
The State may call its first
                       PROSECUTOR 2
The State calls Officer Peter
Wilson takes the witness stand, and remains standing to be
                       BAILIFF 2
Please raise your right hand. Do
you swear to tell the truth, the
whole truth and nothing but the
truth, so help you God.
I do.
                       JUDGE 2
You may be seated.

(Wilson sits)

The State may examine Officer
                       PROSECUTOR 2
Thank you, your Honor.


May I approach the witness?


                       JUDGE 2
Yes, you may.
                       PROSECUTOR 2
Thank you, your Honor.

(walks over to position
himself between the witness and
the jury so that the witness will
look at the jury when answering

Would you please state your name
for the record?
Peter Wilson.
                       PROSECUTOR 2
Would you please state by whom you
are employed, and the nature of
your employment?
I am a patrol officer for the St.
Louis Metropolitan Police

Objection, Your Honor. This
witness lacks testamentary
                       PROSECUTOR 2
What! Lacks testamentary capacity?
                       JUDGE 2
Would you care to explain, Mr.
In order to have testamentary
capacity, a witness must be
mentally competent to testify, and


                       JACKSON (cont'd)
must be capable of swearing and
understanding the meaning of an
oath, or affirming to tell the
truth. Now this witness
apparently lacks one of these
element. As everyone in this room
knows, there is no entity known as
"the St. Louis Metropolitan Police

(murmers in audience)
                       PROSECUTOR 2
This is ridiculous.
                       JUDGE 2
Control yourself, Mr. Tarasoff!

(raps gavel)

Quiet down. Continue, Mr. Jackson.
(picks up the three stacks of
white paper)

Permission to approach the bench.
                       JUDGE 2
Jackson walks up to the bench and gives the Judge one set of
papers, hands a second set to Tarasoff, and returns to his
table with his hands steepled. He makes eye contact with
Minton, who nods and steeples her hands.
I ask the Court to take judicial
notice of Missouri Constitution
Article 4, section 12 covering the
composition of the Executive
Department, and its implementing
legislation in Missouri Revised
Statutes Appendix B, also known as
the Reorganization Act of 1974.


Camera shows assistant prosecutors trying to locate the
statutes on the personal computer and in the red revised
statutes books.
                       JUDGE 2
So noted.
I also ask the Court to take
judicial notice the Official
Manual of the State of Missouri
2005-2006 Edition, commonly known
as the Blue Book, even a few years
ago when it was actually sort of
violet or lavender.
                       JUDGE 2
Also noted. Refrain from
unnecessary editorial remarks.
Sorry, your Honor. Article 4,
section 12 of the Missouri
Constitution establishes the
composition of the Executive
Branch of Missouri Government.
Under Section 12, there are
fifteen executive branch
departments, including thirteen
enumerated departments, two
additional departments that may be
established by the legislature,
and the Office of Administration.
Also under Section 12, all boards
exercising administrative or
executive authority must be
assigned to one of the fifteen
departments or to the Office of

Now if you refer to the Executive
Branch Organizational Chart in the
Manual at page 341, you'll see
that in addition to the thirteen
enumerated departments, the
Legislature also created the


                       JACKSON (cont'd)
Department of Corrections and the
Department of Health and Senior
                       JUDGE 2
Do you think you could move this
along, Mr. Jackson?
I'll try, Judge. If you'll take a
look at the Manual pages 918 and
919, you'll see the "St. Louis
City Board of Police
Commissioners" is a board assigned
to the Governor. Well, Judge, as
you've just seen, there is no
constitutional authority to assign
a board to the Governor. Boards
must be assigned to one of the
fifteen executive branch
departments or to the Office of
Administration. In short, although
the State may want to treat the
St. Louis City Board of Police
Commissioners as a sixteenth
executive branch department, in
fact, it has no de jure authority
to act. In the absence of de jure
authority, the Board of Police
Commissioners has no authority to
take any action. Accordingly, it
could not have employed the
witness as a patrol officer.
                       PROSECUTOR 2

I don't believe this!
                       JUDGE 2
(admonishes Prosecutor)

You'll get an opportunity to
respond. Let Mr. Jackson finish.


Prosecutor walks back to Prosecution table and huddles with
the assistants.
As an alleged commissioned peace
officer, the witness is required
to swear an oath to defend the
Constitutions of the United States
and the State of Missouri. So if
the witness is testifying that he
is employed by an entity that has
no constitutional authority to
act, in direct contravention of
Article 4, Section 12 of the
Missouri Constitution that he has
sworn to defend, then the witness
obviously either does not
appreciate the gravity of swearing
an oath, or he cannot count to
sixteen and so lacks the mental
capacity necessary to testify.
                       JUDGE 2
Does the State have a response?
                       PROSECUTOR 2
(picks up Missouri Revised
Statutes Volume off of table)

This objection is absurd, your
Honor. First of all, I ask the
Court to take judicial notice of
Missouri Revised Statutes Section
590.180. 1. which provides (reads
from book) "No arrest shall be
deemed unlawful solely because of
the licensure status of a peace
officer, and evidence on the
question cannot be received in any
civil or criminal case."
Irrelevant and bootstrapped, your


                       PROSECUTOR 2
(sharply to Jackson)

Let me finish!
                       JUDGE 2
Order! You will both confine and
direct your comments to the Court.
And you will wait your respective
turns to speak. Is that clear?
Sorry, your Honor.
                       PROSECUTOR 2
Yes, your Honor.
                       JUDGE 2

(beat, drums pen for a few

Gentlemen, see me in chambers.

(to the jury)

The Court is about to take its
first recess. As I explained
during the selection of the jury,
the Court is required to read
certain instructions to the jury
during the course of the trial. I
am about to read to you MAI-CR

It is the Court's duty to instruct
you now upon a matter about which
you will be reminded at each
recess or adjournment of Court.
Until this case is given to you to
decide, you must not discuss any
subject connected with the trial
among yourselves, or form or
express any opinion about it, and,


                       JUDGE 2 (cont'd)
until you are discharged as
jurors, you must not talk with
others about the case, or permit
them to discuss it with you or in
your hearing or read, view, or
listen to any newspaper, radio, or
television report of the trial.

The bailiff and other officers of
the Court are not permitted to
talk to you about any subject
connected with the trial, and you
are not permitted to talk to them
about it.

The same applies to witnesses and
to the defendant. He has been
instructed to avoid all contacts
with the jury, even to talk about
matters wholly unrelated to the
case. Court is now in recess.
                       BAILIFF 2
All rise.
Judge comes in and takes his robe off. Judge sits down at
his desk and begins flipping through the stack of copies of
the Missouri Constitution, and Manual pages. There is a
knock on the door. A Guard enters.
Your Honor, we've brought Mr.
                       JUDGE 2
Show him in.

(Jackson enters, handcuffed.
Guard unlocks the handcuffs and



                       JUDGE 2 (cont'd)
Have a seat, Mr. Jackson. I'm
going to take a moment to look at
these sections before Mr. Tarasoff

(knock on door)

Come in.

(Prosecutor 2 enters, carrying
a VAMS volume)

Or perhaps not. Have a seat, Mr.
                       PROSECUTOR 2
Thank you, your Honor.

(takes his seat)
                       JUDGE 2
All right, Mr. Jackson, give me
the simple version of your
argument again.
Certainly, Judge. Think of the
Board of Police Commissioners for
the City of St. Louis as a giant
electrical appliance. Now this
appliance, when fully operational,
can do extraordinary things. But
until you plug it in, it's
useless. Now then, the Board is a
Missouri state agency. It has even
promulgated state regulations that
are found in the Missouri Code of
State Regulations, at 17 CSR
Division 20. However, the Board
has never been assigned to an
Executive branch department or to
the Office of Administration. The
Board itself can't serve as one of
the two Executive branch
departments created by the


                       JACKSON (cont'd)
legislature, because those two
departments are filled by the
Department of Corrections and the
Department of Health and Senior
Services. So the bottom line is
that the Board has never been
plugged in. Accordingly, it has no
authority to act, period. If the
Board has no authority to act, its
agents obviously have no such
authority. You cannot have de
facto operatives without de jure
                       JUDGE 2
And your response, Mr. Tarasoff?
                       PROSECUTOR 2
As I started to point out in the
court room, your Honor, this is an
impermissible collateral attack on
the arresting officer. Section
590.180.1 provides

(reads from book)

"No arrest shall be deemed
unlawful solely because of the
licensure status of a peace
officer, and evidence on the
question cannot be received in any
civil or criminal case."
That section is inapposite, your
Honor. Look at the definition of
"peace officer" at Section
590.110.3. May I?

(takes the book from Tarasoff)

Section 590.110.3 provides, "Peace
officer", a law enforcement
officer of the state or any
political subdivision of the state
with the power of arrest for a


                       JACKSON (cont'd)
violation of the criminal code or
declared or deemed to be a peace
officer by state statute. As I've
explained several times, there is
no power of arrest. There is no
power whatsoever. Mr. Wilson
simply is not a peace officer
within the meaning of the section.
                       JUDGE 2
Give me a moment, Gentlemen.

(Pulls out the sheet on
Missouri Constitution Article 4,
Section 12, beat, reads the sheet)

Unless discontinued, all present
or future boards, bureaus,
commissions or other agencies of
the state exercising
administrative or executive
authority shall be assigned by law
or by the governor as provided by
law to the office of
administration or to one of the
fifteen administrative departments
to which their respective powers
and duties are germane.

(takes out the sheet with
Missouri Manual Executive Branch
Organizational Chart. With his
finger, he traces over each of the

Okay, there are fifteen. Now, Mr.
Tarasoff, how does the State
respond to the contention that the
Board of Police Commissioners has
no authority to act?
                       PROSECUTOR 2
Well, first of all, Judge, the
State is being blindsided by this
whole argument.


Nonsense. You're a licensed
attorney. In your oath of
admission to the bar you solemnly
swore to support the Constitution
of the State of Missouri. Surely
you read it before you signed your
                       PROSECUTOR 2
Of course I've read the goddam
                       JUDGE 2
That's enough. This is your last
warning, Gentlemen. Continue, Mr.
                       PROSECUTOR 2
Even, assuming arguendo, that the
Board of Police Commissioners did
not have authority to appoint
Officer Wilson, Officer Wilson was
still within his rights to make a
citizen's arrest.

(looks over his notes)

"A private citizen may arrest on a
showing of the commission of a
felony and reasonable grounds to
suspect the arrested party, to
prevent an affray of breach of the
peace, and for a misdemeanor if
authorized by statute." State v.
Devlin, 745 South West Second 850,
at 851-52. Mo. App. 1988.
                       JUDGE 2
Mr. Jackson?
Well, that's certainly creative. I
hadn't considered that.



                       JACKSON (cont'd)

Hmm, a private citizen with a gun
and handcuffs, who Mirandizes
suspects. I suppose the State
plans to offer Mr. Wilson immunity
in exchange for his testimony
about how, with gun drawn in
public, he heroically effectuated
the arrest of a man quietly
sipping a cup of coffee, for the
commission of an alleged felony
that was not committed in his
presence. I can see it now.
A look at Jackson's thoughts about what would occur in the
court room. Officer Wilson is on the stand being questioned
by Tarasoff.
                       PROSECUTOR 2
Mr. Wilson, how did you come to be
at Tony's?
I received a radio call from
dispatch about a shooting.
Dispatch said, "Constitutionality
aside, we know you are a private
citizen who happens to carry a
loaded gun because the Missouri
legislature overrode the will of
the people of Missouri and the
Governor's veto on the right to
carry concealed weapons law, who
just happens to be in the vicinity
of a shooting."
                       PROSECUTOR 2
Where were you when you received
this call from dispatch?


I, a private citizen, was sitting
with my gun in my car at Seventh
and Pine, several blocks from
                       PROSECUTOR 2
Was dispatch at Tony's?
                       PROSECUTOR 2
How did dispatch learn about this
alleged shooting?
I dunno.
                       PROSECUTOR 2
What happened when you got to the
I was met by the manager.
                       PROSECUTOR 2
What did the manager say?
There has been a shooting in the
dining room.
                       PROSECUTOR 2
Did he say he saw the shooting?
                       PROSECUTOR 2
What did you do when you entered
the dining room?
With my private citizen's gun
drawn, I entered the dining room,


                       WILSON (cont'd)
and observed a man sipping his
coffee. I forced this man at gun
point to lie on the floor. I then
handcuffed the man, and read him
his Miranda rights.
                       PROSECUTOR 2
Did anyone tell you that the man
sipping coffee was the man who
allegedly was involved in a
Uh, no.
                       PROSECUTOR 2
So what were your reasonable
grounds to suspect the arrested
He was just sitting there drinking
The continuation of Jackson's last monologue in Judge's
But forgetting that problem for a
moment, assuming, arguendo, that
Mr. Wilson effected a proper
citizen's arrest, that would not
explain each of the subsequent gun
toting private citizens who held
me in bondage. And as soon as Mr.
Wilson surrendered custody of any
alleged evidence, then there would
be a break in the chain of
custody. Accordingly, assuming we
get that far, my position will be
that it's all tainted in violation
of the doctrine of "fruit of the
poisonous tree" in violation of my


                       JACKSON (cont'd)
constitutional rights against
unreasonable searches and
seizures. See U.S. Constitution
Amendment IV; and Missouri
Constitution Article 1, Section
15. Sorry, your Honor, I don't
have copies for you.
                       JUDGE 2
Mr. Jackson, you could have raised
this issue at a preliminary
hearing. But the record indicates
that you waived that hearing. You
also could have sought a motion in
limine to bar certain evidence.
Why did you wait to trial?
Double Jeopardy, Judge, under the
U.S. Constitution and Missouri
Constitution Article 1, Section
19. I plan to be acquitted by the
                       JUDGE 2
(beat, drums on his desk)

Well, Mr. Tarasoff, it looks like
you have no case. I'd suggest that
you voluntarily dismiss the
charges, rather than give Mr.
Jackson the satisfaction of being
acquitted by the jury. Perhaps the
feds can go after him for
violating Mrs. Jackson's civil
rights. Then I'd suggest you go
home and get a good night's sleep,
because starting tomorrow, you are
going to be hit by a raging
blizzard of habeas corpus motions
and wrongful imprisonment actions.


Jackson's Living Room--Jackson is seated with Minton. Minton
has a tape recorder.
Do you plan to fight to keep your
law license?
There's no point to fighting. The
practice of law is a privilege,
not a right. I forfeited that
privilege by committing an
unpardonable sin.

The killing of your wife?
Hell, no, Grasshopper. I pointed
out that the Emperor has no
clothes. That's an unforgiveable
breach of etiquette. They have no
choice but to shoot the messenger.
Door bell rings.
Excuse me for a moment.
Minton turns off the tape recorder. Jackson goes to answer
the door. Ogden is at the door.

Ogden walks in past Jackson. She goes directly to the bar in
the living room, ignores Minton, and fixes herself a drink.

Jackson closes the door, then follows Ogden back into the
living room.
Well, hello Kelly. Kelly, this
Jessie Minton. Jessie, this is
Kelly Ogden.


Minton starts to rise. Ogden waves her back down. Ogden
tosses down her drink.
I really don't give a fuck who
your new girl friend is.
Minton and Jackson respond simultaneously.
She's not my girl friend.
(with Jackson)

I'm not his girl friend.
(mixes another drink)

Hey, kids. I already told you I
don't give a fuck. I just came by,
Andy, to give you something and to
tell you a secret.

(to Minton)

You know, from the time we were in
kindergarten, nobody could ever
tell me and B.J. apart. At least
not until a couple of years ago.

(downs her second drink.
Pulls her shirt up to reveal a
Ceasarian Section scar)

She really loved you, Andy.

(reaches into her pocket,
takes out the matching cufflink,
and tosses it to Jackson. Starts
walking to the door)

She really did.

(turns back and faces Jackson)


                       OGDEN (cont'd)

Oh, yeah, the secret. I had
coffee with B.J. the Friday before
your anniversary. She was so


She was glowing. After dinner she
planned to tell you she was
pregnant with your child.
Jackson sits in his home office. There is an unopened
scothch bottle on the desk. A new, larger television is on
the sideboard. Jackson pulls the video tape out of his desk,
puts the tape in a VCR, then fast forwards to the shots of
the couple making love with the woman on top of the man,
facing the camera. At the point in the tape where he threw
the bottle to break the last television, Jackson freezes the
tape. The woman's face is obscured, but Ogden's C-section
scar is plainly visible.

Jackson steeples his hands in front of him. He exhales
loudly, then slowly opens his hands until the palms are
level and parallel to the surface of the desk. Jackson
reaches over, opens the scotch bottle, and takes a drink
from the bottle. He sets the bottle down and opens his desk
drawer. The open drawer reveals the handgun which is still
in an evidence bag, and a box of bullets.


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